Talking disconnects after removal from Amazon


Speak, a social media app popular with conservatives and supporters of President Donald Trump, was taken offline after Amazon withdrew its support in the wake of the deadly riot on the U.S. Capitol last week.
The application relied on the power of cloud computing provided by Amazon Web Services.

AWS told Parler on Saturday that it would no longer provide cloud services to the company as of 11:59 p.m. PT Sunday, according to an email obtained by CNBC. An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the letter’s authenticity to CNBC, but declined to comment further.

John Matze, founder and CEO, said in a statement Monday that the Speak app will be unavailable “longer than expected” because other cloud hosting companies are unwilling to work with Speak in light of press statements released by Amazon, Google and Apple.

“We’ll probably be down longer than expected,” Matze wrote. “This is not due to software restrictions – we have our software and everyone’s data ready to go. Rather, it is that statements from Amazon, Google, and Apple to the press about dropping our access caused most of our other providers to drop their support because good. ”

He added, “Most of the people with enough servers to house us have closed their doors to us. We will update everyone and update the press when we get back online. ”

AWS told Parler in the email that it had reported 98 examples to Parler of messages that “clearly encourage and incite violence.” Among the messages he reported to Speak, which were viewed by CNBC, users of the platform made violent threats directed against “liberal leaders, liberal activists, blm leaders and supporters,” in plus other groups.

Screenshots of the Speak app seen by CNBC show users posting references to firing squads, as well as calls to bring weapons to the presidential inauguration later this month.

Matze condemned the actions of the tech giants in a series of posts on Speak over the weekend, saying his platform had removed its violent content and adding that his community guidelines did not allow Speaking to be knowingly used for criminal purposes.

“We are the worlds [sic] last hope for freedom of expression and free information. What they are doing is unprecedented, groundless and absolutely disgusting, ”Matze wrote on Saturday night. They want to keep their monopoly on speech. ”

In response to this, an AWS spokesperson told CNBC that AWS provides services to customers from all political backgrounds and confirmed that the suspension has taken place for content that the company says encourages clearly violence.

Apple removed Speak from the iPhone App Store on Saturday. The company said posts on Speak related to the U.S. Capitol Riot last week included calls for violence, which violates Apple’s rules against objectionable content.

“We have always supported various views represented on the App Store, but there is no room on our platform for threats of violence and illegal activity,” an Apple representative said in a statement. . “Parler has not taken adequate measures to combat the proliferation of these threats to human security. We have suspended Talking from the App Store until they resolve these issues. ”

Google removed Parler from its Android app store, Google Play, on Friday.

“In order to protect user safety on Google Play, our long-standing policies require that apps displaying user-generated content have moderation policies and an app that removes blatant content such as messages inciting violence,” a Google spokesperson said.

“All developers agree to these terms and we have reminded Talk about this clear policy over the past few months. We are aware of the continued publication in the Speak app which seeks to incite continued violence in the United States. We recognize that there can be a reasonable debate on the content. policies and it can be difficult for apps to immediately remove any non-compliant content, but in order for us to distribute an app through Google Play, we require apps to implement robust moderation for blatant content. In light of this ongoing and urgent threat to public safety, we are suspending the app listings on the Play Store until they resolve these issues. ”

The news follows Twitter’s permanent suspension of Trump’s Twitter account, which had 88 million followers, for what he said was the president’s incitement to violence related to the Capitol storming, which killed five people. Trump then condemned the violence. Trump has also been banned from Facebook and Instagram.

Gab, a social network similar to Parler known for its far-right user base and frequent hate speech mob, appears to be benefiting from the fallout. On Monday, Gab CEO Andrew Torba announced that the platform has gained 600,000 new users.

– Additional reporting by CNBC’s Annie Palmer and Natasha Turak.


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