January 9, 2021

Amazon employees call for company to cut ties with Parler after deadly U.S. Capitol riot

[CNBC, Getty Images]

  • A group of Amazon corporate employees is calling on the company to stop providing cloud services to Parler, a social media app popular with Trump supporters, following the deadly riots at the U.S. Capitol earlier this week.
  • “We cannot be complicit in more bloodshed and violent attacks on our democracy,” Amazon employees wrote in a tweet.

A group of Amazon corporate employees is calling on the company to stop providing cloud services to Parler, a social media app popular with Trump supporters.

In a tweet on Saturday, employee advocacy group Amazon Employees for Climate Justice said Amazon Web Services should “deny Parler services until it removes posts inciting violence, including at the Presidential inauguration.” AWS provides cloud services to Parler that host its website.

Representatives from Amazon and Parler didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Pressure has been mounting for Amazon to stop hosting Parler on AWS after other tech giants took action against the social media app in the wake of the deadly U.S. Capitol riot earlier this week. Google on Friday removed Parler from its app store for Android users, Google Play Store. BuzzFeed News reported on Friday that Apple has threatened to pull Parler from its App Store.

Parler CEO John Matze. EpochTimes

Parler, which launched in 2018, has emerged as a popular platform for President Trump’s allies in the last year by billing itself as a free speech alternative to mainstream social media services like Twitter and Facebook.

Screenshots of the Parler app viewed by CNBC show users posting references to firing squads, as well as calls to bring weapons to the presidential inauguration later this month. AWS’ acceptable use policy states that it prohibits customers from using its services “for any illegal, harmful, fraudulent, infringing or offensive use.”

Amazon has previously cut ties with customers who violated its rules. In 2019, Amazon pulled the plug on a fundraising site used by Gab, a social media site that caters to conservatives, after it violated Amazon’s policies on hateful content.

The employee group, AECJ, has had some success making its demands heard in the past. Last April, the group staged an “online walkout” in protest of the company’s labor practices. Additionally, the group is widely credited for influencing Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ decision to announce a sweeping climate change plan, after the group pushed for change at the company’s 2019 shareholder meeting.

Environmentalists protesting outside Amazon’s shareholder meeting. Paayal Zaveri | CNBC

By Annie Palmer

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