The alternative social media platform Parler has been scrubbed from the internet by tech giant Amazon. In a move to silence what tech is calling violent speach Amazon, Google, and Apple have removed parler from the services they need to operate.
Amazon, which had provided the online tools to run the app, informed Parler that it would be cutting support from midnight local pacific time on Sunday. Soon after that deadline arrived, the site and its app went offline.
Visitors will now only see error messages informing them that the technology underpinning the site is not working properly.
Amazon had told Parler that it had seen “a steady increase in this violent content on your website, all of which violates our terms”. Amazon Web Services sent a detailed letter to the company including instances of such violent content and making clear that it believed Parler did not have an effective process to comply with the AWS terms of service.
Before the shutdown, Parler chief executive John Matze had suggested the outage could last a week but then posted on the site to inform users that it would likely be down longer than expected. That was a result of other vendors dropping support for the site in the wake of public statements by Amazon, Google and Apple, he said.
Mr Matze had told Fox News that “every vendor from text message services to email providers to our lawyers all ditched us too”, suggesting that other companies were taking their lead from Apple and Google.
Apple and Google had already removed Parler from their app stores. Google’s ban came on Friday and was followed by Apple, which said it had given Parler 24 hours to fix its moderation issues or face a ban, which went into effect after that.
In response Parler has now filed a lawsuit against Amazon
Parler has become popular in recent months with conservatives as an alternative to Facebook and Twitter, which both banned President Trump last week following the riot at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday.
In its complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington, Parler says the decision to suspend its account “is apparently motivated by political animus.” It claims that Amazon is violating antitrust law in combination with Twitter, which also uses AWS.
Parler also says AWS breached its contract by not providing Parler with a 30-day notice, and alleges that AWS is committing “intentional interference with prospective economic advantage.”
“This emergency suit seeks a Temporary Restraining Order against Defendant Amazon Web Services to prevent it from shutting down Parler’s account at the end of today,” the lawsuit reads. “Doing so is the equivalent of pulling the plug on a hospital patient on life support. It will kill Parler’s business—at the very time it is set to skyrocket.”