After Google and Apple removed Parler from their respective app stores, Amazon Web Services suspended its web-hosting service for the platform over concern that it has failed to effectively moderate user posts, and Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube blocked President Trump’s accounts in his final days in office, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton wants some answers.
AG Paxton Issues Civil Investigative Demands to Five Leading Tech Companies Regarding Discriminatory and Biased Policies and Practices
Attorney General Ken Paxton today issued civil investigative demands (CIDs) to Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon Web Services, and Apple, asking the companies for their policies and practices regarding content moderation and, more specifically, for information related to Parler, a social media application recently terminated or blocked by Google, Amazon, and Apple.
For years, these Big Tech companies have silenced voices in the social media sphere and shut down competing companies and platforms. It has only grown worse in recent months. And just last week, this discriminatory action included the unprecedented step of removing and blocking President Donald Trump from online media platforms.
“First Amendment rights and transparency must be maintained for a free online community to operate and thrive. However, the seemingly coordinated de-platforming of the President of the United States and several leading voices not only chills free speech, it wholly silences those whose speech and political beliefs do not align with leaders of Big Tech companies. Every American should be concerned about this large-scale silencing and the effects it will have on the future of free speech,” said Attorney General Paxton. “The public deserves the truth about how these companies moderate and possibly eliminate speech they disagree with. I am hopeful that these companies will set aside partisan politics and cooperate with these CIDs in order to get to the bottom of this contention and ensure a truly free online community consistent with the highest American ideals.”
MacDailyNews Note: Earlier Wednesday, Parler CEO John Matze said Parler may never return online. Also on Wednesday, Apple CEO Tim Cook told CBS This Morning, “Parler has some issues with moderation. Our hope is that they do that and get back on the store… We suspended them, we did not ban them.” Of course, without a web host, having an app is an app store is meaningless.