Immediately after the highly controversial election results were announced on November 5, millions of Facebook and Twitter users began to leave the social media monopolies for free speech platforms like Gab, MeWe, and Parler. While Gab and MeWe were growing at a steady pace, traffic on Parler was exploding. “Parler,” the new free-speech social media platform, was finally giving Facebook and Twitter a run for their money—and then something happened that should never have been allowed to happen in America, big tech bullies with leftist views like Apple, Google, and Amazon jumped in used the power of their platforms to stop Parler in its tracks.
Following the January 6th Capitol event, Apple and Google capitalized on the opportunity and used it as an excuse to remove Parler from their app stores. Shortly after the news about the two monopolies removing Parler from their app store, another monopoly, Amazon, jumped in and announced that they would give Parler 48 hours to remove their platform from their servers.
Curiously, the decision of the monopolies to cut off Parler from its users came after Parler’s former CEO John Matze’s public statement about Facebook and Twitter censoring the voice of President Trump from their platforms.
On January 7, Matze published the following statement on Parler:
If free speech truly is the enemy and we must restrict and censor the voices of people to keep our country safe then our country is already lost.
If one man’s voice is a threat to our nation but his holding of the presidential office is not, than it is apparent the powers of the presidency are less powerful than a single voice. Why should any of us settle to giving up our rights to free speech?
It’s clear that Facebook and Twitter believe the ends justify the means. They believe the American people are weak. They insult our founding fathers by suggesting Zuckerburg and Dorsey know what is best for us.
Parler is not an arbiter of truth. We believe in you. We believe you are wise enough to decide for yourself and trust that given access to all information we can self govern. The solution is clear. If you believe in free speech, and our founding principles of our republic, then we must liberate others by promoting free speech Parler.
Now, it’s being reported that Apple has agreed to immediately add Parler back to their app store, after receiving a letter from Republican Congressman Ken Buck and Senator Mike Lee demanding answers about why the app was removed from their store. Congressman Buck called it a “Huge win for free speech”
On March 31, @SenMikeLee and I sent a letter demanding answers about why Apple removed Parler from the App Store.
🚨Today, we received a response: Parler will be reinstated on the App Store. Huge win for free speech. pic.twitter.com/FQBDSSSFGk
— Congressman Ken Buck (@RepKenBuck) April 19, 2021
On the surface, it would appear that Apple may be considering getting out of the big tech game of bullying conservatives, but should Americans who revere our right to free speech go back to buying Apple’s made-in-China products? It’s hard to calculate the losses free speech Parler must have suffered after they were s forced to shut down for over five weeks, as they struggled to find a company willing to take their server business after Amazon dumped them. It’s difficult to measure the damage to Parler’s reputation when Apple and Google removed their app from their stores, treating them like a free-speech cancer that must be removed from the patient before it spreads and gives other similar platforms the idea that big tech will tolerate the promotion of free speech social media platforms.
Even the far-left CNN seemed to question the Apple CEO’s decision to ban Parler, suggesting that they should tread lightly in the age of big tech monopolies who are using their powers to bully and silence political opposition:
Apple will welcome back Parler — provided Parler finds a new cloud provider to host the social network — if the app effectively moderates users’ speech, said the Apple CEO.
“We’ve only suspended them,” Cook noted. “If they get their moderation together they would be back on there.”
But Apple, the world’s most valuable company, has to tread lightly. Its substantial size and power mean any controversial move can get under the skin of regulators that have sued other Big Tech companies, including Google and Facebook, for violating antitrust law. Forcing other companies to bend to their will isn’t going to make Apple’s argument easier if it finds itself under scrutiny for allegedly abusing monopoly power.Still, Cook argued Sunday that running a tech company is about more than making big bucks. He said Sunday that he believes Apple’s mission should be to solve some of the world’s biggest problems. The company and its employees are always trying to do the right thing — a mission that motivates him to come to work each morning.
On January 11, Parler filed a complaint filed in Seattle federal court, alleging that Amazon Web Services kicked the company off its cloud servers for political and anti-competitive reasons.
In its complaint, Parler also accused Amazon of applying a double standard than with other platforms, noting that Twitter had recently signed a multi-year web-hosting deal with the company.