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Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

In a court filing late Tuesday, Amazon said it booted right-wing social network Parler from its AWS cloud service after flagging dozens of pieces of violent content starting in November.

Why it matters: Parler is suing Amazon, saying its expulsion violates antitrust laws. In its response, Amazon cites the violent content as well as its protection under section 230 of the Communications Decency Act among its defenses.

Details: Amazon said it first sent a letter on Nov. 17 with two examples of violent content and asked the company if such content violated Parler's rules and what the company was doing to moderate such content.

  • Over the next 7 weeks, Amazon said it flagged more than 100 pieces of content to Parler's chief policy officer, including threats directed specifically at members of Congress.

The big picture: Parler has found itself on the outs with nearly all its technology partners, including Twilio and Amazon, as well as Apple and Google, which have both removed the Parler app from their respective app stores.

What they're saying: In its lawsuit, Parler argued that Amazon conspired with Twitter to kneecap the service just as it was gaining traction.

  • Amazon responded that its actions were not about "suppressing speech or stifling viewpoints," nor about "a conspiracy to restrain trade."

Rather, Amazon said in the filing, "this case is about Parler’s demonstrated unwillingness and inability to remove from the servers of Amazon Web Services content that threatens the public safety, such as by inciting and planning the rape, torture, and assassination of named public officials and private citizens."

Go deeper

Jan 26, 2021 - Axios Twin Cities

Speculation mounts that Amazon Fresh is eyeing Twin Cities expansion

An Amazon Fresh store in California. Photo: Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images

The draft moniker for a store in Burnsville is fueling speculation that an Amazon supermarket is coming to the area, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reports.

Driving the news: Renderings for the 40,000-square-foot project at Cobblestone Court, submitted to local officials, include the sign "Mendel" on the development.

36 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Scoop: Ohio Senate candidate Josh Mandel escorted out of RNC retreat

Ohio Republican Senate candidate Josh Mandel. Photo: Chris Maddaloni / Getty Images

During this weekend’s highly anticipated donor retreat hosted by the Republican National Committee in Palm Beach, Ohio Senate candidate Josh Mandel was escorted off the premises while his primary opponent, Jane Timken, was allowed to stay, two sources with direct knowledge of the situation tell Axios.

What we’re hearing: The invitation-only event is taking place at the Four Seasons Resort, and the RNC reserved the entire hotel. While Timken, former Ohio GOP chair, was invited to the event “because she is a major donor” — Mandel was not, so he was asked to leave, according to one of the sources

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Report: John Kerry plans to visit China ahead of Biden's climate summit

John Kerry. Photo: Zach Gibson / Stringer

John Kerry, President Biden's special climate envoy, is expected to travel to China next week for meetings with officials aimed at boosting collaboration, the Washington Post reported Saturday.

Why it matters: China is the world's largest carbon dioxide emitter and the U.S. is second-largest.