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Parler sues Amazon for antitrust violation, breach of contract and unlawful business interference. Wants Judge to force site to be reinstated.

Aug 24, 2016
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Parler, the alternative social media platform favored by the far-right, sued Amazon on Monday in response to being deplatformed, alleging an antitrust violation, breach of contract and interference with the company's business relationships with users.
The complaint asks a federal court for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against Amazon (AMZN) and calls Amazon Web Services' decision a "death blow" to Parler.
"Without AWS, Parler is finished as it has no way to get online," the complaint said. "And a delay of granting this TRO by even one day could also sound Parler's death knell as President Trump and others move on to other platforms."

Parler's lawsuit argues that Amazon has unlawfully sought to restrain competition by eliminating a player from the market.
It also claims Amazon breached its contract with Parler by not providing Parler 30 days' notice of termination -- and that its actions interfere with Parler's relationships with current and future users.

Seems Parler is taking action before it's made irrelevant.
 

mashoutposse

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I thought they had vendors clamoring to offer them their services and that the downtime was going to be approximately 12 hours?

They're still on Amazon Route 53 and don't appear to be making any real attempt to migrate. Where's the static page hosted on a CDN letting the community know what's going on?
 
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tillbot8

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I have no idea do they have standing? How would a contract work in this scenario, is it on a time basis? What was the criteria for Parler to 'breach' this contract etc?
 

Umbral

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I thought they had vendors clamoring to offer them their services and that the downtime was going to be approximately 12 hours?

They're still on Amazon Route 53 and don't appear to be making any real attempt to migrate. Where's the static page hosted on a CDN letting the community know what's going on?
Social pressure is a hell of a thing. Nobody has balls anymore. Anyone that would pick them up would be hounded. I see people hounding other infrastructure companies to drop them. It wasn’t enough that AWS dropped them, they want them wiped off the face of the earth.

Grounds for divorce.
 

Heavy_D206

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Feb 20, 2015
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While I agree, they make attempts to stop these types of groups on their platforms.
They didn't stop any of the groups coordinating attacks on police precincts earlier this year. Don't see any posts about kill all the pigs and ACAB getting taken down. Seems like violent and hateful rhetoric is fine on these platforms as long as your skin color isn't white.
 

godhandiscen

There are millions of whiny 5-year olds on Earth, and I AM THEIR KING.
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Sorry to hear AWS is the only provider on Earth. When did that monopoly start?
They broke their contract. AWS gave Parler a weekend before censoring them.
 

godhandiscen

There are millions of whiny 5-year olds on Earth, and I AM THEIR KING.
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While I agree, they make attempts to stop these types of groups on their platforms.
No they don’t they are always too late. It is always reactionary with them and depending on the perception of the majority of their users.
 

Raven117

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Let the courts sort this out.

In the mean time, the U.S. Government has to enforce its antitrust laws.
 

godhandiscen

There are millions of whiny 5-year olds on Earth, and I AM THEIR KING.
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They did not. Read Section 7.2(b)(ii).

Did you? I am not seeing anything there that says they can terminate you at will. 7.2 refers to section 6.b, which talks about temp suspensions.

There was no material breach of the agreement by Parler. Anyway, let the courts decide.
 
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mashoutposse

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Did you? I am not seeing anything there that says they can terminate you at will. 7.2 refers to section 6.b, which talks about temp suspensions.
Read again.

Section 7.2(b)(ii)

7.2 Termination.

(b) Termination for Cause.

(ii) By Us. We may also terminate this Agreement immediately upon notice to you (A) for cause if we have the right to suspend under Section 6

Section 6

6. Temporary Suspension.​

6.1 Generally. We may suspend your or any End User’s right to access or use any portion or all of the Service Offerings immediately upon notice to you if we determine:

(b) you are, or any End User is, in breach of this Agreement;

Breach of Section 4.2

4. Your Responsibilities.​

4.2 Your Content. You will ensure that Your Content and your and End Users’ use of Your Content or the Service Offerings will not violate any of the Policies or any applicable law. You are solely responsible for the development, content, operation, maintenance, and use of Your Content.

Definition of "Policies" in Section 14

14. Definitions.​

“Policies” means the Acceptable Use Policy, Privacy Notice, the Site Terms, the Service Terms, the Trademark Use Guidelines, all restrictions described in the AWS Content and on the AWS Site, and any other policy or terms referenced in or incorporated into this Agreement, but does not include whitepapers or other marketing materials referenced on the AWS Site.

Amazon Web Services Acceptable Use Policy


No Illegal, Harmful, or Offensive Use or Content​

You may not use, or encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to use, the Services or AWS Site for any illegal, harmful, fraudulent, infringing or offensive use, or to transmit, store, display, distribute or otherwise make available content that is illegal, harmful, fraudulent, infringing or offensive. Prohibited activities or content include:
  • Illegal, Harmful or Fraudulent Activities. Any activities that are illegal, that violate the rights of others, or that may be harmful to others, our operations or reputation, including disseminating, promoting or facilitating child pornography, offering or disseminating fraudulent goods, services, schemes, or promotions, make-money-fast schemes, ponzi and pyramid schemes, phishing, or pharming.
  • Infringing Content. Content that infringes or misappropriates the intellectual property or proprietary rights of others.
  • Offensive Content. Content that is defamatory, obscene, abusive, invasive of privacy, or otherwise objectionable, including content that constitutes child pornography, relates to bestiality, or depicts non-consensual sex acts.
  • Harmful Content. Content or other computer technology that may damage, interfere with, surreptitiously intercept, or expropriate any system, program, or data, including viruses, Trojan horses, worms, time bombs, or cancelbots.
Parler doesn't have a case.
 

godhandiscen

There are millions of whiny 5-year olds on Earth, and I AM THEIR KING.
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Read again.

Section 7.2(b)(ii)



Section 6



Breach of Section 4.2



Definition of "Policies" in Section 14



Amazon Web Services Acceptable Use Policy


Parler doesn't have a case.
It will be up to the courts to decide. No content was illegal, and the interpretation of harmful is the key here that the courts will decide upon.

Parler was well within the statuses of section 230.
 

godhandiscen

There are millions of whiny 5-year olds on Earth, and I AM THEIR KING.
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They hosted plenty of offensive content. I trust Amazon's lawyers over Parler's.

Section 230 is irrelevant.
A lawyer will always argue for their client, not for justice. I trust the decision of the courts.
Also, AWS hosts a similar amount of offensive and harmful services. I have been on calls with them to ban a few of their customers that were doing targeted attacks over ad networks. I don’t handle those anymore, but my team constantly works with them.
 

mashoutposse

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Jun 22, 2004
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A lawyer will always argue for their client, not for justice. I trust the decision of the courts.
Also, AWS hosts a similar amount of offensive and harmful services. I have been on calls with them to ban a few of their customers that were doing targeted attacks over ad networks. I don’t handle those anymore, but my team constantly works with them.
I think it's safe to assume Amazon consulted with their lawyers before taking down a large social media platform.

John is his own worst enemy. He bragged they'll be back up within a day. Instead of committing to addressing his partners' concerns, he publicly antagonized them for having those concerns.

You know you're in a shit position when you have to sue someone to take your money.
 
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it is certainly their right to go to fight for their business in court. thou knowing Amazon, they probably have an ironclad contract in place already. and with the high visibility nature of this whole mess, I imagine Amazon had already talked to their lawyers first before pulling the trigger on Parler. adding to the fact that both Apple and Google pulled it too, I would say the chance of Parler actually winning is about as good as me winning the Powerball last week which I didn't buy.
 
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CrankyJay™

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Oct 25, 2017
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Was there a lawsuit for Apple and Google too?
I’m guessing they’re more concerned with AWS since that’s their core business at stake right there. Even without Apple and Google if the site is still up on AWS they can use their browsers, just like we do here on NeoGAF.
 

lefty1117

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It will be up to the courts to decide. No content was illegal, and the interpretation of harmful is the key here that the courts will decide upon.

Parler was well within the statuses of section 230.
Actually, using the platform to coordinate violence is indeed illegal and such evidence would likely be used in potential prosecutions. It's why someone archived the site before it went offline, though probably unnecessary as a court order would likely be used to have Amazon restore the data for authorities to review as part of a criminal case.
 
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Aug 28, 2019
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It will be up to the courts to decide. No content was illegal, and the interpretation of harmful is the key here that the courts will decide upon.

Parler was well within the statuses of section 230.
You are confused here IMO.

Section 230 does not protect anyone from getting banned from stuff. If anything it's what enables the bans. Section 230 protected Parler's right to ban/edit posts, it does not protect them from their web host booting them.

But AWS is not a text publishing platform; so it doesn't even apply. Section 230 is for media companies.

This lawsuit is about Parler's contract with amazon.. and I really don't think there is any 30 day clause so I think they are just grasping at straws.
 
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ManaByte

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MastaKiiLA

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Parler's death throes. They're going to struggle to win this case, because (a) Amazon will have better lawyers than them, and (b) they already agreed to the TOS when they signed up. They should've just agreed to improve their moderation. This is when keeping it real goes wrong.
 
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Actually, using the platform to coordinate violence is indeed illegal and such evidence would likely be used in potential prosecutions. It's why someone archived the site before it went offline, though probably unnecessary as a court order would likely be used to have Amazon restore the data for authorities to review as part of a criminal case.
The only real legal liability Parler has is if they refuse to remove the content upon law enforcement request.

We have no evidence any LE ever contacted Parler to remove content.
 

lefty1117

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So i guess we can completely scrub Facebook off the internet too?

Yep and you can see Facebook furiously scrubbing content now. The reckoning is by no means complete - we can expect some government regulation to come out of this.
 

lefty1117

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The only real legal liability Parler has is if they refuse to remove the content upon law enforcement request.

We have no evidence any LE ever contacted Parler to remove content.

Oh that's right, I agree with you - Parler themselves didn't violate the law with those posts, the users did. i guess I was responding to the comment that "no content was illegal" - it actually is per the US Code I shared, but it's hard to see how Parler could be held responsible. Still, I think we can expect some regulation of the industry to come out of it where a minimum attempt has to be made by platform holders to restrict that sort of content. It's inevitable, in my opinion.
 
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So i guess we can completely scrub Facebook off the internet too?

He's lying here BTW.. or wrong at least about nobody being on Parler.

Not that he even has ANY way of knowing lol Parler was largely anonymous.. only people like Greenwald used their real names.

Facebook of course has loads of this kind of content; they also reacted to this scenario by scrubbing it. Which is what Google/Apple expect to happen.. Facebook doesn't "allow" this kind of content they just do not moderate it anywhere near enough. (but they do, in fact.. moderate it.. they quite famously shut down some pro-Trump "groups" in the months leading up to the protest.)

I don't know why that difference is just ignored. Parler CEO outright stated in response to being pressured to do more that they wouldn't do anything different, that they were determined to protect free speech (and vague calls to violence are not explicitly illegal, though they can be illegal, or can become illegal after the fact if a riot ensues.)

That IS the difference.. all of these sites are full of right wing people.. it's not like Twitter/Facebook are "the left" and Parler is "the right".. Parler is a reaction to Twitter/Facebook FINALLY actually banning people for calls to violence (and yes, they ban left-wing people too.. even some prominent ones.)

The only real expectation is:

- You have rules that make corporate America happy
- You make some attempt at enforcing these rules

Nobody in corporate America wants to leave that content up.. they know their advertisers (who pays them) don't want it.. they just don't want to pay to moderate it heavily.
 
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SF Kosmo

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How is this antitrust? Does Amazon have its own social media? Is Amazon the only Cloud Service?
It's arguable that they're the only hosting service that can scale in that way, that would be viable for a platform like Parler, perhaps.
 
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It's arguable that they're the only hosting service that can scale in that way, that would be viable for a platform like Parler, perhaps.
That is not arguable.

Parler just knows Google Cloud / Azure will also deny them.

There are loads of other companies capable of it too, none of them are willing to host Parler. The one company here in Washington (Eklipse or something?) likely isn't big enough. They can barely handle GAB or whatever which was always much smaller.
 
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ZippyTheOtter

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It's arguable that they're the only hosting service that can scale in that way, that would be viable for a platform like Parler, perhaps.
That is not arguable.

Parler just knows Google Cloud / Azure will also deny them.

There are loads of other companies capable of it too, none of them are willing to host Parler. The one company here in Washington (Eklipse or something?) likely isn't big enough. They can barely handle GAB or whatever which was always much smaller.
IP is beating me to the punch lately.

But yeah, look into government contracts. It's all Amazon, Microsoft, or Google.
 
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