Parler sues Amazon again, saying it stifled free speech

Parler, the conservative social media platform, opened a new front in its legal battle with Amazon.com, accusing the tech giant of bad faith after being banished from its servers in the aftermath of the storming of the US Capitol.

Amazon Web Services “tried to justify the repudiation based on allegations against Parler” that it “knew were false”, Parler said in a new 2 March complaint filed in a Washington state court.

The state court suit comes the same day as Parler made a filing to voluntarily dismiss an earlier case it filed in a Washington federal court. In January, the judge in that case denied Parler’s request to force Amazon to immediately resume hosting the site.

Parler, which had found a growing niche as a voice for aggrieved Donald Trump supporters and right-wing dialogue, has struggled since being kicked off Amazon’s servers. Amazon has said Parler has proved incapable of policing violent content, particularly in the period leading up to and following the 6 January mob attack on the Capitol.

“The true reason why AWS decided to suspend and/or terminate its contract with Parler was not because of any alleged breach of the contract, but because AWS did not want Parler to be able to provide a new platform to conservative voices, including Donald Trump, or to compete effectively with other microblogging platforms such as Twitter,” Parler said in the filing.

‘No merit’

AWS said in an e-mailed statement that there is “no merit to these claims”. It said that “we respect Parler’s right to determine for itself what content it will allow”. However, “as shown by the evidence in Parler’s federal lawsuit, it was clear that there was significant content on Parler that encouraged and incited violence against others, which is a violation of our terms of service.”

Parler didn’t immediately respond to requests for further comment.

Cloud services are increasingly dominated by fewer, bigger companies like Amazon. Parler has said it tried to resgister with six potential providers, all of which were spooked by what happened with AWS, before a Russian-owned Web security service, DDoS-Guard, agreed to host it in a diminished form.  — Reported by Hugo Miller, (c) 2021 Bloomberg LP

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