Parler on Wednesday entered its third day of being offline after Amazon Web Services cut off the upstart platform from its cloud hosting service following last week’s deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol.
“This case is not about suppressing speech or stifling viewpoints. It is not about a conspiracy to restrain trade,” Amazon Web Services said in a response to Parler’s lawsuit. “Instead, this case is about Parler’s demonstrated unwillingness and inability to remove from the servers of Amazon Web Services (‘AWS’) content that threatens the public safety, such as by inciting and planning the rape, torture, and assassination of named public officials and private citizens.”
Amazon Web Services said it told Parler repeatedly that content on the site violated the two companies’ agreement. Suspension was a “last resort” to block access to violent content, AWS said, “including plans for violence to disrupt the impending Presidential transition.”
“There is no legal basis in AWS’s customer agreements or otherwise to compel AWS to host content of this nature,” the response reads.
Parler is seeking a temporary restraining order to keep Amazon Web Services from blackballing Parler. It claims AWS is violating the Sherman Antitrust Act in the filing, pointing out that AWS has an agreement with competitor Twitter.
AWS argued in the filing that a temporary restraining order would limit its ability to respond to websites with violent content.
The suit comes as Google and Apple have also taken action against Parler in the wake of a pro-Trump riot at the U.S. Capitol. Google suspended Parler from its app store Friday due to a failure to moderate “egregious content” posted by users related to the violent siege last week.
AWS said it does not host Twitter’s feed and “could not have suspended access to Twitter’s content,” after the “#hangmikepence” hashtag trended on Twitter.
Parler also accused Amazon Web Services of breach of contract, and Amazon threw the accusation right back.
“Despite Parler’s rhetoric, its lawsuit is no more than a meritless claim for breach of contract. But the facts are unequivocal: If there is any breach, it is Parler’s demonstrated failure and inability to identify and remove such content,” Amazon Web Services said in the response.
FOX Business’ Talia Kaplan, Audrey Conklin, James Leggate and Brittany De Lea contributed to this report.
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