On Sunday, Amazon will kick Parler — the conservative social media platform that brands itself as a “free speech” alternative to sites like Twitter — off of its web-hosting service, potentially putting an end to a site that has become a nexus of extremism.
Amazon’s decision, which was first reported by BuzzFeed News on Saturday, comes after the Apple App Store and Google Play Store decided to remove Parler from their respective app stores this week, limiting its potential reach.
The push to take action against Parler also follows decisions this week by Twitter and Facebook to ban President Donald Trump from heir platforms for inciting violence — and thus deprives the president of what could have been an alternative to those services. Many conservatives aggrieved with those platforms have fled to Parler in recent months.
It’s a sudden downfall for the app, which has been under fierce scrutiny this week for its role in providing a forum to the extremists who stormed the US Capitol on Wednesday, leaving at least five people dead.
Ahead of the attack, Trump supporters used Parler — as well as services like Gab and other online forums like TheDonald.win, a Reddit-like spinoff built upon a community previously banned from the main Reddit site — to plan their assault.
“WE THE PEOPLE … are through with you,” one Parler post said ahead of Wednesday’s violence, according to the Washington Post. “To all our enemies high and low you want a war? Well your asking for one. ... To the American people on the ground in DC today and all over this great nation, be prepared for anything.”
Amazon’s decision to evict Parler from its cloud hosting service Amazon Web Services could effectively remove the site from the internet entirely when it takes effect at just before midnight Pacific time on Sunday if Parler can’t secure a new host before then.
That’s not impossible — there are alternative web hosting services, though Amazon Web Services controls the lion’s share of cloud hosting with about 40 percent of the internet, according to the Verge.
But it doesn’t look like it’ll happen right away. In a Saturday night post to the site, shared on Twitter by CNN’s Brian Fung, Parler CEO John Matze said that “there is the possibility Parler will be unavailable on the internet for up to a week” following Amazon’s decision.
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