back to article We didn't collude with Twitter to throw Parler off our servers, says AWS in court filing

Amazon Web Services has denied that is engaged in a "conspiracy to restrain trade" after summarily pulling the plug on social network Parler. After Parler came under intense scrutiny in the US over its use by the violent mob who broke into the US government's Capitol building in Washington DC, Amazon Web Services, used by …

  1. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Trump's you-tube account has been suspended as well

    Larry will have to hurry up and buy TikTok or we may never see Donald Dance the Macarena.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: Trump's you-tube account has been suspended as well

      Tik Tok already banned Trump.

      How's THAT for irony? :)

      1. Korev Silver badge
        Big Brother

        Re: Trump's you-tube account has been suspended as well

        Pornhub too...

        1. don't you hate it when you lose your account Silver badge

          Re: Trump's you-tube account has been suspended as well

          Thank the gods

          1. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

            Re: Trump's you-tube account has been suspended as well

            I am surprise how many people would like to live in a fascist state run by a cartel of a handful of Big Tech companies just because they hate Trump so much that they can’t just wait couple weeks.

            1. Handy Plough

              Re: Trump's you-tube account has been suspended as well

              So. This is a result of a failed insurrection. First rule of an insurrection/coup is succeed or be damned. This is the damning stage of the failed insurrection.

            2. Unicornpiss Silver badge
              Flame

              Re: Trump's you-tube account has been suspended as well

              What is fascist about banning hate speech? Ironically, if hate speech had been banned 80 or so years ago, we might never have seen the rise of actual fascism.

              You can claim that free speech means all content should be permitted, but you still can't yell "Fire!" in a crowded theater if there is no actual fire. Does free speech permit someone to mercilessly bully your child in person or on social media, to cite another example?

              I believe people should be free to say what they want, but spreading ignorance and lies that inflame the weak-minded to violence should be condemned by all. Enjoying freedoms of action and speech is a basic human right, but unfortunately some people are stupid or dangerous enough to need a keeper and wreck things for everyone. The right to free speech does not override the necessity for truth in speech.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Trump's you-tube account has been suspended as well

          That's going to ruin any chance of him getting tips to become a Minecraft e-gamer on Twitch then

          1. WonkoTheSane

            Re: Trump's you-tube account has been suspended as well

            He's banned from Twitch too.

        3. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Re: Trump's you-tube account has been suspended as well

          So we now we can't even call him a w@nker?

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Trump's you-tube account has been suspended as well

            Who is "we", Kemosabe?

            Trump's a wanker.

            It's pretty easy, actually :-)

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Trump's you-tube account has been suspended as well

            I believe the correct phrase is "mushroom picker"

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The protestors used facebook to arrange their little get-together, not parler.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Evidence says otherwise. Do try and keep up.

    2. First Light Bronze badge

      Actually the Graun is saying it was Zello.

      1. ecofeco Silver badge

        Parler for planing, Zello for on location.

        Zello is not happy either.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      False

      False, they used Parler:

      https://gizmodo.com/parler-users-breached-deep-inside-u-s-capitol-building-1846042905

      "Gizmodo has mapped nearly 70,000 geo-located Parler posts and on Tuesday isolated hundreds published on January 6 near the Capitol where a mob of pro-Trump supporters had hoped to overturn a democratic election and keep their president in power. The data shows Parler users posting all throughout the day, documenting their march from the National Mall to Capitol Hill where the violent insurrection ensued. "

      Parler had a moderation policy that it didn't follow. Deleting comments that are already archived won't save them.

      And not exactly the first time, here's a police chief calling for the death of every Democrat, said on Parler:

      https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/09/us/arkansas-police-resigns-parler.html

      This is the 'Oath Keepers' strategy. Try to convince police and military that they are guardians of the Constitution, they must break laws to obey the Constitution, where the group substitute their guys interpretation of the constitution for the judicial branch interpretation.

      Its similar to the Republican Christian game, pretend Jesus is some hate filled monster. Christians, having already locked themselves into following Jesus, will turn themselves into hate filled monsters. Republicans successfully hijack a religion for their own aims. Deny evolution, spread a deadly disease, guns in schools, deny climate change.... you name it, they pretend these policies are endorsed by God.

      You notice the Blue Lives Matter flag? Police were supposed to rally around that flag. Not the Stars and Stripes, the slightly different one controlled by a different group.

      On a side note, Melania is the one taking the flight to Prestwich, she's divorcing Trump and going home to Slovenia. Reasoning: That flight is the one used by FLOTUS not POTUS. She's been putting personal possessions into storage, not sending them all to Mar-a-Lago. Any agreement she did with Trump to pretend to be a loving wife, would expire when he ends his term. Hence January 19th flight makes sense. She has also been packing since he lost the election.

      He has been plotting, she has been packing. That's divorce.

      Trump will brazen it out, pretend to be Republican defacto leader, deflect criminal indictments down to Republicans as if his indictments are an attack on the Republican party. He loses the 2024 election: people are getting their propaganda bubbles popped, and it hurts to see how they were conned. Nobody likes to be reminded that they were conned. They thought they were defending democracy, instead they were helping a conman undermine it.

      1. Stu J
        Trollface

        Re: False

        Why would Melania be taking a flight to a suburb of North Manchester anyway? ;-)

    4. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Big Brother

      some news reports say that violent protesters used Tw[a,i]tter and Fa[e]ceB*** last year to coordinate THEIR illegal actvities (riots, looting, autonomous zones). But I guess they have their OWN servers and aren't using AWS.

      you can't really STOP criminals from abusing a platform. Trying to police all of it would be a monumental task. AWS was too quick to pull the plug.

      For those engaging in criminal activity, USENET and IRC would have been easier, In My Bombastic Opinion, unless they were TRYING to get Parler in some kind of trouble along the way...

      As for Parler using AWS, "all eggs" "one basket" and a few other things come to mind. Parler needs to NOT rely on JUST "the cloud", and particularly NOT a single cloud provider. And AWS seems to have proved themselves to be at least a _little_ hostile to their potential customers. It gives me pause for thought as to whether AWS or _any_ "megacloud" provider is worth the effort.

      A 'private cloud', distributed geographically on servers and pipes that YOU own, would make a bit more sense. I've been pricing ISPs lately and have looked at quite a number of them, for a customer and for myself as well. Things *LIKE* AWS could STILL be a fallback when a sudden need exists for peak bandwidth. So the only cost of "you are off our platform" would be some temporary slowdowns.

      Perhaps we should ALL consider this as a "what if this kind of 'cancelation' happens to ME" warning... that is, BEFORE putting all of our eggs into AWS's (or anyone else's) basket, and relying on NOT having some arbitrary, capricious, or even MALICIOUS decision by a provider (or group of providers) cripple our business.

  3. Withdrawn

    "prepare a law making it illegal for tech platforms to ban users without a local judge's permission."

    I didn't see that last caveat in the linked page. To me it read as though service providers could nuke an account if they believed the user violated polish law...and in such case the user could appeal with the administration if they believed that to not be the case. There wasn't even mention of a judge or court, only that the service provider could be found liable after the appeal process.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Oh NOW they want corporate regulation.

  4. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Small difference

    Iranian politicians saying nasty things about Israel, or indeed US politicians blaming Iran for 9/11 is one thing.

    If Iran was using Twitter to coordinate a specific attack on a specific Israeli target - that is a bit different.

    1. Muppet Boss
      FAIL

      Re: Small difference

      >If Iran was using Twitter to coordinate a specific attack on a specific Israeli target - that is a bit different.

      @khamenei_ir:

      "Millions attending Martyrs Soleimani & Abu Mahdi’s funerals in Iraq & Iran was the 1st severe slap to the US. But the worse one is overcoming the hegemony of Arrogance & expelling the US from the region. Of course, revenge will be taken on those who ordered it & the murderers.

      Those who ordered the murder of General Soleimani as well as those who carried this out should be punished. This revenge will certainly happen at the right time."

      ^^^

      Twitter: no problemo

      @realDonaldTrump

      “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”

      ^^^

      Twitter: banned, Glorification of Violence

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Small difference

        Name checks out.

        Hint: Trump was not banned for any one specific post.

        He was banned for his cumulative asshattery.

        Before you ask, yes I think the asshats in Tehran should also be banned from so-called "social" media. As should all other career politicians, world-wide. They are all, every fucking one of them, a bunch of self-serving liars anyway, so no great loss.

        1. P. Lee Silver badge

          Re: Small difference

          >... no great loss.

          Twitter's market cap disagrees.

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Small difference

            What does twitter's market cap have to do with kicking all career politicians off so-called "social" media, world wide? The GreatUnwashed will forget the liars were ever online at all within a week or s ... OHHH! Look! A new cute kitty video!

            1. bleedinglibertarian

              Re: Small difference

              who even uses twitter? i don't know a single person except those that followed Trump. He was the only one anybody cared to hear from on twitter. Now that he has left office, of course twitter knows all his followers are leaving so they are trying to suck up to any trump haters to replace them. not a bad strategy.

              honestly.

              i have no regard for any idiot that uses twitter. not a single human is worth my consideration. i look down on everyone.

              1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

                Re: Small difference

                I heard that President Donald Trump was the politician with the highest number of Twitter followers, after Barak Obama (gosh that must sting).

                1. Peshman

                  Re: Small difference

                  I followed Trump on twitter. Better to know what he's saying than to live blind and be surprised by his asshattery.

              2. MachDiamond Silver badge

                Re: Small difference

                "who even uses twitter?"

                I used to when it first went live. It was new and fun. I received some return tweets from Eric Idle and Steve Martin which was a kick.

                When they dropped support for my old Mac, I dropped them. It got to be too hard to use it for much of anything. Some people I followed, I had to stop following as they started tweeting multiple times per hour or day. If I wasn't following somebody, I wouldn't see their posts and there is no way to keep up if you follow a gazillion accounts. Even following a dozen or so can be overwhelming.

                I am more inclined to read a longer blog post than a tweet. More information that isn't compromised to fit the tight dimensions of a tweet. It means far less ambiguity if the writer has space to build proper paragraphs. This is the same reason I don't watch much news on TV. More time seems to be spent keeping up with the celebrity wankers than news that matters. I can curate my reading list far easier and quicker than the talking heads can get mispronounced science terms out.

          2. Adrian 4 Silver badge

            Re: Small difference

            "The cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing."

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Small difference

              And most politicians are worthless?

              I'm not sure if that makes me a cynic...

        2. Muppet Boss
          Holmes

          Re: Small difference

          >Hint: Trump was not banned for any one specific post.

          >He was banned for his cumulative asshattery.

          Mate just check out Supreme Ayatolla's entertaining twitter feed. This chap (well, technically his PR/SMM guy) is wishing death to Israel, insults Jews and glorifies jihad for 11 years so far, and Twitter does not see a problem with that. I am careful to not send direct links or they will ban me here, just check for yourself ;)

          I understand this is all pure politics, US big tech and social media hate Trump (well, apparently for a reason) and he 'hates them back' so it was a great chance for them to bite him as he falls. But they do not seem to understand global consequences.

          On one hand, there will be paranoia about the US interfering with national sovereignty though American tech companies. Governments are very sensitive about that, you know. It means, there will be further restrictions to the Internet freedoms worldwide and while I do not care how heavily Facebook & Co are regulated (they deserve that), there will be collateral damage to general Internet freedoms, more government tracking etc.

          On the other hand, a strong precedent and example is set for other governments how to silence protests. Someone planning a protest meeting? A helpful private company will ban them, this is not censorship, they are planning violence and violating T&Cs. Facebook & friends will be forced by foreign governments to ban protests groups now, mind my words, and they will have nothing to say or risk being accused of conspiring to incite violence.

          Big tech companies just opened a Pandora box, they cannot pretend to be neutral now, they will be forced to censor, ban and cooperate after what they did. I do not care about what happens in the US but what they did is likely going to influence my world, and the whole world, and I am unhappy about that.

          And yet one more example that running in the Cloud is like building on sand.

          1. First Light Bronze badge

            Re: Small difference

            They were already censoring and banning certain people. And that's okay. They're private actors. If anything, they should have shut up alot more people alot sooner. If you insist that private bakers should not be forced to put "gay" messages on their cakes then you have to accept privately-owned social media companies don't have to carry messages that go against their values.

            Other governments do way more censoring and shutting up of people than the US does - China? India shutting down the internet every five minutes?

            If only you were as concerned about the real threat to an orderly transition of power. Trump had it coming.

            1. suburbazine

              Re: Small difference

              It's not private ownership when you're publicly traded. You're a public company and do not get to dictate public policy. THAT is the issue here- these publicly traded companies are acting as if they're privately held corporations and are allowed to suppress any speech they want.

              If they want to censor things like the bakers did, they can be private companies like the bakers were. That means not living on the investments of the government and traders. What is Twitter or Facebook selling you... oh wait- they're selling YOU.

              1. Weylin

                Re: Small difference

                These publicly traded companies are privately owned. They are not owned by the government. Perhaps a point that might help your argument is to mention that they enjoy monopoly positions.

              2. This post has been deleted by its author

            2. Muppet Boss
              Coffee/keyboard

              Re: Small difference

              >They were already censoring and banning certain people. And that's okay. They're private actors. ... If you insist that private bakers should not be forced to put "gay" messages on their cakes then you have to accept privately-owned social media companies don't have to carry messages that go against their values.

              Sorry I am not into the cake analogy (pun intended), this is an internal US debate that is a part of the American cultural code, is specific to the US laws and customs, and you guys should able to figure out the best socially accepted answer eventually. ;) Personally for me, there is no single good answer but fortunately this is not my war.

              The social networks and big tech were not censoring or banning an acting President of a sovereign state before, this was new. They did not separate an active President with his supporters before, let alone in an organized action, this was new. I assure you, many a President, a Prime Minister and a Dictator slept badly that night. Jack Dorsey is apologising today on Twitter already, they finally smelled a depth of the stinky hole they got themselves into but the harm is done. Every President out there is now aware that the social networks will actively help to topple him/her at a crucial moment. Expect a lot of regulations coming soon.

              >Other governments do way more censoring and shutting up of people than the US does - China? India shutting down the internet every five minutes?

              US social networks are permitted and very popular in most "unfree" countries, maybe because, corruption --- LOOK, A CUTE KITTY!* Now they will have to cooperate with regimes much more to demonstrate submission and loyalty (as they are more and more seen as a real threat to the state), or be kicked out and lose the market. Some investors smelled exactly that and wisely ran away screaming.

              *Imho one of the reasons everyone wants a share in Tiktok now. A very, very safe social network for any sort of regime.

              >If only you were as concerned about the real threat to an orderly transition of power. Trump had it coming.

              I am not much concerned with anything that goes on in the US unless they start yet another war and Trump was doing rather good in this department: trade war - bad Trump, no 'hot' war + good Trump, so Trump = zero for me. I cannot speak so highly of previous ones. ;)

          2. Danny Boyd

            Re: Small difference

            >"Big tech companies just opened a Pandora box, they cannot pretend to be neutral now, they will be forced to censor, ban and cooperate after what they did."

            Exactly. And there goes Section 230, torpedoed by the very AHs it was meant to protect. Amen.

  5. Muppet Boss
    Trollface

    Surely there will be similar laws in other countries shortly. Sovereign countries have long been suspicious about the US corporations interfering in the elections and politics, and they are given a very, very good example now.

    1. First Light Bronze badge

      Like China? Or India? They don't need US guidance on censorship, most countries are perfectly well able to come up with their own censorship policies.

  6. mark l 2 Silver badge

    They are just throwing their money away trying to sue Amazon, even if they did have a case (which is doubtful) Amazon can just do what all these big megacorps do and appeal it until Parler run out of money to pay for lawyers. I suspect Parler is now a dead platform anyway, even if it is able to get itself back online within a few weeks, most will have moved off it on to something else.

    As for Poland preparing to make it illegal to ban users without a judges permission, way to go Poland you have essentially killed any hosts based in Poland and given away all your hosting business to companies not based in Poland that don't have to obey such as stupid law

    1. jake Silver badge

      "you have essentially killed any hosts based in Poland"

      I have already had one call from a client asking me to preemptively add all of Poland to their custom black hole list over this. They think the country will quickly become a spam/troll haven. I advised that they take a "wait and see" position for now, but if they insist I'll happily do as they ask.

      1. P. Lee Silver badge

        If you're on social media, you don't know where the mute and block buttons are, and you have thin skin, Poland is the least of your problems.

        1. jake Silver badge

          ::sighs::

          You're looking at it from a very myopic point of view.

          The client in this case has upwards of 45,000 seats. Care to calculate how much time (money) would be wasted cumulatively by all those people over the space of a year without blacklists? The numbers are far higher than you might think.

          Thin skin? Far from it. Pragmatic would be a better word.

  7. LDS Silver badge

    What about places that hinders me to enter if I don't abide to their rules?

    There are restaurants and clubs where you can't enter if you don't dress as they want. If I make loud noises in a library I'm shown the door. Nor I can't enter a church and swear at them they're a bunch of clueless talibans without being carried away. I had a discussion in a church because I entered it wearing a hat and someone there complained I should have removed it. Women were refused to enter because their bodies weren't covered enough, instead. You can be expelled by political parties if you say what they don't like. And you can tell a tenant to leave your property if they break the contract.

    Twitter is not the only place were politicians can tell lie, and I always wonder why elected officials should use a tool owned by a private company to deliver information of public interest, instead their own official channels. Other people can use they own tools to fill the interweb with their rants. Nobody forbids Trump to buy a computer, connect it to the internet, and set up his "Trumpet" site, where people can trump each other.

    The idea everybody should use a single channel owned by a private company scares me more than the same company decides someone is not welcome. After all, that's the meaning of "private". Twitter & C. were given too much power by lazy journalists who found it's far easier to wait for news to appear in their apps - already formatted into short texts - instead of having to search for them, and spin doctors immediately took great advantage of it.

    So maybe the issue is not being expelled by Twitter, but thinking Twitterworld is a pillar of the real world?

    1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

      Re: What about places that hinders me to enter if I don't abide to their rules?

      The issue with Twitter is that it is almost a de facto monopoly. It is certainly the site with the largest number of users where you can post specific messages for millions of people to read. Facebook is similarly a near de facto monopoly for another sort of communication. Until a few days ago, I had no idea Parler even existed.

      Zuckerberg has in the past gone on record as stating that private companies should not decide what to ban and what to allow, and that the politicians should advise and pass legislation. American politicos have declined, I suspect as they believe that it would be too difficult technically, and too embarrassing politically to be seen to be 'tampering' with an amendment to he constitution.

      I have to say that I agree with Zuckerberg in this instance, society as a whole should decide on what free speech means, implement laws, and the private companies that provide the platforms should be able to suspend or on extreme cases remove accounts where there are frequent extreme violations, such as incitement to commit criminal offences, or applauding those who have committed them.

      I doubt the current problems will do much to improve the situation regarding policing the social media providers.

      1. DS999

        Re: What about places that hinders me to enter if I don't abide to their rules?

        The issue with Twitter is that it is almost a de facto monopoly. It is certainly the site with the largest number of users where you can post specific messages for millions of people to read

        So their success should render them unable to operate their platform as they see fit? At what point do you think Twitter became a "de facto" monopoly? Shouldn't someone have told them, so they could halt new user signups at that point to avoid going over the line where you believe that others should be able to make their decisions on who to allow and who to ban for them?

        There are more than a few alternative social networks beyond Twitter and Facebook. You are demanding the broad potential reach of Twitter without having to abide by their rules.

        1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

          Re: What about places that hinders me to enter if I don't abide to their rules?

          Hi, DS999

          My post was about regulation by politicians implementing what society thinks, in general, should be free speech. I don't see where you get the idea that Facebook and Twitter becoming near monopolies should render them "unable to operate their platform as they see fit" in my post. Indeed I support Zuckerberg in his request that politicians decide and enact legislation to cover what they can do, rather than leave it to individual companies to make up the rules as they go along. Surely you agree that all competitors in the social media market should follow the same rules on free speech? (I don't know what the head of Twitter has said on this matter, sorry).

          As far as I know there is no law in the USA preventing a company becoming a monopoly by producing a more appealing product than anyone else. Specific legislation was enacted to break up Standard Oil, and AT&T as their de facto monopolies were considered to be detrimental to the US economy / society. We will have to wait and see what happens about the big tech companies .

          There may well be many alternatives to both Facebook and Twitter (and Parler for that matter), but how many have even one tenth of their users, and how many have most people actually heard of?

          And, what does "You are demanding the broad potential reach of Twitter without having to abide by their rules." mean? I did not demand anything in my post.

          I confess to big somewhat confused by your responset.

          All the best.

          1. doublelayer Silver badge

            Re: What about places that hinders me to enter if I don't abide to their rules?

            Leaving the rest of your comment aside. I only want to respond to this chunk:

            "Surely you agree that all competitors in the social media market should follow the same rules on free speech?"

            No, I don't. Social media companies, like other companies, are private entities. They should have the ability, should they choose to use it, to decide how they want their system used. If that means no discussions or pictures of cats because that's so last decade, then they can make it the no-feline-content zone. If that annoys the users, then that's a commercial failure; they probably won't be mourned. In terms of monopolistic behavior, I want to limit social media's influence in such a way that they can't prevent the creation of alternatives. So if Twitter started to buy the internet so I had to abide by their rules everywhere, I'd have a problem. If the only place I have to abide by Twitter's rules is Twitter, I view that as their right. If I don't want to abide by Twitter's rules, I find or create an alternative and go with it.

            The same rights apply to any other company which makes something that I use but doesn't sell that thing to me, only allowing me to use it under a contract. A rental property may tell me that I'm not allowed to make loud noises at night. A rented car may come with a contract telling me that I must not drive it too far away from the place I'm going to return it to. A cloud server company may specify that I'm not allowed to mine cryptocurrency on a shared CPU. None of those things are required because they're against the law. They're required because the company owns the resource and I don't and they have specific conditions under which they're willing to let me use their thing.

            1. Mark 65

              Re: What about places that hinders me to enter if I don't abide to their rules?

              No, I don't. Social media companies, like other companies, are private entities. They should have the ability, should they choose to use it, to decide how they want their system used.

              So if Facebook, for example, decided to only one side of any story/news item so as to direct the narrative you're ok with that? Can't have it both ways.

              1. doublelayer Silver badge

                Re: What about places that hinders me to enter if I don't abide to their rules?

                "So if Facebook, for example, decided to only one side of any story/news item so as to direct the narrative you're ok with that? Can't have it both ways."

                I think I can. I view that as their right to do, as it's the right of any terribly biased media source to do. I am not happy about it though. I'll complain. If I have the ability, I'll try to convince them to change their policy. Then again, I'm already unhappy about their data collection, and I've complained, and I've refused to set up an account, and that's not had any effect on their policy. Still, I'd try.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: What about places that hinders me to enter if I don't abide to their rules?

                "So if Facebook, for example, decided to only one side of any story/news item so as to direct the narrative you're ok with that? Can't have it both ways."

                So they control what is on their platform, but still enjoy the protection of s230 (unlike newspapers, television stations)? Can't have it both ways. No?

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: If I don't want to abide by Twitter's rules, I find or create an alternative and go with it.

              trouble is that by growing and growing and growing they have become so big that, effectively, creating an alternative is a no-go solution, when in a global world of global giants you hope to fight for global attention. And even if you do create a truly breakthrough solution, who's gonna resist an offer that runs in billions, small change for some? I don't have to buy off amazon or ebay, but if I want the cheapest, I do have to. I don't have to use google play, google chrome, google maps, microsoft teams (look boss, fuck off with that teams shit!). I don't have to work all, it's not like we have slavery or something! I don't have to use that doctor's online appointment, I can hobble there in person. But services provided by the big, ugly fuckers, like facebook or google, are slowly becoming indispensable (great news for the governments, by the way, because it saves them infrastructure costs so they can waste money on fucking non-ferry contracts drawn by their nameless copy and paste pals).

            3. Eclectic Man Silver badge

              Re: What about places that hinders me to enter if I don't abide to their rules?

              @ doublelayer

              You quote me out of context, sir.

              What I posted was:

              " I support Zuckerberg in his request that politicians decide and enact legislation to cover what they can do, rather than leave it to individual companies to make up the rules as they go along. Surely you agree that all competitors in the social media market should follow the same rules on free speech? "

              Clearly my reference to 'the same rules' means the same legislation. Your selection only of the sentence "Surely you agree that all competitors in the social media market should follow the same rules on free speech?" can be wrongly interpreted as meaning I believe that everyone has to do exactly the same thing on their sites. Which was clearly not what I intended.

              You say "In terms of monopolistic behavior, I want to limit social media's influence in such a way that they can't prevent the creation of alternatives." How exactly will you do that without legislation, which all companies have to obey (which was, if you recall, my point to which you objected)?

              Governments are responsible for setting the baseline and limits for freedoms within their nation using legislation. I reckon that all social media sites should follow the same national laws regarding freedom of speech if operating in the same country. The scope of those laws should be determined by what society as a whole considers to be appropriate.

              If that means sites are free to ban or allow images of cats, that is fine. But cat images are hardly the issue here when an incumbent president of the USA is banned form Twitter and FaceBook for postings which appear to have incited violence, the storming of the US Capitol, and the deaths of 6 (six) people (a second Police Officer has died of injuries sustained during the riot). Incitement to commit insurrection is likely to be banned in every country, or do you think that organising a riot should be at the whim of private companies' directors? Before answering that you might like to consider that if you say the directors can be prosecuted after the riot, you still cannot brig back to life those who have died.

        2. P. Lee Silver badge

          Re: What about places that hinders me to enter if I don't abide to their rules?

          Actually, monopolies generally do acquire more regulation and obligations than companies in a competitive market place. Hence, Trump (being a monopoly on being President) was not allowed to block followers.

          The issue is a little different than that though and if you read the lawsuit rather than El Reg's "collusion" commentary. AWS signed a bigger deal with Twitter which generated a conflict of interest. Twitter shoots itself in the Left foot by censoring its own users and users start fleeing the platform. Then it shoots itself in the right foot by banning Trump and to protect its larger customer, AWS breaches its contract with Parler not over content it can point to which breaches TOS, but because it thinks it might not be able to comply with the TOS in the future.

          To use the nightclub analogy, Parler got kicked not for failing to meet the dress code, but because AWS said it might come back later wearing flip-flops.

          In security, we talk about the pillars of Confidentiality, Integrity and Availability. We've seen Azure kick Gab and AWS kick Parler. None of the cloud platforms can be considered "secure", which is obvious to IT security people, because if you don't secure the hardware, you haven't got a secure system.

          This was the second major demo of why not to use cloud services.

          1. ecofeco Silver badge

            Re: What about places that hinders me to enter if I don't abide to their rules?

            How does an imaginary nightclub compare to very real sedition and insurrection?

            Can you even hear yourself?

            1. jake Silver badge

              Re: What about places that hinders me to enter if I don't abide to their rules?

              Apparently it's hard to separate reality from fiction when you are in an echo chamber and everyone's talking at once. This was inevitable when they removed critical thinking from the list of important things children should know before graduating grade-school.

          2. Eclectic Man Silver badge

            Re: Monopoly regulation & Trump

            "Trump (being a monopoly on being President) was not allowed to block followers."

            I believe that there was a court case, and it was deemed that as Trump was using the Twitter account to make presidential statements, they were deemed to be in the public domain, and he was not entitled to prevent any US citizen from seeing his public presidential statements.

            Of course, after 20th January when he is no longer POTUS, he will be free to block as many people as he likes ... from whatever platforms will have him.

        3. cornetman Silver badge

          Re: What about places that hinders me to enter if I don't abide to their rules?

          > So their success should render them unable to operate their platform as they see fit?

          Yes, if they are seen to abuse that monopoly or wield a level of power or influence that is contrary to the public good. It doesn't even have to be that they are deliberately interfering in the dialogue, just that the public good is significantly and adversely affected. I would argue that we are long past that point.

          Many people have suggested that many of these social media sites are contributing to the polarising of public opinion by shunting users to articles/videos/opinion that reflects their own. YouTube (and perhaps even Netflix to a certain extent) are particularly bad in this regard, offering up echo chambers rather than a diverse range of opinions.

          There may be evidence of undue influence from Facebook and Twitter et al, but it hardly matters since their own algorithms are fostering that environment by giving people more of what they want rather than what they actually need.

        4. Mark 65

          Re: What about places that hinders me to enter if I don't abide to their rules?

          So their success should render them unable to operate their platform as they see fit?

          That's generally how the law works with regards monopolies. Microsoft wanted to operate their platform as they saw fit (EEE) but the EU decided that, no, you cannot do that.

        5. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

          Re: What about places that hinders me to enter if I don't abide to their rules?

          “There are more than a few alternative social networks beyond Twitter and Facebook”

          There used to be Parler, but just when the users started moving off Twitter to Parler, the Big Tech cartel killed Parler in a coordinated move.

          “Private company” defence does not work when the competitors are killed off.

      2. LDS Silver badge

        "The issue with Twitter is that it is almost a de facto monopoly."

        Yes, the issue is people think they need to use Twitter because everybody else use Twitter. This is the dangerous short-circuit. In the (recent) past nobody ever thought everybody should watch the same TV, listen to the same radio, or read the same newspaper, all of them fed by a singe news agency - but in the worst authoritarian counties.

        As soon as the internet became full of lusers who found their phone could now access that strange world, that exactly happened. They believed the needed only some source of wisdom, driven by fashion. Instead of accessing a myriad of sources, they decided to flock to a single one like lemmings, or moths towards a bright light (where predators wait for them).

        That's utterly stupid and we are now seeing the effects of that. Now people believe "Twitto, ergo sum", and everybody is scared of not being any longer.

        Once we thought the Internet as a broad space where to find different sources and create new ones. Now a few company turned it into a few fiefdoms with the help of many digital illiterates, including the so called "digital natives" - who are just raised to be like Orwell's sheep.

        1. Mark 65

          Re: "The issue with Twitter is that it is almost a de facto monopoly."

          including the so called "digital natives" - who are just raised to be like Orwell's sheep.

          One of the funniest and yet most inaccurate things I've ever read was any article proclaiming millennials to be tech-savvy. Wasting your life on the socials is not "tech-savvy".

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "The issue with Twitter is that it is almost a de facto monopoly."

            I must confirm that the digital natives in my family are shit with technology. To the point they're unable to turn off various plug-ins (full account privileges, by the way) that interfere with their viewing pleasure when trying to access some shitty, time-wasting garbage site. So they lament they "need" new laptops, cause dad blocks everything!

            ...

            on reflection, I probably overestimate them anyway, I suppose they don't even know what plugins are. And I'm talking of my own children, whom I tried to educate in the "digital". Tried GENTLY :(((

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: What about places that hinders me to enter if I don't abide to their rules?

        "the politicians should advise and pass legislation"

        I'm not sure if US has specific statute law about conspiracy to commit acts of violence but Common Law will usually do that itself - and the US inherited that from us.

        That should be all AWS or any other service provider should need to compel them to throw off any customer who seems to be allowing that to happen, otherwise they'd be apt to find themselves in the dock with the customer and the users responsible.

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: What about places that hinders me to enter if I don't abide to their rules?

          Yes, the US has a specific law about conspiracy. In a nutshell, conspiracy is defined as two or more people agreeing to break a law or laws.

        2. ecofeco Silver badge

          Re: What about places that hinders me to enter if I don't abide to their rules?

          It does... and even more specific laws about sedition and insurrection.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: What about places that hinders me to enter if I don't abide to their rules?

            It does... and even more specific laws about sedition and insurrection.

            Care to cite them? As they're specific laws, there should be language describing the acts/actions they apply to.

            Otherwise Amazon's special pleading seems to be along the lines of wondering out loud who should control Minitrue. Or who gets to define intolerance. Or potential s.230 stuff. Amazon doesn't think Parler's users should say stuff, so Amazon consigns Parler to the memory hole. Amazon taking an editorial stance over it's customer's customers doesn't look much like the action of a common carrier.

            But such is politics. Democrats are already calling for tougher media & content regulations and restrictions, and I guess it'd make sense for the government to control Minitrue. In theory, they're after all the ones who should be able to determine if 'free speech' is illegal, or not.

            (Which kind of circles back to a fascinating LINX meeting from years back, when the new boss of the IWF wanted to expand their remit to blocking political & hate speech, not just child pornography. IWF does an excellent job dealing with that, but political stuff obviously gets more political. )

      4. katrinab Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: What about places that hinders me to enter if I don't abide to their rules?

        Problem is, there’s two aspects to free speech under the 1st Amendment. The one which people are most familiar with is that the government can’t restrict what people say (unless failure to restrict it would have the effect of infringing certain other rights).

        The other is that the government can’t force people, such as FaceBook to say things that they don’t want to say. So anything that prevented FaceBook from removing accounts would infringe FaceBook’s first amendment rights.

        1. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

          Re: What about places that hinders me to enter if I don't abide to their rules?

          But if it is Facebook who says in this case as opposed to it being a “platform” as they insist, it makes Facebook a publisher and liable for being sued for whatever is published on it. And this is the last thing they want.

      5. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

        Re: What about places that hinders me to enter if I don't abide to their rules?

        ' I agree with Zuckerberg in this instance, society as a whole should decide on what free speech means,"

        It Has: it's called the constitution. That, along with courts cases that have set out the judicial interpretation in the real world. So if the authorities and the courts aren't telling Zuck to take Trumps tweets down, why did he take them down? Peer pressure.

        They have s230 protection, so they didn't need to worry about what Trump was saying.

        So Zuck has changed his position...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: why elected officials should use a tool owned by a private company to deliver information

      because it is there :(

      1. Sherrie Ludwig

        Re: why elected officials should use a tool owned by a private company to deliver information

        These elected officials use all kinds of tools owned by private companies - newspapers (remember them), billboards, radio and tv stations, etc. they buy advertising space, they give out press releases, they offer interviews and opinion pieces to be disseminated.

  8. Trigun

    Goodbye Parler

    Parler are most probably dead now. Was there collusion about de-platforming them? Most probably. There have been previous examples of this happening. Did they deserve it? Not sure - History will be the judge, I suppose.

    One thing which is almost certain: They (as other have said) will not win against Amazon. Not because they are in the right or wrong, but because of who is the richest. Nothing changes.

    1. Jim Mitchell Silver badge

      Re: Goodbye Parler

      Multiple people reaching the same conclusion at the same time is not collusion.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Goodbye Parler

        As a Great One once said, correlation does not imply causation.

    2. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

      Re: Goodbye Parler

      "History will be the judge"

      No it won't. This AWS vs Parler storm in a teacup will be forgotten by all but a few vested interests in no more than a couple of weeks as the vast majority of people just move on with their lives.

  9. HildyJ Silver badge
    Megaphone

    Free speach

    Here is one example of Parler's free speech:

    “#JackDorsey ... you will die a bloody death alongside Mark Suckerturd [Zuckerberg].... It has been decided and plans are being put in place. Remember the photographs inside your home while you slept? Yes, that close. You will die a sudden death!”

    This violated AWS's terms and conditions (T&Cs) and Parler was unable or unwilling to take down the content. Gizmodo has more from Amazon's official filing at https://gizmodo.com/amazon-court-filing-includes-chilling-death-threats-pub-1846048394

    All social networks have T&Cs that users have to abide by. Everyone reading this is subject to ElReg's including "5.3 You will not post or otherwise disseminate on the Website any material which is unlawful, obscene, defamatory, libellous, threatening, pornographic, harassing, hateful, racially offensive, or encourages conduct that would be considered a criminal offence, give rise to civil liability, violate any law, or is otherwise inappropriate (“Offensive Material”)." You may disagree with my views but if you threaten my life ElReg can, will, and is justified in taking action.

    Violations can be punished and some social networks have chosen to do so.

    Free speech has been used as an argument for any number of things, from child pornography to Isis beheading videos. These weren't successful arguments because free speech was never intended to be unlimited.

    1. Byham

      Re: Free speach

      So the 'Cloud' is now looking inside its customers data? Whenever did that become OK? Regardless of what your thoughts are on Parler vs AWS, it shows that the Cloud providers are actively reading content. That is a commercial and privacy risk that users of AWS may not be aware of. Yes if you don't own and control the hardware inside your own perimeter, that is a risk: but also allowing the Cloud service provider to hoover up your commercial and private data is something else. No business should continue dealing with AWS unless they are happy for Bezos' clones to be reading everything/anything that they put 'in the cloud' and Amazon acting on or selling that 'private' information.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Free speach

        "So the 'Cloud' is now looking inside its customers data?"

        What do you mean "now"? When haven't they been?

      2. Mike VandeVelde

        Re: Free speach

        "So the 'Cloud' is now looking inside its customers data?"

        The "data" that is published on the public internet???

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Free speach

      Yup, good old section 5.3. I have only objected to one posting on the Register. It referred to a well-known, named living individual as having a particular illegal proclivity. I raised a issue with it, and the post was taken down by a moderator.

      AC, coz, well, don't want to create too much of a fuss.

  10. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "inciting and planning the rape, torture, and assassination"

    And there are still people who try and justify that they should not be called terrorists.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: "inciting and planning the rape, torture, and assassination"

      Terrorists are funny that way.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    never liked amazon

    I haven't had an amazon account for a few years and when my work talks about going to the cloud I make certain they know amazon is not on the table. we actually use cisco for some things but nothing amazon.

    as far as amazon booting parlor,.. good,. there are far better hosting providers. maybe I'll give parlor a go now that it is no longer linked with amazon, the company that stole from me.

    guess i didn't say why i don't touch amazon. i had bought i don't know how many games and books from them when for whatever stupid reason, they shut my account down and stole all my digital content so good riddance... actually, i know the reason, the reason was I closed my email account down that was associated with the amazon account and because of that they stole from me.

    1. Marty McFly
      Thumb Up

      Re: never liked amazon

      Over 1200 orders on my Amazon account, been a customer since 2003. Tried Wal-mart today for the first time. Looks like they are following Amazon's model. We'll see how it goes. You shop where you want, but don't hate me for making a choice.

    2. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: never liked amazon

      Parlor is a different app from Parler, more a ChatRoulette type thing. It's likely to be 'collateral damage' now.

      A Parler exec was interviewed on BBC Radio 4, they claimed they had tried to comply but were stymied by a server outage, and then a failure of their 'Content Removal System' (?)

      Weak excuses, ignoring that they were knowingly profiting for years from breaching their T&Cs.

      I stopped shopping on Amazon a while back (worker's rights).

      I only used Facebook a couple of times and they locked me out because I used it so rarely. They asked that four of my 'friends' that they chose vouched for me, but given one of them has since died I am unable to comply until the afterlife gets internet access. I was only logging on to delete it anyway.

  12. ManMountain1

    My uneasiness with this situation is not the fact that AWS banned Parler, they are in their rights to decide who sits on their platform. But what it does highlight is that the cloud providers more than just deciding who sits on their platform, actually decide who exists at all. How many orgs that have gone big on public cloud could survive being thrown off their 'infrastructure' at almost no notice? Pretty much anyone can buy hardware, short of being on a pretty obvious denied parties list, and do what they want with it. The legality of what they do is enforced by the law makers, not the hardware providers. This really highlights the total lack of control companies have with public cloud. You're literally using someone else's computer! If they don't like it (even if it's legal) then they can pull the plug. In the current cancel culture, the reasoning might be fairly vague too.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Many of us have been saying this for years. Nobody listened.

      Parler was a vile and beyond the pale chat board, but nobody is stopping them from buying their own hardware.

    2. jake Silver badge

      "How many orgs that have gone big on public cloud could survive being thrown off their 'infrastructure' at almost no notice?"

      Who cares? We warned 'em, they ignored us in favo(u)r of better marketing. They have made their beds, let 'em lie[0] in 'em.

      [0] Or more probably, they will take their lay, and bugger off & lie about it. My O-level English teacher is now spinning furiously.

  13. JDX Gold badge

    Yeah sure

    They've been breaking the rules for months but it's a coincidence their apps and servers all got taken down at once.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Yeah sure

      Well, there is that little matter of the seditious insurrection which happened a week ago and resulted in the deaths of 5 people which - as we now know - was organized via parler - did you forget that?

      1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

        Re: Yeah sure

        I heard that six have now died, another officer died of wounds sustained during the riot. :o(

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Yeah sure

          One officer died from his injuries the following day, one has more recently committed suicide. Are you thinking of the latter?

      2. ManMountain1

        Re: Yeah sure

        It was probably organised on every social media platform. They would find evidence everywhere they chose to look. They're just focusing on certain platforms over others. Twitter is a cesspit too in places.

  14. Mike Friedman

    Considering what we know now about Parler’s lack of any kind of security, they deserved to die.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    vkontakte?

    How has Trump not defaulted to this platform? It and its cloud underpinnings are unlikely to deplatform him due to any great moral or philosophical objections.

  16. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Cockroaches scuttling

    As a headsup, the Parler mob have coalesced on "thedonald.win" - for how long I don't know

    "Some" of the postings on Parler were enough to have people sectioned in most countries (and on terorrist watchlists in most countries too).

    The new site is just as bad

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Cockroaches scuttling

      "Some" of the postings on Parler were enough to have people sectioned in most countries (and on terorrist watchlists in most countries too).

      This is one of the reasons why I think deplatforming can be a bad idea. I hadn't really heard of Parler until last week, so no idea what kinds of discussions took place there. But if I were in law enforcement, being able to keep watch on anti-social media users would be a good thing. And now it'll become a bit harder.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Cockroaches scuttling

        "And now it'll become a bit harder."

        Not really. Ever run a still? Fractional distillation makes it easier to sort the various components into the useful and the trash. Lets you keep an eye on the trash to adjust your process, too.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: Cockroaches scuttling

          Not really. Ever run a still? Fractional distillation makes it easier to sort the various components into the useful and the trash. Lets you keep an eye on the trash to adjust your process, too.

          I keep thinking about trying distilling, especially now it's simpler legality-wise. But doing an 'oops' wrt methanol vs ethanol, or just drinking too much put me off the idea. Being able to distil botanicals also sounded fun to make my own bathtub gin. My latest experiment was getting a vacuum/freeze drier, and freeze drying strawberries & black cherries to make cookies.. Which was a fun way to pack flavor into those.

          But I digress. The FBI warned last week of potential attacks against all state capitals. That would need some organising if you want 1k+ people to turn up in 50 cities. It's harder to co-ordinate that if you can't access a potential mob via social media. But it's also a lot easier to monitor the chatter. For smaller, but potentially more dangerous/violent stuff, it'd be a lot easier to follow a classic cell structure, which can be a lot harder to infiltrate and monitor.

          It's a bit like Sullivan and his 'Insurgence' movement. Calendar entries for both his 6th Jan march on the Capitol, and a planned, armed march on the 26th.. Which I guess won't be happening now given Sullivan's arrest.

          1. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Cockroaches scuttling

            The FBI is rarely an accurate provider of information. Sans definitive evidence, I'll go with their statement, "Potential attacks". There's always potential. If they came out with "highly probable" and shared some evidence, they'd be more believable.

  17. MachDiamond Silver badge

    Technically,

    Amazon may not have colluded with anybody, but the hammer dropped far and wide very quickly. All of the platforms decided they didn't like the content and once one was willing to make a move, the rest followed. It's like one petrol station putting up prices and by the end of the day, every other forecourt in town has done likewise. They didn't have a meeting about it, they were all just looking out for the first one to make a move and then jumped on the bandwagon.

  18. Colin Bain

    What else can companies do?

    This most publicly started with the credit card companies not processing transactions for Wikileaks and Assange. I thought that was wrong then, especially since banks and credit card companies bankroll drug/trafficking/taxevasion transactions, certainly at the "wholesale" level if not at the local level.

    This is also wrong.

    What next, Trump won't be able to buy gas at Shell?

    Platforms have been arguing that they are not really responsible for content, and they certainly don't want to have a bureaucratic system in place and pay for that.

    Accountability...where is that in this? Nowhere!

  19. fredesmite2

    DON'T SHITTE WHERE YOU EAT MY GRAMMIE SAID

    During the hearing, Amazon cited examples of violent content that they claim appeared on the platform, including calls to assassinate Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and the media.

    AMAZON HITS BACK AT PARLER LAWSUIT, CLAIMS 'UNWILLINGNESS AND INABILITY' TO REMOVE VIOLENT CONTENT

    Amazon's lawyer, Ambika Doran, noted that the abusive posts were just the "tip of the ice berg" and that it is well within the pucblic interest to deny Parler's injuction based upon the events of Jan. 6.

    "The events of January 6 changed the way we think about the world. It took what was merely hypothetical and made it chillingly real," Doran said. "Amazon had every right, after that happened, with the surge of violent content on Parler, to take that into account when it made the decision it did."

    In addition, Doran noted that there is nothing within Amazon's contract with Parler that required the company to send a 30-day suspension notice prior to making the decision.

    When asked by Judge Rothstein if Amazon Web Services would restore Parler if they implemented moderation policies, Doran said there is "no reason" to believe Parler could develop an effective moderation plan within the next 30 days.

    "They had been unwilling to and unable to," Doran said.

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