Judge Rejects Parler’s Request for Order Forcing Amazon to Keep Hosting Service

January 21, 2021 Updated: January 21, 2021

A federal judge on Jan. 21 denied a request from Parler that sought to have the court order Amazon Web Services (AWS) to continue hosting the service.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Jacobs Rothstein, a Carter appointee, said that Parler failed to meet the standard for the issuance of a preliminary injunction.

“To be clear, the Court is not dismissing Parler’s substantive underlying claims at this time. Parler has fallen far short, however, of demonstrating, as it must, that it has raised serious questions going to the merits of its claims, or that the balance of hardships tips sharply in its favor. It has also failed to demonstrate that it is likely to prevail on the merits of any of its three claims; that the balance of equities tips in its favor, let alone strongly so; or that the public interests lie in granting the injunction,” she wrote in the 14-page order.

Parler, a social media website, had asked the court to grant a motion enjoining Amazon from suspending Parler’s account.

Amazon earlier this month abruptly suspended Parler, claiming the site was in violation of its policies. Parler alleged Amazon violated a contract the company has.

“AWS’s decision to suspend Parler’s account is apparently motivated by political animus. It is also apparently designed to reduce competition in the microblogging services market to the benefit of Twitter,” it said in its motion.

Amazon in return said the case “is about Parler’s demonstrated unwillingness and inability to remove from the servers of Amazon Web Services (‘AWS’) content that threatens the public safety, such as by inciting and planning the rape, torture, and assassination of named public officials and private citizens.” Parler then responded by arguing AWS was only concerned with allegedly silencing former President Donald Trump.

Before AWS suspended Parler, the company saw its application removed by both Apple and Google from online stores.

The actions came in the wake of Twitter’s ban of Trump, prompting a flood of users to switch from Twitter to Parler.

Apple and Google also alleged Parler was failing to properly moderate its platform. Parler CEO John Matze argued to The Epoch Times that his platform was being held to a higher standard than Twitter and Facebook.

The case against AWS is still ongoing after the dismissal of the motion for a preliminary injunction. Matze said this week that his site will be back up by the end of the month.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber