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.