Matt Stoller, the director of research at the American Economic Liberties Project, reacted to several companies issuing restrictions against Parler in the aftermath of last week’s Capitol riots, calling the moves “really dangerous.”
Stoller told Hill.TV’s “Rising” on Tuesday that Google and Apple’s removal of Parler from their app stores and Amazon Web Services’ suspension of the social media platform were not reactions to the Capitol raid because the riots were organized “mostly” on Facebook and Twitter.
“The only reason they’re being singled out is because they’re conservative, not because of anything that happened on Parler,” he said.
“So this is different than trying to address the riots,” he continued. “This is just saying we don’t like conservatives, and we are gonna use our commercial power, the political power that we have through holding essential facilities for commerce to punish a specific political faction.”
The companies said they cut ties with Parler because of the platform’s lack of content moderation, noting the restrictions could be dropped if Parler ramps up its screening of content.
Parler has come under scrutiny amid accusations that the platform was used to plan the deadly riots at the Capitol last week, and usage of the site increased afterwards.
The social media company sued Amazon on Monday, asserting Parler’s suspension from the hosting service violated antitrust law and the companies’ contract. Without access to Amazon’s service, the app has been dark.