GoDaddy announced that it would no longer host neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer after the site published a story mocking Heather Heyer, the protester who was killed by a car driven by an alleged white supremacist in Charlottesville Saturday.
“We informed The Daily Stormer that they have 24 hours to move the domain to another provider, as they have violated our terms of service,” the hosting platform tweeted Sunday after a tweet by women’s rights advocate Amy Siskin garnered several thousand retweets.
— Amy Siskind (@Amy_Siskind) August 14, 2017
The article in question was published on The Daily Stormer Saturday after James Alex Fields Jr. drove his car into a crowd of people protesting a white nationalist rally, killing Heyer and injuring at least 19 other people.
The Daily Stormer‘s headline uses sexist and derogatory language to describe Heyer, a Charlottesville resident. The article was written under the byline of Daily Stormer founder Andrew Anglin.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, The Daily Stormer is known as a site “dedicated to spreading anti-Semitism, neo-Nazism, and white nationalism”; it counts alt-right leader Richard Spencer among its contributors and co-editors.
A GoDaddy spokesman told The Washington Post that GoDaddy ultimately decided to sever its services to The Daily Stormer because it violated its terms of service and because “we believe this type of article could incite additional violence.”
Previously, however, GoDaddy said it could not disable The Daily Stormer’s domain or that of other neo-Nazi websites due to the First Amendment and their right to freedom of speech.
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“While we detest the sentiment of such sites, we support a free and open Internet and, similar to the principles of free speech, that sometimes means allowing such tasteless, ignorant content,” Ben Butler, the director of GoDaddy’s digital crimes unit, told the New York Times.
“In instances where a site goes beyond the mere exercise of these freedoms, however, and crosses over to promoting, encouraging, or otherwise engaging in violence against any person, we will take action,” he said. “In our determination, especially given the tragic events in Charlottesville, Dailystormer.com crossed the line and encouraged and promoted violence.”
On Monday, Reuters reported that The Daily Stormer had attempted to move its registration over to Google, yet later that afternoon, a spokesperson for the company told CNBC that it will cancel the site’s registration for violating Google terms of service.
Shortly after GoDaddy tweeted its decision to sever ties with The Daily Stormer, the site posted an article claiming that it was hacked by notorious group Anonymous, a claim that Anonymous derided via social media.
“We have no confirmation that ‘Anonymous’ is involved yet,” a Twitter handle associated with the group announced Sunday. “Looks more like a DS stunt. Wonder if they are having issues finding a new host.”
We have no confirmation that “Anonymous” is involved yet. Looks more like a DS stunt. Wonder if they are having issues finding a new host. https://t.co/ikXXRBfC5p
— Anonymous (@YourAnonNews) August 14, 2017
The Southern Poverty Law Center is currently suing Anglin for launching what it calls a “harassment campaign that has relentlessly terrorized a Jewish woman and her family with anti-Semitic threats and messages.” Anglin’s supporters have countered the lawsuit by raising over $150,000 in donations to support him.
Watch below: Protest – with people waving Confederate flags, chanting Nazi-era slogans – turned violent, prompting Virginia governor to declare state of emergency.