Amazon bans Parler after pro-Trump app also targeted by Apple and Google

Tech company tells platform favoured by right-wingers 'we've seen steady increase in violent content on your website’ 

Gino Spocchia
Sunday 10 January 2021 11:34

Moment pro-Trump rioters storm US Capitol captured on TV broadcast

Amazon has become the latest tech company to ban Parler, an alternative social media platform used by the alt-right and Donald Trump supporters who stormed Congress.  

In an announcement on Saturday, Amazon said Parler would be removed by midnight on Sunday (Pacific Standard Time), and that the app should use another web-hosting service.

The move means Parler’s website, which is hosted by Amazon, will shut down unless the platform relocates to another web-host. The app would also then become unusable, CNN reported.

Parler, whose users include conspiracy theorists, right-wing extremists, and Trump supporters, has also received bans by Apple and Google since Wednesday’s riots.

America’s tech companies argue that Parler broke service terms, while commentators have said the app promoted violence that was seen when the US president’s supporters rioted on the Capitol.  

Amazon will also remove Parler’s app, and said in a letter to Parler that in recent weeks there were 98 posts "that clearly encourage and incite violence" and that the platform “poses a very real risk to public safety”.

"We've seen a steady increase in this violent content on your website, all of which violates our terms," added Amazon, in a letter that was seen by CNN.

"It's clear that Parler does not have an effective process to comply with the AWS (Amazon Web Services) terms of service," it added.

Parler CEO John Matze said in response that bans by Amazon and other companies were  “a coordinated attack by the tech giants to kill competition in the marketplace”.

He also suggested on Parler on Saturday that the app would be unavailable for around a week "as we rebuild from scratch", in a suggestion the site would not meet Amazon’s Sunday midnight deadline to relocate to another web-host.

On Saturday, Parler was also removed by Apple’s app store because it had “not taken adequate measures to address the proliferation of these treats to people's safety".

Apple said the suspension will remain in place until Parler becomes “compliant” with the company’s demands, which included the “ability to effectively moderate and filter the dangerous and harmful content on your service”.

Parler was also removed by Google and its Google Play store.

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