The social media app Parler is facing a shutdown after Amazon Web Services has informed the platform that its access will be revoked as of Sunday night.
Amazon’s decision to take the technology infrastructure through which the app operates out from under it was first reported by Buzzfeed News.
In a late Saturday post, Parler CEO John Matze said that Big Tech has ganged up to attack free speech and competition.
Apple on Saturday moved to ban Parler from its app store, according to NPR, as did Google. The action comes as Big Tech has permanently suspended the personal Twitter account of President Donald Trump and also blocked posts from Trump’s official POTUS Twitter account.
“Sunday (tomorrow) at midnight Amazon will be shutting off all of our servers in an attempt to completely remove free speech off the internet,” Matze wrote.
“There is the possibility Parler will be unavailable on the internet for up to a week as we rebuild from scratch. We prepared for events like this by never relying on amazons proprietary infrastructure and building bare metal products,” he wrote.
Matze wrote that tech giants are ganging up on Parler.
“We will try our best to move to a new provider right now as we have many competing for our business, however Amazon, Google and Apple purposefully did this as a coordinated effort knowing our options would be limited and knowing this would inflict the most damage right as President Trump was banned from the tech companies,” the post stated.
“This was a coordinated attack by the tech giants to kill competition in the market place. We were too successful too fast. You can expect the war on competition and free speech to continue, but don’t count us out,” he wrote.
In a follow-up post, Matze wrote that Big Tech acted not just out of ideology, but to preserve its chokehold on the social media market.
“We are the closest thing to competition Facebook or Twitter has seen in many years. I believe Amazon, Google, Apple worked together to try and ensure they don’t have competition,” he wrote.
“They will NOT win! We are the worlds last hope for free speech and free information.
“What they are doing is unprecedented, unfounded and absolutely disgusting. Shameful.
“This is a battle against all of us. Liberals, conservatives, atheists, Christians, black, white, etc. They want to keep their monopoly over speech. They want us fighting. They don’t want us working together. They don’t want us working with each other, they want us hating one another,” he wrote.
“Our mission is free speech, democracy and us the people having the power. The elite don’t want us to be free, they want hate division and power!”
While Matze is CEO of one of the country’s currently most talked-about companies, he’s not nearly as familiar to the public as social media titans like Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey.
Here is Matze in Nov. 5 interiew with “Good Morning San Diego” on KUSI-TV, discussing his company’s philosophy.
A letter from the AWS Trust and Safety team to Parler Chief Policy Officer Amy Peikoff that was reproduced by Buzzfeed showed that Amazon claimed that Parler was allowing inappropriate content.
“Over the past several weeks, we’ve reported 98 examples to Parler of posts that clearly encourage and incite violence,” the letter said.
“Recently, we’ve seen a steady increase in this violent content on your website, all of which violates our terms. It’s clear that Parler does not have an effective process to comply with the AWS terms of service,” the letter said.
Amazon said it disliked the way Parler muzzled speech.
“It also seems that Parler is still trying to determine its position on content moderation. You remove some violent content when contacted by us or others, but not always with urgency. Your CEO recently stated publicly that he doesn’t ‘feel responsible for any of this, and neither should the platform.’
“This morning, you shared that you have a plan to more proactively moderate violent content, but plan to do so manually with volunteers. It’s our view that this nascent plan to use volunteers to promptly identify and remove dangerous content will not work in light of the rapidly growing number of violent posts,” Amazon wrote.
The letter expressed Amazon’s dismay that Parler had not followed Amazon’s orders, and claimed that allowing the posts Parler would not take down could lead to violence.
“[Y]ou still have not taken down much of the content that we’ve sent you. Given the unfortunate events that transpired this past week in Washington, D.C., there is serious risk that this type of content will further incite violence,” the letter stated.
The letter claims that Amazon will “continue to respect Parler’s right to determine for itself what content it will allow on its site. However, we cannot provide services to a customer that is unable to effectively identify and remove content that encourages or incites violence against others.”
In an interview on “Fox & Friends Weekend,” Peikoff suggested some of the content the companies are objecting to was planted to make Parler look bad, according to Fox.
“We’re not necessarily being singled out by those tech companies, but certainly by the people who have been putting pressure on them and, in fact, we think we’re being set up in a lot of ways because in looking at some of the content, these are accounts that have been created two days ago and they have few pieces of content and some of them are parodies of what you would think a right-wing insider of violence would be,” she said.
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