A legal battle that will be very important for the future of Parler, the new social network that calls itself or “conservative microblogging alternative and competitor of Twitter,” is coming.
This time, the lawsuit is against Amazon.com Inc., after the company decided to expel Parler from its servers after the events on Capitol Hill. Parler’s legal action is vital for the survival of the company, which now finds itself in an ideal context to boost its commercial take-off after it captured a large number of conservative users who are leaving Twitter on the grounds of its widespread censorship.
Parler’s banning by Apple, Amazon and Google
The context to understand the demand is key, because Parler was first expelled from the Google and Apple app stores, preventing users with Android or Apple phones or devices from downloading the app from their stock. So Amazon’s decision to orphan Parler from a web domain means the online death of “conservative microblogging”, at least for the time being.
According to Bloomberg, “the company filed an antitrust suit in federal court in Seattle seeking an order that would oblige Amazon to maintain its account and prevent it from suspending or terminating it or failing to provide the agreed-upon services.”
What Parler seeks is clear: “A temporary restraining order to stop Amazon Web Services from shutting down the site.” Parler says that Amazon must give 30 days notice before terminating its service. This way, of course, the company would have some time to recover and find another site to host its website. Not like now.
Shutting down the social network or its website “is the equivalent of disconnecting a patient from the hospital with life support,” Parler said. “It will kill Parler’s business, at the very moment it’s about to take off.”
The company said Amazon told it on Sunday night that it would suspend its account because it was “not sure that Parler could adequately monitor its platform for content that encourages or incites violence against others.”
Reactions to Amazon, Apple and Google’s move
Amazon’s decision has caused controversy, especially among conservative voices who feel persecuted and censored. Apple and Google have also come under fire for similar reasons.
The criticism has even reached various media, such as the historic New York Post, which published a heated editorial against Amazon, Apple and Google, pointing out the double standards against Parler when compared with other similar social networks.
“Apple says Parler isn’t doing enough to keep ‘threats of violence and illegal activity’ from spilling over. Amazon says that the ‘steady increase in this violent content… violates our terms,'”says the Post. “This when Parler has policed at least some posts calling for violence.”
The newspaper explained that Parler, for example, removed publications by attorney Lin Wood that called for the execution of Vice-President Mike Pence for his refusal to reject Electoral College votes for Joe Biden.
“As we’ve noted before, endless bile roams free on Twitter — hate speech and worse that the company polices in no consistent way. Yet now other tech companies are punishing Parler for failing in the same way. They’re not applying a neutral rule, they’re catering to the biases of their angry left-leaning employees,” the editorial points out against the positions of the big companies that make up Big Tech.
This double standard was also denounced by Parler, explaining that the “hang Mike Pence” trend was not eliminated by Twitter.
“However, on Friday night one of the main tweets on Twitter was ‘Hang Mike Pence,'” Parler said in his complaint. Amazon Web Services “has no plans or threats to suspend the Twitter account.” AWS’s decision to effectively terminate Parler’s account is apparently motivated by a political agenda. It also appears to be designed to reduce competition in the microblogging services market to the benefit of Twitter.
Parler CEO Mark Matze is clear that the legal battle is one of the many crusades he must fight in order to survive the intrepid marketplace that is now dominated by major technology companies in the United States.
Another of the “fights” against Big Tech is in the communication section, there Matze has left phrases against the power of major companies:
“They made an attempt not only to eliminate the application, but to destroy the whole company. And it’s not just these three companies. All the providers, from text messaging services to email providers and our lawyers, also abandoned us on the same day,” the CEO denounced, claiming that “Amazon, Google and Apple have the power to destroy anyone.
This series, both in the judicial, communication, and market itself will give much to talk about in the coming weeks. It will be interesting to see Parler’s next moves and how technology companies will react.
Note: the case in question is Parler LLC v Amazon Web Services Inc, 21-cv-31, United States District Court, Western District of Washington.