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Friday, January 22, 2021

Amazon Responds to Parler Lawsuit, Claims Case ‘Is Not About Suppressing Speech or Stifling Viewpoints’

Amazon, in response to a lawsuit filed by upstart social media platform Parler, asserted that the company displayed an “unwillingness and inability” to remove violent content after its Monday morning suspension from Amazon Web Services.

“This case is not about suppressing speech or stifling viewpoints. It is not about a conspiracy to restrain trade,” Amazon Web Services said Wednesday. “Instead, this case is about Parler’s demonstrated unwillingness and inability to remove from the servers of Amazon Web Services (‘AWS’) content that threatens the public safety, such as by inciting and planning the rape, torture, and assassination of named public officials and private citizens.”

Parler’s suit claimed Amazon engaged in hypocrisy by allowing Twitter to keep a trending topic on its website on the same day—”Hang Mike Pence”—referring to the vice president.

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AWS asserted that it does not host Twitter’s feed and added that it “could not have suspended access to Twitter’s content,” after the topic trended on Twitter for several hours.

Amazon Web Services’ suit claimed it told Parler repeatedly that content on its site violated the agreement between the two companies, saying that suspension is a “last resort.”

Parler founder and CEO John Matze speaks to The Epoch Times’ Jan Jekielek on “American Thought Leaders” in 2019. (Screenshot/The Epoch Times)

“There is no legal basis in AWS’s customer agreements or otherwise to compel AWS to host content of this nature,” the response reads.

Parler had filed the suit in a Washington state court to also keep the website online, saying AWS violated the Sherman Antitrust Act. It noted that Parler’s competitor Twitter has an agreement with AWS.

Google and Apple, in nearly simultaneous intervals, took action against Parler. The two took the site off their respective app stores.

In response to Parler’s assertion that AWS breached its contract, “Despite Parler’s rhetoric, its lawsuit is no more than a meritless claim for breach of contract. But the facts are unequivocal: If there is any breach, it is Parler’s demonstrated failure and inability to identify and remove such content,” according to AWS.

Meanwhile, Parler CEO John Matze told Fox News on Tuesday that the platform—which bills itself as a champion of “free speech” and has attracted conservatives—will come back in the future.

“We want to come back and not only come back strong, but we want to do it and show that we have a better system for handling our own terms-of-service violations than our competitors. We want to make a bold statement when we come back and we want to do it strong. That’s my intention,” he said.

The Epoch Times has reached out to Parler for comment on AWS’s lawsuit.

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