String of Web Hosts Boot Neo-Nazi Website Daily Stormer

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8/15/17: Updated with statement from GoDaddy

GoDaddy has declared neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer is in violation of its terms of service and cancelled its domain registration, with Google and French web host Scaleway following suit.

A tweet was sent to GoDaddy Sunday picturing a post on the Daily Stormer which made disparaging personal remarks about the woman murdered during violent events in Charlottesville, Virginia, and calling for the company to revoke the website’s domain registration agreement.

In response GoDaddy replied Sunday evening that it had given the site 24 hours notice of the cancellation of its registration.

GoDaddy has previously faced criticism as it attempted to walk a fine line between accepting customer’s rights to free speech and enforcing terms of service which prohibit customer use which “promotes, encourages or engages in terrorism, violence.”

In a statement provided to the WHIR by email, Ben Butler, director, Digital Crimes Unit, GoDaddy said:

“GoDaddy does not condone content that advocates expressions of hate, racism, bigotry. However, we generally do not take action on complaints that would constitute censorship of content and that represents the exercise of freedom of speech and expression on the Internet. 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.

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. In our determination, especially given the tragic events in Charlottesville, Dailystormer.com crossed the line and encouraged and promoted violence.

Please know that we take all complaints about content on websites very seriously, and have a team dedicated to investigating each complaint we receive. As has been our position for over a decade, if at any time someone believes a website may be operating in violation of our terms of service, we ask that they visit https://supportcenter.godaddy.com/AbuseReport to submit a report.”

The domain was transferred to Google by Monday morning, but Google responded that it too was cancelling the registration due to violation of its terms of service, a company representative told Vox in an email.

Another Twitter user identified Scaleway as the Daily Stormer’s server host by tracing its IP address, and requested the company shut it down. The company, which appears to have been unaware it was hosting the site, investigated and closed the Daily Stormer account Monday morning, Vox reports.

In the midst of the hate website’s service provider scramble, it published a post claiming the site had been taken over by Anonymous. Twitter account YourAnonNews said it could not confirm any action by any party against the Daily Stormer, and speculated the post was written by site administrators.

New content was published to the website on Monday, which is still a Cloudflare client, but as of Tuesday morning its DNS address could not be found.

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