Amazon has announced that it will be removing social networking site Parler from its web hosting service for violating some of its rules.
Parler, which launched in 2018 and has proved particularly popular among supporters of US President Donald Trump and right-wing conservatives, needs to find a new web hosting service before midnight tonight PST (07:59 GMT on Monday) otherwise the entire network will go offline.
The move comes after Amazon said it had found 98 posts on the site that encouraged violence.
Apple removed Parler from its app store on Saturday (January 9) after warning the network to remove content that violated its rules or face a ban.
“Parler has not taken adequate measures to address the proliferation of these threats to people’s safety”, it said in a statement announcing the app’s suspension. Google have also removed the app from their stores.
Following the news, Parler CEO John Matze said the app could be offline for up to a week while “we rebuild from scratch”.
Discussing the decision by Amazon, Apple and Google to remove the app, Matze said (via Buzzfeed): “This was a coordinated attack by the tech giants to kill competition in the market place,” he wrote on Parler. “We were too successful too fast.”
Parler briefly became the most-downloaded app in the US after the the recent presidential election, following a clampdown on the spread of election misinformation by Twitter and Facebook.
High-profile users include Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who boasts 4.9 million followers on the platform, and Fox News host Sean Hannity has about seven million.
In a letter obtained by CNN, Amazon’s AWS Trust and Safety team told Parler’s Chief Policy Officer Amy Peikoff that the social network “does not have an effective process to comply with the AWS terms of service”.
“AWS provides technology and services to customers across the political spectrum, and we continue to respect Parler’s right to determine for itself what content it will allow on its site”, the letter said. “However we cannot provide services to a customer that is unable to effectively identify and remove content that encourages or incites violence against others.”
While Twitter has banned Trump permanently, his suspension from Facebook and Instagram could be lifted following the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on January 20.