Following its abrupt removal from AWS servers, Parler filed a preliminary injunction in a bid to get back onto AWS pending a full trial. That application was denied this week.
Billed as a conservative alternative to Twitter, Parler has been struggling to get back online since Amazon booted it off of its web-hosting service earlier in January.
In response to being kicked off, Parler filed this preliminary injunction to which Amazon responded by stating it had warned Parler over a period of seven weeks about content that violated the AWS terms of service. Parler either lacked the ability to deal with these posts effectively or chose not to deal with them according to Amazon.
And now the Twitter alternative has been dealt another blow.
“Parler has failed to meet the standard set by Ninth Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court precedent for issuance of a preliminary injunction. To be clear, the Court is not dismissing Parler’s substantive underlying claims at this time. Parler has fallen far short, however, of demonstrating, as it must, that it has raised serious questions going to the merits of its claims, or that the balance of hardships tips sharply in its favor. It has also failed to demonstrate that it is likely to prevail on the merits of any of its three claims; that the balance of equities tips in its favor, let alone strongly so; or that the public interests lie in granting the injunction,” wrote US District Court Judge, Barbara Rothstein.
One of the claims Parler made in its injunction was that AWS and Twitter were in cahoots with each other. Apparently, AWS’s termination of services was, “designed to reduce competition in the microblogging services market to the benefit of Twitter”.
The problem with that, as Rothstein pointed out in her ruling, is that AWS doesn’t provide hosting services for Twitter. So even if Parler and Twitter are different sides of the same coin, AWS has no power over whether or not to pull the plug on Twitter.
As for the claim about not removing content, this is where Parler should have read its AWS service agreement and acceptable use policy a bit more carefully.
Parler argued that it had not been given 30 days to address the content but that argument is neither here nor there as a section in the customer service agreement which gives AWS the power to terminate the agreement “immediately upon notice”.
Finally, as to claims of irreparable damage, Rothstein said Parler failed in that pursuit as well.
“Parler’s showing of a likelihood of irreparable injury, particularly in light of its failure to demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits, is insufficient to support a preliminary injunction,” the judge wrote.
As you might suspect, Parler isn’t happy with this ruling.
“Parler is disappointed that the court’s ruling ignored the reality that every social-media platform – including Amazon’s own online store – sometimes unwittingly hosts content that incites violence or is otherwise inappropriate. In fact, our analysis shows that the incidence of such material on Parler is far lower than on competing platforms,” wrote Parler.
It’s worth mentioning that Parler still isn’t accessible. While the website is live, there is seemingly no way of logging in. That having been said, the homepage for the website features posts from Sean Hannity, Senator Rand Paul and Parler CEO John Matze.
When, or rather if, Parler returns remains to be seen.