Parler Drops Lawsuit Against Amazon for Pushing It Offline Following Capitol Riots

March 3, 2021 Updated: March 3, 2021

Social media website Parler has dropped its lawsuit against Amazon for pushing it offline following the Jan. 6 Capitol breach and the banning of former President Donald Trump on Twitter.

Parler, which is favored by conservatives, was offline for more than a month before the website came back online in February.

According to court documents filed on March 2, Parler dropped its case that alleged Amazon Web Services violated antitrust laws and made a politically motivated decision to suspend its services. It also claimed that Amazon dropped Parler to benefit Twitter, which also uses Amazon Web Services.

In January, a judge rejected Parler’s suit demanding that Amazon restore services to its platform.

Amazon, in response to Parler’s lawsuit, said the platform allegedly ignored warnings to effectively moderate posts that allegedly called for violence. Parler said there is no evidence that it failed to moderate such content, while some observers noted that Twitter allows certain users to post threatening messages and doxx other users, while failing to take the appropriate action.

In a court filing, Parler’s lawyers argued that an Amazon Web Services representative appeared to be only concerned about whether Trump would join Parler after he was banned from Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms in early January. They cited alleged text messages between the representative and former Parler CEO John Matze, who was terminated from his employment at the company last month.

Parler later tapped Mark Meckler as the firm’s CEO.

Meckler told The Epoch Times last month—after Parler restored its website—that Twitter and Facebook view Parler as a threat to their businesses, while asserting that there were considerably more posts about Jan. 6 violence on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter than Parler.

“If you look at the actual numbers,” there was “barely a blip on Parler,” Meckler said. “It was Facebook. It was YouTube, it was Twitter. That’s where the bad activity was taking place, for the most part.”

In the wake of the riot, a Forbes report refuted claims from Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg and others that Parler was used heavily during the U.S. Capitol breach. The Forbes article cited data from the Program on Extremism at the George Washington University, finding that charging documents related to the Capitol breach mention Facebook 73 times, YouTube is mentioned 24 times, Facebook-owned Instagram is mentioned 20 times, and Parler is mentioned eight times.

“I think this was a political hit. And I actually think it was a business hit,” Meckler said. “They were trying to stifle free speech, I think they don’t like the idea that people can go online and say whatever they want to say, as long as it’s legal. … They’re opposed to that philosophy. The second is … a business threat. Our model is entirely different than the other social media platforms.”