A Seattle federal judge ruled on Jan. 21 that Amazon Web Services was within its rights to shut down social media platform Parler, and refused to restore the social media site. 

As Parler sued AWS days after the attack on the Capitol on Jan. 6, the company shut off its hosting services to Parler and accused the website of allowing content that incited violence

This move by Amazon effectively kicked the social media site off of the internet. Parler is expected to appeal.

This hearing was attached to a larger lawsuit against AWS, alleging conspiracy in restraint of trade, breach of contract and tortious interference. Judge Barbara Jacobs Rothstein, U.S. District Court Judge for the Western District of  Washington at Seattle, sided with Amazon after they presented evidence to show that Parler, not Amazon, violated the terms of contract

Parler, a social media site that launched in 2018, is dedicated to free speech and is popular with right-leaning as well as far-right users. The platform has very lax moderation, and most of their 15 million users use the site to speak about conservative ideas. The site calls their posts “parleys.”

After the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, many parlays were flagged for containing violent information about the attack, prior to Jan. 6.

After these parleys were found, Google and Apple banned the app from their stores, making it almost impossible to download Parler. Closely following, AWS terminated Parler’s account. However, critics have pointed out that Facebook also had users organizing event pages in preparation for Jan. 6, but they did not face repercussions.

There is no real indication of when Parler will be back online, but CEO John Matze says he is confident the service would be back up by the end of the month. The website states, “We will not let civil discourse perish!” along with other parlays from different accounts, showing their support for the social media platform.

Written ByHaley Weger

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