GoDaddy exiles altright.com after civil rights group complaint
Dust off your definitions of free speech and censorship in the digital age, people
GoDaddy has decided it will have no part in keeping a site called altright.com on the web. The site promoted white supremacist views.
Civil Rights group The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Tweeted the news on Thursday, May 3, along with its complaint that the site contravenes GoDaddy’s terms of service, especially with regards to incitement of violence.
GoDaddy appears to have agreed with that analysis because at the time of writing altright.com was nowhere to be seen online.
BREAKING: We shut down Richard Spencer's Altright website. We will continue using every tool in our arsenal to confront white supremacists, the alt-right & those who incite violence and hate in our country. We applaud @GoDaddy for heeding our call and pulling the site. pic.twitter.com/1gU2ZOlNXN— Kristen Clarke (@KristenClarkeJD) May 3, 2018
GoDaddy has form in this kind of matter. The company punted hate-filled site The Daily Stormer after it made vile comments in the wake of the Charlottesville protests in 2017, citing violations of its terms of service as the reason. Other domain registrars followed suit and the Stormer was offline for a time before a China-based registrar took it on (the site maintains a non-violent stance, but also contains references to “kikes”, claims it is “is being sued by Jewish terrorists”, has a category of content labelled “Jewish Problem” and carries several stories denigrating women).
Twitter has also booted alt-right figures, as have other social networks. Cloudflare’s done likewise, but because white supremacists said the company shared their views.
GoDaddy provided domain name services to altright.com, which was hosted elsewhere.
Reaction to altright.com’s disappearance is already covering familiar territory. Supporters of the site and/or free speech argue that activism of the sort practised by The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is a restriction on free speech. Others point out that GoDaddy is a business, not a government, so has every right to decide how its service is used. Others still say the likes of altright.com are so far beyond civil speech that they deserve censure. ®