Parler may go offline after tech giants reject social network
Parler faces an uncertain future after Amazon reportedly said it would no long host the social network, and Apple suspended it from its App Store over its role in last week’s attack on the US Capitol by a pro-Trump mob. The social network increasingly favoured by conservatives and extremists had violated its terms of service and would no longer be hosted from midnight Sunday, reported Buzzfeed, citing a letter sent by Amazon Web Services (AWS).
“Recently, we’ve seen a steady increase in this violent content on your website, all of which violates our terms. It’s clear that Parler does not have an effective process to comply with the AWS terms of service,” it quoted the emailed letter as saying.
Parler’s chief executive, John Matze, said in a post on the site that Parler could be “unavailable” for up to a week in order to “rebuild from scratch”, the Washington Post reported.
As the news emerged, Donald Trump Jr urged his followers to send him their contact details assuming “the purge of conservative ideas and thought leaders continues”.
Parler is favored by many supporters of Donald Trump, who was permanently suspended from Twitter on Friday, and it is seen as a haven for people expelled from Twitter. It has faced widespread criticism for its role in sharing plans for the protests in Washington DC in which five people died.
Earlier, Google suspended Parler’s app from its Play Store until it adds “robust” content moderation. Apple gave it 24 hours to improve its moderation practices before following suit and banning new downloads.
The move by the two Silicon Valley companies meant the network would still be available via browser but the move by Amazon could change that unless a new host is found.
The letter from Apple’s App Store review team to Parler said: “Content that threatens the wellbeing of others or is intended to incite violence or other lawless acts has never been acceptable on the App Store.”
Matze said in posts on his service on Friday that Apple was applying standards to Parler that it did not apply to itself and the companies were attacking civil liberties. He added in a text message: “Coordinating riots, violence and rebellions has no place on social media.”
Matze said of Apple: “Apparently they believe Parler is responsible for ALL user generated content on Parler. By the same logic, Apple must be responsible for ALL actions taken by their phones. Every car bomb, every illegal cell phone conversation, every illegal crime committed on an iPhone, Apple must also be responsible for.”
Parler’s hosting woes echo those of far-right message board 8Chan, which was rejected by mainstream web service providers last year. It was created as a more lawless alternative to message board 4chan, the birthplace of the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has said the Republican extremist Marjorie Taylor Greene has a “fixation” on progressive members of Congress, and warned that Greene’s behavior has “raised concerns” among Democrats. Greene, a Trump loyalist and a promoter of the QAnon conspiracy theory, was elected to the House in 2020, and has spent her first months in office harassing Ocasio-Cortez and other progressive Democrats.
House Republicans voted quickly on Wednesday to remove Liz Cheney as their No. 3 leader over her repeated criticism of Donald Trump, a massive shakeup that ties the party tighter to Trump and threatens to create a new litmus test in the GOP. The fast-moving campaign to dump Cheney, Congress' highest-ranking Republican woman, and replace her with a Trump loyalist was orchestrated by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and his top deputies. The California Republican and his allies complained that Cheney’s constant readiness to call out Trump’s lies.
Two Trump family members got “inappropriately – and perhaps dangerously – close” to agents protecting them while Donald Trump was president, according to a new book on the US Secret Service. Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service, by the Washington Post reporter Carol Leonnig, is published next week. The Guardian obtained a copy.
If you haven’t been keeping up with the legal affairs of Donald Trump of late, what you should know is that the guy is very likely fucked. With the ex-president facing no fewer than 29 lawsuits and three criminal investigations, his tax returns are currently in the hands of Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., whose team is also working to flip the Trump Organization employee who knows where all the bodies are buried and has both (1) cooperated with prosecutors in the past and (2) made some rather interesting comments about the company’s legal dealings.