In a blistering response to a lawsuit filed by Parler for terminating its web hosting services, Amazon said that it pulled Parler from its platform as a last resort after Parler refused to pull content that supported violence and broadcast threats, CNN reports.
“This case is about Parler’s demonstrated unwillingness and inability to remove from the servers of Amazon Web Services (‘AWS’) content that threatens the public safety,” Amazon wrote in a court filing, “such as by inciting and planning the rape, torture, and assassination of named public officials and private citizens.”
Amazon’s lawyers provided the Court with examples of posts promoting violent insurrection against the United States; threats against the lives of Democratic politicians and tech executives like Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey; and posts “inciting and planning the rape, torture, and assassination of named public officials and private citizens.”Amazon’s lawsuit also references Section 230 of the Communications Act of 1934 and updated in 1996, a regulation lambasted recently by Donald Trump and other conservatives who claim that it give tech companies too broad immunity from lawsuits relating to content posted by users.
Amazon stated that it acted legally to remove the content from Parler because it was dangerous. “That is precisely what AWS did here: removed access to content it considered ‘excessively violent’ and ‘harassing,'” the brief said.
By mentioning Section 230, it appears Amazon desires to set up a legal fight over Section 230 and the ability of web platforms to choose to host content that may be dangerous and threatening.