Amazon took action against the right wing social media platform Parler, the company has pulled the plug on Parler after the deadly U.S. Capitol riot. This social media app is popular among Trump supporters.
Amazon’s cloud-computing division, also known as Amazon Web Services (AWS), informed Parler at 11:59p.m PT on Saturday about the suspension of cloud services on its platform. The services will be unavailable from Sunday onward. AWS provided cloud infrastructure services to Parler which hosted its website and applications, meaning it may go offline or need to be hosted to a new cloud platform.
In an email from AWS Trust and Safety team told Parler’s chief policy officer (CPO) Amy Peikoff that the parler social media platform continues to host content related to violent activities which violates the Amazon web services terms of service (TOs). AWS said it wasn’t satisfied with the actions and attempts made by Parler’s content moderation team and, as a result,they will move to “suspend Parler’s AWS hosting accounts.”
“AWS provides technological solutions and services to its web hosting customers across different political spectrum, and we continue to respect Parler’s right to determine for itself what content it will allow on its site,” the letter states.
“However, we cannot provide services to a customer that is unable to effectively identify and remove content that encourages or incites violence against others. Because Parler cannot comply with our terms of service and poses a very real risk to public safety, we plan to suspend Parler’s account effective Sunday, January 10th, at 11:59PM PST.”
Meanwhile Google and Apple also removed Parler’s app from respective Android & iOS app stores on Friday, although users can still log in if they already have the app installed or can access the platform via website. Amazon’s move to stop hosting Parler goes a step further, effectively taking it completely offline unless the company can find a new host.
An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the authenticity of the letter to CNBC but declined to comment further.
AWS told Parler in the email regarding the moderation of posts on the platform by flagging 98 such examples which “clearly encourage and incite violence.” Among posts on social media it reported, which were viewed by platform users and made violent threats directed at “liberal activists, liberal leaders and other supporters.
The Screenshots of the Parler app viewed by different media groups shows that users posting references to firing squads, as well as calls to bring different weapons to the presidential inauguration ceremony later this month.
In an interview recently published a day after the deadly U.S. Capitol riot, The Parler CEO John Matze also told The New York Times’ journalist Kara Swisher that he didn’t “feel responsible for any of such violent posts and neither should the platform services, considering we are neutral town square that just adheres to the law made by the US constitution.”
He sought to clarify his comments this weekend, saying: “In an interview this week, some believe I gave the impression that I somehow did not care whether Parler is used to incite violence. I want to set the record straight: That interpretation could not be further from the truth.”
In the statement, he said the site has standards that forbid advocacy of violence and law-breaking but does not engage in user surveillance. “Evaluated objectively, our system worked as well or better than the methods used by our competitors, while adhering to our principles,” he said. “And we are working to improve it every day.”
Parler, which launched in 2018, has emerged as a popular platform for President Donald Trump’s allies in the last year by billing itself as a free speech alternative to mainstream social media services like Twitter and Facebook.
Earlier on Saturday, a group of Amazon employees had called on the company to cut ties with Parler. In a tweet late Saturday, the group, Amazon Employees for Climate Justice, applauded the company’s decision to drop Parler.