It's after 12:00 a.m. Pacific Time and Parler is still accessible. Gone at 12:30 a.m.


I am greatly concerned that one of my outlets for news, commentary, and bloviating is being artificially restricted by Amazon Web Services, which appears to violate Section 230, which provides certain immunities for platforms that host third-party content. It appears that Amazon has chosen to moderate its customer's content, Parler, based on the content of their third-party posters and thus has forfeited all protections against being held accountable for their actions. AWS now appears responsible for content posted on their other customer’s platforms.  Platforms that may feature content from hostile foreign powers threatening America or American, content threatening harm to individuals, or content inciting illegal activities.

An essential truth…

It appears that the media moguls and tech tyrants have significant business and assets at risk in Communist China, so why wouldn’t they embrace “State Capitalism,” which is a parasitic symbiosis between government and the private sector? That is, assist the administration in controlling their messaging in return for continuing monopolies, a relaxed regulatory environment, favorable tax treatment, and government grants and contracts.


The right to search for the truth implies also a duty; one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true. – Albert Einstein.

Parler at risk…

From a letter from Amazon Web Services to Parler’s Chief Policy Officer, Amy Peikoff…

Dear Amy,

Thank you for speaking with us earlier today.

As we discussed on the phone yesterday and this morning, we remain troubled by the repeated violations of our terms of service. Over the past several weeks, we’ve reported 98 examples to Parler of posts that clearly encourage and incite violence. Here are a few examples below from the ones we’ve sent previously: [See images above.]

Recently, we’ve seen a steady increase in this violent content on your website, all of which violates our terms. It’s clear that Parler does not have an effective process to comply with the AWS terms of service. It also seems that Parler is still trying to determine its position on content moderation. You remove some violent content when contacted by us or others, but not always with urgency. Your CEO recently stated publicly that he doesn’t “feel responsible for any of this, and neither should the platform.” This morning, you shared that you have a plan to more proactively moderate violent content, but plan to do so manually with volunteers. It’s our view that this nascent plan to use volunteers to promptly identify and remove dangerous content will not work in light of the rapidly growing number of violent posts. This is further demonstrated by the fact that you still have not taken down much of the content that we’ve sent you. Given the unfortunate events that transpired this past week in Washington, D.C., there is serious risk that this type of content will further incite violence.

AWS provides technology and services to customers across the political spectrum, and we continue to respect Parler’s right to determine for itself what content it will allow on its site. However, we cannot provide services to a customer that is unable to effectively identify and remove content that encourages or incites violence against others. Because Parler cannot comply with our terms of service and poses a very real risk to public safety, we plan to suspend Parler’s account effective Sunday, January 10th, at 11:59 PM PST. We will ensure that all of your data is preserved for you to migrate to your own servers, and will work with you as best as we can to help your migration.

– AWS Trust & Safety Team

Not all is lost…

From Parler founder and CEO John Matze…

Sunday (tomorrow) at midnight Amazon will be shutting off all of our servers in an attempt to completely remove free speech off the internet. There is the possibility Parler will be unavailable on the internet for up to a week as we rebuild from scratch. We prepared for events like this by never relying on amazons proprietary infrastructure and building bare metal products.

We will try our best to move to a new provider right now as we have many competing for our business, however Amazon, Google and Apple purposefully did this as a coordinated effort knowing our options would be limited and knowing this would inflict the most damage right as President Trump was banned from the tech companies.

This was a coordinated attack by the tech giants to kill competition in the market place. We were too successful too fast. You can expect the war on competition and free speech to continue, but don’t count us out.

A last-minute statement from John Matze with 18-minutes to go...

I wanted to send everyone on Parler an update. 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.

Freedom of speech, the neutrality of platforms, and restraint of trade or commerce…

Normally, private companies are not bound by the Free Speech Clause of the Constitution’s First Amendment. Unless they are acting as an agent of or at the government's direction, could a case be made that they are acting as an agent of the government by hosting government activities on their platform?

If a platform wants to benefit from Section 230 protections against litigation for hosted content, perhaps they should not attempt to moderate their customer’s content, especially using partisan, political, or foreign-influenced so-called “fact-checkers.”

Bottom line…

Perhaps Amazon should realize that politicians and administrations come and go while there are Americans who have sworn to uphold, protect, and defend the U.S. Constitution. Considering Amazon’s size, financial resources, and impact on commerce, they are still susceptible to prosecution under anti-trust laws, deceptive trade practices, restraint of trade, and can face being regulated like a utility, forced to divest divisions, and lose Section 230 protections against defamation lawsuits brought by third-parties for content “published” on their platform.

Perhaps, is it about time to investigate those foreign Amazon employees with H-1B visas and Amazon’s hosting of government information as a national security risk? Along with employees who are likely to have continuing associations with current or former intelligence, law enforcement, or other government agencies. Possibly demanding the disclosure of all former politicians and lobbyists with stiff penalties for non-disclosure. Perhaps altering those unilateral “take it or leave it” terms of service agreements to give users more power to litigate (not arbitrate) and obtain consequential damages for acts of malfeasance, misfeasance, and non-feasance.

Bottom line…

While there may be little that can affect one of the world’s richest men, being jailed for aiding and abetting a foreign power in taking adverse action against our country is a sobering thought. When one company attempts to regulate another company's conduct, either for political or competitive purposes, it is time to scrutinize their actions more closely. Although Amazon is a massive benefit during the pandemic and has reduced transactional frictions to a minimum, they are by no means the only company in the marketspace – merely the largest.

-- steve

“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!

“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw

“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”

“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius

“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell

“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar

“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS