back to article Parler games: Social network for internet rejects sues Amazon Web Services for pulling plug on hosting

Parler, which advertised itself as a place where you can "speak freely and express yourself openly, without fear of being 'deplatformed' for your views," sued Amazon Web Services (AWS) on Monday for deplatforming the site. On Saturday, AWS suspended Parler's account, based on the social network's role as a medium through which …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thank god

    Only four years too late for all this to kick off, should have been done long ago.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Thank god

      Okta ditched them, Apple ditched them, Google ditched them, I’m guessing Microsoft said no as they are talking about buying hardware and data centres. That’s going to take months and months to build...Good luck with that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Thank god

        Strangely, Parler claimed that they worked on "the bare metal" so it would take mere hours to start up again with another host. The fact that doesn't seem to be happening suggest their press releases contain as much truth as the messages they host.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Thank god

          I suspect they could move but now all the data is public, doing so without addressing the access issues will leave them as sitting ducks for worse.

          It's also worth noting that they were told about some of these issues in Novevember 2020 by various security and webdevs. Or maybe this is just the first publicised access...

        2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Thank god

          The notion that they could start up from bare metal in a few hours suggests that they've never even tried this as a DR exercise to find out if they can do it for real. Your first DR exercise is.....enlightening.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Flame

      @AC and @ Author Re: Thank god

      Sorry got to flame the reporter who's smug attitude shows a complete lack of understand of the implications as well as being a journalist.

      Since Thomas appears to be in SFO... maybe he knows something about American history.

      Perhaps you can google and find: 'National Socialist Party of America v. Village of Skokie, 432 U.S. 43 (1977)'

      The case where SCOTUS had agreed to letting a neo-nazi mental midget organize a march down the main street in Skokie IL. I'm sure most of the readers along with the author weren't even born yet.

      Here you have the Supreme Court saying that the rights of the idiot to march down the street in Skokie which was a major Jewish Community on the north side of Chicago.

      It isn't saying that they agree with the Neo Nazi from Indiana but that as dumb as he is, he has the right to get him and his idiot followers approval to march down the main street.

      Parler is a platform. They have the right to censor or in this case not to censor anyone on their platform as they see fit.

      Because they agreed to letting Trump or anyone else sign up... they were ostracized by big tech.

      While the author cheers this action on... he seems to forget the basic principles that this nation was founded on.

      Perhaps the author would do the world a service by talking to lawyers about the rights of Parler and the chances of their lawsuit against AWS to succeed. And to write about the legal precedents in Parler's favor.

      For those who don't understand why this was a dumb move on AWS, Apple, Google, etc ... they need to go back and take a high school civics class.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @AC and @ Author Thank god

        "Parler is a platform. They have the right to censor or in this case not to censor anyone on their platform as they see fit."

        They had the right to moderate content as they saw fit as long as it was done in a manor which followed the laws of the land.

        As there site apeears to have been as fragile as some of their users egos, it looks like the content is now free as in "free speech" like they always wanted.

        Imagine losing the House, the Presidency, the Senate, doxxed yourself and your Nazi/racist friends committing crimes and now lost their social media platform. And we thought Trump could only lose billions of dollars.

        Or is it not over yet? Will people need to end up in prison to realise how badly they have lost? Or worse?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @AC Re: @AC and @ Author Thank god

          Laws of the land?

          You do realize that Parler is doing just that. However because they allowed Trump to join, big tech went after them.

          To be clear, AWS kicked them off for no reason.

          BTW, you clearly have no clue as to what a Nazi is.

          My father was 14th Armor. He spent time guarding suspected Nazi war criminals in a Dachau sub camp.

          I suggest you re-read what you wrote.

          And then look at what was happening around the US in 2020. Those riots, deaths... not Trump supporters.

          Oh and the election was rigged. Just ask Zuck.

      2. Old Used Programmer Silver badge

        Re: @AC and @ Author Thank god

        There's a big difference. Skokie has a civil government. As such they are constrained in ways that a business--like AWS, Google, or Apple--are not.

      3. ecofeco Silver badge

        Re: @AC and @ Author Thank god

        Go back to class?

        Irony, you haz it.

        Sedition is never protected speech. Nor is forcing a private entity to give to anyone a platform to speak.

        But I do have this Duning-Kruger home game for you as a consolation prize for playing!

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: @AC and @ Author Thank god

          Sedition is never protected speech

          You are completely wrong, at least as far as the US is concerned. Brandenburg and Yates set the current standard, which greatly limits the (outrageous) anti-sedition laws Congress had been gleefully emitting.

          The Brandenburg test means speech can be as seditious as you like, unless it contains an incitement to break the law and is likely to succeed in producing lawless action.

          Of course, the post you're responding to is equally wrong about how freedom-of-expression law works in the US. Amazon is perfectly free to kick anyone they like off their infrastructure.

          The First Amendment does apply to private parties, not just the government (contra what other people have posted here). As White explains in the second link, the courts have agreed that it forbids the use of the power of the state by private parties to suppress speech; this is what supports Anti-SLAPP laws. But Amazon isn't using the power of the government here. It's using its own power, in the form of its control over its resources.

          So Skokie doesn't apply here because Amazon isn't a government entity, and Times v Sullivan doesn't apply because Amazon is not using the government as a proxy.

      4. iron Silver badge

        Re: @AC and @ Author Thank god

        1977 you say, yes I was born thank-you and so were may people on this site you condescending child.

        > While the author cheers this action on... he seems to forget the basic principles that this nation was founded on.

        Actually it would seem that despite being a class 1 asshole patriot you don't know the principles your country was founded on. Free speech and the First Amendment only apply to your government, they don't apply to a private business like AWS who are free to ban you any time they like. Maybe if you had paid attention in school you wouldn't need to be edumacated by socialist Europeans.

      5. Uncle Slacky
        Stop

        Re: @AC and @ Author Thank god

        I hate Illinois Nazis.

        1. Down not across Silver badge

          Re: @AC and @ Author Thank god

          Fix the lighter.

          1. Kevin Fairhurst

            Re: @AC and @ Author Thank god

            Four fried chickens and a coke

      6. staringatclouds
        Mushroom

        Re: @AC and @ Author Thank god

        "Because they agreed to letting Trump or anyone else sign up... they were ostracized by big tech."

        Not true

        They were ostracised because they allowed death threats, threats of violence & incitement to commit these acts.

        Mike Pence was threatened with hanging for not supporting Trump, one user advocated skinning someones children, wife, brothers, sisters, parents & grandparents because they were lefty democrats & it would teach them a lesson to see their line ended.

        The fact that Parler allowed this & did not promptly take steps to remove it is why they were shut down.

        Not because they supported Trump.

      7. Blake St. Claire

        Re: @AC and @ Author Thank god

        Parler is a platform. They have the right to censor or in this case not to censor anyone on their platform as they see fit.

        AWS is a platform too. They have the right to censor ... anyone on their platform as they see fit.

        Remember the bakery that refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple?

        Pretty much the same principles in all three cases. If you're not the government, the Constitution doesn't apply to you. And I'd be willing to bet there was a clause in the AWS service agreement that would negate the 30 day notice requirement if Parler was doing something "bad" like violating the law.

        Irony and Karma.

        1. grizzlybaz

          Re: @AC and @ Author Thank god

          "And I'd be willing to bet there was a clause in the AWS service agreement that would negate the 30 day notice requirement if Parler was doing something "bad" like violating the law."

          And you would win that bet - such a clause does exist in AWS' customer agreement. Clause 7.2(b)(ii) includes:

          "We may also terminate this Agreement immediately upon notice to you for cause if we have the right to suspend under Section 6"

          AWS used section 6 to suspend service to Parler under clause 6.1(b):

          "you are, or any End User is, in breach of this Agreement"

          The customer agreement also includes AWS' Acceptable Use Policy, which you'll be astounded to learn includes:

          "You may not use, or encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to use, the Services or AWS Site for any illegal, harmful, fraudulent, infringing or offensive use"

          Needless to say, "illegal, harmful...offensive use" definitions include pretty much everything Parler was allowing its end users to post. So, in a nutshell, AWS have terminated the contract within their rights and Parler are just fishing in the wind....unless they can prove the anti-trust portion of their claim, which is unlikely.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: @AC and @ Author Thank god

            Needless to say, "illegal, harmful...offensive use" definitions include pretty much everything Parler was allowing its end users to post. So, in a nutshell, AWS have terminated the contract within their rights and Parler are just fishing in the wind....unless they can prove the anti-trust portion of their claim, which is unlikely.

            Or likely. So what was a bit of a contract dispute between parties expanded into a spot of collective punishment in the space of around 6 days. Possibly as a result of Amazon's climate change collective demanding that Amazon ToS Parler.

            So now there's litigation, where the dispute can be judged. Then appealed. Then some years later, that'll wind it's way to a conclusion, by which point the original point may be moot & Parler is nothing but a fading memory.

            Otherwise, the "illegal, harmful...offensive use" definitions include pretty much everything including a free chilling effect with every knee-jerk to the balls. Which is possibly why the ACLU and a bunch of other non-US politicians have raised eyebrows at the antics of 'big tech. Like the ACLU pointing out that not every Parler user is doing anything illegal/immoral/fattening. I kinda wonder if those innocent users could join a claim against Amazon. I'm sure there are class-action lawyers out there who'd give that a go given Amazon's deep pockets.

            But either way, Amazon's decided it's judge, jury & executioner wrt determining if content is illegal, harmful or offensive. Some of that is a matter of taste/subjective opinion, illegality is something that probably is best left to courts & legislators to determine.. Which I suspect will be the court stuff. So if say, the FBI issued a notice to Parler saying 'This is illegal, take it down!', and Parler doesn't, then presumably the FBI could swim upstream to try and get Amazon to lean on Parler.

            And then there's the chilling effect. So for example Twitter's trending 'Hang Mike Pence' topic. I wonder if those Tweeters/re-Tweeters will become part of their Purge. Or if Dorsey will look at the value of his stock & options, and dial back the censorship. Or even-

            https://www.rt.com/usa/512222-meghan-mccain-gitmo-maga-terrorists-torture/

            You okay, Meghan? Daughter of late anti-torture Senator John McCain says ‘MAGA terrorists’ should be sent to GITMO & fed dog food

            Dad would be so proud. Or more specifically-

            I'm not against sending these people to Gitmo, that may sound extreme. These are domestic terrorists who attacked our own republic. They should be treated the same way we treat Al-Qaeda.

            Extreme? Y'think? Meghan's allegedly a liberal, been involved in politics for a while, and yet doesn't seem to realise that ignoring due process so terrorists can be shipped off to Gitmo and/or other black sites is.. Not entirely liberal, or legal. But her tweet is arguably condoning illegal/harmful/offensive actions, so I guess she'll be off social media in 3...2...1 No? She's a Republican..

            Then again she may have a point-

            https://www.rt.com/usa/512244-angeli-capitol-riot-eat-organic-qanon/

            Angeli’s mother, Martha Chansley, shed more light on the matter while speaking to reporters outside the courthouse. She told the assembled press that her son needs an organic diet*. “He gets very sick if he doesn't eat organic food,” she explained. “He needs to eat.”

            Damnit Buffalo Bellend, you had one job! Intimidate those panty-waisted commie antifa soyboys and make them fear the red blooded, meat eating all-American! But being mildly evil myself, I'd be tempted to comply with Bellend's food demands. If he doesn't get sick, point out he'd been eating regular prison food, and Club Fed has cured him of his eating disorder! Only another 177,232 regulation prison meals to go, and he can see if his food allergy has gone away permanently!

            *It was at this moment, I thought about mentioning that Angeli/Bellend can probably look forward to a plentiful supply of organic nut milk whilst in prison.

      8. fizz

        Re: @AC and @ Author Thank god

        Good old xkcd said this better than I could:

        https://xkcd.com/1357/

      9. Unicornpiss
        Alert

        @Mike the FlyingRat

        The one thing missing from your missive is the mention of posts inciting violence on Parler. You can yell that it's a violation of free speech all day long, but ultimately Parler signed a contract with AWS which AWS decided to terminate due to perceived violations of said contract. Whether AWS did this out of the 'goodness of their heart' and to protect people or because they didn't want to be viewed as scumbags by association and face a potential boycott by their users and loss of revenue I leave as an exercise for the reader. Free speech is protected (to an extent) by the constitution and Federal govt., but you still can't yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater (unless there is an actual fire), and corporations are not obligated to protect your right to rant drivel or hate speech. It will be up to the courts to decide. Personally I feel the same sense of relief as when a overly drunk, obnoxious, ignorant party guest that is trying to pick fights with everyone is finally thrown out.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: @Mike the FlyingRat

          Add one to the list of possibles: being held an accessory to any conspiracies being hatched on there.

      10. Rol

        Re: @AC and @ Author Thank god

        It has been agreed that the forums where mentally unstable people gather and feed off of each other's ravings, need to be moderated.

        Failing to censor banshee wailing loons will ultimately lead to the reintroduction of asylums. A place where those who cannot operate within "normal" society will have to spend the rest of their days, walled off from the world, and absolutely no internet.

        I thank Mr Trump from the bottom of my heart for helping the "normal" citizen's of the planet to identify those most in need of a fistful of antipsychotics and a long stay somewhere quiet and untroubled by the day to day machinations of human existence. Perhaps, in recognition of this, the warden might give him first choice of which room he would like to occupy during his rehabilitation.

      11. Chris 15
        FAIL

        Sigh

        YAWN...

        AWS has as much rights under the US first amendment as Parler. IF they do not want to host the hatespeach, incitement to violence, Insurrectionist conspiracies, and all of the other stuff that one of their customers is keeping on their product, they are more than within their rights to terminate service- particularly when sais customer was in breach of the terms of the AWS service agreement (and yes, Parler was).

    3. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

      Re: Thank god

      You are welcoming the totalitarianism.

      First they came for Trump supporters, you did not object because you are not a Trump supporters... Are you sure you are not going to be the next?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Thank god

        The Martin Niemoller poem should be etched on every educated citizens heart, but it isn't in any way a call to allow fascists free rein. It's a call to stand up for your fellow man in a spirit of brotherhood and solidarity. Let's be totally clear about sides here. the terrorists who invaded the US Capital building are the baddies. They were egged on by a group of politicians and their hangers on who are prepared to lie, cheat and steal. Not reacting, not shutting them down, would be the action the Pastor warned about.

        1. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

          Re: Thank god

          And the terrorists who burned down American cities for months are not? Double standards serve no one.

          For months we saw post after post supporting the rioting and looting across America and nothing was done to bring them down. Looting activities were coordinated on social network platforms and nothing was done.

          ALL violence as a means of political change must be stopped, not just those on the right.

          1. Chris 15
            Thumb Down

            Re: Thank god

            Take your far right lies and go back to parle...oh yeah, sorry about that... :)

          2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

            Re: Thank god

            "the terrorists who burned down American cities for months"

            Well you don't deserve to have any.

      2. Blake St. Claire

        Re: Thank god

        First they came for Trump supporters, ...

        Are you trying to equate Trump supporters with socialists, unionists, and Jews?

        Because I don't remember a time when socialists, unionists, or Jews ever rejected the outcome of a fair and free election*, and rioted and broke into the Capital with the intention of murdering the people within.

        Of the flip side, nor do I remember any Trump supporters being woken up in the middle of the night, dragged from their homes, and hauled away to some unknown destination to be interrogated, tortured, or worse.

        And if you're going to fixate on "socialists" as bad people (because Trump said so?) then that's a whole other history lesson fail for you. Go learn what socialism really is.

        Trump supporters cast their die when they rioted at the Capitol. Now they're being rounded up and charged for the crimes they committed. Nowhere even close to what happened to the socialists, unionists, and Jews. Nowhere even close.

        *Free and fair according to 50+ Secretaries of State (many of them Republicans themselves) and according to 60+ judges (many of them Republicans too, some even appointed by Trump) who threw out or rejected baseless claims of fraud with no supporting evidence whatsoever.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Geeky aside

          It's interesting that Neirmoller originally said 'first they came for the communists' . The common rendition 'first they came for the socialists' has been argued as a distortion because it substituted a more sympathetic (to a 1950s American audience) group. Ironically now socialist in US political discourse seems a worse thing than communist.

        2. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

          Re: Thank god

          Democrats objected tot he certification of electors in 2000, 2004 and 2016. It is political stunt.

          1. Blake St. Claire

            Re: Thank god

            So you're trying to equate one objection (without a senator signing on) to one state where there was documented voter suppression to the original planned six objections tied to baseless claims of a rigged election?

            After 50+ secretaries of state affirmed the votes? And 60+ court cases were thrown out because the plaintiff had zero evidence?

            And you think those are both "stunts" of the same magnitude?

            Because Congress is, if nothing else, one big three ring circus of political stunts. But you're going to try to claim that one stunt is just as big and bad as the other?

            Pretty sad.

          2. Unicornpiss
            Meh

            Re: Thank god

            It's kind of funny, don't you think, that Trump didn't make any allegations of fraud in 2016 when he won the Electoral College vote but lost the popular vote.. Gee, I wonder why that is? I'm beginning to think he might not be completely honest, perish the thought.

        3. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

          Re: Thank god

          And please, the Democrats claimed the 2016 Election was stolen by the Russians! A baseless claim they could not prove. So please let's not sanctify one side and villeinize the other. They are both dispicaple!

          1. fishman

            Re: Thank god

            https://https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mueller_report

            "However, the report states that Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election was illegal and occurred "in sweeping and systematic fashion"[10][11][12] but was welcomed by the Trump campaign as it expected to benefit from such efforts.[13][14][15] It also identifies links between Trump campaign officials and individuals with ties to the Russian government,[16] about which several persons connected to the campaign made false statements and obstructed investigations.[4] Mueller later stated that his investigation's conclusion on Russian interference "deserves the attention of every American".

        4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Thank god

          "60+ judges (many of them Republicans too, some even appointed by Trump)"

          Good for the judges but you can't imagine how bad that statement sounds to someone outside the US. The problem is that the political orientation of the judge, together with the fact that they're politically appointed*, is just taken as normal and acceptable.

          * The problem with that is with the political nature, not the actual politician.

      3. Rol

        Re: Thank god

        Seems you came for the English language, something on this site we usually don't object to, but seeing as your comment is such an inspiration, I am left with no other option than to object to your mutilation of my mother tongue, and request that your English teacher be issued with a large stick with which to beat you with the moment you next transgress.

      4. Chris 15
        FAIL

        Re: Thank god

        First they came for the people who seem to be acting like authoritarian fascists, because in a tolerant society if you tolerate the intolerism of these fascists you end up with not a free society any more. Any questions?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Worrying times

    I, for one, am deeply concerned that this much power and political partisanship has coalesced around such a small number of tech companies. Many of the internet's pioneers will feel similarly, I'm sure.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Boffin

      @AC Re: Worrying times

      Absolutely.

      There are many examples of this in Western History.

      The French Revolution and the Guillotine comes to mind.

      Or if you want to get modern.

      Cambodia, Viet Nam, China, North Korea... all of those re-education camps.

      Oh yeah! Free HONG KONG!!!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @AC Worrying times

        One could easily argue against your fears with the stringent laws put into fashion in Germany after the WW2, addressing Holocaust denial and radicalized Nazi speech. If you leave the extremism bloom, you'll end up harvesting hate and violence. I'm more than sure you saluted those laws and agreed they were necessary in the context of the post war sentiment. Now the radicalized elements might not identify themselves with the Nazis so openly, but they are able to spread their venom much more easily.

        This isn't a matter of free speech or private parties deciding whi can say what. This is a matter of building strong laws against hate speech before it materializes into dead innocents.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @AC Worrying times

          Given the tasteful 'Camp Auschwitz' tshirts - not sure about your 'not identify themselves with the Nazis so openly' point.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Trollface

        Re: @AC Worrying times

        >>There are many examples of this in Western History.

        The American West and the Henry repeating rifle?

    2. 45RPM Silver badge

      Re: Worrying times

      I agree. I'm also concerned that so many people are prepared to carelessly expose themselves on social media (both literally and figuratively). I'm concerned that these tech companies have let QAnon, Trump, Farage, Le Pen etc run riot unchecked for so long. I am not concerned that they should be deplatforming them now - other than to observe that they should have done this long ago.

      As long as the truth is allowed to be disseminated freely then I have no problem with lies being stopped in their tracks.

      PoppersParadox. Look it up.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Worrying times

        PoppersParadox. Look it up.

        This.

        To quote Karl Popper:

        I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be most unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument; they may forbid their followers to listen to rational argument, because it is deceptive, and teach them to answer arguments by the use of their fists or pistols

        Take a look at the second half. What it describes just happened in the US Capitol.

    3. hoola Silver badge

      Re: Worrying times

      Yet there can be reams of posts on Twitter, Facebook, images on YouTube that are blatantly abhorrent you it can take days before they are removed. The issue here appears to be using the hosting companies T&Cs to say the content is unacceptable so we will take them offline immediately. I just look forward to the same expediency with material on the main platforms. Ah, that isn't going to happen unless the advertisers kick them in the goolies really hard by withdrawing sufficient business it actually hurts the Facebook, Twitter or Google.

      1. Rol

        Re: Worrying times

        I did notice the article mentioned the banana skin that parler slipped on was that they had two days to remove breaching comments or suffer the consequences. From this I assume two days is an accepted industry norm, and expect the big players do their damnedest to comply, or similarly suffer the wrath of legislation looming at them.

    4. DS999 Silver badge

      Surprisingly

      The thing Trump wanted - repeal of section 230 - would fix this. It is also something Biden wants, so it seems likely to happen. Whether it gets replaced by anything that softens the blow a bit or they are forced to bear 100% liability for user posts the same way that newspapers are forced to bear liability for opinion articles remains to be seen.

      It seems that Facebook and Twitter don't have a problem removing stuff like child porn, or nudity in general in the case of Facebook, so we know they can remove objectionable material and therefore have no claim that they can't effectively moderate. They just don't want to, because it costs money. They will spend that money when the alternative is being sued out of existence.

      This won't bode well for the extremists, who would be silenced much more effectively across the board if social media is held liable for posts encouraging violence, etc. There won't be any "parler" type alternative for them, because ALL sites will be liable and be quickly shut down by cease and desist lawsuits if they don't act. They will be deplatformed by lawsuit.

      The people who are just blowhards and trolls will be forced to moderate their behavior, while the worst of the worst who actually showed up in DC ready for battle will be forced to crawl back to the dark web, where they won't be able to effectively recruit from the blowhards/trolls and radicalize them any longer. They will be treated like Islamic terrorists, because other than religion (i.e. cult of Trump) they are no different, and like Islamic terrorism becomes less of a problem if they are forced to dark corners where it is harder to recruit/radicalize.

      1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Re: Surprisingly

        They do have a bit of trouble "censoring" social multimedia... can breastfeeding be shown? How close does the child have to be to the breast? What if the "child" looks suspiciously like an adult?

        It's not a special interest of mine but I think one of their "censors" was on BBC radio the other day talking about these nuances and the head-spinning rate of changes to policy in exactly this area.

        And whenever content is posted, it also has to be censored.

  3. cornetman Silver badge

    Regardless of whether or not speech that is considered reprehensible or even illegal in some jurisdictions appears on the Parler site, I find the unrestrained glee that many express at the demise of Parler uncomfortable myself.

    Parler was started as a response to the de-platforming of speakers elsewhere such as Twitter, and as a concept it would seem to me that any site promoting free discussion would be something that particularly Americans would defend to the death. Apparently free speech as a concept is only acceptable when the speech is socially approved according to the current zeitgeist.

    Certainly if Parler were slow to kill off speech that is alleged to be illegal, then they only have themselves to blame. Having said that, I am pretty much a free-speech absolutist. Excepting false-witness and "speech" facilitating fraud, I don't believe any speech should be illegal; and I'm not absolutely sure about the fraud exception.

    There are social ills that can be traced to the "abuse" of free speech. However, the suppression of free speech, from anyone, is the greater evil. Without free speech, we have no freedom whatsoever.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "There are social ills that can be traced to the "abuse" of free speech. However, the suppression of free speech, from anyone, is the greater evil. Without free speech, we have no freedom whatsoever."

      Save your sympathy for a few days and see what sort of content is released.

      This is less likely to be a free speech issue and more likely to be a "all the Nazis and racists come to one place to say what other platforms banned"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        But don't you realise that this is simply the result of selective banning of these sorts on other platforms? Now though, you ban Trump, and half of the USA wants to go to the 'other' platform.

        It was too much like competition to the incumbent.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "But don't you realise that this is simply the result of selective banning of these sorts on other platforms?"

          No - it's the opposite. Divide and conquer versus letting them come together and gain strength.

          I don't believe we will ever get rid of these ideas completely but as long as they are considered unsuitable for ANY public discourse and those that speak them hide in dark places to do so, then we are heading in the right direction.

          I'm not pretending the US will be fixed overnight, but taking away the things that have allowed them to gain strength and publicly calling out the stupidity is a start to reversing the harm done over the last 4 years. So many old white men whose parents fought against Nazis are now happy to pretend it will give them salvation from the privileged world they inhabit. And they have brought their children up to believe the same things - there will be an uncomfortable reintroduction to reality and the consequences of their decisions at some point. Hopefully soon as the more lies there are, the more the truth will hurt.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Megaphone

        Free speach

        Besides right wing violence, any number of anonymous cowards have been taken down while asserting free speech. So I assume you stand beside Islamic terrorism and child pornography in your free speech arguments.

        As Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes said, the First Amendment does not give you the right to shout fire in a crowded theater.

      3. Muppet Boss
        Big Brother

        >Save your sympathy for a few days and see what sort of content is released.

        Is this content breaking the law? If so, let the police shut them down. Otherwise, this is the new Wild West. Are you comfortable with Amazon shutting down their paying customers because Amazon do not like what their users say? Is this a new due process, the new American way? If big tech do not like what you say, they simply disconnect you; if big banks do not like what you buy, they simply close your bank accounts, does it work like this in the US? You can always start your own bank!

        Are you comfortable with a private company censoring the acting President of the United States, whatever moron he can be, because they do not like what he says?

        Mind you, other countries are taking notice now. I am ready to assume that the US public are longing for the big tech corporations to become the judge, jury and executioner. These fine gentlemen and gentlewomen may think they are smart and rich enough to stay above the law but in other countries there will be regulations to not let this happen, my friend, there will be regulations.

        1. Rol

          "I am ready to assume that the US public are longing for the big tech corporations to become the judge, jury and executioner."

          They are no more judge, jury and executioner, than the brake pedal in my car - I press the pedal and it has no choice but to transfer my authoritative action along the control systems. If it fails to act, I throw it to the trash and get a replacement.

          To be free in America, one must abide by America's laws, and these laws will eventually shut down Google et al if not complied with. Amazon was left with no other choice.

        2. Jos V

          Free speech

          If I build a platform (as a private owner) for people to build an app on to chat or sing and dance to 15 seconds music, then if I decide your app is crap, or the content you are hosting on the platform I build is crap, or I personally disagree with the content, you won't get a 2 day notice, I'll rm -rf / you when I want.

          Maybe I will send you a link to an Amazon ad for a bullhorn and suggest a nice park where you can free speech your merry ars* off.

          AWS/Google/Apple/Microsoft are NOT government. You are fully in your right to disagree with them and go find another provider to serve your needs.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        DUMBASS!!!

    2. OneEyeOnTheRoad

      Totally agree. Do the pro-shutdown-Parler contingent not know why free speech is important? Plus, the absurdity that you could keep certain views smothered in a world where a new platform will meet the market demand (in time) seems lost on many.

      I do like to give people the benefit of the doubt though. It's all too easy to jump to conclusions and judge people online.

      1. Dave Schofield

        >Totally agree. Do the pro-shutdown-Parler contingent not know why free speech is important? Plus, the absurdity that you could keep certain views smothered in a world where a new platform will meet the market demand (in time) seems lost on many.

        This segment of the pro-shutdown Parler contingent would refer you to Popper's Paradox of Tolerance.

        "The paradox of tolerance states that if a society is tolerant without limit, its ability to be tolerant is eventually seized or destroyed by the intolerant. Karl Popper described it as the seemingly paradoxical idea that in order to maintain a tolerant society, the society must be intolerant of intolerance."

      2. doublelayer Silver badge

        Do the anti-shutdown-Parler contingent not know what free speech is?

        Here's a hint. It means the government doesn't get to prevent you from talking (limits apply). It doesn't mean that I have to give or sell you any resources to use while making your speech. So long as the government doesn't name you and say you can't speak, or name you and ban me from selling stuff to help you speak if I want to do so, the government hasn't breached free speech laws. If I independently decide that I'd rather you not speak, and I'm going to refuse to help you speak, that's my right as well.

        So, given this definition, let's review who did anything against Parler's speech. It's Amazon, Apple, and Google. These are not the government. They're not doing it because the government said so. There's a reason the lawsuit is trying to make an antitrust claim; free speech doesn't apply to cloud services vendors. You want to make a point about that, go ahead. Rabbiting on about free speech when the government hasn't restricted speech only proves that you're missing the point.

        1. DS999 Silver badge
          Facepalm

          It is amazing

          How Trumpies butt hurt about Parler getting shut down and crying censorship have never read the Constitution. Here's a hint, the first amendment starts out "Congress shall make no law". Since Congress did not make the decision to de-platform Parler but Google, Apple, and Amazon did, the first amendment was not violated and therefore it is not a free speech issue.

      3. pmb00cs

        I was not pro the shutting down of Parler previously. I am however enjoying their misfortune immensely.

        Do I know what free speech is, and why it matters? Why yes I do. But do Parler's defenders understand what consequences are?

        I strongly believe that you should be able to say what you like. But when you say something abhorrent I'm not going to have much sympathy when you get hurt by those you've pissed off. The same applies here, Parler's users said some abhorrent things, and AWS was unwilling to continue to host that content, so turned their services off. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequences.

    3. Old Used Programmer Silver badge

      Parler runs into an old problem. Freedom of the press doesn't mean your freedom of my press. Parler can allow (or disallow) any speech it wishes, but it can't force someone else to provide the equipment it's done on.

      Also....those 1st Amendment freedoms are restrictions on the government, not on the governed.

    4. 45RPM Silver badge

      Except that in being so free you fall foul of PoppersParadox and risk ending up with no free speech at all. You also allow damaging lies and prejudices to be promulgated, leading to the rise of the ProudBoys, ISIS, Faragism, Trumpism etc. And I'm sorry, but it just isn't worth it.

      1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
        Facepalm

        And then you spoiled it.

        @45RPM. You may well be right about ProudBoys, ISIS, and don't forget XR, AntiFa and the rest of the violent absolutist nutjobs across the political spectrum.

        But with your choice of list, you indicate tolerance of "violent absolutist nutjobs" as long as they are our "violent absolutist nutjobs". Anyone who holds an opinion you don't like you lump in with "them".

        This is the slippery slope that the censors start on.

        I mean, you may not like Farage, you may consider his opinions abhorrent - but that does not make them "illegal"

        1. 45RPM Silver badge

          Re: And then you spoiled it.

          Antifa isn't a thing. By claiming that it is, you signal your politics loud and clear. And I agree, absolutism is the problem. In the UK, Corbynism was a problem for example. But Corbynism (the most extreme genuine example I can think of, I'm afraid) was never violent. It was just a few people with a few silly ideas - and here's the critical point - who genuinely wanted to improve the world in an egalitarian manner, but who had a) no idea how to do it and b) who didn't seem interested in compromise and building consensus (about the only similarity that they had with Trump or the real nut jobs).

          But with your choice of list, you indicate tolerance of "violent absolutist nutjobs" as long as they are our "violent absolutist nutjobs". Anyone who holds an opinion you don't like you lump in with "them".

          You're quite right that I haven't included anyone I agree with because, by definition, if they're prepared to be violent then I'm not like them. I seek to build consensus in what I do. I even engage in conversation with whack-jobs - my point being to a) understand and b) try to engage. I never tell those I disagree with to shut up (although I am quite happy when those who promulgate violent views or damaging extremism are shut up by dint of having their servers turned off), and I try not to belittle them by telling them that they're being thick (although it is quite difficult to do so when they peddle such ridiculous and harmful opinions).

          As to the legality or otherwise of Farage's opinions, I find his lying and hypocrisy objectionable - and there has been a demonstrable uptick in racism in these British Isles, responsibility for which is at least somewhat his responsibility. The legality of this poster is definitely questionable (https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jun/16/nigel-farage-defends-ukip-breaking-point-poster-queue-of-migrants)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: And then you spoiled it.

            Antifa isn't a thing... come on dude now you sound like a moron. Do you not have eyes???

            Thousands of videos showing violence at its extreme... they do love their sucker punches don't they, cause they can't fight when people can see it coming... like a bunch of cowards.

            Are you okay with the recently fired mid level lawyer at PBS saying we should take the children of republicans and re-educate them... sounds a lot like the brown shirts doesn't it...

            1. 45RPM Silver badge

              Re: And then you spoiled it.

              It doesn't matter how often you say it is, Antifa is not a thing. It's a loose term to describe those people who think that Fascism is a bad thing. Which would make me Antifa. But there's no secret headquarters, no organisation. Just a common understanding that we don't want to live in a regime like 1930s Germany. The violence is interesting, because those marches which Antifa is supposed to have turned violent started out peacefully (and we can agree that there's no problem with a peaceful march can't we? Where peaceful is defined as the protestors both not causing harm and being unarmed). Something turned them violent. In some cases it was counter-protest, in some cases it was the police - and in other cases it may have been bad actors within the peaceful protest trying to stir up trouble. From what I've seen, and I have no inside knowledge - just looking at videos posted to social media, and looking at the news - the bad actor caused disturbance was the least part of it. On the other hand, when you look at the ProudBoy rallies, the assault on the capital, those people were both armed and intending violence.

              As to the 'recently fired mid level lawyer at PBS saying we should take the children of republicans and re-educate them', I hadn't heard that. Looking it up, I suppose you are referring to Michael Beller - and I think (another thing that we can agree on) those are some truly objectionable views. Neither side is free from sin, but the Right Wing side has a seriously blotted copy-book at the moment. As to looking like the Brown Shirts, um. Not really. They more went for kill first, ask questions later (if at all), than reeducation. Still bad though.

              If I had my way, I'd suggest education for all. Not just for Republicans or their children. I would want everyone to be educated in the skill of critical thinking, and in how to reach consensus. I'd want everyone educated that partisanship is a bad thing - and toxic to all countries. Go with the science first of all (critical thinking) and then where there is ideological disagreement, talk and find common-ground. Example - Obamacare is seen almost universally, it seems, by Republicans as a bad thing. Except that originally large parts of it, arguably the key parts of it, were a Republican idea - Romneycare. So why is it that the two sides can't sit down together and agree to pass legislation to make things better for everyone. The job of an opposition party isn't always to oppose, both parties need to work together. Unfortunately, Trumpism seems to see it's job as being to wreck any policy that didn't originate from Trump (including Republican treaties like START I & START II) - and that can't be healthy, can it?

              1. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

                Re: And then you spoiled it.

                Don't be silly.

                https://www.antifa.org/

                Saying "we are not an organisation" does not make you "not an organisation".

                The clue is in "we" and having a ".org" site. Even if you did build it with Wix.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So how far shall we go. Presumably you favour uncensored Isis/Al Qaeda sites? You aren't sure about fraud...so I guess selling counterfeit cancer meds is OK? How about p*rn? Any limits? Children...stolen private pics?

      1. Avatar of They

        Seems an obvious answer to me, but.

        Well they fall foul of plenty of other laws, selling counterfeit goods is a contravention of the trade descriptions act (or similar formal wording) in the UK. Selling unlicenced medication I am fairly sure breaks FDA and UK law (assuming same for Canada, France etc)

        But there are laws like possessing indecent images, doing things with minors. inciting riots, hate speech, associating with known terrorist group, spreading terrorist propaganda. Depending on your country, there are versions of those laws just worded differently.

        The limits are already well covered, just nothing to do with free speech if you break other laws doing it.

    6. Blank Reg Silver badge

      free speech has limits, and lies should be called what they are. Not alternative fact, misinformation etc. Trump and his cronies should have been called liars from day 1 but the media didn't want to offend people. And the social media platforms should have cracked down on the blatant lies from the beginning, instead they were the primary channel to disseminate and amplify the lies.

      now its too late and there are millions of people who have lost touch with reality.

    7. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

      False witness has become the norm here in America and there is nothing that can be done. Libel laws are ineffective! If your are a sitting politician you can lie and false witness to your hearts content. Adam Schiff lied through his teeth for 4 years and he say nothing happened to his career or reputation among his cohorts.

      1. Someone Else Silver badge

        False witness has become the norm here in America and there is nothing that can be done. Libel laws are ineffective! If your are a sitting politician you can lie and false witness to your hearts content. Adam Schiff Donald Trump lied through his teeth for 4 at least 9 years and he say nothing happened to his career or reputation among his cohorts.

        There, FTFY.

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >>>Apparently free speech as a concept is only acceptable when the speech is socially approved according to the current zeitgeist

      Head over to 8chan/kun.

      I'm sure there'll be some whackjob posting his "manifesto" again real soon.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Disgraceful

    The right to free speech ingrained in the US constitution is being selectively overruled by private interests who dislike what some people have to say. There are times when inciting armed insurrection and secession are MORALLY RIGHT ACTION, that is how the nation was founded and why the right to bear arms is in the constitution. The illegal violators here are the tech platforms censoring free speech. To have the legal status of a platform, they should not be censoring user content.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Disgraceful

      "Anonymous coward". Never have two words been so appropriate together. You think that violent action is necessary to support your BS conspiracy theories yet you're too pitiful to risk being shunned by those around you.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Disgraceful

        @AC2 I did not say “violent action” I said “armed insurrection”. Unarmed insurrections are crushed, armed does not mean violence, it includes self defence . The US wouldn’t exist if people had not been prepared to secede from colonialism.

        If the majority connect to the internet using mobile phones running closed platforms that prevent them installing their OWN CHOICE OF SOFTWARE on their OWN DEVICE to communicate freely, it becomes a FREE SPEECH issue.

        1. Blank Reg Silver badge

          Re: Disgraceful

          No it does not become a free speech issue because these companies aren't the government, and the first amendment is about the government not suppressing freedom of expression. Anyone other than the government has no obligation under the first amendment and are free to block you, ignore you, not publish your BS etc., no matter how much you may whine about it.

          Why are so many Americans so clueless about their own constitution?

          1. Someone Else Silver badge

            Re: Disgraceful

            Why are so many Americans so clueless about their own constitution?

            The answer to this question can be found by examining the posts of the MAGATs on this (and other) forum(s). It's not so much that they are clueless (although that is a factor, make no mistake). Rather, they are willfully ignorant, because the actual facts don't support their forgone conclusions. The resulting cognitive dissonance would, in a sane, balanced individual result in a reevaluation of their conclusion. In the typical MAGAT, this cognitive dissonance results in anger and rage at the presenter of facts, and dismissal of said presenter as an authoritative person, a cogent/competent person, or even a human being (cf. Donald tRump).

            MAGAT: Make America Great Again Trumper

          2. DanceMan

            Re: Why are so many Americans so clueless about their own constitution?

            Trump: "I love the poorly educated."

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Disgraceful

      Wrong. The right to bear arms was added (15 years later) because the US is a huge country and it's no good if the British invade your shore a thousand miles away from the capital. So it was recognised that there was a need to allow local groups to assemble and defend themselves if needed.

      1. Mage

        Re: Disgraceful

        Militias, not private individuals. The NRA only ever quotes part of it. Also the USA didn't have a National Guard and a proper Army then.

        1. John PM Chappell
          Alert

          Re: Disgraceful

          'The militia' not 'militias' (a modern term, which pluralizes an already plural term) - the militia is composed of all able-bodied men. At that the time, that essentially meant literally males, though the term men has wider meaning and did so then, also (and practically speaking many of those women were perfectly capable and willing to take up arms too).

          The revisionism is in trying to claim this was some sort of "state militia", which is never mentioned and which did not exist at the time of the amendment. It's also worth remembering that the main objection to the amendment was that it was unnecessary, as lawmakers of the time thought it was a foregone conclusion that a free people would obviously be free to bear arms. Funny how that looks in hindsight.

      2. Blank Reg Silver badge

        Re: Disgraceful

        That's the modern revisionist interpretation. It was about state slave militias, not so Joe redneck could carry any AR-15 to walmart.

    3. H in The Hague

      Re: Disgraceful

      "The right to free speech ingrained in the US constitution [snip] The illegal violators here are the tech platforms censoring free speech."

      'Free speech' means that the government can only suppress your speech in defined circumstances (incitement to violence, fraud, etc. - all depending on your jurisdiction).

      That has nothing to do with the contractual arrangements with whichever service provider you choose to disseminate your speech. If you do not want to be restricted by that then do not enter into such a contract and handle the dissemination yourself instead.

    4. J. Cook Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Disgraceful

      Um, no. In the US, the right to free speech means the government can't arrest you for what you say*. Apple, Google, and Amazon are not governments, they are just extremely large, well funded corporates. No one is forcing you to use the products those three companies make/offer.

      If I wanted to, I could rent space at an ISP's data colo, buy a server, install web server software on it, and as long as I'm not violating the ISP's T&Cs, I am free to post whatever I please on it. If I really want to go all-in, I can buy dedicated internet connections directly from the telecomm companies and start my own ISP if I can't find one to my own liking. Sure, it'll cost me buckets of money, time, and effort, but I can do it if I really wanted to.

      Plus, there's this whole thing of 'your platform is being used to conduct terrorist activities' going on as well, which generally gets unwanted attention by law enforcement agencies. (what happened last week is a terrorist activity, I'm sorry.)

      * within certain restrictions, like shouting FIRE in a packed movie theatre**, inciting to riot as codified in Title 18 U.S. Code § 2101 - Riots (link), etc. Also, obligatory XKCD link.

      ** You remember those, right? Movie theatres? Remember when you could go to a large room with a bunch of uncomfortable folding seats in it, sit down with friends/lovers/etc. and watch a moving picture on a screen the literal size of a house?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Disgraceful

      Oh c'mon, you LOVED the gag laws when they were applied in Germany after the WW2. This isn't about Trump. The far right movement has just picked him as their symbol. This is about propagating their hate speech as much as they could.

      You want moral here? Start by recognizing how the supposed ethics we should act by draws the cracks through which the hate speech permeates. We are obligated to tolerate hate speech and let the receivers decide, whether if they are informed enough or not, while they are bound to obey no rules at all.

      I'm not arguing for a totalitarian speech control. It's a the other way around. If it was possible in Europe in the post war era, it could be done today, with improved laws. We must learn not only from our mistakes, but also from our successful stories.

    6. 45RPM Silver badge

      Re: Disgraceful

      And yet, you find yourself defending the right of some truly reprehensible people to promulgate truly vile ideas on the internet. The same truly reprehensible people who would like to deprive people they disagree with of free speech not by deplatforming but by beheading.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Something these right-wing morons don't seem to understand is that if they get their own way and the idiot-in-chief makes tech giants legally liable for the content on their platforms....then Amazon would have had to pull the plug anyway as they would have become legally liable for the hate speech they hosted.

    1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge
      Holmes

      Away with you! You, with your insightful logic and reason! Away!

      You can't argue with stupid. Current events only serve to reinforce this fact.

    2. DS999 Silver badge

      They will get their own way

      Biden has said he's in favor of repealing section 230, so between democrats who go along with him and republicans who go along because that's what Trump wanted, I don't see how that doesn't get passed by congress before the end of the year. Probably as a rider to another bill, as it isn't important enough compared to all the issues we have right now to justify a standalone bill and full debate.

      As you say, they will come to regret it because it will make alt right havens even more toxic than they are now. They will forced into the dark web, which is fine by me because then the other 99% of the population won't see their drivel and they won't be able to radicalize/recruit from the normals.

  6. Glen 1
    Coat

    Stolen from Twitter

    I would like to congratulate Parler on their new serverless infrastructure.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stolen from Twitter

      It looks like the data is hosted elsewhere now - and no longer under Parlers control.

      Serverless and they've got free data storage.

      Just livign the cloud computing dream....

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Stolen from Twitter

      "Serverless infrastructure."

      I legit LOL'd.

  7. DavCrav

    "The AWS Customer Agreement states that the web giant may terminate service immediately if a client's or client's customer's usage of its service poses a security risk, could adversely impact its services or other customers services, could subject AWS to liability, or could be fraudulent. The AWS Terms of Service allow the company to suspend service if Prohibited Content is not removed within two business days."

    I mean, like, I think all of those conditions apply to Parler?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You can make an argument for security risk but not really others, certainly no more than any other platform. The "could adversely impact its services" bit would concern me if I was running my business on AWS. Amazon is moving into all sorts of new areas so arguably anyone it competes with is adversely impacting its services. So it could decide to be a pain in the backside if someone running on its platform become a bit too successful.

      1. J. Cook Silver badge

        ... more like "you are not allowed to use our services to violate federal laws", actually, as opposed to having a ton of additional traffic from new users.

  8. Marcus_Bond

    I wish them well with their court case... but it's like pi**ing in the wind... we all need better solutions to controlling our data.

  9. DJO Silver badge

    No, Parler was not hacked

    We can spend days arguing on the definition of "Hacked" so let's not bother.

    The "not hackers" did create a horde of admin accounts.

    When a user deletes a post on Parler, guess what - they just flip a bit and keep the post. The Admin accounts have access to all the deleted posts as well so it wasn't quite a simple scrape but got all the stuff that the users thought was gone for ever.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No, Parler was not hacked

      And it gets better...

      Parler appears to have saved EXIF details for images and recorded GPS co-ordinates for images/videos posted on it. An image/video dump searchable by username ID/GPS co-ordinates/mobile phone details and maybe more.

      No need to worry if you weren't at Capitol Hill recording yourself or fellow "protesters" committing any crime.

  10. Marty McFly Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Beginning of the end for cloud?

    This just proves that if you don't own your infrastructure then you don't really own your business. And since multiple big tech companies colluded to oust Parler, you cannot even rely on a multi-vendor cloud provider strategy either.

    Can any cloud provider be trusted now with business critical functions??

    1. Glen 1
      Mushroom

      Re: Beginning of the end for cloud?

      Depends if your 'business critical functions' involve breaking the law. If Parler gained popularity amongst Islamic terrorists, I doubt so many self proclaimed 'free speech' advocates would be decrying its demise.

      Even if you own your own iron, its rare for companies to own their own datacentres. For each layer beneath what you own there is a business relationship that can be terminated at any time... by law enforcement if need be.

      You wouldn't expect TPB to be openly hosted and accessible on AWS et al, so why Parler?

      TPB still exists though, so Parler (or its de-facto successor) could end up following a similar path.

    2. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Beginning of the end for cloud?

      They never could.

      But people are well, mostly morons.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Beginning of the end for cloud?

        Hey I resemble that!

    3. phogan99

      Re: Beginning of the end for cloud?

      It's not just the cloud, as long as you depend on some else's resources you can't be in full control. Take PornHub's ban from Mastercard and Visa for example.

  11. msobkow Silver badge

    I'm Canadian, not American. We have legal limits on speech here - our anti-hate speech laws.

    Trump's entire 4 year tantrum would have been flat out illegal in Canada.

    1. SouthernLogic

      “If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”

      ― George Orwell

  12. ecofeco Silver badge

    So they didn't read the EULA?

    Why am I not surprised they didn't read the EULA?

    Any bets on how quickly this will be dismissed?

  13. IGotOut Silver badge

    Let's play a Free Speech game.

    Let's change "President" to "Iman"

    Let's change "supporters" to "followers"

    See how long an app or platform allows this group to advocate violence and murder to stay up. Or maybe they could do the same at a large prayer meeting outside a major government property.

    Oh sorry, is a "restriction" of "Free Speech" only problem when mainly white people are affected?

    1. Muppet Boss
      Trollface

      Re: Let's play a Free Speech game.

      > Let's play a Free Speech game.

      >Let's change "President" to "Iman"

      >Let's change "supporters" to "followers"

      >See how long an app or platform allows this group to advocate violence and murder to stay up.

      Supreme Imam Khamenei, Islamic Republic of Iran

      878.9K Followers

      Joined March 2009

      https://twitter.com/khamenei_ir

      You are welcome.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Let's play a Free Speech game.

      The proportion of terrorists vs total number of Muslims is probably a similar tiny % as 98 posts out the whole of Parler. So by your logic, Islam advocates violence and murder in the same way that Parler does. Should we no platform the whole religion then?

      1. SouthernLogic

        Re: Let's play a Free Speech game.

        Paler did not advocate violence. You should know your facts before posting.

  14. Cynical Pie

    When will these brain donors learn...

    Freedom of speech does not equal freedom from consequences.

    As a rule they seem happy to be quite selective with their use of the Constitution as clearly they don't believe all people are equal - anyone who disagrees with their political rhetoric or has a different skin colour is viewed as inferior

    1. J. Cook Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: When will these brain donors learn...

      ... I wouldn't want those brains- too smooth, no wrinkles or nuthin.

  15. Intractable Potsherd

    The bigger picture

    There is a bigger picture here. Many of the posters here today seem to be saying that they approve of AWS's actions because they disapprove of what was said. The problem is, AWS and all the other platforms are in a position of huge unregulated power over what can and cannot be said. This power needs adult consideration and discussion, especially since the power is concentrated in the USA and affects the rest of the Western world. The ability of e.g. the Catalans or the Scots to debate their independence should not be governed by knee-jerk responses to a domestic US situation, but that could easily happen.

    1. Muppet Boss
      Thumb Up

      Re: The bigger picture

      > ... especially since the power is concentrated in the USA and affects the rest of the Western world.

      Fixed for you. Great summary, have an upvote!

    2. DugEBug

      Re: The bigger picture

      Great summary. We need only look at what the collusion of 'big railroad' and 'big oil' did at the turn of the last century to see that the same action needs to happen today with 'big tech'.

      Sadly, Biden is no Teddy Roosevelt.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: The bigger picture

      You'll find they are regulated. If they sell facilities for conspiracy to overthrow the govt., carry out other terrorist acts, etc they are likely to end up in court as accessories. Now do you see why they discontinued that particular client? Not because they aren't regulated but because they are - by the ordinary law of the land.

  16. ManMountain1

    There are as many dangerous idiots on Twitter as there are on Parler. The fact that 98 messages (what is that even as a %? Must be tiny) were deemed to illegal is being used as an excuse to shut down a platform that is overwhelming inhabited by 'normal' people who happen to occupy the right (not the far right) of the political spectrum. Most of the stuff on there is the same stuff (and largely the same people as the mass exodus didn't happen, people just ended up on both) that you see on other platforms but it just happens to be more of a right wing echo chamber than the left wing echo chamber that is Twitter.

  17. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

    Why would anyone want to host on AWS from now on if they can pull a plug at any point?

    Today they done it for political reasons, tomorrow they will do it because your product competes with one of their services.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Where were you any time in the last decade or two? Any one and everyone knows that any and every private supplier of goods and services can choose to withdraw services whenever they see fit. They might have to wriggle on contractual terms a bit...but if they want you gone you are gone. AWS, the guy you buy cakes from, the landlord of your local. And mostly conservatives love it ...because free enterprise. After all if Amazon can offer the same service you do better or cheaper it is just creative disruption, right?

      But anyway your argument is a bit redundant. AWS didn't drop Parler for political reasons, they dropped them for promoting violence.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Not entirely true. For example, the "guy you buy cakes from" can't decide not to make a wedding cake for a gay couple because he is a Christian and doesn't agree with gay marriage. More generally this Parler decision is a slippery slope and it means platforms / hosters / etc are making editorial decisions.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Actually they can - at least that's my reading of the law in the USA and UK - based on supreme court judgements in the respective countries.

          I see your slippery slope and i raise you 'letting bigoted opponents of free speech for anyone except themselves call for armed insurrection is the thin end of the wedge'

          1. Cliffwilliams44 Bronze badge

            No they can't. Said wedding cake baker was sued and lost!

            2 different laws, civil rights and speech!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Check your facts. US Supreme Court ruled in favour of the bakery. UK Supreme Court in a separate case ruled for the bakery. And they may be different laws but this isn't a free speech issue. It's a private company having the right to serve you or not issue At the time of the UK case I thought it was a correct decision - not because i support bigoted hompohobes, but because i would support a baker not baking a cake with a swastika on it.

            2. TeraTelnet

              In the UK, the bakery won on appeal: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-45789759

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Eh?

      AWS won't just pull the plug at any moment. Only someone with an intelligence on a level with a cockroach would think that. If you keep paying the bills, AWS will keep providing the service.

      However, if you break the terms of service by hosting items that break the law (such as hosting paedophilic images, hate speech or nazi propaganda) then expect to be kicked off the platform.

      Parler was deplatformed for being illegal. Pure and simple. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequence. Trump telling nazi's to storm the capitol building was illegal, however you look at it. Them storming the building was illegal, however you look at it.

      This isn't political, it's a legal construct. You only make it political because you think it helps you make an argument and a justification that doesn't exist.

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: Eh?

        Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from consequence. Trump telling nazi's to storm the capitol building was illegal,

        Or not. Because he didn't tell 'nazis' to storm the Capitol. And as that didn't happen, it can't have been illegal now, can it?

        But why let due process get in the way of political theatre. I guess the 'storm' thing comes from the bifurcated Pence.. I mean peni.. I mean polar vortex bringing bits of record breaking global warming to parts of the US. Which is perhaps a good thing, if it's too cold to riot.

        I'm also curious if/when calling people 'nazis' will get included in hate speech purges, or just lead to litigation and/or hospitalisations. Godwin tried to make that point, yet it's a slur that seems to have become increasingly normalised amongst erstwhile liberals.

        1. Someone Else Silver badge

          Re: Eh?

          Oh! Look!! A man made of straw!! How quaint.....

  18. ChrisMarshallNY
    Black Helicopters

    Was Wondering

    I saw stuff about “the hack” on a couple of clickbaity sites, but not on reputable ones (like this one). It also did a steep dive on HN, despite a lot of upvotes and comments. That’s usually not a good sign.

  19. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

    Now it's just a question of degree

    Well, we used to be able to say "we are not like China!". Now, we too take stuff down and block stuff that we don't like.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Section 230 protects from editorialising

    Well they may be a private company but they have protection that most private companies don't have, section 230. So when they no longer have this protection they can do what ever they want. When they sensor or edit anything they are a publisher and can be held accountable for all calls to violence (even from the left.... and at this time there is much more calls for violence from the left). Did we forget what happened all summer long???

    At any rate Biden won, everyone get over it. Socialism is coming to america and being that is the world reserve currency watch how a 7.5 trillion dollar stimulus will destroy all currencies around the world...Yay!!!!

    1. Someone Else Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Section 230 protects from editorialising

      Are those IoT sensors?

  21. DanielR

    Rejects ? OK Five Eyes MI6 authoritarians

    If you really don't see the precedence here you are part of the problem authoritarian right wingers. "rejects" ? For real. PURGING DISSENT you ratbags.

    Journalists even Assange's mum has lost followers and are being purged. For something that was staged theatre by COPS, a coup against themselves ? LOL. The Mi6 and Biden committed deadly coups against Libya and Syria arming Jihadist terrorists who rape, torture and kill people. Who were also given a platform on Twitter. Fake journalists were inciting the arson of buildings all over Twitter for their failed coups which led to 50 murders including black kids. Biden sent millions to Neo-Nazis in the Ukraine for their dodgy proxy wars and they murdered activists in Odessa.

    I'm sick of these authoritarians and looking to move away from AWS because of it. I'm migrating to protonmail which is GPG encrypted email.

    Losing credibility, are you Five Eyes or what ?

  22. This post has been deleted by its author

  23. DanielR

    For 95 comments a whole service is removed from AWS ! Nice excuse !

    This is what it takes to give the authoritarians leverage. While Twitter was used to incite deadly coup riots by fake journalists and even right winger Demoncrats that murdered black kids. Biden was bailing them out. Twitter was used as a platform for Mi6/NATO/Biden's Al Qaeda and Daesh terrorist coupsters. Mccain's picture with them is still up !

  24. jelabarre59

    Boy, don't you ****ALL**** sound like a bunch of whiney socialists. Your far-leftist chum and her puppet president are in, so stop complaining.

    Looks like THIS is another site I need to stop frequenting, as there's no longer any useful ****TECH**** information, just a bunch of complaining that the world hasn't caved in to your demands.

    And let's see just how long this stays until ElReg's Gestapo takes it down.

  25. SouthernLogic

    Not all clouds are fluffy

    It is amazing to me that companies still put their mission critical applications is a private cloud like AWS, Azure, etc. You are hoping that the other party will honor their agreement and if they don't? Well you get the problem Parler has. It used to be that politics was not an issue in contracts, but now it seems that the NWO is canceling all who do not agree with their world view.

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out--

    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out--

    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--

    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me--and there was no one left to speak for me.

    Cancel culture needs to feed and always needs another target. It is something society is better without.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lets retrospectively send Geoff Bezos a UK tax demand

    If AWS have decided retrospectively that they have ta duty to ensure the users of their service must apply to the terms and conditions, that is good and well.

    However, they should be aware that according to that logic, the UK is also at liberty to decide Geoff Bezos's outfit should have paid a great deal more tax than it has actually paid over previous years, and send a tax demand for the difference, payable immediately. Failure to do so will result in their expulsion from the UK market.

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