SPAIN – 2021/01/14: A Parler website can be seen behind a cell phone in this photo illustration. The … [+]
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Last week, tech companies took a drastic step to respond to the attack on the U.S. Capitol. In addition to Facebook and Twitter, which are banning President Donald Trump from their platforms, tech giants Google, Apple and Amazon have cracked down on Parler, a far-right Twitter alternative that has become notable for its calls for violence against elected officials. The move sparked considerable controversy, but surveys conducted by Blind, an anonymous professional social network, found broad support for the decision of the people who work for the big technology companies.
Blind surveyed more than 4,100 people in technology, finance, and other key industries to determine how much support was given by Amazon’s decision to remove Parler from its web services. This resulted in the website being closed indefinitely. Sixty percent of respondents responded with support for Amazon’s decision, compared to 40 percent who believed the company made the wrong decision.
Support was higher among Amazon employees, who largely believe their company made the right call. Blind found that nearly seven out of ten Amazon employees – 69 percent – said Amazon rightly started Parler from the Amazon Web Services platform. This was by far the highest level of support of any FAANG company (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google) and the highest level of support in the industry.
“Good. Amazon is a company and Republicans should have a choice of who they want to do business with,” said an Amazon employee, according to Blind, in response to the survey.
Blind also asked Apple and Google employees if their companies had made the right decision when they decided to remove the Parler mobile app from their respective app stores so that users could barely install the app on their phones. Apple employees largely supported the decision. 69 percent answered that their employer made the right call. At Google, the answer was much more divided. Only 55 percent of the Googlers surveyed by Blind said that their company made the right call. It’s worth noting that the employees of these companies had similar reactions to Amazon’s decision. Only 56 percent of Google employees offered support for Amazon, while 64 percent of Apple employees welcomed Amazon’s decision.
“Good move,” said an Apple employee about Amazon’s decision to remove Parler from its services. “It is important not to offer extremist Trump supporters a platform to unite and plan further attacks on American democracy.”
Parler is still looking for a new host to get the site back on the internet and is suing Amazon over the company’s decision to remove it. Even if the platform finds a new host, it remains blocked in both Apple and Google app stores. It is also under scrutiny by law enforcement and regulators as the platform has already produced a significant amount of offensive content, including inciting violence and threats against the lives of other Americans and elected officials.