Social media company Parler sued Amazon on Monday, alleging that the Seattle-based firm’s hosting service violated anti-trust laws and their contractual agreement.
The company, which was taken offline by Amazon’s services early Monday morning, asked a federal judge in Washington state to reject Amazon’s shutdown of its services.
Parler argued that Amazon’s move was “motivated by political animus” and designed to reduce competition to benefit Twitter. Twitter is a customer of Amazon Web Services’ division.
The emergency order asked a judge to reject Amazon’s shutdown of Parler’s account and said it is akin to “pulling the plug on a hospital patient on life support.”
Amazon “will kill Parler’s business—at the very time it is set to skyrocket,” Parler’s complaint said.
“When Twitter announced two evenings ago that it was permanently banning President Trump from its platform, conservative users began to flee Twitter en masse for Parler. The exodus was so large that the next day, yesterday, Parler became the number one free app downloaded from Apple’s App Store,” the lawsuit reads.
The Epoch Times reached out to Amazon for comment on Monday.
In recent months, Parler saw an upsurge in popularity—particularly among big-name conservatives—due to the company’s moderation policies.
Other than Amazon, Google and Apple took the Parler app down from the companies’ respective app stores. Those companies accused Parler of allowing content they viewed as dangerous to be posted on the platform.
The Amazon Trust and Safety team told Parler that it would suspend web hosting because the firm “poses a very real risk to public safety.”
As of Monday, Parler’s website appeared to be offline.
The move came after a small number of protesters breached the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6 in the midst of the Joint Session of Congress, following a speech from President Donald Trump.
Parler CEO John Matze said Sunday there was a possibility that Parler would be unavailable for “up to a week” and said the firm may have to “rebuild from scratch.” His team would seek an alternative web hosting service in the meantime.
Matze wrote in a post: “We have our software and everyone’s data ready to go. Rather it’s that Amazon’s, Google’s and Apple’s statements to the press about dropping our access has caused most of our other vendors to drop their support for us as well. And most people with enough servers to host us have shut their doors to us.”
Chief Policy Officer Amy Peikoff said the collusion between Big Tech firms to take down the website is akin to a dystopia.
“Do we want all of the content that is posted online, every single piece to be scanned for ‘objectionable content,’ as they call it, 24/7 and also removed without due process if it’s flagged by an algorithm because that seems to be the standard that Parler is being told that we must adhere to,” she said.
Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.