Social media platform Parler has been shut out of Amazon, Apple and Google over ‘threats of violence’, following the deadly attacks on Capitol Hill after a Trump rally last week.
The two-year-old platform has often sparked criticism as a magnet for extremist views and hate speech, and attracts 12 million users. The plafrom calls itself the “free speech” social network as an alternative to Twiter and Facebook.
The platform had been reliant on the tech giant’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud computing service. It is popular among supporters of Donald Trump, although the president is not a user.
Amazon took the action after finding dozens of posts on the service which it said encouraged violence.
Google and Apple had already removed Parler from their app stores towards the end of last week saying it had failed to comply with their content-moderation requirements.
However, it had still been accessible via the web – although visitors had complained of being unable to create new accounts over the weekend, without which it was not possible to view its content. Many have used the forum to spread falsehoods and hateful comments.
Google removed its smartphone app from its store for allowing postings that seek “to incite ongoing violence in the US”.
Apple followed suit on Saturday evening after giving Parler 24 hours to address complaints it was being used to “plan and facilitate yet further illegal and dangerous activities”.
Public safety issues will need to be resolved before it is restored, Apple said.
Amazon’s subsequent move effectively takes the site offline unless it can find a new company to host its services.
Parler chief executive John Matze lashed out at Amazon, Google and Apple, saying it was a co-ordinated effort knowing Parler’s options would be limited and it would inflict the most damage right as Trump was banned from other social media platforms.
In a later post, he said: “We will likely be down longer than expected. This is not due to software restrictions… we have our software and everyone’s data ready to go. Rather it’s that Amazon’s, Google’s and Apple’s statements to the press about dropping our access has caused most of our other vendors to drop their support for us as well.
“And most people with enough servers to host us have shut their doors to us. We will update everyone and update the press when we are back online.
“Parler is my final stand on the internet. I won’t be making an account on any social. Parler is my home. See you all soon.”
In addition to Parler, right-leaning social media users in America have flocked to messaging app Telegram and hands-off social site Gab, citing the more aggressive policing of political comments on mainstream platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.