Parler sued Amazon on Monday after being forced offline Sunday at midnight ET when Amazon terminated its web services.
The suit, filed in a Washington state U.S. district court and reviewed by TheWrap, accuses Amazon Web Services of an antitrust violation and seeks a temporary restraining order in an effort to keep Parler afloat.
“AWS’s decision to effectively terminate Parler’s account is apparently motivated by political animus,” said the suit, which added the suspension of Parler’s web services “is also apparently designed to reduce competition in the microblogging services market to the benefit of Twitter.”
Parler asserts that AWS is supporting Twitter because it provides web services to Twitter as it did for Parler (and does for many, many big companies). Notably, the complaint says, conservative Twitter users abandoned the platform after President Donald Trump was permanently banned on Friday and signed up for Parler accounts instead.
The suit seeks “injunctive relief, including a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunctive relief, and damages.”
“This emergency suit seeks a Temporary Restraining Order against Defendant Amazon Web Services to prevent it from shutting down Parler’s account at the end of today. Doing so is the equivalent of pulling the plug on a hospital patient on life support. It will kill Parler’s business–at the very time it is set to skyrocket,” the complaint said.
Before Amazon pulled its support, Parler CEO John Matze posted the site will “likely be down longer than expected.” Matze didn’t share an estimated timeline for when Parler expects to be back online.
The tech crackdown against Parler came after it was used by some people to encourage the attack on the U.S. Capitol last Wednesday. Amazon, in a letter sent to Parler Chief Policy Office Amy Peikoff, said the app “poses a very real risk to public safety” and that it “cannot provide services to a customer that is unable to effectively identify and remove content that encourages or incites violence against others.” Amazon’s reasoning echoed both Apple and Google’s rationale for pulling down Parler. Google said it requires “robust moderation for egregious content” to remain on the Play Store, while Apple said Parler’s moderation policies “have proved insufficient” and that it “continued to find direct threats of violence and calls to incite lawless action” on the app.
It’s unclear how many users Parler had by the end of the weekend, but its popularity had been rising, with the app hitting the top of Apple’s App Store right before it was removed.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.