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Parler judge balks at moving fast to restore site on Amazon

Joel Rosenblatt
Bloomberg

Parler is likely to remain offline, at least in the near-term, after a judge indicated she’s likely to take a slower, considered approach whether to force Amazon.com Inc. to restore its web-hosting service for the conservative social media platform.

Amazon Web Services pulled the plug on Parler late Sunday, saying violent posts related to the Jan. 6 mob attack on the U.S. Capitol violated the companies’ agreement. Parler argues the move was politically motivated, and threatens its immediate extinction.

U.S. District Judge Barbara J. Rothstein in Seattle said during a hearing Thursday she’s not inclined to order Amazon to immediately put Parler back online. Instead, she expressed interest in taking a more measured approach to deciding whether she should order a permanent injunction to restore web-services to Parler.

The logo of the social media platform Parler is displayed in Berlin, Jan. 10, 2021.

While AWS argues Parler has only itself to blame for being knocked offline, Parler has argued it was blindsided by the suspension and that AWS hasn’t shown beyond speculation that the platform was used to incite last week’s riot.

“The site is supported by advertising, they have no revenue coming in,” David J. Groesbeck told the judge. “AWS has not indicated any good-faith efforts to get the site up and going and number two, to help Parler out. All these actions indicate irreparable harm and injury.”

AWS is by far the largest cloud-computing provider, and its on-demand software services are the backbone for many of the most popular internet services. Parler has “no other options” to be on the web, it said in the suit.

The case is Parler LLC v. Amazon Web Services Inc., 21-cv-00031, U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington.