Amazon suspends Parler from web hosting service

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Amazon on Saturday night suspended the social media platform Parler from its web hosting service, an Amazon spokesperson confirmed to The Hill.

The move by Amazon was first reported by Buzzfeed News.

The company, founded by Jeff Bezos, said Parler’s lack of content moderation lead to its removal from its web hosting service, calling it a “Very real risk to public safety,” according to The Wall Street Journal.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) Trust and Safety team sent an email to Parler Chief Policy Officer Amy Peikoff explaining their decision.

“Recently, we’ve seen a steady increase in this violent content on your website, all of which violates our terms,” the email, obtained by Buzzfeed, reads. “It’s clear that Parler does not have an effective process to comply with the AWS terms of service.”

The email goes on to state that Parler will be available to web hosting service users until Sunday at 11:59 p.m. PST when the suspension goes into effect.  

A spokesperson for Amazon/AWS, in a statement to The Hill, confirmed the email obtained by Buzzfeed. 

Parler CEO John Matze also confirmed the news in a post on his platform, calling the suspension “an attempt to completely remove free speech from the internet.”

Amazon’s suspension of Parler’s account means the app is at risk of going offline on Sunday night, according to Buzzfeed.

As it seeks a new host, Parler may be unavailable as it rebuilds from scratch, Matze said, although many providers are “competing” for its business. “This was a coordinated attack by tech giants to kill competition in the marketplace,” Matze said in his announcement.

Amazon is the latest tech giant to take steps to limit the social networking app favored by conservatives and right-wing groups for lack of content moderation. The online retailer follows in the footsteps of Apple, which suspended the Parler app Saturday morning, and Google, which removed the platform from its app store on Friday night.

Parler has come under recent scrutiny in the wake of the violent attacks on the U.S. Capitol after various media outlets have reported that Parler was used to help coordinate the riots.

Users have since made calls for another violent descent on the nation’s capital on Jan. 19, the day before President-elect Joe Biden is to be sworn into office, according to Buzzfeed.

Updated 11:22 p.m.

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