Skip to main content

Judge refuses to reinstate Parler’s Amazon account

Judge refuses to reinstate Parler’s Amazon account


Ruling calls Parler’s antitrust evidence ‘dwindlingly slight’

Share this story

In this photo illustration the Parler logo seen displayed on...
Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A Washington judge has denied social network Parler’s demand to be reinstated on Amazon Web Services. Following a hearing last week, Judge Barbara Rothstein declined to grant a preliminary injunction in a lawsuit against Amazon, saying Parler provided “dwindlingly slight” evidence for an antitrust complaint and “failed to allege basic facts” of improper business activity.

While the case isn’t over, the ruling bodes ill for Parler’s chances in court. “Parler’s allegations at this time are both inaccurate and unsupported, and are disputed by evidence submitted by [Amazon Web Services],” Rothstein wrote in an order. Parler will need to find another web host or remain dormant while it continues its legal battle with Amazon.

“Parler’s allegations at this time are both inaccurate and unsupported.”

Rothstein was also unmoved by Parler’s claims that the suspension posed a devastating financial blow. She noted that Parler hadn’t denied that its users posted violent, detailed threats on the platform before and around Trump supporters’ January 6th attack on the US Capitol. While it promised to change its moderation policies, “forcing [Amazon] to host Parler’s users’ violent content would interfere with AWS’s ability to prevent its services from being used to promote — and, as the events of January 6, 2021 have demonstrated, even cause — violence.”

Parler promotes itself as a more lightly moderated alternative to Twitter and Facebook, and it’s attracted supporters of former President Donald Trump, who lambasted those larger sites for labeling false claims that he won the 2020 election. But after the attack on the Capitol, web infrastructure companies cut ties. Apple and Google pulled Parler’s app from their app stores, and Amazon Web Services suspended its account, knocking the site offline.

Parler retaliated by suing the cloud hosting giant. It claimed Amazon had banned it from “political animus” and a desire to protect its competitor Twitter, which also uses Amazon Web Services. (Twitter is not a party to the lawsuit, although Parler has suggested it may sue companies besides Amazon.)

Amazon, in turn, claimed Parler disregarded repeated warnings about violent threats. “We made our concerns known to Parler over a number of weeks and during that time we saw a significant increase in this type of dangerous content,” a spokesperson said. That included detailed calls to violence against teachers, professional athletes, Black and Jewish people, and a swathe of specific politicians and tech executives.

Parler’s future remains uncertain, although much of its user content was backed up by archivists before deletion. CEO John Matze told Fox News that the platform wanted to “come back strong,” and its home page relaunched with a promise to “resolve any challenge before us and plan to welcome all of you back soon.” However, the network itself remains offline.

Today’s Storystream

Feed refreshed Two hours ago Striking out

Andrew WebsterTwo hours ago
Look at this Thing.

At its Tudum event today, Netflix showed off a new clip from the Tim Burton series Wednesday, which focused on a very important character: the sentient hand known as Thing. The full series starts streaming on November 23rd.

The Verge
Andrew Webster4:28 PM UTC
Get ready for some Netflix news.

At 1PM ET today Netflix is streaming its second annual Tudum event, where you can expect to hear news about and see trailers from its biggest franchises, including The Witcher and Bridgerton. I’ll be covering the event live alongside my colleague Charles Pulliam-Moore, and you can also watch along at the link below. There will be lots of expected names during the stream, but I have my fingers crossed for a new season of Hemlock Grove.

Jay PetersSep 23
Twitch’s creators SVP is leaving the company.

Constance Knight, Twitch’s senior vice president of global creators, is leaving for a new opportunity, according to Bloomberg’s Cecilia D’Anastasio. Knight shared her departure with staff on the same day Twitch announced impending cuts to how much its biggest streamers will earn from subscriptions.

Tom WarrenSep 23
Has the Windows 11 2022 Update made your gaming PC stutter?

Nvidia GPU owners have been complaining of stuttering and poor frame rates with the latest Windows 11 update, but thankfully there’s a fix. Nvidia has identified an issue with its GeForce Experience overlay and the Windows 11 2022 Update (22H2). A fix is available in beta from Nvidia’s website.

External Link
If you’re using crash detection on the iPhone 14, invest in a really good phone mount.

Motorcycle owner Douglas Sonders has a cautionary tale in Jalopnik today about the iPhone 14’s new crash detection feature. He was riding his LiveWire One motorcycle down the West Side Highway at about 60 mph when he hit a bump, causing his iPhone 14 Pro Max to fly off its handlebar mount. Soon after, his girlfriend and parents received text messages that he had been in a horrible accident, causing several hours of panic. The phone even called the police, all because it fell off the handlebars. All thanks to crash detection.

Riding a motorcycle is very dangerous, and the last thing anyone needs is to think their loved one was in a horrible crash when they weren’t. This is obviously an edge case, but it makes me wonder what other sort of false positives we see as more phones adopt this technology.

External Link
Ford is running out of its own Blue Oval badges.

Running out of semiconductors is one thing, but running out of your own iconic nameplates is just downright brutal. The Wall Street Journal reports badge and nameplate shortages are impacting the automaker's popular F-series pickup lineup, delaying deliveries and causing general chaos.

Some executives are even proposing a 3D printing workaround, but they didn’t feel like the substitutes would clear the bar. All in all, it's been a dreadful summer of supply chain setbacks for Ford, leading the company to reorganize its org chart to bring some sort of relief.

Spain’s Transports Urbans de Sabadell has La Bussí.

Once again, the US has fallen behind in transportation — call it the Bussí gap. A hole in our infrastructure, if you will.

External Link
Jay PetersSep 23
Doing more with less (extravagant holiday parties).

Sundar Pichai addressed employees’ questions about Google’s spending changes at an all-hands this week, according to CNBC.

“Maybe you were planning on hiring six more people but maybe you are going to have to do with four and how are you going to make that happen?” Pichai sent a memo to workers in July about a hiring slowdown.

In the all-hands, Google’s head of finance also asked staff to try not to go “over the top” for holiday parties.

External Link
Insiders made the most money off of Helium’s “People’s Network.”

Remember Helium, which was touted by The New York Times in an article entitled “Maybe There’s a Use for Crypto After All?” Not only was the company misleading people about who used it — Salesforce and Lime weren’t using it, despite what Helium said on its site — Helium disproportionately enriched insiders, Forbes reports.