Parler Ban: Employees At Apple, Google, And Amazon Back Booting Far-Right Platform

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Last week, tech companies took a drastic step in response to the attack on the US Capitol. In addition to Facebook and Twitter banning President Donald Trump from their platforms, tech giants Google, Apple, and Amazon cracked down on Parler, a far-right Twitter alternative that has become noteworthy for its calls to violence against elected officials. This move stirred up a considerable amount of controversy, but surveying conducted by Blind, an anonymous professional social network, found that there is widespread support for the decision among the employees that work for the big tech firms.

Blind surveyed more than 4,100 people working in tech, finance, and other major industries to see the level of support for the decision made by Amazon to remove Parler from its web services, effectively resulting in the site shutting down indefinitely. Sixty percent of those surveyed responded with support for Amazon’s decision, compared to 40 percent who believed the company made the wrong decision.

The support was higher among Amazon employees, who largely believe that their company made the right call. Blind found that nearly seven in 10 Amazon employees — 69 percent — said Amazon was right to boot Parler from the Amazon Web Services platform. That was by far the highest level of support among all FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google) companies and among the highest level of support industry-wide.

“Good. Amazon is a business, and should have a choice about who they decide to do business with, according to Republicans,” an Amazon employee said in response to the survey, according to Blind.  

Blind also asked employees at Apple and Google if their companies made the correct decision when they chose to remove the Parler mobile app from their respective app stores, making it nearly impossible for users to install the app on their phones. Apple employees were largely in favor of the decision, with 69 percent responding that their employer made the right call. At Google, the response was much more split. Just 55 percent of Googlers surveyed by Blind said that their company made the right call. It’s worth noting that employees at those companies had similar responses to Amazon’s decision. Just 56 percent of Google workers offered support for Amazon, while 64 percent of Apple employees applauded Amazon’s decision.

“Good move,” an Apple employee said of Amazon’s decision to remove Parler from its services. “It’s important not to give extremist Trump supporters a platform to unite and plan more attacks on American democracy.” 

Parler is still seeking a new host that will allow the site to return to the internet, and is suing Amazon over the company’s decision to remove it. Even if the platform finds a new host, it will remain banned from both Apple and Google’s app stores. It will also be heavily scrutinized by law enforcement and regulators, as the platform has already produced a considerable amount of objectionable content, including incitements of violence and threats against the lives of other Americans and elected officials.

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