The increasingly popular social media site Parler has come under attack from big tech in the past two days since President Donald Trump’s Twitter account was suspended permanently Friday. Just as a conservative exodus to Parler began, Google Play and Apple pulled the app from their stores and Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced they will no longer host the site—Parler is expected to go offline tonight and for possibly up to a week.
An AWS representative emailed Parler Chief Policy Officer Amy Peikoff Saturday, as reported by Buzzfeed, notifying her that the app would be taken offline Sunday at midnight because AWS has “seen a steady increase in this violent content on [Parler], all of which violates our terms.”
Amazon appears to blame Parler for allowing the planning of the Jan. 6 capitol disaster and other violent events on its platform.
“Over the past several weeks, we’ve reported 98 examples to Parler of posts that clearly encourage and incite violence,” the email reads. “It’s clear that Parler does not have an effective process to comply with the AWS terms of service. It also seems that Parler is still trying to determine its position on content moderation.”
As a result of Parler’s lack of censorship, the site will come down tonight until a new web host brings the site back to its millions of users. This is far more severe than Google or Apple pulling the app from their stores as AWS runs the entire system—so now the infrastructure of the app is gone.
Parler CEO John Matze wrote on the app Saturday night that “there is the possibility Parler will be unavailable on the internet for up to a week as we rebuild from scratch.”
He credits the coordinated attack by big tech with Parler’s quick success amid Twitter cracking down on conservatives more aggressively than ever before—including the suspension of accounts run by President Trump, Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn, and Team Trump.
So until Parler enacts a policy for content moderation or makes a deal with another internet provider, it will go offline.
Google Play was the first to revoke Parler of its place in its app store.
“In order to protect user safety on Google Play, our longstanding policies require that apps displaying user-generated content have moderation policies and enforcement that removes egregious content like posts that incite violence,” Google’s statement read. “All developers agree to these terms and we have reminded Parler of this clear policy in recent months. We’re aware of continued posting in the Parler app that seeks to incite ongoing violence in the US….In light of this ongoing and urgent public safety threat, we are suspending the app’s listings from the Play Store until it addresses these issues.”
Apple soon followed suit, calling fro “adequate measures” to be taken.
“We have always supported diverse points of view being represented on the App Store, but there is no place on our platform for threats of violence and illegal activity,” Apple said in a statement. “Parler has not taken adequate measures to address the proliferation of these threats to people’s safety. We have suspended Parler from the App Store until they resolve these issues.”
Users will not be able to download Parler now on these systems—but this won’t be the biggest issue since the entire site will be down until the free-speech platform finds a new host.
You can follow Ben Wilson on Twitter @BenDavisWilson
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Chevron downsizes global San Fran headquarters, paying for employees to move to Texas office
Oil giant Chevron made a huge announcement saying it will be closing its current global headquarters in San Ramon, California. Even more telling, its encouraging employees to move to Houston, Texas.
The San Francisco Gate reported “the oil company will cover relocation costs for those voluntarily leaving for the Texas office, which has been growing and employs nearly 6,000 people. Meanwhile, the San Ramon office buildings have experienced dwindling numbers in recent years.”
Although the company is not leaving the state completely, “company leadership has pushed for a permanent move to Texas in the past” adds SFGATE. Chevron, which has had “deep roots” in California going back to the late 1800s, will vacate its 100-acre campus in 2023.
The Wall Street Journal reports the business hopes to move into a smaller space in San Ramon, which will remain its headquarters. A company spokesperson told SFGATE “the current real estate market provides the opportunity to right-size our office space to meet the requirements of our headquarters-based employee population.”
“The move is expected to occur during the third quarter of 2023” they continued. “Chevron will remain headquartered in California, where the company has a 140-year history and operations and partnerships throughout the state.”
The SFGATE notes Chevron is one of “the East Bay’s legacy companies joining the trend” to move their headquarters out of the area in recent years. Tech companies such as startups like Coinbase to industry pioneers like Hewlett Packard and Oracle have all vacated, with Elon Musk having been “one particularly outspoken voice decrying California’s business conditions.”
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