AWS suspends web hosting for controversial Parler app

(Image credit: parler)

AWS has revoked its hosting services from the “free speech” social network Parler after finding a number of posts inciting violence. 

Parler was founded in 2018 but drew increased attention earlier this month after Twitter’s decision to permanently suspend the account of US President Donald Trump. Like many of its Silicon Valley peers, Twitter has been accused of stifling debate, having a liberal bias and harming free speech.

After failing to find a replacement hosting service, the controversial platform remains inaccessible.

Before AWS' decision to remove Parler, both Google and Apple made similar calls, taking Parler down from their respective app stores. Not long before that, Parler briefly topped the App Store download charts.

Shut down

In an interview with Fox News late last week, Parler CEO John Matze said that the company was finding it difficult to get back up and running again.  

"We're going to try our best to get back online as quickly as possible, but we're having a lot of trouble because every vendor we talk to says they won't work with us because if Apple doesn't approve and Google doesn't approve, they won't," Matze said.

In response to accusations that the decision to effectively ban Parler is politically motivated, technology firms like AWS have stated that they encourage a diversity of opinions but cannot allow websites or apps to encourage acts of violence. AWS said that it had found 98 posts on Parler that clearly incite violence and had given the platform warning that it must moderate such content or risk being cut off from its hosting services.

Although Matze initially stated that Parler could be down for as long as a week while it searched for alternative routes online, the writing could be on the wall for the social network. As the AWS cut-off point drew closer, many users began declaring that they would move to other free-speech platforms.


Barclay Ballard

Barclay has been writing about technology for a decade, starting out as a freelancer with ITProPortal covering everything from London’s start-up scene to comparisons of the best cloud storage services.  After that, he spent some time as the managing editor of an online outlet focusing on cloud computing, furthering his interest in virtualization, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.