Amazon seeks to keep right-wing app Parler offline

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The website of the social media platform Parler is displayed in Berlin, Jan. 10, 2021. The platform’s logo is on a screen in the background. The conservative-friendly social network Parler was booted off the internet Monday, Jan. 11, over ties to last week’s siege on the U.S. Capitol, but not before hackers made off with an archive of its posts, including any that might have helped organize or document the riot. (Christophe Gateau/dpa via AP)

SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle-based Amazon.com, Inc. has asked a federal judge to deny a request to reinstate the cloud-service account for conservative social media network Parler, claiming Parler shrugged off police violence content on its site before and after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

Amazon’s lawyers made the claim on Tuesday, a day after Parler on Monday filed a lawsuit against Amazon claiming a breach of contract and antitrust violation after its account was suspended and effectively removed from the internet, The Seattle Times reported.

The lawsuit claims Amazon colluded with Twitter to “kill Parler’s business — at the very time it is set to skyrocket,” the complaint said.

Amazon’s attorneys, Ambika Doran and Alonzo Wickers, said there was no merit to Parler’s claims and that the case centered on Parler’s “demonstrated unwillingness” to remove content that threatens public safety.

Amazon argued that the lack of content moderation led to a “steady increase” in violent content, a violation of its terms of service.

Amazon said Parler contracted with the company in 2018 and agreed not to host harmful content. Amazon also notified Parler that it retained the right to suspend accounts immediately if they breach Amazon’s terms of service.

Amazon claimed a conspiracy theory, touted by President Donald Trump, that the election was fraudulent and the results needed to be overturned were spread on Parler and contributed to the siege on the Capitol where five people died. Social media companies, including Facebook and Twitter suspended thousands of accounts linked to the events on Jan. 6.

Attorney David Groesbeck, who is representing Parler, had not responded to requests for comment and his website redirects to an “under construction” page.

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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