Judge rejects Parler’s demand for reinstatement on Amazon

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The ruling means the insurgent social media alternative to Twitter faces some difficult times ahead.

A federal judge on Thursday denied Parler’s request for a court order that would have forced Amazon to immediately resume hosting the controversial social media platform following its suspension earlier this month.

Amazon banned Parler from their web host servers on Jan. 9 over what they claimed was a “steady increase” in “violent content” that was against their terms of service. The move was a direct result of the assault on the US Capitol on January 6. That incident sent shockwaves throughout the social media community. It seemes that the insurrectionists had organized themselves via social media sites like Parler.

Parler’s CEO John Matze reacted by accusing the tech industry of colluding to squeeze competition out of the marketplace. He filed a lawsuit against Amazon days later.

Related: Social media platform Parler may never come back online

Parler’s case is explicitly rejected due to “inflammatory rhetoric”

Attorneys for Parler subsequently requested a preliminary injunction from the court. They argued in part that Amazon was violating laws against monoplies. They claimed that Amazon was fostering and supporting monopolistic behavior by denying Parler in favor of Twitter, Parler’s competitor.

But U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Rothstein would have none of it. In fact, she slammed Parler’s case in a very strongly worded order. “The Court explicitly rejects any suggestion that the balance of equities or the public interest favors obligating [Amazon] 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,” she wrote.

“That event was a tragic reminder that inflammatory rhetoric can—more swiftly and easily than many of us would have hoped—turn a lawful protest into a violent insurrection.”

A possible Russian connection

Parler’s domain is now registered with Epik, according to publicly available WHOIS information. But the platform’s return to the web appears to be aided by the Russian firm DDoS-Guard.

That connection has triggered the scrutiny of House Oversight and Reform Committee Chair Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.). This week, Maloney asked the FBI to investigate Parler over its role in the deadly insurrection at the Capitol.