Parler may go offline after tech giants reject social network
Parler faces an uncertain future after Amazon reportedly said it would no long host the social network, and Apple suspended it from its App Store over its role in last week’s attack on the US Capitol by a pro-Trump mob. The social network increasingly favoured by conservatives and extremists had violated its terms of service and would no longer be hosted from midnight Sunday, reported Buzzfeed, citing a letter sent by Amazon Web Services (AWS).
“Recently, we’ve seen a steady increase in this violent content on your website, all of which violates our terms. It’s clear that Parler does not have an effective process to comply with the AWS terms of service,” it quoted the emailed letter as saying.
Parler’s chief executive, John Matze, said in a post on the site that Parler could be “unavailable” for up to a week in order to “rebuild from scratch”, the Washington Post reported.
As the news emerged, Donald Trump Jr urged his followers to send him their contact details assuming “the purge of conservative ideas and thought leaders continues”.
Parler is favored by many supporters of Donald Trump, who was permanently suspended from Twitter on Friday, and it is seen as a haven for people expelled from Twitter. It has faced widespread criticism for its role in sharing plans for the protests in Washington DC in which five people died.
Earlier, Google suspended Parler’s app from its Play Store until it adds “robust” content moderation. Apple gave it 24 hours to improve its moderation practices before following suit and banning new downloads.
The move by the two Silicon Valley companies meant the network would still be available via browser but the move by Amazon could change that unless a new host is found.
The letter from Apple’s App Store review team to Parler said: “Content that threatens the wellbeing of others or is intended to incite violence or other lawless acts has never been acceptable on the App Store.”
Matze said in posts on his service on Friday that Apple was applying standards to Parler that it did not apply to itself and the companies were attacking civil liberties. He added in a text message: “Coordinating riots, violence and rebellions has no place on social media.”
Matze said of Apple: “Apparently they believe Parler is responsible for ALL user generated content on Parler. By the same logic, Apple must be responsible for ALL actions taken by their phones. Every car bomb, every illegal cell phone conversation, every illegal crime committed on an iPhone, Apple must also be responsible for.”
Parler’s hosting woes echo those of far-right message board 8Chan, which was rejected by mainstream web service providers last year. It was created as a more lawless alternative to message board 4chan, the birthplace of the QAnon conspiracy theory.
At 2:25 p.m. on Jan. 5, almost exactly 24 hours before the Capitol riots began, Steve Bannon posted a Facebook update: “TAKE ACTION. THEY ARE TRYING TO STEAL THE ELECTION,” the former senior White House adviser urged his followers in a Facebook group he ran called “Own Your Vote.”
Federal prosecutors have offered an ominous new assessment of last week’s siege of the US Capitol by Donald Trump’s supporters, saying in a court filing that rioters intended “to capture and assassinate elected officials”. Prosecutors offered that view in a filing asking a judge to detain Jacob Chansley, the Arizona man and QAnon conspiracy theorist who was photographed wearing horns as he stood at the desk of the vice-president, Mike Pence, in the chamber of the US Senate.
Facebook Inc. said it is removing all content mentioning “stop the steal,” a phrase popular among supporters of President Trump’s unproven claims of election fraud, as part of a raft of measures to stem misinformation and incitements to violence on its platform ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration.
Twitter’s extraordinary action against President Trump on Friday night was driven both by the violent rampage of his supporters in Washington and what the company said was a looming “secondary attack” on the U.S. Capitol and state government facilities next weekend — a finding that tracks with the open threats of violence independent researchers have also found across the Web. Calls for widespread protests on the days leading up to the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden have been rampant online for weeks.