Alternative social media platform Parler announced early Monday morning that it would be temporarily shutting down after Amazon booted it from the company’s servers. That move came following two other devastating blows to the free speech platform, with both Apple and Google removing Parler from their app stores, Fox News reported.
According to one Republican congressman, these actions by powerful tech giants must lead to legal consequences.
On Monday, Fox Business reported that Parler will be suing Amazon for breach of contract and violation of antitrust law. It is also seeking a temporary injunction to have its service restored.
Among Parler’s claims is that the company was cut off because it is in direct competition with Twitter, a company that Amazon maintains a relationship with.
During an appearance on Fox News’ Sunday Morning Futures, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) said these actions by Big Tech were “clearly a violation” of antitrust law as well as the Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
“I don’t know where the hell the Department of Justice is at right now or the FBI,” Nunes told host Maria Bartiromo, according to Fox News. “There should be a racketeering investigation on all the people that coordinated this attack on not only a company, but on all of those like us.
“I have 3 million followers on Parler,” the Republican lawmaker pointed out. “Tonight I will no longer be able to communicate with those people and they’re Americans.
“The effect of this is that there is no longer a free and open social media company or site for any American to get on any longer,” Nunes continued, adding that the three tech firms had “just destroyed” Parler.
Parler files suit against Amazon
Parler CEO John Matze also spoke with Bartiromo, urging users of the platform to “hold on and come back” and noting that the situation had been “devastating to our business, our model, our potential to raise future capital.”
According to Fox Business, Matze explained that the company “may have to go as far as buying and building our own data centers and buying up our own servers if we need to to get back on the internet, you know, but there is risk involved in that given what vendors are doing, the extent they are going to get rid of us.”
Matze also rejected the claim that Parler has helped promote violence, telling Bartiromo:
Nobody has presented any credible piece of information or evidence that, you know, there is any problems on Parler that don’t exist on other platforms.
“This really is a double standard,” he added, according to Fox Business. “We see all sorts of nasty threatening content on Twitter, much more of it actually, in our opinion, and, actually, a lot of content that’s deleted from Parler still remains on Twitter to this day in the form of screenshots.”