Amazon Web Services is going to start following the lead of Twitter, Youtube, and Google, and use its tech platform to play thought police:
Amazon.com plans to take a more proactive approach to determine what types of content violate its cloud service policies, such as rules against promoting violence, and enforce its removal, according to two sources, a move likely to renew debate about how much power tech companies should have to restrict free speech.
Over the coming months, Amazon will expand the Trust & Safety team at the Amazon Web Services division and hire a small group of people to develop expertise and work with outside researchers to monitor for future threats, one of the sources familiar with the matter said.
It could turn Amazon, the leading cloud service provider worldwide with 40% market share according to research firm Gartner, into one of the world’s most powerful arbiters of content allowed on the internet, experts say.
AWS does not plan to sift through the vast amounts of content that companies host on the cloud, but will aim to get ahead of future threats, such as emerging extremist groups whose content could make it onto the AWS cloud, the source added.
A day after publication of this story, an AWS spokesperson told journalists at Reuters that the news agency’s reporting “is wrong,” and added “AWS Trust & Safety has no plans to change its policies or processes, and the team has always existed.”
A spokesperson for our partner news agency Reuters said it stands by its reporting.
Amazon made headlines in the Washington Post on Aug. 27 for shutting down a website hosted on AWS that featured propaganda from Islamic State that celebrated the suicide bombing that killed an estimated 170 Afghans and 13 US troops in Kabul last Thursday. They did so after the news organization contacted Amazon, according to the Post.
The discussions of a more proactive approach to content come after Amazon kicked free speech app Parler off its cloud service shortly after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot for permitting content promoting violence.
Amazon did not immediately comment ahead of the publication of the story on Thursday. After publication, an AWS spokesperson said later that day, “AWS Trust & Safety works to protect AWS customers, partners, and internet users from bad actors attempting to use our services for abusive or illegal purposes. When AWS Trust & Safety is made aware of abusive or illegal behaviour on AWS services, they act quickly to investigate and engage with customers to take appropriate actions.”
Remember, SJWs at Amazon actually deleted Castalia’s account for about 18 hours two years ago. So what this signifies is that similarly-minded individuals have now reached positions of sufficient power to override the laissez faire attitude of the market-focused corporatists who previously ran the organization.
If you’re on the cloud, you’d better get off it and back onto your own metal as soon as possible. Putting your own data on other people’s machines and relying on the kindness of strangers was always a hideously stupid idea.