Big Tech /

Parler Subpoenas Twitter, Alleges Collusion with Amazon in Deplatforming

Parler is seeking documents detailing Twitter's relationship with Amazon, including intercompany communications and contracts

Social Media platform Parler is taking legal action against Twitter, which the company contends conspired with Amazon Web Services in a platforming plan.

The company filed a subpoena on Feb. 23 in Kings County, Washington, seeking access to documents that captured the “continuing abuse of power and anticompetitive conduct of Big Tech companies, harming individuals and businesses who don’t conform to their viewpoints.

The subpoena is part of an ongoing case: Parler LLC vs Amazon Web Services Inc. 

Following the security breach at the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, Parler was removed from Google, Amazon, and Apple. The tech firms claimed the platform facilitated the events in Washington D.C.

George Farmer, the CEO of Parler, said in a statement, ”Parler will continue to fight against Big Tech companies like Amazon Web Services and Twitter that attempt to stifle innovation and free speech through anticompetitive practices. We will continue to stand against cancel culture and the mob mentality.”

The platform has requested transcripts relating to the Jan. 6 Capitol Protest, documents relating to Parler’s contractual relationship with Amazon, documents related to Amazon continuing to host Parler on Amazon’s cloud services, documents relating to Amazon hosting or continuing to host Twitter on Amazon’s cloud services.

Additionally, the company wants to compel Twitter to release “documents relating in any way to the tweet sent by Twitter’s then-CEO Jack Dorsey at 12:26 a.m. on January 10, 2021, in which Jack Dorsey added a ‘heart emoji’ to a screenshot of Apple’s app store that showed that Parler was no longer the most downloaded application.”

Parler has also requested information relating to the impact President Donald Trump had on the platform, including “revenue, profits, goodwill, publicity, and/or other benefits obtained by Twitter” as well as information regarding the decision to ban Trump from Twitter following Jan. 6.

Apple ultimately reinstated Parler to its App store on April 14, 2021.

In a letter to Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colorado), Apple’s senior director of government affairs Timothy Powderly wrote that the company stood by its decision to ban the platform.

Powderly wrote that Apple made “an independent decision to remove Parler for non-compliance with the Guidelines, and it did not coordinate or otherwise consult with Google or Amazon.”

He added that Parler’s “moderation practices were clearly inadequate to protect users from this harmful and dangerous content.”

Marketing itself as a politically neutral, free-speech-oriented platform, Parler is one of the popular alternatives to more widely used social media sites. It was the most downloaded app at the time of the presidential election in November of 2020 and in January of 2021 after the events at the Capitol.

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