Question: Is it appropriate to ban individuals or groups from free speech if it is considered offensive?
Parler, the alternative social media platform favored by the far-right, sued Amazon on Monday in response to being deplatformed, alleging an antitrust violation, breach of contract and interference with the company’s business relationships with users.
The complaint asks a federal court for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against Amazon (AMZN) and calls Amazon Web Services’ decision a “death blow” to Parler.”Without AWS, Parler is finished as it has no way to get online,” the complaint said. “And a delay of granting this TRO by even one day could also sound Parler’s death knell as President Trump and others move on to other platforms.
“Parler’s lawsuit argues that Amazon has unlawfully sought to restrain competition by eliminating a player from the market.It also claims Amazon breached its contract with Parler by not providing Parler 30 days’ notice of termination — and that its actions interfere with Parler’s relationships with current and future users.
In a letter obtained by CNN Business that was sent to Parler Chief Policy Officer Amy Peikoff on Saturday, Amazon Web Services said that in recent weeks it has reported 98 examples to Parler of “posts that clearly encourage and incite violence.”
The letter includes screenshots of several examples.”We’ve seen a steady increase in this violent content on your website, all of which violates our terms,” AWS wrote. “It’s clear that Parler does not have an effective process to comply with the AWS terms of service.”In a statement Monday evening, Amazon said that Parler’s lawsuit has “no merit.”
“It is clear that there is significant content on Parler that encourages and incites violence against others, and that Parler is unable or unwilling to promptly identify and remove this content, which is a violation of our terms of service,” an Amazon spokesperson said.
“We made our concerns known to Parler over a number of weeks and during that time we saw a significant increase in this type of dangerous content, not a decrease, which led to our suspension of their services Sunday evening.”