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Parler CEO says the ‘free speech’ site may NEVER return after it was pulled from the web

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Parler’s CEO has said Amazon pulled his site from the internet because Donald Trump wanted to join it as ‘Person X’. 

John Matze had earlier warned the app – favored by the president’s supporters – may never get back online after it was scrubbed from the web by the tech giant.

He said in a court filing Wednesday: ‘Based on my interactions with AWS personnel during this period, I believe AWS’s decision to terminate service to Parler was based, not on expressed concerns about Parler’s compliance with the AWS [Customer] Agreement, but in part on a desire to deny President Trump a platform on any large social-media service.

‘It was only after Twitter announced its intention to terminate Trump from its platform that AWS expressed any concern about Parler’s compliance with its agreement.’ 

It is not known why the president wanted to join the site under a pseudonym but he said to have been discussing the move since October last year. 

Matze said: ‘[Retracted], who is a Joe Biden supporter, was AWS’s representative assigned to me by AWS, and was aware since at least October 11, 2020, that Trump was considering moving to Parler under the pseudonym ‘Person X’. 

‘AWS knew there was a possibility that Trump might obtain a Parler account, likely bringing with him a surge of followers to the Parler platform.’

Amazon cut Parler this weekend saying it had failed to effectively moderate violent content in the wake of the January 6 riot at the Capitol. Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google also kicked Parler from their app stores.  

Parler, which claims to have more than 12 million users, then filed a lawsuit against Amazon, which the tech giant said has no merit. The lawsuit accuses Amazon it of making an illegal decision to shut Parler down to benefit Twitter Inc.

Matze had told Reuters Wednesday: ‘It could be never. We don’t know yet.’ 

He later added: ‘I am an optimist. It may take days, it may take weeks but Parler will return and when we do we will be stronger.’ 

Parler's CEO John Matze, pictured, has said the site may never get back online after it was scrubbed from the web by Amazon and pulled from the app store by Apple and Google

Parler’s CEO John Matze, pictured, has said the site may never get back online after it was scrubbed from the web by Amazon and pulled from the app store by Apple and Google

Tech giants have accused the social media site - which is favored by Donald Trump fans - of failing to police violent content in the wake of the January 6 riot at the Capitol aimed at preventing Joe Biden from becoming president

Tech giants have accused the social media site – which is favored by Donald Trump fans – of failing to police violent content in the wake of the January 6 riot at the Capitol aimed at preventing Joe Biden from becoming president

Matze said that Parler was talking to more than one cloud computing service but refused to disclose names, citing the likelihood of harassment for the companies involved. He said the best thing would be if Parler could get back on Amazon.  

Matze told Reuters the company was considering suing other vendors but declined to say more.   

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Wednesday defended his company´s ban of President Trump in his first public statement on the subject. ‘I do not celebrate or feel pride in our having to ban @realDonaldTrump from Twitter,’ Dorsey wrote. But he added: ‘I believe this was the right decision for Twitter.’

Snapchat on Wednesday said it has permanently banned Trump from the platform; Facebook and YouTube have already barred him from using their sites. 

‘It’s hard to keep track of how many people are telling us that we can no longer do business with them,’ said Matze.

Matze said Parler’s relationship with Amazon appeared to deteriorate overnight and without much warning, an assessment that Amazon disputes in legal filings.

He said Parler had also been booted from online payments service Stripe and had lost its Scylla Enterprise database as well as access to Twilio Inc and Slack Technologies Inc, a popular workplace messaging app. He also said it had been ditched by American Express Co, but the company said it did not have a direct merchant relationship with Parler. 

Amazon cut Parler this weekend saying it had failed to effectively moderate violent content. Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google also kicked Parler from their app stores

Amazon cut Parler this weekend saying it had failed to effectively moderate violent content. Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google also kicked Parler from their app stores

What are Parler’s options now?

Losing access to the app stores of Google and Apple — whose operating systems power hundreds of millions of smartphones — severely limits Parler’s reach, though it had continued to be accessible via web browser. 

The decision by Amazon Web Services to remove Parler means it now needs to scramble to find another web host in addition to ‘rebuilding the site from scratch’.

Google and Apple both booted Gab from their app stores in 2017 and it was left internet-homeless for a time the following year due to anti-Semitic posts attributed to the man accused of killing 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue. Microsoft also terminated a web-hosting contract. 

It now hosts through its own servers, so that is an option. 

Or it can find another server willing to host the site. Max Aliapoulios, a computer science Ph. D candidate told Business Insider: ‘It is realistic to expect that Parler will find another provider to host their services like AWS. 

‘That being said, now the precedent is set and Parler will likely always have an uphill battle with finding a home to host them on the internet.’ 

On Monday it was reported that the site has since moved its domain name from DreamHost to right leaning web hosting company Epik.

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ScyllaDB and Twilio said Parler violated their policies over violent content. Slack and Stripe did not immediately respond to Reuters requests to comment. 

Matze said Tuesday that pulling his app is unconstitutional and ‘sick’. 

As of Wednesday, he said there had been no changes to investors in Parler. 

Hedge fund investor Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah Mercer and conservative commentator Dan Bongino are investors of the service. 

In its filing, Parler argued that Amazon Web Services breached its contract by cutting it off. 

Amazon earlier had said it had warned Parler about ugly and threatening language on its site, citing posts with vile language used to describe former first lady Michelle Obama, as well as postings such as ‘the only good democrat is a dead one. Kill’em all.’

Parler defended the insults to Obama as hateful but covered by the Constitution. 

The threat, the respondent said, ‘has been passed on to our regulator contact for investigation.’

In its filing Wednesday, Parler said it had removed most problematic posts.

A second exhibit showed Parler postings that threatened specific acts of violence against people, some of whom are named while others are described as ‘liberals’ or black, gay, Jewish or transgender.

‘We explained that given the events at the U.S. Capitol Building and the threats regarding the upcoming inauguration, we had real concern about this content leading to more violence,’ an unnamed Amazon executive said in a statement included with the exhibits, referring to Biden’s inauguration on January 20. 

Separately, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sent civil subpoenas to Amazon, as well as Google and Apple , which had dropped Parler from their app stores. Paxton said he was seeking to learn if the companies sought to ‘eliminate speech they disagree with.’ 

Pro-Trump protesters storm into the U.S. Capitol during clashes with police, during a rally to contest the certification of presidential election results by on January 6

Pro-Trump protesters storm into the U.S. Capitol during clashes with police, during a rally to contest the certification of presidential election results by on January 6

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