Before Amazon kicked Parler offline, President Trump considered joining the social media platform under the pseudonym “Person X,” Parler CEO John Matze claimed in a Wednesday court filing. Matze also said Amazon knew about Trump potentially joining the platform, popular among many conservatives, and that it was a driving force in the tech giant’s decision to terminate Parler’s web hosting.
In the court filing, Matze said a rep for Amazon Web Services knew since early October that Trump was looking at joining Parler. The AWS rep “frequently” asked about it, Matze said, understanding that if Trump joined the service it would lead to a “surge” in new users.
“[Retracted], who is a Joe Biden supporter, was AWS’ representative assigned to me by AWS, and was aware since at least Oct. 11, 2020, that Trump was considering moving to Parler under the pseudonym ‘Person X,’” Matze said.
The rep had “inside and confidential knowledge,” Matze said, about Trump potentially joining Parler.
He added: “Based on my interactions with AWS personnel during this period, I believe AWS’ decision to terminate service to Parler was based, not on expressed concerns about Parler’s compliance with the AWS Agreement, but in part on a desire to deny President Trump a platform on any large social-media service.”
A rep for Amazon, when reached for comment by TheWrap, pushed back on Matze’s claims.
“As we made clear in our public statements and legal filing, suspending Parler had nothing to do with politics,” the Amazon spokesperson said. “We suspended Parler because they were unable to effectively identify and remove content that encourages or incites violence.”
Amazon dropped Parler’s service last weekend, claiming the app “poses a very real risk to public safety.” Amazon’s decision came after both Apple and Google removed Parler from their app stores, with both companies saying the app’s moderation policies were too lenient and that some users had used the app to plan the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.
Parler jumped to the top of the Apple App Store last week, following Twitter’s permanent ban against President Trump, before it was pulled down soon after. Parler has since filed an antitrust lawsuit against Amazon, claiming the tech giant “crushed” Parler’s business and “eviscerated its ability to function” when it decided to stop supporting the site. While Matze has told Fox News he expects Parler to be back in about a week, he also said on Wednesday there’s a chance it “never” makes a comeback.