World

Amazon suspends Talking after deadly riot on Capitol Hill

Amazon will join Apple and Google in suspending the Talking social media platform for failing to prevent incitement to violence.

Amazon has announced that it will suspend Speak, a social media platform popular with right-wing users that has already been banned by Apple and Google for failing to prevent the spread of “threats of violence” after a deadly riot at the United States Capitol.

In an email from Amazon Web Services to Speak, first reported Per BuzzFeed News, Amazon announced plans to suspend Talking from 07:59 GMT on Monday because it poses a “very real risk to public safety.”

“We have seen a steady increase in this violent content on your website, which violates all of our terms of service,” read the email, the content of which was confirmed by Amazon to Reuters and agencies. AFP press.

Amazon also said there was “a serious risk that this type of content would further incite violence.”

This move effectively takes Talking offline unless it finds a new company to host its services.

Right-wing supporters of US President Donald Trump, who was permanently suspended from Twitter on Friday, flocked to Talk after the deadly violence in Washington, DC on January 6.

The site is also seen as a haven for conservative and right-wing groups who accuse big social media companies like Twitter or Facebook of censoring their posts.

Five people, including a local police officer, have died in the pro-Trump riot on Capitol Hill, which took place as Congress voted to confirm the election victory of President-elect Joe Biden.

The deadly violence has sent shockwaves across the world and prompted calls for accountability and a full investigation into what happened.

Dozens of suspected participants have been arrested and some US lawmakers are also pushing for Trump, who urged his supporters at a rally in Washington, DC before the riot, to be held responsible.

For his part, Trump criticized his permanent suspension from Twitter and promised to get back online soon.

“We have negotiated with various other sites and will have a big announcement soon, while we are also looking at the possibilities of creating our own platform in the near future. We will not be SILENT! He said in a statement on January 8.

On Friday, Google withdrew Parler from its App Store for allowing publications aimed at “inciting continued violence in the United States.”

Apple followed suit, saying on Saturday night it had given Speak 24 hours to deal with complaints that it was being used to “plan and facilitate further illegal and dangerous activity.”

Cassie Miller, a senior research analyst at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) who tracks the far right, said white supremacist and far-right groups have celebrated the riot as the start of a “revolution.”

“There is no way to instantly demobilize this movement, so we can expect more mass protests and violence,” Miller told Al Jazeera.

Meanwhile, Parler founder John Matze confirmed on his profile that there was a possibility that the network might not be available “for a maximum of a week” because he was looking for a new host.

Matze also criticized Amazon, Google and Apple, saying Parler was under “a coordinated attack from tech giants to kill competition in the market.”

“You can expect the war on competition and free speech to continue, but don’t count us,” he said.




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