Tech giants put pressure on Speak as Trump searches for new megaphone online

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President Donald Trump has been kicked out of most mainstream social media platforms after his supporters were sieged on the U.S. Capitol. But it remains to be seen how quickly or where – if at all – on the Internet it will be able to reach its subscribers.
Talking, very sympathetic to the far right, had been the main contender, at least until Google and Apple took it from their app stores and Amazon demoted it from its web hosting service just after midnight. Pacific Time, early Monday.

Parler CEO John Matze said it could take him offline for a week. Parler sued Amazon.com Inc on Monday, accusing it of making an illegal and politically motivated decision to shut it down in favor of Twitter Inc.

In an antitrust complaint filed with the Seattle US District Court, Parler said Amazon had dealt a “fatal blow.” Amazon said the lawsuit had no merit.

Even though Parler finds a more user-friendly web hosting service without a smartphone app, it’s hard to imagine it becoming popular.

The two-year-old far-right magnet claims more than 12 million users, although mobile app analytics company Sensor Tower puts the number at 10 million worldwide, including eight million in U.S. That’s a fraction of the 89 million followers Trump had on Twitter.

Still, Talking could be appealing to Trump since that’s where his sons Eric and Don Jr. are already active. Speaking, however, faced headwinds on Friday as Google pulled its smartphone app from its App Store to allow posts aimed at “inciting continued violence in the United States.” Apple followed suit on Saturday night after giving Speak 24 Hours to deal with complaints it was being used. “Plan and further facilitate new illegal and dangerous activities”. Public safety concerns will need to be addressed before they can be restored, Apple said.

A message seeking comment from Parler was sent on Sunday to inquire whether the company plans to change its policies and enforcement regarding these issues.

Amazon struck another blow on Saturday, informing Parler that it should be looking for a new web hosting service starting at midnight Sunday. He reminded Parler in a letter, first reported by Buzzfeed, that he had informed him in recent weeks of 98 examples of messages “that clearly encourage and incite violence” and said the platform “poses a very real risk for public safety ”.

When asked for comment, an Amazon spokesperson referred The Associated Press to the letter obtained by Buzzfeed.

‘Rebuild from scratch’

Matze de Parler decried the sanctions as “a coordinated attack by the tech giants to kill competition in the market. We got too successful too fast, “he said in a Saturday night article, saying there was a possibility that Parler might not be available for up to a week” as we are rebuilding from the ground up. ”

“All the vendors, from text messaging services, to email providers, to our lawyers, all left us on the same day,” Matze said Sunday on Fox New Channel. Sunday morning futures. He said that if the company tries to get back online as quickly as possible, it “has a lot of problems because every vendor we talk to says they won’t work with us because if Apple doesn’t approve and Google don’t I approve, they won’t. ”

The loss of access to Google and Apple’s app stores – whose operating systems power hundreds of millions of smartphones – severely limits Talking’s reach, though it has continued to be accessed through a browser. Web. The loss of Amazon Web Services means Parler has to scramble to find another web host, in addition to reengineering.

The permanently suspended Twitter account of US President Donald Trump can be seen in this screenshot. (Twitter via Reuters)

Trump can also launch his own platform. But it won’t happen overnight, and free speech pundits predict increasing pressure across social media platforms to curb inflammatory rhetoric as Americans take stock of the violent takeover of the U.S. Capitol Wednesday by a crowd incited by Trump.

While initially arguing about their need to be speech neutral, Twitter and Facebook gradually bowed to public pressure, especially when the so-called plandemic video appeared at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, urging people not to wear masks, noted civic media professor Ethan Zuckerman of the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.

Zuckerman expects the dismantling of Trump could bring about significant changes online. First, there may be an accelerated break-up of the social media world along ideological lines.

“Trump will attract a lot of audiences wherever he goes,” he said. This could mean more platforms with smaller, more ideologically isolated audiences.

On the first full day of trading since Trump left his platform, shares of Twitter Inc. fell more than 10% at the opening bell on Monday. Facebook and other tech companies that have put restrictions on conservative platforms have also fallen amid a broader market sell-off.

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