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Amazon filed its response Tuesday to an antitrust suit brought against it by Parler, arguing that the social media upstart’s refusal to remove violent content from its platform violated its contract, and that Parler had failed to prove any antitrust claims.
Parler sued Amazon on Monday after the tech giant booted the platform from its web-hosting service, Amazon Web Services, amid public outcry over Parler’s role in enabling far-right insurrectionists to organize and plan last week’s attacks on the US Capitol.
“This case is not about suppressing speech or stifling viewpoints. It is not about a conspiracy to restrain trade,” Amazon claimed in the court filing. “Instead, this case is about Parler’s demonstrated unwillingness and inability to remove… content that threatens the public safety, such as by inciting and planning the rape, torture, and assassination of named public officials and private citizens.”
Parler did not respond to a request for comment on this story.
Amazon cited more than a dozen examples of content posted to Parler that it said violated Amazon’s policies.
“We are going to fight in a civil War on Jan.20th, Form MILITIAS now and acquire targets,” one post said, according to the document, while another read: “White people need to ignite their racial identity and rain down suffering and death like a hurricane.”
Other Parler posts cited included death threats against prominent Democrats such as former President Barack Obama, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as well as Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google’s parent company Alphabet.
Parler users also took aim at people of color, Black Lives Matter activists, Jews, teachers, the media, and professional sports leagues including the NBA, NFL, MLB, and NHL.
Read more: Parler has been knocked offline for not moderating threats. Screenshots show what Capitol riot supporters posted before, during, and after the unrest.
“There is no legal basis in AWS’s customer agreements or otherwise to compel AWS to host content of this nature,” Amazon said, adding that it had notified Parler “repeatedly” beginning in mid-November 2020 about content that violated the terms of the two companies’ contract, but that Parler “was both unwilling and unable” to remove it.
Amazon also pushed back against Parler’s claims that Amazon’s actions were politically motivated and violated antitrust laws by deliberately favoring Twitter, which also uses AWS, and not taking similar action against it.
“AWS does not host Twitter’s feed, so of course it could not have suspended access to Twitter’s content,” Amazon said in the filing, noting that Twitter eventually blocked the violent content, while Parler refused to take similar steps.
Amazon also cited Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which gives companies that operate an “interactive computer service” the legal right to remove content as they see fit.
Read more: Inside the rapid and mysterious rise of Parler, the ‘free speech’ Twitter alternative, which created a platform for conservatives by burning the Silicon Valley script
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Source:: Business Insider