New York: Social platform Parler filed a lawsuit against Amazon on Monday after the tech giant’s web division forced the conservatives’ favorite network to go online for failing to curb incitement to violence.
Nevada-based Parler has asked a federal court to issue a restraining order to prevent Amazon Web Services from cutting off access to Internet servers.
The lawsuit comes amid a wave of actions by internet giants who have blocked access to supporters of President Donald Trump in the wake of the US Capitol invasion last week and alleged plans for new violent demonstrations, especially on the day President-elect Joe Biden is due to take office.
Twitter announced, on Monday, that it had suspended “more than 70,000 accounts” linked to the Qunun conspiracy theory in light of last Wednesday’s attack, in which five people were killed.
The lawsuit said Parler was due to be dark late Monday, but web trackers said it was already disconnected early in the day and failed to find a new hosting service.
The lawsuit said shutting down servers would be “the equivalent of pulling the plug from a hospital patient on resuscitation equipment.” “It’ll kill Parler’s business – At the same time it was set on the missile. “
Parler claimed that Amazon was violating antitrust laws and working to help social competitor Twitter, who had also banned Trump over language that might incite violence.
The driver of AWS’s decision to effectively terminate the Parler account appears to be political hostility. It also appears designed to reduce competition in the microblogging services market in favor of Twitter.
Amazon said the lawsuit was “unworthy.”
An AWS spokesperson said, “We respect Parler’s right to decide which content to allow himself.”
“However, it is clear that there is significant content on Parler that encourages and incites violence against others, and that Parler is unable or unwilling to identify and remove such content immediately, which is a violation of our Terms of Service.”
Amazon said it had been in contact with Parler “for several weeks” and that during that time “we saw a significant increase in this kind of dangerous content, not a decrease, which led to the suspension of our services on Sunday evening.”
“War” to speak
In a series of posts on Parler before the site crashed, CEO John Matzi accused the tech giants of “the war on free speech.”
Matzi has also denied allegations that he offers violent content.
“Our team has worked hard to produce a strong set of community guidelines, which explicitly prohibit content that incites or threatens violence or any other activity that violates the law,” he said in a statement.
But he also stressed that it is difficult to monitor all content because “Parler is not a monitoring application, so we cannot write some algorithms that will quickly identify 100% of the objectionable content.”
The lawsuit is the latest development in a row between internet operators and supporters of the president, which has reached a new stage after the US Capitol siege last week.
Twitter and Facebook both suspended Trump’s account, while online payment service Stripe said it would stop handling transactions on Trump’s website after last week’s attack.
Twitter also said that on Friday it began purging accounts linked to QAnon, shutting down “more than 70,000 accounts … with many instances of one individual operating multiple accounts.”
“These accounts were widely involved in sharing malicious content linked to QAnon on a large scale and were primarily intended to spread conspiracy theory across the service,” Twitter said in a blog post.
Far-right conspiracy theory QAnon claims that Trump is waging a covert war against a global liberal satanic cult.
Twitter said its decision to suspend Trump and others’ account also took into account that plans for more armed protests are spreading in and out of service, including a proposed second attack on the US Capitol and Capitol buildings on January 17.
Like Twitter, Parler, launched in 2018, works with follow profiles and “parleys” rather than Tweets.
In its early days, the platform attracted a crowd of conservative and even far-right users. More recently, however, she has joined many traditional Republican voices.
Trump supporters have expressed outrage at the news of the platform’s removal.
Before the shutdown, the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., complained that “big technology has completely eliminated the idea of free speech in America.”
The platform came under heavy criticism in 2018 when investigators found that the shooter who killed 11 people in an attack on a Pittsburgh synagogue had earlier posted anti-Semitic messages on the site.