Social media site Parler has filed a complaint against Amazon on Monday. They claimed that Amazon’s move to suspend Parler violated antitrust laws. It also claimed that it is a breach of contract between the two.
Parler shut down on Monday. As it happened, CEO John Matze spoke to Fox News about going back online. Parler would “try to get back on line as quickly as possible,” according to Matze. However, he also warned that the social media site could be offline for as long as a week.
As per a Reuters report, “Amazon suspended Parler from its Amazon Web Services (AWS) unit for violating AWS’s terms of services by failing to effectively deal with a steady increase in violent content, according to an email by an AWS Trust and Safety team to Parler, seen by Reuters. An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the letter was authentic.”
Amazon also claimed that Parler may present a “very real risk to public safety.”
Claims in the Parler Lawsuit
Parler’s lawsuit starts by saying: “Last Month, Defendant Amazon Web Services, Inc. (‘AWS’) and the popular social media platform Twitter signed a multi-year deal so that AWS could support the daily delivery of millions of tweets. AWS currently provides that same service to Parler, a conservative microblogging alternative and competitor to Twitter.”
The complaint also noted that Twitter permanently suspended President Donald Trump from its platform. It said that this has caused many conservative users to transfer to Parler. This also made Parler “the number one free app” found in Apple’s App Store. In line with this, the lawsuit noted AWS’s announcement of Parler’s suspension.
The lawsuit claimed that “AWS was not confident Parler could properly police its platform regarding content that encourages or incites violence against others.”
“However, Friday night one of the top trending tweets on Twitter was ‘Hang Mike Pence.’ But AWS has no plans nor has it made any threats to suspend Twitter’s account,” it added.
It also said: “AWS’s decision to effectively terminate Parler’s account is apparently motivated by political animus. It is also apparently designed to reduce competition in the microblogging services market to the benefit of Twitter. Thus, AWS is violating Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act in combination with Defendant Twitter. AWS is also breaching its contract with Parler, which requires AWS to provide Parler with a thirty-day notice before terminating service, rather than the less than thirty-hour notice AWS actually provided. Finally, AWS is committing intentional interference with prospective economic advantage given the millions of users expected to sign up in the near future.”
TRO Against Amazon
Parler’s lawsuit is asking to have a temporary restraining order against Amazon, in the hopes that it will stop the internet retail giant from “shutting down Parler’s account at the end of today.”
“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,” the lawsuit went on to say.
Apart from Amazon, other tech services have suspended Parler. Apple and Google app stores, which are the only places people in the U.S. can download mobile apps, have stopped carrying Parler’s app over the weekend, as per The Hill.