Parler’s Bid to Regain Amazon Service Rejected by Judge

The conservative social media platform’s of “political animus” behind Amazon’s decision was forcefully dismissed.

A federal judge on Thursday rejected an attempt by far-right social network Parler to force Amazon to re-host its app on AWS.

US District Judge Barbara Rothstein in Seattle forcefully rejected Parler’s suggestion that it was in the public interest for a preliminary injunction to require Amazon Web Services (AWS) to “host the kind of abusive, violent content at issue in this case, particularly in light of the recent riots at the US Capitol.”

Amazon cut Parler off from its web hosting services following the 6 January riot where a far-right mob stormed the US Capitol. In a statement, it said that the company had failed to address a large volume of “posts that clearly encourage and incite violence”, violating its terms of service.

In its lawsuit filed on 11 January, Parler asked the US District Court in Seattle for a temporary restraining order against Amazon to reverse its decision, which it claimed was politically motivated. It also claimed that Amazon and Twitter were engaged in antitrust collusion, an allegation that Rothstein dismissed as “faint and factually inaccurate speculation.”

“The evidence it has submitted in support of the claim is both dwindlingly slight, and disputed by AWS,” she said. “Importantly, Parler has submitted no evidence that AWS and Twitter acted together intentionally — or even at all — in restraint of trade.”

Rothstein also dismissed Parler’s allegation that AWS broke its contract by failing to provide 30 days’ notice to fix issues with its platform before removing it, a clause in the two companies’ agreement that was immediately amended by a following provision stipulating that AWS could terminate the contract “immediately upon notice”.

“We welcome the court’s careful ruling,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement. “This was not a case about free speech. It was about a customer that consistently violated our terms of service.”

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