Amazon Web Services, the internet giant’s web hosting and cloud computing division, terminated hosting of the right-wing “Twitter alternative” shortly after the Dec 6 attacks on the US Capitol. Failure to moderate the violent content violated AWS’ terms of service.
Parler filed for a preliminary injunction to reinstate services until they could proceed with a larger legal claim, and asked the court to determine the likelihood of their main case succeeding. The judge rejected the former and provided little hope for the latter.
While far from the first or largest dispute regarding large private internet companies’ abilities to moderate content, this is a fascinating example of the types of pressure driving internet users toward encrypted and decentralized technology. The size, reach, and demand for such (arguably) unsympathetic parties like Parler are unlikely to diminish in the near future, and governments will need to grow as technology does too. Stay posted for my presentation!