While some social media users breathed a sigh of relief to see former President Donald Trump be removed from 11 social media accounts, Amazon Cloud was busy suspending Parler from its platform. But both before and after the Capitol Riot, which lead to the massive social media ban, talks regarding a third political party (the MAGA political party, or Patriot party) continue on. Will this third-party group be able to communicate as effectively without their former Commander in Chief still tweeting from the White House?
Current President Joe Biden has been confirmed as the new Commander in Chief after multiple state recounts, more than 60 legal cases were thrown out and the Supreme Court refused to hear the election fraud case that was brought to them. And although Trump was removed from the most popular social media channels and Facebook removed all “Stop the Steal” wording from their site, users were still frantically trying to find a way to communicate. By the time CEO John Matze of Parler received word that Amazon Web Services (AWS) suspended Parler, they’d already lost a major form of communication.
However, that hasn’t stopped them from pondering on creating their own workarounds, including building their own data centers and buying their own servers to return to the Internet. While research into this may or may not be happening behind the scenes, what’s publicly known is that Parler has gone after Amazon.
CNN reports that Parler sued Amazon on Monday, Jan. 11, in response to being deplatformed. Parler is also calling out Amazon for not providing the “conservative microblogging alternative and competitor to Twitter” with 30 days’ notice of termination. By removing the social media platform so abruptly, it could not properly collect contact information for current and future users.
That didn’t stop Judge Barbara Rothstein from declining to grant a preliminary injunction, declaring that Parler could only provide “dwindlingly slight” evidence for an antitrust complaint and “submitted no evidence that AWS and Twitter acted together intentionally—or even at all—in restraint of trade.”
Although the far-right account went after both AWS and Twitter, the Jan. 21 judgment further confirms that the two are not privately ganging up together on MAGA users.
From the court files, an Amazon executive states the following: “AWS and Twitter have never discussed, much less agreed upon, any policy, practice, or act directed at Parler. To the contrary, we have an internal policy never to discuss matters involving one customer with another customer. Nobody in my organization would be authorized to discuss Parler with Twitter without my authorization, knowledge, or involvement. I have not authorized any AWS employee to discuss Parler with Twitter, and I have not been involved personally in any such discussion.”
While Parler discusses its disappoint with the turnout of their current legal battle, it doesn’t outright deny that violence was a common theme on the website before the Capitol Riot. Instead, on the official account website, a company statement reads, “Parler is disappointed that the court’s ruling ignored the reality that every social-media platform—including Amazon’s own online store—sometimes unwittingly hosts content that incites violence or is otherwise inappropriate.”
Declaring AWS’ repeated warnings of some of the messaging on their site as “unnecessary censorship,” the site claims it’s developing an artificial intelligence-based enforcement system “that we believe will reduce the incidence of such content” and “is also more protective of public safety.”
Justice Department ponders dismissing Capitol Riot protesters
Meanwhile that “public safety” that Parler talks about doesn’t change the five officers that died, one who committed suicide nor the 56 officers who were injured while the building was bum-rushed by more than 800 protesters on January 6, 2021. Thirteen protesters have been charged in federal court, and 40 were arrested and charged in Superior Court for unlawful entry, curfew violations and firearms-related crimes.
At the time of this writing, the Washington Post reports that federal law enforcement officials are privately debating whether they should decline to charge some of the individuals who stormed the U.S. Capitol because “hundreds of such cases could swamp the local courthouse.” While some argue that those solely charged with “unlawful entry” could be dismissed, other agents and prosecutors debate risk of a repeat political riot should all parties not be punished to the furthest extent of the law.
No decisions have been made to forego the protest-related arrests at the time of publication. In the meantime, the Senate (which is now 50/50 Democrat and Republican after three new Democratic Senators were sworn in on Inauguration Week) is due to start hearing the impeachment case against Trump on the week beginning February 8.