The Parler problem shows just how much the US has outsourced free speech protections

Parler—the rightwing social media platform that sought to carve out a niche for itself by refusing to moderate conspiracy theories, hate speech, and incitements to violence—is searching for a new home.

The platform got kicked offline after extremists used Parler to coordinate the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol. But it wasn’t American courts, elected officials, or law enforcement agents who gave it the boot: That responsibility fell to a trio of Big Tech companies whose infrastructure helps form the backbone of the internet.

On Jan. 9, Apple and Google removed Parler from the App Store and the Android Marketplace, respectively, actions that prevented new users from downloading the app. The next day, Amazon Web Services dropped Parler as a client, which severed the social media platform’s connection to the internet. Parler CEO John Matze says the company is now scrambling to find another web-hosting company that will accept its business and help Parler get back online.

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