Parler will be offline by midnight Jan. 10 after Amazon yanked the free-speech social media platform off its web hosting service this weekend.
“Recently, we’ve seen a steady increase in this violent content on your website, all of which violates our terms” the company notified Parler in an email published by BuzzFeed news.
The Saturday announcement followed decisions from Apple and Google to kick Parler from their own app stores, claiming similar infractions of their terms of service, branding Parler as a haven for extremism in the wake of Jan. 6’s capitol chaos. The moves mark a major escalation of big tech’s long-coming purge of online voices competing with the leftist world order of Silicon Valley, where the California ruling class has capitalized on Wednesday’s unrest to silence opposition, ban the president from the 21st-century public square, and eliminate all alternatives.
No such widespread censorship was cast upon leftist elites who encouraged the repeated outbreak of deadly riots last year, because they came from leftists. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris encouraged her supporters to bail out the Minneapolis rioters with donations to the Minnesota Freedom Fund, but the California senator wasn’t de-platformed across networks. In fact, her post remains unblocked on Twitter.
Imagine if Mike Pence was encouraging his followers to bail out the Capitol Hill rioters pic.twitter.com/MxYGrRLyIa
— Tristan Justice (@JusticeTristan) January 9, 2021
“In order to protect user safety on Google Play, our longstanding policies require that apps displaying user-generated content have moderation policies and enforcement that removes egregious content like posts that incite violence,” a Google spokesperson released in a statement Friday. “All developers agree to these terms and we have reminded Parler of this clear policy in recent months. We’re aware of continued posting in the Parler app that seeks to incite ongoing violence in the U.S.”
Apple made the same claims, demanding the growing social media platform implement Apple’s moderation policies.
“We have always supported diverse points of view being represented on the App Store, but there is no place on our platform for threats of violence and illegal activist,” Apple said in a company statement. “Parler has not taken adequate measures to address the proliferation of these threats to people’s safety.”
It remains unclear, however, whether the companies de-platforming Parler and leaking stories to BuzzFeed reporters have issued the same threats to Facebook and Twitter, which each hosted extremist activity in the runup to the capitol riot. Facebook and Twitter have not responded to The Federalist’s inquiries, nor has Apple, Google, or Amazon.
It’s incontrovertible that Facebook and Twitter fostered right-wing extremist activity in the run-up to Wednesday’s political turmoil. Yet only Parler is being banned by tech companies.
Parler co-owner Dan Bongino told The Federalist as Apple prepared to de-platform the website Friday that Parler served as no more a forum to incite violence than Facebook and Twitter do.
“We have clear terms of service, like anyone else,” Bongino said, pointing to a jury system that allows users to report questionable content. “Anything that violates our terms of service, we take down. But we’re not a publisher, we’re a platform.”
The line between platforms and publishers — the former serving as an objective online public square fostering the free exchange of ideas and the latter responsible for subjective content moderation — has eroded as accurate descriptions of Facebook and Twitter, which selectively ban content that opposes the companies’ political interests. Their roles as publishers came to full fruition when they weaponized their monopoly over internet discourse to suppress stories implicating then-Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in his son’s corrupt business ventures.
By holding Parler responsible for content its users post, Apple, Google, and Amazon are effectively waiving their legal protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which bars platforms from third-party liability. In other words, Apple, Google, and Amazon are erasing Parler’s protections through corporate collusion that they benefit from themselves.
Parler CEO John Matze derided the corporate tech decisions as “a coordinated attack by the tech giants to kill competition in the market place.”
Promotion of political violence has been justified, excused, or even endorsed by the left when the causes fit their alarmingly anti-American interests. Twitter has hosted and continues to host calls to violence and unrest from leftists.
CNN's Chris Cuomo: "Please, show me where it says protesters are supposed to be polite and peaceful."
As riots and looting have broken out in cities across the country, this is the message the brother of New York governor Andrew Cuomo shares at the top of his show. pic.twitter.com/ZZ47zpyVlx
— Steve Guest (@SteveGuest) June 3, 2020
When civility leads to death, revolting is the only logical reaction.
The cries for peace will rain down, and when they do, they will land on deaf ears, because your violence has brought this resistance.
We have the right to fight back!
Rest in Power George Floyd
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) May 28, 2020
Even though some govts started a treacherous, contemptible move toward normalizing relations with the Zionists, they're too small to end the matter of #Palestine. No! Palestine will be free, while the fake Zionist regime will perish. There's no doubt about this.
— Khamenei.ir (@khamenei_ir) November 3, 2020
It’s fine when threats of violence come from leftist elites. It’s terrorism when it comes from the right. Or course neither is acceptable, but only one provokes censorship.
“Anyone who doesn’t tow the liberal line, they are now at open war with,” Bongino told The Federalist, warning that if Parler fails, there will never be another app that can operate as an open public square. “This is about having a public square where people can speak free of the surveillance state.”