by Oleg Burunov
Last week, the social platform Parler was suspended by Amazon, Apple, and Google who claimed the app failed to moderate content that incited hate and violence amid the violent events at the US Capitol in Washington on 6 January.
Parler CEO John Matze has said he is receiving death threats following the social platform going offline on Monday, a day after Amazon decided to suspend the app from its web hosting service AWS. Google and Apple had earlier removed Parler from their app stores.
“People [are] threatening my life. I can’t go home tonight. This is really a lot”, the chief executive told Fox News without elaborating.
The app, favoured by Trump supporters and conservatives, has come under scrutiny since the 6 January attacks on the US Capitol that left one policeman and four civilians dead. Reports say the protesters who besieged the Capitol used Parler to coordinate their actions.
Matze, in turn, pointed to Amazon, Apple, and Google almost simultaneously deciding to crack down on Parler due to what they described as the platform’s unwillingness to moderate hate speech and content that they believe incites violence.
“I’ve theorised about it, we’ve definitely theorised about it. You just never think it will happen though. What’s really interesting is that they all did it on the same day, those three, without any prior warning”, the CEO pointed out.
He described the suspension as “shocking”, adding, “this is not just our civil liberties, they can shut down a billion-dollar company, half-a-billion dollar company […] overnight”.
The remarks came as Parler filed a lawsuit against Amazon Web Services (AWS), accusing the company of violating antitrust laws. Parler also asked for a temporary restraining order against AWS to prevent it from removing Parler from its servers.
Amazon’s “decision to effectively terminate Parler’s account is apparently motivated by political animus. It is also apparently designed to reduce competition in the microblogging services market to the benefit of Twitter”, Parler wrote in its complaint.
An Amazon spokesperson responded by arguing that “there is no merit” to the platform’s claims.
“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 spokesperson added.
Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building in Washington, DC, on 6 January, in a bid to keep Congress from certifying the Electoral College votes and confirming Democrat Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 US presidential election. At least five people have died from injuries suffered during the riots.