Filing: Amazon warned Parler for months about “more than 100” violent threats

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A 3D logo hangs from the ceiling of the convention center.
Zoom in / The Amazon Web Services (AWS) logo was displayed during the fourth edition of Viva Technology Expo at the Parc des Expositions Porte de Versailles on May 17, 2019, in Paris, France.

Amazon on Tuesday brought receipts in its response to Parler’s lawsuit filed on the apparently no longer existing social networking platform, detailing AWS’s repeated efforts to have Parler deal with outright threats of violence posted to the service.

In the wake of the violent mutiny at the US Capitol building last Wednesday, AWS Parler kicked Their web hosting platform at midnight Sunday evening. In response, Parler He filed a lawsuit Amazon is accused of breaching a contract for political reasons and colluding with Twitter to get a competitor to go offline.

However, Amazon said in its response that the ban had nothing to do with “stifling views” or “conspiracy” to restrict a competitor (PDF). Instead, Amazon said, “this case is about Parler’s unwillingness and inability” to remove dangerous content, including posts inciting and plotting “to rape, torture, and assassinate specific government officials and ordinary citizens … AWS suspended Parler’s account as a last resort to prevent further Access to such content, including violence plans to disrupt the impending presidential transition.

Amazon added: “If there is any breach, this indicates Parler’s failure and its inability to identify and remove such content.” “Forcing AWS to host content that plots, encourages, and incites violence will be unprecedented.”

Not surprising at all

To an outside observer, Parler’s rapid rise to prominence and his all-out meltdown last weekend and over the weekend was probably quite surprising. Parler launched in 2018 but only gained any true traction on a large scale a few months ago. About the November elections.

Reports began to surface for the first time in December of the presence of marginal elements from the right Using Parler and other platforms To plan a protest or rally of some kind in Washington, DC on January 6. The whole world saw how those “groupings” I turned last week.

Last Friday, in the wake of the events at the Capitol, Google Banned debate From the Android App Store, citing the platform’s failure to remove “obscene content such as violent posts.” A day later, Apple followed suit, likewise suspending Parler from iOS for failing to address “the prevalence of these threats to people’s safety.” By the end of the weekend, Parler was I got the shoe From AWS as well and completely disconnected from the internet.

But far from disconnecting all of a sudden, Parler was struggling Months Warning, Amazon says. Amazon files included copies of the emails I sent to Parler in mid-November (PDF, Warning Content About Racial Slurs) contains screenshots filled with racist slander of Democrats, including former First Lady Michelle Obama, with a series of responses from other users to “kill them all.”

The company said Amazon provided “more than 100 additional representative pieces of content” calling for violence on Parler over the following seven weeks. Another document on file (PDF, Also with content warning about racist slurs and threats of violence) Dozens of examples of posts Amazon reported to Parler, starting in mid-December. These posts call, among other things, for the killing of a certain transgender person; Actively wishing to fight a race war and kill the black people and the Jews; Many activists and politicians were killed, such as Stacy Abrams, Alexandria Representative Ocasio Cortez (DN.Y.), and former President Barack Obama.

AWS representatives spoke with Parler’s executive leadership January 8 and 9 about “content modification policies, processes, and tools,” Amazon said. In response, Parler was alleged to have offered steps that rely on “volunteer” moderation, and Parler CEO John Matze allegedly told AWS that “Parler has 26,000 reports backlog of content that violates his community standards and remains in his service”

Legitimate concerns

The violent threats made by at least some Parler users have proven far from hypothetical.

Almost all Parler content was Archived Completely before service interruption. Gizmodo reporters looking at this archived data were able to find it Several hundred Parler users Who were posting a video on the stage from inside or near the Capitol building during the January 6 events.

Dedicated efforts on Reddit And the Twitter To collect screenshots and videos of Parler, it also shows a disturbing pattern of threats and allegations made on the platform in the days before and after the January 6 rebellion.

Such as The Washington Post reported On Tuesday, the FBI was aware of credible threats of online violence. On January 5, the day before rioters stormed the Capitol, the FBI in Norfolk, Virginia, issued a memo that read in part, “A topic on the Internet discussed specific calls for violence including,” Be prepared to fight. Congress needs to hear the glass “smashing doors, kicking doors, and bloodshed from BLM and Pantifa slave soldiers. Be violent. Stop calling this a march, rally, or protest. Go there ready for war. Get our boss or we die. Nothing.” Otherwise, he will achieve this goal. “

Unfortunately, the threats of violence have not subsided. District of Columbia is going slow Turn into a fortress Ahead of next week’s inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden, as credible threats of violence continue to target not only the nation’s capital, but also State capitals As well.

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