These are the violent threats that made Amazon drop Parler

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

In a filing on Tuesday, Amazon responded to Parler’s claims that it acted unfairly in taking down the social network — and in the process, gave outsiders a new look at the content that provoked Amazon to suspend Parler’s web services account.

Amazon Web Services suspended service to Parler on January 9th, effectively shutting down the social network. It’s failed to secure a replacement web host, and it argued in court that Amazon was exercising unfair monopoly power in taking down the site.

Amazon’s decision to suspend Parler’s service has provoked ongoing debate about AWS’s power as a hosting provider and whether such suspensions pose a threat to free speech. But while many had seen the suspension as a knee-jerk response to the mob attack on the US Capitol, Amazon’s response makes clear that the service had lodged complaints with Parler long before the raid.

“AWS reported to Parler, over many weeks, dozens of examples of content that encouraged violence,” the company argues in the filing, “including calls to hang public officials, kill Black and Jewish people, and shoot police officers in the head,”

To drive home this point, the complaint includes 15 examples of such posts, which include graphic calls to violence against tech CEOs, school teachers, and professional athletes. In some cases, the comments also refer to specific dates and targets for violence, encouraging users to form militia groups and “acquire targets.”

Amazon says it submitted more than 100 such comments to Parler in the weeks leading up to the suspension.

Content warning: these threats are graphic, violent, and racist; use discretion.

The filing gives more background to Amazon’s previous claims that the suspension was in response to escalating calls for violence on Parler.

“It is clear that there is significant content on Parler that encourages and incites violence against others, and that Parler is unable or unwilling to promptly identify and remove this content, which is a violation of our terms of service,” the company said in a statement on January 9th. “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, not a decrease, which led to our suspension of their services Sunday evening.”

In the filing, Amazon emphasized that it had suspended service rather than terminating it entirely and was open to restoring service to Parler if the company began moderating content in compliance with AWS’s terms of service.

Apple CEO Tim Cook made a similar point on Wednesday in an appearance on CBS, explaining that Apple had removed Parler from the iOS App Store because of its failure to moderate its content according to Apple’s terms. “All we’re asking is he meet the Terms of Service,” said Cook. “Our hope is that they do that and get back on the store.”

Comments

Is there a reason why Parler can’t just open an account with Azure, GCloud, or one of the countless other IaaS vendors, or other hosting options?

Isn’t this lawsuit just showsmanship?

I guess none of those want to touch Parler with a ten-foot pole, and rightfully so.

"Every vendor from text message services to email providers to our lawyers all ditched us too on the same day," Matze said today on Fox News.

-9to5Mac article.

It says a lot when their lawyers have even ditched them. Totally agree that none of the hosting companies would want to go anywhere near them.

Probably because Parler already breaks the terms of those sites, too, before they even open an account. Every cloud vendor has terms that say you can’t do illegal things on them. It’s then just a matter of walking a line of tolerance between allowing a site to try and manage it themselves or refuse them service. Amazon at least had to give them opportunity and let it drag out for a while, then eventually had enough.

Open and shut case against Parler. They are trying to act like these kind of posts aren’t common on their platform. Hiding under the banner of "censorship".

I don’t even remember seeing any claim that the posts aren’t common; every argument they’ve tried to have just seems to be based on "it’s free speech so you need to let us exist on your platform"

Except they seem to forget that death threats aren’t protected free speech under the constitution. Even if this weren’t private business, Amazon chose wisely with their examples. They have no leg to stand on.

The best part (to me) is that the posts in question violate Parler’s own ToS.

They’re referring to sedition, hate and lies as "free speech" the same one would refer to a brothel as a "Massage parlor".

Disgusting things to say. Definitely should be removed. Sad to say I’ve seen the same on Twitter, FB and on subs on Reddit like r/politics and others.

Where it gets flagged and removed, unlike Parler which prided itself on not censoring this vile garbage.

Not often enough well on Reddit at least. Sometimes it’s not even downvoted. I’ve seen comments which contain extremely violent and crude statements stay up for hours and days without removal.

Are you trying to get reddit deplatformed because you’re bitter?

This story while accurate reflects Amazon’s legal position but not reality. Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube were all used to a far greater extent than Parler to coordinate efforts at the Capitol. This is nothing more than big tech oligarchs placing their hands on the scales. I think most folks want the same standards applied across the board. That’s not happening.

Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube were all used to a far greater extent than Parler to coordinate efforts at the Capitol. This is nothing more than big tech oligarchs placing their hands on the scales.

FYI: They are not oligarchs. They are private businesses with Terms of Service. There are no ‘same standards’ because they aren’t regulated. You understand that this is the free market and capitalism, right? Unless you put ‘social media’ under regulation as a utility, there will be no standards and sorry, social media is not an essential service you need to survive.

Yeah the republicans and trump supporters really don’t like free market capitalism these days eh.

Hate Speech is not Free Speech.

None of it is a free speech issue so there’s that too.

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