On March 2, Parler, a social media firm, filed a new complaint against Amazon Web Services, accusing the Seattle-based tech giant of trying to ruin its business following the Capitol breach on Jan. 6.
Amazon was accused of breach of contract, slander, and anticompetitive conduct by Parler.
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AWS terminated Parler’s hosting contract, alleging that violent attacks were made on the app and that Parler failed to take action to delete them. It happened after the Capitol was breached on January 6.
According to Parler’s lawsuit, Amazon defamed the app by making it the scapegoat of the Jan. 6 breach, despite the fact that Twitter and Facebook have hosted content related to the incident.
“Parler’s public image has sustained significant harm as a result of AWS’s false defamatory comments, and several prospective service providers have refused to work with Parler, hampered and frustrating its ability to get back online,” the company’s lawyers wrote.
The case (pdf) was filed in a Washington state court this week. The firm provided no reason for why it decided to drop its previous lawsuit this week.
Parler’s latest complaint claims that Amazon used misleading and unfair trade tactics, as well as slander, to kill an up-and-coming technology company, and that he was victimized by “Amazon’s attempts to destroy an up-and-coming technology company by deceptive, defamatory, anticompetitive, and bad faith conduct.”
When Amazon discontinued Parler’s operation, the company was effectively taken offline, with the company only resurfacing in mid-February with a new hosting service. The app was also banned from Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store. With the assistance of SkySilk, a cloud-computing company headquartered in Los Angeles, the Henderson, Nevada-based firm was able to get its services back online.
“Parler has been unable to reclaim the prestige and success it had prior to AWS terminating its services,” Parler said in its latest lawsuit, adding that it lost “tens of millions” of users during the weeks it was unavailable. “It’s unsurprising that when an internet-based enterprise is unable to connect to the internet, the consequences are serious.
In the dropped lawsuit, Parler argued that Amazon didn’t care about the content shared on the social media app and was more concerned about whether former President Donald Trump would enter after being removed from Twitter, Facebook, and other Big Tech websites, citing messages between former CEO John Matze and an Amazon representative.
On March 3, a spokeswoman for Amazon Web Services told news outlets that Parler’s latest legal challenge has “no substance.”
“AWS offers technology and services to consumers from all walks of life, and we value Parler’s right to decide what content it will allow.
However, as shown by Parler’s federal complaint, “it was evident that there was substantial material on Parler that promoted and incited violence against others, which is a breach of our terms of service,” according to the spokesperson.
“Furthermore, Parler was unable or unwilling to quickly detect and delete this material, which, in combination with a spike in this form of dangerous violent content, contributed to our suspension of their services.”