Alternative social media platform Parler went down early Monday following Amazon Web Services’ decision to suspend Parler from its cloud hosting service after Wednesday’s U.S. Capitol riot.
CEO John Matze told users to “hold on and come back” as the company figures out how to move forward on Monday.
“Everyone should hold on and come back,” Matze said. “We may have to go as far as buying and building our own data centers and buying up our own servers if we need to to get back on the internet, you know, but there is risk involved in that given what vendors are doing, the extent they are going to get rid of us.”
“It is going to be devastating to our business, our model, our potential to raise future capital,” he continued. “This could happen to any company anybody at any time.”
Google suspended Parler from its app store Friday due to a failure to moderate “egregious content” posted by users related to the violent siege on Capitol Hill last week.
Parler is facing criticism over Wednesday’s riot that saw supporters of President Trump storm into the U.S. Capitol, attack police, vandalize the building and steal items from inside.
Screenshots taken from Parler and shared on other social media platforms appear to show Parler users openly discussing plans for violence at the rally that preceded the attack on the Capitol, including bringing weapons and imagining how they would wield them against their political opponents.
“Nobody has presented any credible piece of information or evidence that, you know, there is anything problems on Parler that don’t exist on other platforms,” Matze said on Monday. “This really is a double standard. … We see all sorts of nasty threatening content on Twitter, much more of it actually, in our opinion, and, actually, a lot of content that’s deleted from Parler still remains on Twitter to this day in the form of screenshots. So I don’t understand, you know, what this is really about. Because it is not about holding everybody to account equally. It is about giving preferential treatment to certain people.”
Amazon says the move was made for violating Amazon Web Services’ terms of services by failing to effectively deal with a steady increase in violent content, according to an email by an AWS Trust and Safety team to Parler, seen by Reuters.
An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the letter was authentic.
Like Google, Apple suspended Parler from its App Store even as it surged to the No. 1 spot in the free apps section earlier in the day.
“If it goes against our terms of service, we remove it. Frankly, I am not interested in seeing our platform or any other platform used as a tool for violence and spreading violence … but Amazon, Apple and Google don’t care,” Matze said on Monday. “They are using this as opportunity to squash the first real competitor in this space in so many years. That’s showing that we can contest the market. When they realize the markets are contestable, they squash competition. If there’s a case for antitrust, I think this is a pretty prime example that the first real tangible competitor’s squashed so quickly, so egregiously.”