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Parler files new suit against Amazon alleging defamation, breach of contract

The alternative social network also drops its earlier hosting lawsuit against Amazon.

Parler files new suit against Amazon alleging defamation, breach of contract
Parler was forced offline for more than a month for allowing inflammatory posts about the Capitol Hill insurrection.
Getty Images

Parler has voluntarily dismissed its federal antitrust lawsuit against Amazon, but the alternative social network isn't done with its fight. Parler on Tuesday filed a new lawsuit against Amazon, alleging defamation and breach of contract in a state court. 

The new suit, filed in Washington state, accuses Amazon of trying to "destroy an up-and-coming technology company" because its business model was viewed as a competitive threat, according to a copy of the lawsuit posted by NPR. It also alleges that Amazon didn't want to provide a platform to conservative voices, including former President Donald Trump.

"The true reason why AWS decided to suspend and/or terminate its contract with Parler was not because of any alleged breach of the contract, but because AWS did not want Parler to be able to provide a new platform to conservative voices, including Donald Trump, or to compete effectively with other microblogging platforms such as Twitter," wrote Parler attorney Angelo Calfo.

Parler gained popularity with right-wing users amid allegations that Twitter, Facebook and other social networks harbor anti-conservative bias. (The social networks have denied those charges.) 

It was forced offline in January after Amazon Web Services cut its support for the social network for allowing posts that advocated violence in the aftermath of a pro-Donald Trump mob storming the US Capitol. Apple and Google also stopped distributing the social network's mobile apps.

Parler managed to relaunch its site in February, though its CEO and cofounder John Matz was ousted by the company's financial backers.

Amazon on Wednesday said the allegations in the new suit have no merit. 

"AWS provides technology and services to customers across the political spectrum, and we respect Parler's right to determine for itself what content it will allow," said an  AWS spokesperson in an emailed statement. "However, as shown by the evidence in Parler's federal lawsuit, it was clear that there was significant content on Parler that encouraged and incited violence against others, which is a violation of our terms of service. Further, Parler was unable or unwilling to promptly identify and remove this content, which coupled with an increase in this type of dangerous violent content, led to our suspension of their services."

Lawyers for Parler dropped the federal suit late Tuesday. Parler didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.