Amazon can keep Parler's servers offline, judge rules

The ruling is another setback for the beleaguered social media company.

A judge has denied Parler’s attempt to get Amazon Web Services to restore its service. A federal judge cited “dwindling slight” evidence for Parler’s antitrust claims, as well as the dangers posed by “inflammatory rhetoric.”

The ruling is yet another setback for the beleaguered company, which is also facing the prospect of an FBI investigation. Parler sued Amazon claiming antitrust violations, after Amazon Web Services kicked it off its servers. In its lawsuit, Parler had asked the courts to force Amazon to restore its service while the legal case played out. On Thursday, a judge declined to do so, stating that “Parler has failed to demonstrate that it is likely to succeed on the merits of its Sherman Act claim.”

Amazon had said that Parler’s antitrust claims are without merit. In its initial response to Parler’s lawsuit, Amazon noted that it spent months warning Parler about the violent posts on its app. “This case is about Parler’s demonstrated unwillingness and inability to remove from the servers of Amazon Web Services content that threatens the public safety, such as by inciting and planning the rape, torture, and assassination of named public officials and private citizens,” Amazon wrote in court documents.

On Thursday, the Seattle judge said that it would not be in the “public interest” to force AWS “to host the kind of abusive, violent content at issue in this case, particularly in light of the recent riots at the U.S. Capitol.”

It’s another blow for Parler, which has grown in popularity after Facebook and Twitter began cracking down on disinformation about the election following Joe Biden’s victory over Donald Trump. Since the deadly riot in Washington DC. Apple and Google both suspended the app from their stores. Parler CEO John Matze has said that numerous other tech companies, including Slack, Twilio, and Zendesk have also stopped working with the company. Matze has vowed to bring the site back online, but so far only a very limited version remains accessible and the core service is still unavailable.