Parler Asks Judge to Force Amazon to Restore Website (Dreamstime)
Thursday, 14 January 2021 04:40 PM
Parler on Thursday urged a U.S. judge to order Amazon's web division to allow the conservative-favored network back online after cutting it off for failure to rein in incitements to violence.
Attorneys for Parler and Amazon argued their rival positions by telephone before US. District Judge Barbara Rothstein, who promised a prompt decision.
Parler is asking for an emergency order forcing Amazon Web Services to take it back while it pursues its lawsuit over the matter.
"Parler has not been able to locate any web service hosting for their content," said the social network's attorney, solo practitioner David Groesbeck.
"Having Amazon flip the switch back up is not a big deal. It is not burdensome; it is not costly."
Amazon attorney Ambika Doran countered that Parler content encouraging rape, murder and torture has been shared with the court, and that the examples were "just the tip of the iceberg."
Doran argued that there is nothing to suggest that Parler could get a proper plan in place to thwart rule-breaking posts in the days ahead or even the month ahead.
"Nothing in the law requires AWS to allow that kind of content to be hosted," Doran said.
"With the threats of violence at inauguration, Amazon made the only real decision it could, and that is suspend the account," Duran said.
The suit comes amid a wave of action by online giants blocking President Donald Trump in the wake of last week's Capitol invasion and purported plans for new violent demonstrations, especially on the day President-elect Joe Biden is due to take office.
Groesbeck told the judge that Parler chief executive John Matze has received death threats and other hate mail since being knocked offline, and that advertisers have abandoned the platform.
Parler alleged in its lawsuit that Amazon was breaching its contract by not providing proper notice for ending service.
Parler also contended that Amazon is violating antitrust laws and acting to help social rival Twitter.
Earlier this week, Amazon said it had been in contact with Parler "over a number of weeks" and that 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."