Trump wanted to join Parler and call himself 'Person X' before it shut down, according to the CEO of the social media app
- President Donald Trump considered creating an account on Parler under the pseudonym "Person X," its CEO John Matze said Wednesday.
- Parler's web host Amazon Web Services (AWS) was aware of this since at least October, Matze claimed.
- The possibility of Trump joining Parler was part of the reason AWS cut ties with the network on Monday, sending it offline, Matze claimed.
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President Donald Trump considered creating an account on Parler, the social media app popular with his followers, under the pseudonym "Person X," Parler's CEO said in a court filing Wednesday.
Amazon Web Services (AWS), which hosted Parler online until Monday, was aware of these plans, and part of the reason AWS terminated its contract with Parler was to deny Trump further social media presence, John Matze claimed.
AWS cutting off Parler on Monday took the app offline, and Matze believes it may never come back. AWS said Parler "poses a very real risk to public safety" — Google and Apple had also banned the app from their app stores. Parler had become a haven for far-right activity and misinformation due to its lax stance on moderating content, and users called for violence as rioters stormed the US Capitol on January 6.
After AWS sent Parler offline, the social media network quickly fired back with an antitrust lawsuit against AWS, and Matze submitted an additional filing Wednesday. The filing disputed Amazon's claims that it had repeatedly warned Parler about suspending the platform's contract because of violent content.
In the filing, Matze said that an AWS representative assigned to Parler had been aware since at least October that Trump was thinking about creating an account on the platform. The representative was in frequent contact with Matze about this, he added, and should have also been aware that this would bring a surge of Trump-supporters to Parler.
"[Retracted], who is a Joe Biden supporter, was AWS's representative assigned to me by AWS, and was aware since at least October 11, 2020, that Trump was considering moving to Parler under the pseudonym 'Person X,'" Matze wrote.
The spokesperson "frequently" contacted him about this, Matze said, adding: "AWS knew there was a possibility that Trump might obtain a Parler account, likely bringing with him a surge of followers to the Parler platform."
Matze said that "based on my interactions with AWS personnel during this period, I believe AWS's decision to terminate service to Parler was based, not on expressed concerns about Parler's compliance with the AWS Agreement, but in part on a desire to deny President Trump a platform on any large social-media service."
"AWS had inside and confidential knowledge from Parler about when and if he would join."
Amazon did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
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Since the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6, numerous social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Snapchat have locked or permanently banned Trump's accounts, which may have made it more likely for Trump to turn to Parler as an alternative.
AWS only expressed concerns about its agreement with Parler after Twitter announced that it was banning Trump from the platform, Matze said in the filing.
In the filing, Matze also claimed that Amazon hadn't raised concerns about Parler's content moderation system until January 8. Amazon said Tuesday it had issued repeated warnings since mid-November, and said Parler had refused to remove more than 100 examples of violent content, including death threats.
Matze also said Parler was dropped by workplace messaging service Slack, which made it difficult for Parler staff to monitor its content.
"Losing Slack makes it extremely difficult to effectively enforce our terms of service with our almost 600 volunteer and paid Jury members," he wrote.
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