Amazon just took Parler down, and Parler filed an anti-trust lawsuit in response

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    I'm 100% supportive if Appstore/Playstore wants to remove Parler. But Amazon AWS is different.

    As a consumer, I'm blind of cloud hosting while browsing. Now I know I'm using Indiehackers. Indiehackers can decide what I should be allowed to say with full rights. There's a trust. But I have no idea what cloud service it is being hosted on. I don't need Amazon or Google monitoring how acceptable my data is behind my back regardless of Terms of Service with Indiehackers. That's just creepy.

    As an application developer, I guarantee no one has read carefully the terms of service in cloud hosting. We just spin up a server and start storing a database. It'd be understandable if the activity is obvious stuff like fraud or drug sales that have been illegal for decades and well debated by now. In this case, like it says in an article, this sudden shutdown is highly political. The shutdown means your service will probably never recover. That's just another unknown risk for all of us.


    Just to elaborate "highly political"; I mean it by conforming to social pressure. This issue should be debated properly in the congress, and AWS should abide by whatever law that might or might not get passed. That's the responsibility of Amazon as an infrastructure company.

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      like it says in an article, this sudden shutdown is highly political.

      As far as I am aware, Amazon had been contacting the Parler admins for many, many weeks or even months with actual documented instances of posts contravening their terms of service, and asking them to moderate or remove that content. Parler kept refusing, so Amazon issued the final ultimatum of '24 hours to fix this or you are out'.

      So it seems they had plenty of warning, but chose to ignore, or just be arrogant about it, and now have to face the consequences. Traffic cops and landlords will also tend to give you a warning early on, but there comes a time when the substance hits the fan and you get your ticket/marching orders.

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      I guarantee no one has read carefully the terms of service in cloud hosting. We just spin up a server and start storing a database.

      Why is that a good thing? I guarantee you ignorance of terms of service isn't really much of a defense. Find another hosting platform.

      If all hosting platforms will reject you because of your content... perhaps there's really something massively morally wrong with your content? Peoples' opposition to your message isn't always some automatic vindication that you're correct. It might, in fact, be an indication that you are, indeed, holding a wrong position (subjectively wrong, or perhaps objectively wrong).

      Multiple people repeatedly and publicly calling for the execution of political opponents isn't really something to be taken lightly. Inciting people to murder is... illegal to, IIRC.

      So.. perhaps your business model shouldn't be "give a public platform to every crank/nut who wants to vent then refuse to moderate". I'd think if it was such a great business model, they'd be able to afford their own infrastructure.

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        Sounds like you are talking about Reddit 🤪.

        It’s easy to ignore the implications when you agree politically, but if you look at the big picture it’s a very scary thing.

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          Sedition, insurrection, kidnapping, and conspiracy to commit the same is not political. This has nothing to do with agreeing or disagreeing with Parler's politics.

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            That’s like saying if someone says something crazy on Facebook than all of Facebook should be shut down. And not by the government, but by a few large corporations that control the flow of information.

            Parler is just a platform. Like AWS is supposed to be.

            But big tech is no longer just a platform and hasn’t been for a while. We can’t function without them in modern society and we are now allowing them to dictate what information we can see.

            You may be ok without that now because you agree with it personally but the big picture implications for all of us are scary to say the least.

            1. 0

              Dude, you are repeating the same point. I acknowledge your point, but it simply seems that you are playing devils advocate. What do you think should happen? Should AWS allow Parler to continue to operate despite Parler violating the Terms of Use? If your answer is yes, you should immediately see the hypocrisy in your argument. You want the government to FORCE AWS to keep serving Parler. You can't have it both ways.

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                Where is the hypocrisy in what I’m saying?

                If we can’t function in modern society with big tech then they need to be labeled and regulated differently. Do we step in and open it up for more viable competitive alternatives or do we label them a utility?

                And if a platform wants to be biased and start terminating users for opinionated content then it should no longer be labeled a platform but a publisher. And who gets to decide who's opinion is correct? You? Me?

                I agree that if someone makes a direct murderous threat then they can get banned and even better forwarded to law enforcement. But that is not what is happening here. There is widespread banning of hundreds of thousands of people and accounts that have never uttered a word of violence but merely have had a different opinion or showed support for someone else. This is what we should be outraged about. Giving a few corporate entities the reigns to do a mass sweep to silence a different viewpoint has far reaching implications that should scare us all.

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      Just try not build a cesspit for domestic terrorists and bigots. You’ll be good.

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        Parler has 10 million users. You surely don't believe that many Americans are domestic terrorists and bigots.

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          I believe all 10million of them are at least sympathisers.

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            I don't believe they actually have close to 10 million actual people - my own estimate was that probably a third of accounts on there are bots spewing garbage links to spread malware.

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            quite the wide brush you're priming with

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              It’s Parler. The only reason you have an account their is to get involved in right wing garbage.

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                This idea that it is ok to just shut things off because you don’t agree with them has many scary implications. I am surprised an “indie hacker” lacks the independent thinking to see this.

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                  You want to talk about "scary". Go watch the insurrection that occurred at the Capitol last week. You can't truly believe in your position or credibly espouse it without acknowledging the hypocrisy.

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                    I am also neither a republican or a democrat. And everything you state about BLM protests and the capital protests are opinion. You are applying different logic to each on based on your personal belief. I get it. Its easy to get sucked in to the us vs. them but if can step back from your personal beliefs and see the big picture you will see that allowing a few large corporate entities to control our information is not the route we want to go in.

                    If you are having a hard time stepping back from your personal beliefs just imagine if big tech next decided BLM was a violent terrorist group because of the actions of a few supporters. They then banned any person, information, company, or platform even remotely associated with BLM.

                    I think its scary that they have the power to do that - regardless of whom they deem the threat at the moment.

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                      So your real argument is that the corporation is somehow more powerful than the government simply because they can effectively remove someone's megaphone?

                      I am more afraid of the insurrection that occurred at the behest of the current government. That should really scare you. The government can actually execute you without due process, seize your assets, or even disappear you if you disagree with them. Thankfully, we have enough people in this country to fight back against such actions.

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                    Also, you talk against creating an echo chamber but that is exactly what happens when you start banning anyone with a different opinion. Big tech is creating a nation wide echo chamber. What’s next, social credits? I guess I would quickly get muted for not wanting big tech to be able to control the information we can or can’t see.

                    The path to healing is definitely not allowing a few corporate entities to ban and control the information we see. It is through an open discourse where everyone gets a say even if we don’t agree with them.

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                      I respect your opinion, but respectfully disagree. How can one have "open discourse" with a domestic terrorist who believes the murder of 6 million Jews was not enough? No thanks. I only have one life to live, and I would rather avoid that human filth at all costs. Come what may.

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                    Ok. And the violence that occurred on my block in Chicago during a BLM protest was even scarier.

                    And I would be equally outraged if Twitter and Facebook were shut down by a few corporate entities because they were used to organize that violence.

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                      Haha, good whataboutism. I'm neither a republican nor democrat. BLM PEACEFUL protests were for a very good cause. For those who broke laws during the BLM protests, they should and have been prosecuted according to established laws.

                      The insurrection by Domestic Terrorists at the US Capitol is not comparable to BLM protests and/or riots. For one, the main motivation was based on conspiracy theories that the election was fraudulent, as well as many other debunked theories.

                      The BLM protests were the direct result of a murder we all witnessed on live video footage.

                      If the rioting and looting that occurred during some of the BLM protests were organized on Twitter, then yes, those accounts should be shut down. If Twitter uses AWS, and refused to shut down accounts that violate AWS Terms of Use, then AWS would be within their right to shut Twitter down.

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                  Can you please point me to where i say things should be shut off because I don't agree with them?

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                    But that IS your opinion. So once something doesn't fit into your opinion than its ok to shut it down and arguing that is “ridiculous”. Scary logic there.

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                      You're twisting again. First it was "things" and now it's "something".

                      No. I am talking about (as I have already made clear) SPECIFICALLY Parler.


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                    I didn’t say you said that. Try to follow along.

                    You did say this however:
                    “The only reason you have an account their is to get involved in right wing garbage.” amongst other things.

                    You seem out of touch. Have you ever actually lived in the USA?

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                      I was born in the USA and I also believe the main draw to Parler is the echo chamber effect. People go there to reinforce their world view, like many other echo chambers. It just so happens that Parler allows unmoderated content.

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                      You ABSOLUTELY implied that I said. Otherwise why would you reply to me the way you did.

                      I am talking SPECIFICALLY about Parler. If I wanted things shut down that I didn't agree with I would want half the internet removed.

                      The one and only reason we are talking about Parler, the one and only reason ANYONE is talking about Parler is because it became championed by right wing bigots, conspiracy theorist nutcases and election deniers in the wake of the US election.

                      To try and argue otherwise at this point is ridiculous.

      2. 2

        Have you spent at least 10 minutes on Parler?

    4. 2

      Even if we as consumers are blind to cloud hosting, the people working on cloud hosting services are not. A lot of these political and ethical questions are thought out on the basis of the impact to society and social pressure from some external source, but we often ignore the risk to ourselves.

      Honestly, as an employee, if I was forced to work on a product that made profit by damaging my dignity, I am certain it would be a huge blow to my health. It's not just external pressure, there's internal pressure too. I think they are within every right to reject working with something like this.

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        This is a really good point, and I heard on a (credible) news report that pressure from Apple and Google EMPLOYEES was a factor in them being removed from the app stores.

    5. 2

      This issue should be debated properly in the congress, and AWS should abide by whatever law that might or might not get passed. That's the responsibility of Amazon as an infrastructure company.

      Issues of free speech have been debated, and there are laws about how these scenarios can and should play out, and that's what's happening. I'm unclear as to what the big concern is? It's been this way for decades.

  2. 7

    On the AWS side, I think it's very hard to argue that Twitter and Facebook aren't equally responsible at a minimum for coordinating violence. Parler had moderation but moderating user generated content is an unsolved problem for companies even at the scale of YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook with billions of dollars to throw at the problem. To use that as a justification seems arbitrary and acting in bad faith when you compare it to the wider problem with social media.

  3. 7

    Lol, we definitely don't own our phones.

    We just merely lease them.

    If they can be remotely tampered with, controlled, limited, disabled, altered, deliberately slowed down (i.e. planned obsolescence), is it really yours?

  4. 7

    Free speech is dead. I don't agree with his supporters on multiple terms but from now US can't dictate other country about democracy, human rights violations and free speech when it doesn't follow these at their own home.
    Whenever US going to point fingers, other countries will just point back to US.

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      This is not a free speech issue. Free speech grants you immunity from the government limiting your speech. Amazon is not the government.

      This is a consequences issue. Parler built a community that was so toxic they tried to overthrow the government. The consequence of that is that vendors will cease to do business with you, fully legally, based on the terms of the agreement you signed when you signed up with them.

      AWS is not the only service cutting all ties with Parler because of the heinousness of their content and the community they grew. Defending Parler does not reflect well on anyone.

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        Free speech give immunity from private entity too. When this new rule for free speech came?

        If freedom of speech is not applicable to private companies. Then how come seat reservation and wage equality based on gender and less privileged race becomes duty of private companies?

        1. 0

          I feel like you're a GPT-2 bot, just set to "troll" mode.

          Please come back when you have learned how to make a cogent argument.

          1. 6

            I am not from US, but I am reading some discussions to have a better view of the situation. First these discussions show why free speech is important. Secondly, by your response, shows that free speech is good enough when you have an argument, when you don't it is better for you to stop the discussion. Could you please respond to basemetrix question? I would appreciate a proper answer

            1. -1

              This comment has been voted down. Click to show.

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        I would say the opposite Dan. Defending AWS here does not reflect well on you.

        I challenge everyone here to try to operate their business and lives without using AWS and the other big 5 tech companies.

        How far will you get with your business?

        You will find it like trying to operate without electrical power. They are now a utility to functioning in modern society. And they can just shut you down if your opinion doesn’t match theirs. That’s scary.

        What is even more scary to me is so many people like you supporting this move and not seeing the picture of where it leads.

        I have spent the last twenty years fighting for freedom of race, religion, and gender. It is odd to now see so many of my cohorts that agree with individual freedoms so quick to shut down anyone that has a a different opinion.

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          Amazon will never come for me because I'm not using their services to promote white nationalism and plan an armed insurrection.

          Fascism is not a different opinion. It's not a different religion, and it's not anything at all to do with race or gender. The incitement of violence is not protected speech.

          I am the last person to defend Amazon, as a company, as I feel that their ethos and leadership are morally bankrupt. But this action, in this context, is the correct one. Amazon is not alone in taking this action, nearly every other tech company Parler has approached for hosting and services has also turned them down. Even their lawyers have abandoned them.

          Again, Parler is not simply a site where people expressed different opinions. It is a site where a violent attack was actively and openly planned, where racism, misogyny, and hatred bloomed, where white nationalism collected and gained power.

          I know where this leads and it's not as scary as where all this free-speech absolutism ends up. We, as humanity, already tried the path of appeasing nationalists and let me tell you, six million was too many.

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            This IS your opinion though. And everything else you say is based on that opinion. Who gets to decide what is right or wrong? You? AWS? Trump? Biden? This is where it gets scary. And this path is much more like the six million reference than the other.

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              Taking a stand against white nationalism is more like the Nazis than allowing for that kind of speech and deed to proliferate?

              You need to re-learn history.

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                Again that is your opinion so it feels right to you. And if you look back on history you will see that all oppressors felt they were right and justified in silencing a group of people including the Nazis.

                And just so you know I am about as far as you can get from a white nationalist by birth and beliefs.

                Its not the specific viewpoint that matters here.

                I would be equally scared by them silencing any viewpoints.

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                  It is absolutely the specific viewpoint that matters here.

                  Always silence white nationalists.
                  Always silence fascists.

                  If you don't understand why this is important, you need to do some reading. Consider Antifa: The Anti-Fascist Handbook. It gives a great history of the anti-fascist movement and why appeasement and tolerance of these specific ideas is naive and dangerous. You may mean well, but your viewpoint is one that aids and abets people who would happily take advantage of you to push their atrocious agenda.

                  And I'm not just alliterating there, these people mean to commit atrocities. That is why the specific viewpoint matters in this case, because their end goal isn't simply to be able to express a different viewpoint, it's to suppress all other viewpoints and kill and torture anyone who disagrees.

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                    I'm a black coder from the Southside of Chicago. I am almost 50 years old. I was part of the hip-hop and house movmement of Chicago in the 80s. I was part of the UAC with Common Sense and NoID before Kanye even knew what an MPC was. I have friends that know Barrack personally before he was president. I've been through a lot and I've seen a lot.

                    And who are you?
                    A young white kid from Canada?
                    You have no basis.

                    You are just falling victim to a higher level chess game that is going on here. I've seen it before, but never at this level.

                    It's admorable that you don't like those ideologies, but you are blinded by your idealism. And that blinding is being used to put in place the very thing you think you are fighting against. A world where a few corporate entities can control the information we see. And not only do you accept it, you fervently support it.

                    How would they be able to slip this past us? Does it seem coincidental that the first group to get silenced is such an easy target? You've been sucked into an overarching game that is bigger than you think. And while you think you are fighting for justice, you are just a pawn.

                    And of course you will just downvote all my replies in the same attempt to silence my views. Yes that is the answer. Comply or be silenced!

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                      Canada, yes. Young, well, that's a matter of opinion, but less than ten years separates us, so make of that what you will.

                      Look, this is not some new fad for me, either. I have long advised the deplatformimg of fascists and nationalists. It works. Letting them maintain a platform only plays to their strengths and empowers them.

                      These companies have a choice about what kinds of business they allow and enable on their systems. They SHOULD have chosen long ago to deny service to fascists, racists, and those who incite violence, but they didn't and here we are.

                      This isn't a game. Lives are at stake. Lives have already been lost. But the more we treat it like a game, with polite rules that we assume all sides will obey by, the more we'll be taken advantage of by people arguing and acting in bad faith.

                      There is a time and a place for "slippery slope" arguments, but defending white nationalist terrorists who just tried to subvert a fair and free election by kidnapping and potentially murdering government workers is NOT it.

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                    So now you are pushing propaganda on me so I agree with your viewpoint.

                    You simply can’t handle anyone having a different viewpoint and want them silenced at any cost.

                    Maybe if you replace “white nationalists” and “fascists” with other words like “Jewish people” and “BLM protestors” you will see you are operating from personal belief not logic.

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                      They're not the same and the fact that you insist that they are leads me to believe you're simply arguing from bad faith, especially since you've refused the olive branch of the book I recommended. I'm done with trying to explain things to someone who is clearly unwilling to listen. I hope you come around some day, and some day soon, before your beliefs get someone else in trouble.

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                    But you are still missing the bigger picture because everything you say is clouded by your mission to cleanse the world of white nationalists. I am very familiar with people wanting wipe certain groups of people off the planet, and it always takes a similar tone.

                    Yes there are people in that group that commit violent and illegal acts, just like in BLM or any large group of people. But people that have done nothing violent or illegal are also getting silenced-some have no affiliation with the parties you speak of.

                    And the real issue is big tech's ability to silence whole groups of people without any checks or balances from the people or government. It's not even a slippery slope, its already here.

                    1. 1

                      There are definitely already anti-discrimination laws preventing exactly that. Unless you're suggesting that Parler represents a discriminated-against class of people that need government intervention to protect?

    2. 1

      AWS is a private company. This is not suppression of free speech.

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        Yeah, free speech is everywhere by followers of certain sect of ideology when they need it. But they don't have proper argument then just say Free speech only matter with government not with private companies..

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        Well its a bit more complicated than that. It wasn’t just AWS. It was a concerted effort by all the major tech companies. The combined power of big tech now has the ability to decide what we see and don’t see.

        And we simply can’t choose not to use them all if we want to function in modern society - the same that we can’t just choose not to use the power company and still try to maintain a normal life in modern society.

        This means big tech including AWS does have the power to dictate what we see and don’t see and we don’t have much we can do about if we want to continue to live in modern society.

    3. 1

      Yeah this is nothing to do with free speech. Go and learn what the 1st amendment actually means then come back.

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    Disregarding AWS, I actually think Apple/Google banning Parler is possibly a violation of monopoly laws. Apple and Google have a total monopoly over the mobile phone ecosystem. If you have a monopoly you loose the right to refuse business. That's one of the things you give up by being the only option in the market.

    I.E. a restaurant can refuse to serve me because they don't like the way I'm dressed because they aren't my only way to get food. A power company with a monopoly can't refuse to serve me because they are literally the only way I can have electricity. If Apple and Google don't want to be a monopoly it would be easy enough: just allow alternative app stores on their devices and they will be free to ban whoever they want for any reason.

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      And that's an entirely different argument that renders the reflexive "Free speech" arguments so silly. It's not a free speech issue. So many better arguments to make that are undercut whenever free speech is thrown out there anytime someone doesn't like an action.

      Apple/Google app stores are much closer than AWS for this reason. AWS doesn't have a monopoly on serverless. The problem w/ finding against Apple/Google is they aren't really bans. They are akin to not featuring these apps. There are still alternative ways to get these apps on phones. IMO it would be a departure from case law. That being said, this even more conservative SCOTUS isn't just going to go to waste. Would not be surprised at all if they carve out new case law here should they choose to take up the case.

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    "filing a fanciful complaint alleging the internet giant took it out for political reasons — and in an antitrust conspiracy to benefit Twitter"

    Look, Amazon and AWS has Terms and Conditions that are highly regulated and expertly crafted by a team of lawyers. I know, I used to work in Amazon Legal as well as AWS as an engineer. There have been other private instances where AWS has terminated accounts for violating the Terms and Conditions.

    All of these platforms are private. Nothing is stopping any of us from building our own servers, obtaining Telco contracts, and hosting our own apps. Yes, it would be a daunting task, but that's capitalism. If you want to use products and services that were built for your convenience and benefit, you need to follow the rules of those platforms.

    These corporations are not the enemy. AWS started from humble beginnings, as did Amazon. They happened to be run by smart, talented individuals, so they became very successful. Now that they are successful through "the magic of the market", we cannot suddenly act as if they are evil and intent on suppressing free speech.

    The bottom line is there was chatter pertaining to additional plans to incite insurrection against the United States. That is not only illegal, but it is against the AWS Terms of Use.

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      “ Nothing is stopping any of us from building our own servers, obtaining Telco contracts, and hosting our own apps. Yes, it would be a daunting task, but that's capitalism.”

      Ah ignorance is bliss. I used to think this too until I realized the reality of the current situation. Do some research on companies that have tried this. I don’t think you quite understand the infrastructure already in place.

      Its like saying “oh you don’t like your electric bill, just go start another electric company.”

      Yeah, just go start another Amazon real quick. Its a bit naive Matt.

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        Bad example because electric companies are government-granted monopolies by design. You legally can't just start an electric company.

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          “ You legally can't just start an electric company.”

          That’s why it’s a perfect example.

          Just remove legally and replace electric company with Amazon.

          But yeah you’re probably right. If we don’t like what Amazon is doing it would be super easy just to start another one on our own within a timeframe that mattered. What was I thinking.

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            If you can't admit there is a fundamental difference between a government-granted monopoly with only 1 player (by design!) and an industry in which there are not only multiple other players but huge alternatives then you're not trying to have a serious discussion.

            There are far better examples and choosing that one is frankly counterproductive to your original point. Thanks for replying.

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              Looks like Jack agrees the long term implications are dangerous and akin to a governing body:


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                By the logic that ANY company enforcing their rules on anyone makes it a "governing body." Indiehackers could kick me off tomorrow and it would be acting like a "governing body"...but here is the point...does not make it a monopoly (nor a 1st Amendment violation) which is what is at issue here.

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                  No genius, Indiehackers is far different than Bigtech and the concern is not about the logic that ANY company can enforce their rules. It's about the power and control of Bigtech specifically which has shown its power beyond that of our actual government to effectively silence the president. Even Jack sees the issue with this. Geez

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                    Well actually IH uses Amazon and Google so if you wanted to avoid them you wouldn't be able to use IH either. Which further proves the point that we can't operate in modern society without them.

                  2. 0

                    Strongly disagree with your characterization of the issue, but your post is one of emotion and not designed for a serious debate. No point in pretending we are going to have a good-faith discussion. Enjoy.

                    1. 1

                      So you don't think the fact that a few companies can band together and dictate what we see or don't see is like a monopoly or governing power or even worse?

                      Or the fact that we can't function in normal society without them. This doesn't seem similar to a monopoly or governing power?

                      What else can dictate what you see or don't see? What else can you not live in modern society without?

                      I can function fine without IH, big tech not so much. And they can work together to silence the president or groups of people. And pretty swiftly I might add. This seems logically similar to IH to you?

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              If you can’t see that big tech’s power and reach are far beyond that of a typical company and more like the government then you are missing the bigger picture.

              I’m not just talking out of my ass here. Big tech has already shown to have the power of the government without even the same checks and balances.

              Combined they have the power to dictate what we see and silence anyone even the president. Whether he’s a buffoon or not or you agree with him or not, they collectively got together and effectively silenced him without any votes, checks, or balances.

              Now you try it. Try to operate functionally in modern society without using big tech. And I mean really try it-no sites that use aws or google-no phones that use google or apple-no apps, etc. Let me know how that goes and if you found “huge” alternatives.

              What you’ll find is that yes you can still live just like you can still live without power, but it will be impossible to function in modern society to carry on a job, business, and communications effectively without big tech.

              You’re talking in terms but missing the bigger picture right in front of you. Of course “on paper” the government, power company, and big tech are different. But in reality of power and control over our daily lives, not so much.

              It’s ok. As long as we accept big tech as a new governing body there will be no issue. Do you think they will ever let us vote?

      2. 1

        74,111,419 people voted for Trump in the General Election. If each one of those people started a cooperative effort and agreed to a cost of $60 per year, that would be $370,557,095 per month in revenue. That is more than enough to start a completely new and DOMINANT cloud company, social media network, etc. I suggest they get started.

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          Its not about Trump. Like every other politician he is just temporary. It’s the bigger picture that you aren’t seeing, and its unfortunate. Maybe one day big tech will change their focus on to another group of people that wakes you up to the bigger picture. Probably not. So be it.

          Comply with big tech or be silenced!
          Heil Amazon!

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          Good luck finding the actual PEOPLE who would be willing to work for such a cause. Especially in the tech world. You see, its the people who are rebelling, not the corporations.

    2. 2

      When an entity is able to control the flow of information for a whole nation and we have no other viable alternatives to choose from than they are no longer simply just another “private company”.

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