Amazon drops Parler from its hosting service

John Matze, Parler CEO, will join CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” on July 2, 2020.

CNBC

Amazon pulled the plug on Parler, a social media app popular with Trump supporters, after the deadly riot in the U.S. Capitol earlier this week.

Amazon’s cloud computing unit, Amazon Web Services (AWS), told Parler on Saturday that the company will no longer provide cloud services starting Sunday at 11:59 p.m. PT. This comes from an email from CNBC. AWS provides Parler Cloud services that host its website. If Parler can’t find a new cloud provider by Sunday evening, the website will go offline for its users.

The news of Amazon’s decision to ditch Parler was first reported by BuzzFeed. Several news outlets reported that Amazon had already suspended Parler, but the site was still available to CNBC employees from the early hours of the morning on the east coast.

In the email, Amazon Web Services’ Trust and Safety team announced to Amy Peikoff, Parler’s chief policy officer, that the platform continues to host “violent content” that violates the AWS Terms of Service. AWS said it was not happy with Parler’s attempts to moderate content on its platform and would therefore “lock Parler’s account”.

“AWS provides technology and services to customers across the political spectrum, and we continue to respect Parler’s right to determine what content is allowed on its website,” the letter said. “However, we cannot provide services to customers who cannot effectively identify and remove content that encourages or incites violence against others. Since Parler cannot comply with our Terms of Use and poses a very real risk to public safety, we are planning a suspension Parler’s account is effective as of Sunday, January 10th at 11:59 p.m. PST. “

Although Google and Apple removed the Parler app from their app stores on Friday and Saturday, respectively, users could still log in if they had already installed the app or via the Parler website. Amazon’s move to stop hosting Parler goes a step further and takes it completely offline unless the company can find a new host first.

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the authenticity of the letter to CNBC but declined to comment. A Parler spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

AWS said in the email that Parler reported 98 examples of posts that “clearly encourage and encourage violence.” Among the posts reported to Parler and viewed by CNBC, users on the platform threatened violently with “liberal leaders, liberal activists #blm leaders and supporters” along with other groups.

Screenshots from the Parler app viewed by CNBC show users posting references to firing squads, as well as calls for guns to be brought in for the presidential inauguration later this month.

John Matze, Parler’s CEO, told Kara Swisher of the New York Times in an interview on Thursday that he “doesn’t feel responsible for any of this, and neither should the platform, considering that we’re a neutral city square that is just hold on to that. ” Law.”

Parler, which launched in 2018, has become a popular platform for President Trump’s allies over the past year by billing itself as freedom of expression on popular social media services like Twitter and Facebook.

On Saturday before, a group of Amazon employees had asked the company to cut ties with Parler. In a tweet late Saturday, the Amazon Employees for Climate Justice group welcomed the company’s decision to ditch Parler.

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