January 11th, 2021
Amazon, Apple, Google remove Parler from their platform: CEO accuse them of killing competition
Parler, which is an alternative social media platform, has been removed by Apple, Amazon and Google from their respective platforms.Parler’s website was not accessible early on Monday.CEO John Matze suggested this is a coordinated takedown similar to what was inflicted upon "Gab" in 2018. “They all work together to make sure at the same time we would lose access to not only our apps, but they’re actually shutting all of our servers off tonight , off the internet. “They made an attempt to not only kill the app, but to actually destroy the entire company.""And it’s not just these three companies. Every vendor from text message services to email providers to our lawyers all ditched us too on the same day.” Matze conceded that the bans could put the company out of business while raising free speech issues, calling it “an assault on everybody.” According to Deadline.comHowever, the strict, sudden action has nothing to do with any instruction from the government and is instead a group of individual corporations deciding to distance themselves from a toxic website and userbase. Therefore, cries of freedom of speech being attacked have largely been ignored because this is a decision made by businesses and not a governmental body. Rather than a "Free-speech" argument many conservatives argue this action constitutes breach of FTC regulations. "It is illegal for businesses to act together in ways that can limit competition, lead to higher prices, or hinder other businesses from entering the market." " When competitors interact to such a degree that they are no longer acting independently, or when collaborating gives competitors the ability to wield market power together."
Parler is popular among conservatives.
"We've seen a steady increase in this violent content on your website, all of which violates our terms," AWS wrote in a letter sent to Parler Chief Policy Officer Amy Peikoff on Saturday, according to CNN Business."It's clear that Parler does not have an effective process to comply with the AWS terms of service."
Apple also made a similar statement to back its decision of removing Parler from the App Store."The processes Parler has put in place to moderate or prevent the spread of dangerous and illegal content have proved insufficient," Apple said in its statement to Parler, as per CNN.
This cut-off from the Apple, Amazon and Google means new users would be unable to find Parler on the App Store and Play Store.Also, those who already downloaded the app won’t be able to use the platform.
"This was a coordinated attack by the tech giants to kill the competition in the marketplace," Parler CEO John Matze said in a statement."We were too successful too fast."Matze added, “We’re going to try our best to get back online as quickly as possible. But we’re having a lot of trouble because every vendor we talk to says they won’t work with us. Because if Apple doesn’t approve and Google doesn’t approve, they won’t.” It's this type of coordinated de-platforming of competitors and political opponents that gives credence to calls for anti-trust litigation against Google Amazon & Apple.Some see Parler’s downfall as a coordinated attack because of the social media platform’s political views but others see it as free market in action: multiple companies deciding to cut ties with a business because of heated rhetoric and dangerous ideas being spread. That is well within the rights of Google, Apple and other parties and is a proposed action often triumphed by conservatives.
Matze also warned that the platform could be unavailable for up to a week “as we rebuild from scratch."Parler's fanbase and many prominent conservative voices are deeply supportive of the platform which finds itself under siege despite having Terms of Service that directly forbid incitements to violence, Terms they have consistently enforced. According to the Independent Matze said in June “The whole company was never intended to be a pro-Trump thing. A lot of the audience is pro-Trump. I don’t care. I’m not judging them either way.”Despite this statement, there have been countless instances of threatening speech spread on Parler, up to and after the attacks on the Capitol last week. While Parler does have Terms of Service forbidding violence talk, they haven’t been enforced and the site has become a hotbed of conspiracy theories and dangerous threats.