A United States judge has rejected Parler’s demand that Amazon.com Inc restore the web hosting services for their social media platform after Amazon cut them off following the storming of the US Capitol.
US District Judge Barbara Rothstein in Seattle said Parler was unlikely to prove Amazon had breached its contract or violated antitrust law by suspending service on Jan. 10, and that it was “not a close call.”
She also rejected the suggestion that the public interest would be served by a preliminary injunction requiring Amazon Web Services to “host the kind of abusive, violent content at issue in this case, particularly in light of the recent riots at the U.S. Capitol.”
Various democrat groups have insisted far-right groups were using platforms such as Parler to spread “violent rhetoric.”
Parler said there was “no evidence apart from anecdotes in the press that it had a role in inciting the riots, and that it was unfair to deprive millions of law-abiding Americans a platform for free speech.”
It also said Amazon had no right to threaten its “extinction” by pulling the plug, and had been motivated by “political animus” to benefit Twitter Inc, a larger Amazon client that Parler said did not censor violent content targeting conservatives.
Parler remains offline after being dropped by Seattle-based Amazon and the app stores of Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google following the Washington unrest.
A statement on Parler’s holding page today (Friday) reads: “We are disappointed by the judge’s ruling against our request for a preliminary injunction in our suit against Amazon AWS. We remain confident that we will ultimately prevail in the main case. We also remind everyone that this litigation is still in its early stages and that the resolution of this case will have broad implications for our pluralistic society.
“Parler is gratified that the court refused to uncritically accept Amazon’s argument – widely repeated in the media – that the Parler platform was somehow used to plan, coordinate or execute the despicable January 6 riot at the Capitol.
“Based on the evidence of which we are aware, the Parler platform was not used in that manner – even though competing platforms clearly were used for that purpose. We are grateful the court refused to join the dishonest attempt to make Parler the scapegoat for the riot.
“At the same time, Parler is disappointed that the court’s ruling ignored the reality that every social-media platform – including Amazon’s own online store – sometimes unwittingly hosts content that incites violence or is otherwise inappropriate. In fact, our analysis shows that the incidence of such material on Parler is far lower than on competing platforms. Parler has developed an artificial intelligence-based enforcement system that we believe will reduce the incidence of such content still further.
“Parler looks forward to working with old and new partners to reestablish an alternative social-media platform that not only avoids the unnecessary censorship that has become increasingly popular with its competitors, but is also more protective of public safety.”
Support for the free speech platform is growing as celebrities and public officials including the likes of Senator Rand Paul and Martin Luther King Jr. have joined their cause and are speaking out about the censorship.
Some of the messages on Parler’s holding page include:
I’ve spent my entire career fighting for free speech, even for those I strongly disagree with. We stand with Parler in the fight for free and open dialogue.
Senator Rand Paul01/20/2021@RandPaul
Competition is the surest means to preserving free speech. Everyone, left and right, should be horrified at Big Tech’s attempt to stamp out speech. I wish Parler and all other innovators success in keeping the marketplace of ideas open and uncensored.
Those who continue to lie about the president by accusing him of igniting or being part of a violent insurrection, supported his impeachment, and now intend to pursue him in a bogus trial once he’s out of office, will be judged harshly by history. And the ideological and political purge now underway, striking at virtually all of the fundamental principles upon which this nation was founded, will be condemned as mob rule run amok. I just hope our republic can withstand this onslaught until sensible people and possible statesmen step forward and stem this tyranny.
“But though I was initially disappointed at being categorized as an extremist, as I continued to think about the matter I gradually gained a measure of satisfaction from the label. Was not Jesus an extremist for love … Was not Amos an extremist for justice: ‘Let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.’ … And John Bunyan: ‘I will stay in jail to the end of my days before I make a butchery of my conscience.’ And Abraham Lincoln: ‘This nation cannot survive half slave and half free.’ And Thomas Jefferson: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal….’ So the question is not whether we will be extremists, but what kind of extremists we will be. Will we be extremists for hate or for love? Will we be extremists for preservation of injustice or for the extension of justice? In that dramatic scene on Calvary’s hill three men…were [all] crucified for the same crime–the crime of extremism. Two were extremists for immorality, and thus fell below their environment. The other, Jesus Christ, was an extremist for love, truth, and goodness, and thereby rose above his environment. Perhaps the South, the nation, and the world are in dire need of creative extremists.”
Martin Luther King, Jr., “Letter from Birmingham Jail”
Might this be the year that all of us, regardless of political belief, become extremists for freedom of expression and privacy? Wouldn’t that turn 2021 on its head?
We will NEVER stop fighting. NEVER. This fight is bigger than me, and it’s bigger than Parler. If they’re allowed to silence us, they can silence anyone. It stops now. Please stand with us in this fight for liberty, truth and freedom.