Amazon countersuits Parler
The attempted coup on the US Capitol on January 6th forced several tech companies such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to ban US President Donald Trump for its failure to comply with its policies inciting an insurrection, which caused deaths, damages, and theft. Parler, a “free speech” social media app used by pro-Trump members was also shut down filed a breach of contract against Amazon. On Tuesday January 12th however, Amazon submitted a new filing in Federal court in response to Parler’s claims (see snapshot of the case below)
This case is not about suppressing speech or stifling viewpoints. It is not about a conspiracy to restrain trade. Instead, this case is about Parler’s demonstrated unwillingness and inability to remove from the servers of Amazon Web Services (“AWS”) content that threatens the public safety, such as by inciting and planning the rape, torture, and assassination of named public officials and private citizens. There is no legal basis in AWS’s customer agreements or otherwise to compel AWS to host content of this nature. AWS notified Parler repeatedly that its content violated the parties’ agreement, requested removal, and reviewed Parler’s plan to address the problem, only to determine that Parler was both unwilling and unable to do so. AWS suspended Parler’s account as a last resort to prevent further access to such content, including plans for violence to disrupt the impending Presidential transition.
Despite Parler’s rhetoric, its lawsuit is no more than a meritless claim for breach of contract. But the facts are unequivocal: If there is any breach, it is Parler’s demonstrated failure and inability to identify and remove such content. AWS was well within its rights to suspend Parler immediately for those failures. Parler also cannot hold AWS liable in tort for enforcing the agreement’s express terms. And there is no antitrust claim where, as here, Parler cannot plausibly plead an agreement to cause it harm and the complained-of conduct is undeniably compatible with a legitimate purpose.
Compelling AWS to host content that plans, encourages, and incites violence would be unprecedented. Parler has no likelihood of prevailing on the merits, and the balance of equities and public interest strongly tip against an injunction. The motion for a temporary restraining order should be denied.
Read the full story from [gizmodo.com]