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Parler Sues ‘Bully’ Amazon for a Second Time

The tech giant looked to “destroy” Parler for failing to moderate content, new lawsuit claims

Parler has sued Amazon for a second time, claiming the tech giant aimed to wreck its business when it pulled its web hosting following the Jan 6. riot at the U.S. Capitol.

Amazon, according to Parler’s lawsuit filed in Washington state court on Tuesday afternoon, was looking to “destroy an up-and-coming technology company through deceptive, defamatory, anticompetitive, and bad faith conduct” when it terminated its hosting contract.

“When companies are this big, it’s easy to be a bully,” the lawsuit added. “Many start-up companies that have appeared to be a threat to Amazon and [Amazon Web Services] have felt their wrath. Plaintiff Parler LLC is merely the latest casualty.”

A rep for Amazon Web Services, when reached by TheWrap, said there’s “no merit” to Parler’s claims.

“AWS provides technology and services to customers across the political spectrum, and we respect Parler’s right to determine for itself what content it will allow,” the rep said. “However, as shown by the evidence in Parler’s federal lawsuit, it was clear that there was significant content on Parler that encouraged and incited violence against others, which is a violation of our terms of service. Further, Parler was unable or unwilling to promptly identify and remove this content, which coupled with an increase in this type of dangerous violent content, led to our suspension of their services.”

Previously, Amazon told Parler it stopped hosting the website — which has gained a following among many conservatives and free speech advocates for not censoring as much content as Twitter and Facebook  —  because it “poses a very real risk to public safety.” Amazon said it shared with Parler more than 100 violent comments in the weeks leading up to the Jan. 6 riot that it wanted Parler to take action against; when the app failed to do so, Amazon was compelled to terminate its hosting.

Parler’s new lawsuit came after the company on Tuesday voluntarily dismissed a federal lawsuit it filed against Amazon in January. Tuesday’s lawsuit claimed Amazon blamed Parler for not doing enough to moderate content before some Trump supporters used the app to plan the Capitol attack, while, at the same time, turning a blind eye to what was happening on other social networks.

“In fact, in a review of the charging documents of the 223 individuals under investigation by the Department of Justice for the January 6 riot, it was disclosed that 73 of those documents reference Facebook–‘far more references than other social networks’–with Google-owned YouTube ‘the second most-referenced on 24,’ and “Instagram, a Facebook-owned company, was next on 20 [charging documents].”

The lawsuit added: “Given the problems with violent content on Amazon, Facebook, Google, Twitter, and other websites and apps, it is simply not accurate to suggest that Parler had or has a disproportionately large problem with such content.”

Parler is seeking an unspecified amount in damages. The platform, which was launched in 2018 and is financially backed by Republican political donor Rebekah Mercer, fired founder and CEO John Matze last month. Parler is now back online after struggling to stay afloat following Amazon terminating its web hosting.