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A Wave of Online Services Have Suspended Accounts Associated with Trump and His Supporters

Publications / Jan 31, 2021

Article written by Haim Ravia, Dotan Hammer and Adi Shoval

Former President Donald Trump’s accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, Twitch and other platforms were either removed or suspended following the violent insurgency into Congress on January 6th, 2021. Some of the platform operators did so within hours of the events in the Capitol, and others within the following days. The platforms announced they had done so on account of their determination that Trump had published violence-inciting posts, tweets, and videos, in violation of the platforms’ use policies which prohibit such content.

Apple and Google also removed the Parler smartphone app from their app stores, on account that the social network popularly used by Trump supporters was used to coordinate the violent insurgency into Congress.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) subsequently decided to shutdown Parler’s cloud service account, through which AWS provided critical Internet hosting services to Parler. Parler then moved for a preliminary injunction to enjoin AWS from shutting down its account, but the federal district court in Seattle, Washington, denied the motion. The court’s decision indicated that AWS was well within its contractual rights to shutdown Parler’s account and that particularly in light of U.S. Capitol riots, the public interest weighs against requiring AWS “to host the incendiary speech that the record shows some of Parler’s users have engaged in”.

Online payment processing platform Stripe also announced that it will no longer access or process payments for donations in support of Trump’s political campaign. Stripe explained that its terms of service prohibit high-risk transactions, including those aiming to support unlawful and violent activities.

CLICK HERE to read the court’s decision in Parler LLC v. Amazon Web Services, Inc. (January 21, 2021).

 

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