Amazon suspends hosting Parler on its servers over violent content

Amazon will suspend social media site Parler from its server hosting service on Sunday over violent content that has also prompted Google Play and Apple to remove the platform from its app stores.

Parler, the “Twitter for conservatives,” was used by supporters of President Donald Trump to express hatred and threaten violence that culminated in Wednesday’s riots at the U.S. Capitol, the tech giants said.

“Recently, we’ve seen a steady increase in this violent content on your website, all of which violates our terms,” Amazon Web Services trust and safety team said in a letter to Parler obtained by NBC News.

“It’s clear that Parler does not have an effective process to comply with the AWS terms of service.”

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Parler CEO John Matze, writing on his platform, called the decision by Amazon an “attempt to completely remove free speech off the internet.”

“There is the possibility Parler will be unavailable on the internet for up to a week as we rebuild from scratch,” he wrote.

Matze accused the Silicon Valley tech giants of 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.”

Trump’s son, Donald Trump, Jr., described the situation in a tweet as a “purge of conservative ideas and thought leaders.”

Twitter permanently suspended the president on Friday, citing “the risk of further incitement of violence.” The next day, Apple’s App Store joined Google Play in suspending Parler until it adopts stricter content moderation.

“We have always supported diverse points of view being represented on the App Store, but there is no place on our platform for threats of violence and illegal activity,” Apple said in a statement Saturday.

In a letter to Parler, Apple’s app review board said, “We have continued to find direct threats of violence and calls to incite lawless action” on the social media platform.

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Amazon’s letter to Parler contained screenshots of some of the content it said violated its terms for hosting. One Parler user posted that he would give liberals “a damn bullet to your damn head.”

Another said, “We need to systematically start assassinating #liberal leaders.”

Amazon declined to comment.

Parler, founded in 2018, found traction in a social media world where Facebook and Twitter moderate content more rigorously. Parler does not have a formal set of moderation policies.

Twitter on Friday banned several accounts, including permanently suspending of Trump’s personal account for violating its terms about inciting violence.

Facebook indefinitely banned Trump on its main app and on Instagram for violating its policies.

Ahiza García-Hodges

Ahiza García-Hodges covers the intersection of media,

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