Amazon submitted a new filing in U.S. federal court on Tuesday in response to an emergency motion by Parler to restore its hosting services through Amazon’s AWS. Parler was kicked offline early Monday after Amazon said the social media company had violated its terms of service and Parler couldn’t find another company willing to do business. Parler sued Amazon on Monday alleging breach of contract and an antitrust violation.
But whatever you think of Amazon’s actions, the filing makes one thing absolutely clear: Parler was a cesspool of racist hate, insurrectionist appeals against the United States, and chillingly specific death threats.
The court filing, first reported by Seattle Times, lays out the ways in which Parler violated Amazon’s terms of service by using what Amazon calls a “hands-off approach” to moderating the content of its users. Amazon says it approached company leadership at Parler in mid-November 2020 and tried to get the social media service to address its problems.
Parler was either unable or unwilling to properly police its content, which became increasingly worse after President Donald Trump lost the presidential election to Joe Biden. Users called for a new civil war and threatened the assassination of politicians like Stacey Abrams and tech company executives like Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
All of the threats would be disturbing enough in isolation before the 2020 presidential election, but they’re even more terrifying in the wake of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. President Trump gave a speech that afternoon to an enormous crowd of supporters and told them to descend on the Capitol, where both houses of Congress were certifying electoral votes that will make Biden the president. Trump even promised to march down himself, something he didn’t do. Instead, he went back to the White House and watched the chaos on TV, a dizzying outburst of violence that left five people dead.
The threats Amazon filed as examples of extremist speech on Parler are below. All redactions and censoring of words appears in the original court filing.
- “Fry’em up. The whole fkn crew. #pelosi #aoc #thesquad #soros #gates #chuckschumer #hrc #obama #adamschiff #blm #antifa we are coming for you and you will know it.”
- “#JackDorsey … you will die a bloody death alongside Mark Suckerturd [Zuckerberg]…. It has been decided and plans are being put in place. Remember the photographs inside your home while you slept? Yes, that close. You will die a sudden death!”
- “We are going to fight in a civil War on Jan.20th, Form MILITIAS now and acquire targets.”
- “On January 20th we need to start systematicly [sic] assassinating [sic] #liberal leaders, liberal activists, #blm leaders and supporters, members of the #nba #nfl #mlb #nhl #mainstreammedia anchors and correspondents and #antifa. I already have a news worthy event planned.”
- “Shoot the police that protect these shitbag senators right in the head then make the senator grovel a bit before capping they arse.”
- “After the firing squads are done with the politicians the teachers are next.”
- “Death to @zuckerberg @realjeffbezos @jackdorsey @pichai.”
- “White people need to ignite their racial identity and rain down suffering and death like a hurricane upon zionists.”
- “Put a target on these motherless trash [Antifa] they aren’t human taking one out would be like stepping on a roach no different.”
- “We need to act like our forefathers did Kill [Black and Jewish people] all Leave no victims or survivors.”
- “We are coming with our list we know where you live we know who you are and we are coming for you and it starts on the 6th civil war… Lol if you will think it’s a joke… Enjoy your last few days you have.”
- “This bitch [Stacey Abrams] will be good target practice for our beginners.”
- “This cu** [United States Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao] should be… hung for betraying their country.”
- “Hang this mofo [Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger] today.”
- “HANG THAt N***** ASAP”
Gizmodo reported on Tuesday that Parler users were among the many insurrectionists that gained access to the U.S. Capitol during the siege — an attack we now know was even worse than what we saw on TV last week.
Several members of U.S. Congress have suggested that some of their Republican colleagues were actively helping the mob that tore into the Capitol and some police officers who were friendly with the protesters — even taking selfies and directing them where certain offices were — are being investigated. One congresswoman, Rep. Mikie Sherill of New Jersey, says she saw Republican members of Congress giving tours on Jan. 5, which she says was “reconnaissance for the next day.”
A report from the Boston Globe claims that panic buttons inside the office of Democratic Rep. Ayanna Pressley had been “torn out” when they went to look for them while sheltering on Jan. 6. There’s also substantial evidence that Rep. Andrew Biggs of Arizona, Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona, and Rep. Mo Brooks of Alabama, all Republicans, helped rally support for the assault on the Capitol, according to an investigation from the Intercept.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said quite plainly during an Instagram Live overnight that she believed she was going to die on Jan. 6 and didn’t trust some of her Republican colleagues who were likely to disclose her location. AOC also said she didn’t know whether to trust Capitol Police, given the things she was seeing.
“This is how democracy can burn. It is fragile,” Ocasio-Cortez told viewers while calling out Republicans who enabled the riot. “We must cherish it. And they didn’t. And they don’t. So they need to leave. Donald Trump needs to leave. Ted Cruz needs to leave. Josh Hawley needs to get out. They need to get out.”
“This is how democracy can burn. It is fragile. We must cherish it. And they didn’t. And they don’t. So they need to leave. Donald Trump needs to leave. Ted Cruz needs to leave. Josh Hawley needs to get out. They need to get. out.” – @AOC pic.twitter.com/KB6n8V656f
— Marisa Kabas (@MarisaKabas) January 13, 2021
It’s going to be a tough road ahead, with roughly 16 groups applying to stage protests in Washington D.C. over the next week, according to the New York Times. Those groups, many of which are reportedly planning on being armed, can no longer openly plan on platforms like Parler, but some have found new digital homes already and are almost certainly planning another coup.
U.S. President Donald Trump, a threat to the safety and security of the U.S. since the day he took office in 2017, could make the threat go away if he told his supporters to stand down. But even if he were backed into a corner and forced to denounce a violent overthrow of the democratically elected U.S. government, he’d find a way to hedge. Trump didn’t tell the Proud Boys to stand down, he told them to “stand down and stand by.”