Two days later, Peikoff replied that the Post, “as hateful as it is,” was not in violation of Parler’s Terms of Use, a customer of its cloud computing service that was effectively silencing it.

The ability of companies like Facebook, Twitter and Google to control what people see online is so strong that it is the subject of antitrust hearings. However, Amazon’s decision to oust Parler from its dominant cloud computing service shows just how powerful the content moderation functions are.

(Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, owns the Washington Post.)

“We’ve been thinking too closely that online language is social media,” said Margaret O’Mara, a history professor at the University of Washington and author of The Code: Silicon Valley and Remaking of America. “A Chronicle of the Tech Industry.

The companies that …

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