Free speech app Parler – a social media platform favored by conservatives and President Donald Trump’s supporters – said on Thursday that while it was “disappointed” by a federal judge’s refusal to order Amazon to reinstate its service, it was confident about its chances of ultimately winning the case.
In a statement about the ruling, a spokesperson for Parler told Fox News the company is “gratified” that the court did not blindly accept Amazon’s argument that the platform was used to plan and carry out the Jan. 6 siege on Capitol Hill
“Based on the evidence of which we are aware, the Parler platform was not used in that manner – even though competing platforms clearly were used for that purpose,” the spokesperson said. “We are grateful the court refused to join the dishonest attempt to make Parler the scapegoat for the riot.”
The spokesperson added that every social media platform sometimes, unknowingly, hosts content that incites violence or inappropriate action, but cited an internal analysis that apparently shows incidence of such inflammatory material is “far lower than on competing platforms.”
A spokesperson for Amazon said that the case is not about free speech, but rather about a customer that violated its terms of service “by allowing content to be published on their website that actively encouraged violence (and without an effective plan to moderate it).”
“We welcome the court’s careful ruling,” an Amazon spokesperson said in a statement.
A U.S. District Court in Seattle on Thursday denied Parler’s request for an emergency injunction against Amazon while the larger complaint is considered, which would have restored the site’s service.
The judge said Parler failed to demonstrate the public interests would be better served by granting the injunction, though she added that she was not “not dismissing Parler’s substantive underlying claims at this time.”
Google and Apple removed Parler from their app stores shortly after the siege on Capitol Hill over its failure to moderate “egregious content,” including violent threats made against lawmakers’ lives and intent to bring weapons to the Jan. 6 riot.
Shortly after, Amazon announced it would no longer host Parler on Amazon Web Services, effectively taking it offline altogether.
The Seattle tech giant said Parler had shown an “unwillingness and inability” to remove a slew of dangerous posts that called for the rape, torture and assassination of politicians, tech executives and many others.
The social media app sued to get back online, arguing that Amazon had breached its contract and abused its market power.
Also on Thursday, Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., sent a request to FBI Director Christopher Wray asking him to initiate a “robust” and “comprehensive” investigation into Parler’s role in the siege.
In a statement regarding the FBI probe, a Parler spokesperson said the company will continue to cooperate with law enforcement efforts.
Parler, which was founded in 2018, was “built upon a foundation of respect for privacy and personal data, free speech, free markets, and ethical, transparent corporate policy.”
Some conservatives – like Sens. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Rand Paul, R-Ky. – began turning to the platform this year after becoming frustrated with content moderation on the major platforms.
The platform, however, had also become popular among conspiracy theorists and elements of the far-right.
Fox News’ Brian Flood and The Associated Press contributed to this report.