A combined effort of Google, Apple and Amazon has effectively put the conservative-friendly social media platform Parler out of business. Are they crushing free speech?
The fast-rising social media platform Parler, a conservative-friendly alternative to Twitter, was shut down and essentially put out of business by the combined efforts of Google, Apple and Amazon over the weekend.
First, Google and Apple demanded that Parler enforce stricter moderation of content, threatening to remove availability of the apps from their stores if the company did not comply. Both tech giants shortly made good on the threat. Keep in mind, Parler is its own platform; people simply get the app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.
Next, Amazon also made the same demand for content moderation from Parler or it would remove the website from its Amazon Web services (AWS) hosting platform. Amazon then shut down Parler’s servers, essentially enacting the deathblow to the website.
Worse, Parler could not obtain web hosting from any other large-size companies that would be necessary to handle the amount of web traffic.
For all intents and purposes, these three big tech giants put Parler out of business because they didn’t like what was being said on an independent company’s own website. The question now becomes whether Google, Apple and Amazon are acting like a monopoly and crushing competition.
Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA), a ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, has called for a racketeering investigation of Apple, Google and Amazon after the Parler ban occurred over the weekend.
Nunes called the move by the three tech giants a “clear violation” of antitrust, civil rights and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act, during an interview on Sunday, Fox reported.
“I don’t know where the hell the Department of Justice is at right now or the FBI,” said Nunes. “There should be a racketeering investigation on all the people that coordinated this attack on not only a company, but on all of those like us.
“I have 3 million followers on Parler,” Nunes added. “Tonight I will no longer be able to communicate with those people and they’re Americans.”
The editorial board of the New York Post wrote an opinion article titled: “Big Tech’s assault on Parler proves it’s gone full cartel.”