Parler Drops Its Loser Of A Lawsuit Against Amazon In Federal Court, Files Equally Dumb New Lawsuit In State Court

from the that-ain't-gonna-work-champ dept

As you may recall, Parler had filed a ridiculously weak antitrust lawsuit against Amazon the day after it had its AWS account suspended. A judge easily rejected Parler's request for an injunction, and made it pretty clear Parler's chances of succeeding were slim to none. Parler, which has since found a new host, had indicated it would file an amended complaint, but instead it chose to drop that lawsuit in federal court and file an equally laughable lawsuit in state court in Washington (though with some additional lawyers).

Rather than claiming antitrust (which was never going to work) the new complaint claims breach of contract, defamation and deceptive and unfair practices. The complaint makes a big deal over the fact that in December Twitter and Amazon signed an agreement to use AWS for hosting some Twitter content, and hints repeatedly that Amazon's move a month later was to help Twitter stomp out a competitor. But this is all just random conspiracy theory nonsense, and not at all how any of this actually works.

The defamation claim is particularly silly.

On January 9, 2021, AWS sent an email to Parler declaring that AWS would indefinitely suspend Parler’s service, claiming that Parler was unable or unwilling “to remove content that encourages or incites violence against others.” AWS or one of its employees publicly leaked that email in bad faith to BuzzFeed at or around the same time AWS sent the email to Parler.

AWS’s email was false and AWS knew it was false. Parler was willing and able to remove such content and AWS knew that, because there was a lengthy history between the parties of Parler removing such content as quickly as AWS brought it to Parler’s attention. What is more, AWS was well aware that Parler was testing a new AI-based system to remove such content before it was even posted, that Parler had success with initial testing of the program, and that Parler had in fact shared those testing results with AWS.

The AWS email received wide play in the media.

This itself is kind of fascinating. Because even though we had highlighted that Parler takes down content, publicly it had claimed over and over again that it did not take down content. In fact, nearly all of Parler's brand was built on it's (misleading) claim to not do content moderation. So, how the hell could Amazon claiming that Parler wasn't doing content moderation be defamatory when that's the very reputation that Parler itself tried to highlight for itself?!?

Also, uh, this isn't going to fly in any court:

Parler is not a public figure and the success of its “content moderation” policies was not a matter of public concern until Google and AWS decided to make it one, but the defendant cannot by a defamatory statement turn a private matter into a public one or all matters would be public in nature.

No, sorry, Parler was very much a public figure way before Google and AWS's decisions.

The complaint also argues, repeatedly, that AWS had always been happy with Parler until it told it was suspending the account, but the filings in the original lawsuit in federal court clearly indicated otherwise, and noted that Amazon had reached out to Parler months earlier. I'm confused as to whether Parler's lawyer thinks that Amazon won't immediately point that out? Also, it seems decently likely that Amazon is going to try to get the case removed right back to federal court, so it's not clear why Parler thinks it can avoid federal court with this case. The whole thing, once again, seems performative and stands just as much of a chance as the original.

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Filed Under: antitrust, aws, breach of contract, content moderation, defamation
Companies: amazon, parler


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  • identicon
    Baron von Robber, 5 Mar 2021 @ 9:42am

    "Rather than claiming antitrust (which was never going to work) the new complaint claims breach of contract, defamation and deceptive and unfair practices."

    Defamation?! Parler complaining Amazon didn't say Parler wasn't racist/fascist enough?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Koby (profile), 5 Mar 2021 @ 10:01am

    Remember, disagreement is not violence

    In fact, nearly all of Parler's brand was built on it's (misleading) claim to not do content moderation. So, how the hell could Amazon claiming that Parler wasn't doing content moderation be defamatory when that's the very reputation that Parler itself tried to highlight for itself?!?

    Parler was willing to engage in some censorship based on certain criteria, such as calling for violent acts to be committed. It wasn't willing to censor based on mere political disagreement. That part, no censorship for disagreement, is what it built its reputation upon. So the claim by AWS that Parler was not taking down the advocacy of violence seems defamatory, if that is in fact what Parler was doing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Baron von Robber, 5 Mar 2021 @ 10:06am

      Re: Remember, disagreement is not violence

      " It wasn't willing to censor based on mere political disagreement."

      Yes they did.

      https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20200627/23551144803/as-predicted-parler-is-banning-users-it- doesnt-like.shtml

      "Pretty much all of my leftist friends joined Parler to screw with MAGA folks, and every last one of them was banned in less than 24 hours because conservatives truly love free speech.

      — Respectable Lawyer (@RespectableLaw) June 26, 2020"

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        icon
        Koby (profile), 5 Mar 2021 @ 1:07pm

        Re: Re: Remember, disagreement is not violence

        As I myself chronicled in the comments of that story, we can see the reason why those people got banned: impersonation. But perhaps it is worth a refresher here.

        The individuals that got banned realized that the names of many prominent political figures were not yet claimed, and so they began claiming and using them. One of the few rules established in the Community Guidelines agreement was that there be no impersonation accounts. The very first individual featured in the article, Thor Benson, admitted to attempting to register as the official account for The Federalist website, for which he got banned. Many other leftists who got banned were impersonating Trump.

        So whenever someone claims they got banned on Parler, ask what they posted, and under what account name they posted it. It probably makes perfect sense, and it wasn't for mere disagreement.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2021 @ 1:27pm

          Re: Re: Re: Remember, disagreement is not violence

          So Parler's the victim huh? That seems to be consistent with every other defense you make, no matter what you're defending.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            crade (profile), 5 Mar 2021 @ 2:23pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Remember, disagreement is not violence

            Many other leftists who got banned were impersonating Trump.

            Probably the most transparently bullshit excuse you can find

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2021 @ 3:04pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Remember, disagreement is not violence

              And Parler didn't think to verify an account supposing to be Trump? If your defense is either ignorance or incompetence I'd start rethinking what you're defending.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 5 Mar 2021 @ 2:33pm

          whenever someone claims they got banned on Parler, ask what they posted

          Take your own advice: Whenever someone claims they got banned from Twitter or Facebook because of “anti-conservative bias”, ask them what they posted.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Bloof (profile), 6 Mar 2021 @ 4:49am

          Re: Re: Re: Remember, disagreement is not violence

          Conservatives are even adding 'false flag fairytales to their sad justifications for censorship now. Nothing conservatives do is ever unjustified or ever their fault.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 6 Mar 2021 @ 11:25am

          Re: Re: Re: Remember, disagreement is not violence

          "the reason why those people got banned: impersonation."

          When impersonating donny, did they saying things like Grab them by the pussy? Or how about, I accept no responsibility. That is not impersonation, that is laughing at and making fun of.

          I'm sure that all instances of banning were for this reason alone and nothing else at all. Right.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Baron von Robber, 5 Mar 2021 @ 1:33pm

        Re: Re: Remember, disagreement is not violence

        So what did the TheRealDevinCow post that was offensive to get a ban?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2021 @ 10:12am

      Re: Remember, disagreement is not violence

      seems defamatory

      Yup - and with all of Parler's data out in the wild because of shitty programming, all AWS needs to do is find a few examples of them doing otherwise. Because truth is a valid defense.

      Parler should instead focus their lawsuits against the piss-poor amateur-hour programmers who were so grossly incompetent as to allow for that to happen. It's not like they can blame that on some kind of liberal/Antifa plot, no?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2021 @ 10:33am

      Re: Remember, disagreement is not violence

      Do you ever get the facts on any claims right?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Mar 2021 @ 10:48am

      Re: Remember, disagreement is not violence

      Parler was willing to engage in some censorship based on certain criteria, such as calling for violent acts to be committed. It wasn't willing to censor based on mere political disagreement.

      Note: as usual, Koby's claim is the complete inverse of reality.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Bloof (profile), 6 Mar 2021 @ 4:54am

      Re: Remember, disagreement is not violence

      'Parler was willing to engage in some censorship based on certain criteria, such as calling for violent acts to be committed.

      So they banned all the capitol rioters, militias, Qanon supporters who want the entire left to be rounded up, and evangelicals calling for LGBTQ+ people to 'be harmed, they banned people like Alex Jones who cheerlead for violent insurrection every chance they get?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 7 Mar 2021 @ 11:07pm

      Re: Remember, disagreement is not violence

      Have you ever posted a real fact in discussions on this subject, or are committed to posting easily disproven lies?

      It's a shame you're too dishonest to return to a conversation after you're spewed your nonsense and left, since you might learn why you're wrong on every thread.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 5 Mar 2021 @ 10:09am

    So basically this is the neonazi version of 2nd round capitol raising?

    Tell the rubes how you are fighting the big guy FOR THEM but we need your help to stick it to them (with this pointless lawsuit that will go nowhere) by paying for lawyers (and trips for ourselves).

    While this is a stupid shitshow, perhaps society should examine that we've reach a point where people actually believe provably false things as fact & cling to them.

    I mean if they call on the phone & shakedown senior citizens with romance or bank scams they at least pretend they care, but these idiots are raising money for a "legal case" that is unthetered from reality & the law.

    Perhaps Judges not referring lawyers who file spurious claims to some sort of review/punishment needs to happen before they've already filed 300 crap cases.

    A lawyer should have been able to tell them

    • you do not have a case
    • i will not file this case
    • anyone who does is ripping you off

    I mean there is always that 1 elusive case that can turn current law on its head... but there is no way in hell it is this.
    This is grifting the rubes by feeding them the endless dream that the world IS against them & only by buying our merch & donating can YOU save yourselves.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 5 Mar 2021 @ 1:33pm

    'How dare you defame us with facts and documentation?!'

    Also, it seems decently likely that Amazon is going to try to get the case removed right back to federal court, so it's not clear why Parler thinks it can avoid federal court with this case. The whole thing, once again, seems performative and stands just as much of a chance as the original.

    SOP for that lot where while winning in court would be nice it isn't actually the goal(and in fact 'losing' can be chalked up as a 'win'), rather the courts are merely being used as stages for dishonest performance art to further the persecution narrative/fetish and con gullible fools out of their money to 'support the good fight!'

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 7 Mar 2021 @ 11:06pm

      Re: 'How dare you defame us with facts and documentation?!'

      Exactly. This is just another example of using the courts for headlines to promote the fact that they are back up and running, and using them to grandstand to people who are stupid enough to believe the claims of persecution now that the headlines are all about right-wingers obsessing over childrens' books, toys and TV shows instead of social media.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 5 Mar 2021 @ 8:15pm

    Parler, like Trump, is looking for attention.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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