The world’s biggest tech companies were already plenty powerful by themselves — but now they seem to be ganging up with each other to suppress voices that they appear to not agree with.
The Big Three tech giants Google, Amazon and Apple have — near simultaneously — decided to cut off the Parler social network, which has seen a huge influx of users ever since Donald Trump’s account was permanently suspended on Twitter.
While Google and Apple had recently suspended the Parler app on Google Play and Apple store, Amazon has now notified Parler that it would no longer be supported on Amazon Web Services, as per an email obtained by Buzzfeed News. Without the cloud hosting services provided by Amazon, Parler would go offline from midnight Sunday, unless they find another host.
An excerpt from the email says, “Recently, we’ve seen a steady increase in this violent content on your website, all of which violates our terms,” the email reads. “It’s clear that Parler does not have an effective process to comply with the AWS terms of service.”
Parler CEO John Matze made a post on Parler which called these moves as a “coordinated attack by the tech giants to kill competition in the market place.” He also added that war on competition and free speech would continue, but one shouldn’t count them out yet.
“Sunday (tomorrow) at midnight Amazon will be shutting off all of our servers in an attempt to completely remove free speech off the internet. There is the possibility Parler will be unavailable on the internet for up to a week as we rebuild from scratch. We prepared for events like this by never relying on amazons proprietary infrastructure and building bare metal products,” he wrote.
“We will try our best to move to a new provider right now as we have many competing for our business, however Amazon, Google and Apple purposefully did this as a coordinated effort knowing our options would be limited and knowing this would inflict the most damage right as President Trump was banned from the tech companies. This was a coordinated attack by the tech giants to kill competition in the market place. We were too successful too fast. You can expect the war on competition and free speech to continue, but don’t count us out,” he added.
This is a terrifying precedent, and shows how big tech can come together to remove all speech from the internet. Individual platforms like Facebook and Twitter enforce their own rules around what’s allowed on their sites, so Parler went ahead and built its own app. But at that point, Google and Apple removed the app from their app stores, making it very hard for the company to get new users. Parler then put its app for download on its website, but then Amazon pulled the plug from its servers, making it impossible for the site and app to even stay online.
This is a blitzkrieg on free speech, and one that should worry everyone on the internet. The internet was built on the foundation of allowing people to freely speak their minds, but the way things are going, people are only going to be able to speak what the large Tech Behemoths deem fit.