A federal judge in Seattle found right-wing social media service Parler had insufficient evidence to force an injunction against Amazon Web Services (AWS) removing its website in the wake of the deadly Capitol riot.
Parler has "substantive underlying claims" against AWS, Federal District Judge Barbara Rothstein said in her judgment, but the evidence presented in court is insufficient to compel an immediate resumption of the web hosting service.
The conservative social media company claimed Amazon and Twitter joined forces to shut it down, an allegation the judge called "only faint and factually inaccurate speculation."
The Seattle-based e-commerce and internet company ceased service to Parler on Jan. 11 as a "last resort" to stop users from organizing to disrupt the presidential inauguration of Joe Biden, a representative for Amazon said in court.
Parler has shown "an unwillingness and inability" to monitor user posts, allowing content advocating violence, rape and even assassination of public figure to proliferate.
Founded in 2018, Parler gained a following last year among Trump supporters and right-wing extremists circulating QAnon conspiracy theories and propagating false allegations of fraud in the 2020 election.
"We're a neutral town square that just adheres to the law," Parler co-founder and CEO John Matze said in an interview with the New York Times earlier this month.
But Rothstein was not swayed by Parler's argument that it would be in the public interest to continue allowing its users to post what she termed "incendiary speech."
Being blacklisted by Amazon is a disabling blow to Parler, Matze told the court, because the social media site is reliant on the web host's engineering to function.
To make matters worse for Matze, other tech companies have followed suit. Apple and Google removed the Parler app from their stores, preventing smartphone users from downloading it, while dozens of web hosting services have refused to accept the site as a client.
Parler is keeping its website online, without any content, for the time being via an internet registry firm owned by staunch libertarian Rob Monster and is currently being hosted by Russia-based DDoS-Guard.
Even this temporary refuge is about to disappear. The Russian webhost leases the majority of its internet addresses out of Belize to circumvent regulatory restrictions, but recent complaints led Latin American authorities to announce this week the removal of more than 8,000 IP addresses owned by DDoS-Guard, including one currently held by Parler.
Nonetheless, Matze and his team remain optimistic. In a recent interview with Fox News' Sean Hannity, company executives vowed this would not be the last we see of Parler.
"What Parler will look like a month from now, I can't tell you," said COO Jeffrey Wernick. "But Parler will not be gone."