Parler, LLC v Amazon Web Services, No. 2:21-cv-00031-BJR (W.D. Wash,). Telephone conference with court set for 10 a.m. PST on January 14, 2021.
In Reply to Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) Opposition to Parler’s Motion for Injunctive Relief, Parler argues that AWS miscasts termination as suspension, a position negated by AWS’ statement to Parler that Parler could do nothing to be restored to service.
Parler offers that AWS never advised Parler what contractual obligation Parler had allegedly breached. Most significantly, AWS breached the contract by failing to adhere to the thirty day period before termination the agreement requires.
AWS has always been aware of, and never questioned, Parler’s proactive practices concerning problematic posts, which are reactive and use a jury system issues with posts. Parler envisioned moving to prospective artificial intelligence screening in the coming year. Moreover, AWS expressed interest in Parler’s adoption of AWS’ proprietary software, an arrangement which, if consummated, would essentially marry the two entities.
Parler states that it has always responded to any posting issues presented to it by AWS. When competitor Twitter terminated Donald Trump’s account and created a Parler account, mass migration from Twitter to Parler caused Parler not only to crash but to face a backlog of troublesome posts.
Parler worked diligently to address problematic material, advising AWS of its progress, and was all but finished with the backlog when AWS terminated service to Parler.
Parler notes that no one arrested in connection with the January 6th violence in the U.S. Capitol had a Parler account, An individual killed there had an account that was dormant since November. The posting of videos by account holders does not establish that the poster was present at the Capitol.
Parler argues that AWS has succumbed to pressure to suppress conservative speech as well as to deny the President social media access.
Parler further argues that AWS has unlawfully preferenced the bigger and wealthier Twitter, ensuring Twitter’s market dominance by forcing Parler out of business.
Surely AWS can be seen as having interfered with business relationships, Parler argues, as AWS’ termination of Parler interfered with Parler’s relationships with every one of its fifteen million users.
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act does not operate as a bar to an antitrust action: Section 230 immunizes speech, not anticompetitive conduct, which the Ninth Circuit has recognized.
Parler states that AWS’ termination has made it difficult for Parler to find a new web hosting partner, making it likely that Parler will go out of business absent judicial intervention.
If the court fails to enjoin AWS, Parler submits, AWS’ termination will likely be fatal to Parler, but an injunction will require only that AWS provide services as required in its contract with Parler, balancing the equities in Parler’s favor.
Parler LLC v. Amazon Web Services, No. 2:21-cv-00031 (W.D. Wash.). Parler Reply (2021-01-13)