Tech Under Attack After Parler Goes Dark, Twitter Drops Trump
Tech firms tried to contain a mounting backlash against their social media sites, with shares of Twitter Inc. and Facebook Inc. falling in early trading and rival platform Parler forced offline by Amazon.com Inc.
Twitter fell 7.8% in pre-market trading in New York after it banned President Donald Trump permanently for risking incitement to violence, citing posts referring to riots in the U.S. capital last week, removing one of Twitter’s biggest accounts. Facebook’s shares were down 2%.
Free-speech-centric network Parler, led by Chief Executive Officer John Matze, was taken offline early on Monday after Amazon Web Services shut down access to its servers, leaving it without an online home. Both Google and Apple Inc. kicked Parler from their stores, making it almost impossible to download the app.
The tech giants are trying to distance themselves from accusations they helped fuel the violence during the storming of the Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6 by a mob encouraged by Trump. So far, Parler hasn’t been able to find other web hosting services willing to step in because of the negative publicity stemming from the violence, organized in part on its own platform.