The judge refuses to reintroduce the conservative social media site Parler after Amazon closed it
A US judge on Thursday rejected Parlor’s demand that Amazon.com Inc restore web hosting services for the social media platform, which Amazon had suspended after the storm on January 6 in the Capitol.
U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Rothstein in Seattle said Parler was unlikely to prove that Amazon violated its contract or broke antitrust law by shutting down the service on Jan. 10 and that it was not “a close conversation.”
She also strongly rejected the proposal that the public interest be served by a preliminary injunction requiring Amazon Web Services to “host the type of abuse, violent content that is relevant in this case, especially in light of the recent riots in the US capital” . “
“That incident,” she added, “was a tragic reminder that inflammatory rhetoric – faster and easier than many of us had hoped – could turn a legal protest into a violent uprising.”
Parler was not immediately available for comment.
Amazon said Parler ignored repeated warnings to effectively curb the growth of its violent content site, which included talks about assassinating prominent Democratic politicians, senior business leaders and media members.
Researchers have said that right-wing extremist groups at the Capitol had a strong online presence on platforms including Parler, where they spread violent rhetoric.
Parler said there was no evidence other than anecdotes in the press that it had a role to play in encouraging the riots, and that it was unfair to deprive millions of law-abiding Americans of a platform for freedom of speech.
It also said Amazon had no right to threaten its “extinction” by pulling the plug, and had been motivated by “political animus” to favor Twitter Inc, a major Amazon client that Parler said did not censor violent content aimed at conservatives.
Rothstein rejected this argument, saying that Parler had only mentioned the “ghost of preferential treatment” for Twitter.
Many supporters of former US President Donald Trump favor Parler, who has claimed that it had more than 12 million users.
Parler remains largely offline after being released by Seattle-based Amazon and the app stores of Apple Inc and Alphabet Incs Google following the unrest in Washington.
These companies also cited Parler’s records of violent police work.
Parlor’s CEO John Matze told Reuters on January 13 that Parler could be offline for good, but later promised it would return stronger.
Matze and his family were forced to “hide” after receiving death threats, his lawyer said on January 15.
A static version of Parler’s website recently returned, including a statement that Parler had technical difficulties and a handful of posts from people like Fox News hosts Sean Hannity and Mark Levin.
Chief Officer Jeffrey Wernick said Tuesday that Parler published comments on behalf of “friends who stretched.”
The website’s Internet protocol address is owned by DDos-Guard, which is controlled by two Russian men and provides protection against distributed denial-of-service attacks, according to infrastructure expert Ronald Guilmette.