Parler expected President Donald Trump would join its service after his Twitter account was suspended last week — a possibility that Amazon was trying to block by forcing it offline, the company told a federal judge.
In a Thursday hearing at a federal court in Washington state, Parler attorney David Groesbeck said that the site, which saw a surge of new users after mainstream social media sites blocked Trump and others who had posted incendiary content around the Jan. 6 riots, would have been a logical destination for the president. Executives thought “he would move over to Parler,” Groesbeck said.
In the company’s court filing, Parler’s chief executive argued that possibility was behind Amazon Web Services decision to stop hosting its content.”
I believe AWS’s decision to terminate service to Parler was based, not on expressed concerns about Parler’s compliance with the AWS Agreement, but in part on a desire to deny President Trump a platform on any large social-media service,” John Matze said. Parler stresses that it does little to limit what its users can post and has become popular among conservatives.
Key context: After his Twitter suspension, Trump was considering other options and other conservatives either angry at Twitter or that have been booted from the site have pushed Parler as the new destination. If the company had succeeded on getting Trump to sign up it would have been a major boon for a site which has long been a niche platform.
At the hearing: Groesbeck also flatly denied that Parler was involved in the attack on Capitol Hill last week and urged Judge Barbara J. Rothstein to order Amazon Web Services to reinstate its web hosting service.
“AWS is alleging without evidence that Parler was used to incite the riots,” Groesbeck said. “There is no evidence other than some anecdotal press references that Parler was involved in the riots of Jan. 6.”“Millions of Americans have had their voices silenced by AWS,” Groesbeck said.How we got here: Late on Friday, Twitter permanently suspended Trump’s account, citing concerns that he might incite further violence. Conservatives angry with what they called censorship of the president abandoned the platform for alternatives like Parler that have less moderation.
Parler, which had 15 million users at the time it was cut off Sunday, was adding about 1 million new users each day, lawyers said at the hearing.