A U.S. judge on Thursday rejected Parler’s demand that Amazon.com Inc restore web hosting services for the social media platform, which Amazon had cut off following the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol.
U.S. District Judge Barbara Rothstein in Seattle said Parler was unlikely to prove Amazon breached its contract or violated antitrust law by suspending service on Jan. 10, and that it was “not a close call.”
She also forcefully rejected the suggestion that the public interest would be served by a preliminary injunction requiring Amazon Web Services 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.”
That event,” she added, “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.”
Parler was not immediately available for comment.
“We welcome the court’s careful ruling,” an Amazon spokeswoman said in a statement. “This was not a case about free speech. It was about a customer that consistently violated our terms of service.”
Amazon said Parler ignored repeated warnings to effectively moderate the growth on its website of violent content, which included calls to assassinate prominent Democratic politicians, leading business executives and members of the media.
Researchers have said far-right groups at the Capitol had a vigorous online presence on platforms including Parler, where they spread violent rhetoric.