hours after the white-supremacist blog the Daily Stormer was
booted off GoDaddy Inc.’s domain-name registrar, Google Inc. followed
up in a similar fashion, canceling its
new registration for violating its terms of service. The
decision meant that the Daily Stormer was once again searching
for a new home after it posted a blog that was interpreted by
technology companies as inciting violence, following the weekend
events in Charlottesville, Virginia (pictured). The
publication caused outrage following the car
attack in Charlottesville during a white
supremacist rally that left one person dead and 19 injured.
storm over the Daily Storm was just the first of many subsequent
actions by tech companies, in particular, to hit back against
hate groups that were supported in part by their services. Since
then, dozens of companies providing a range of online services
to these groups have pulled back support.
Thursday, the chief executive Apple Inc., the world’s most
valuable company, joined
in. Tim Cook said in an email
to employees that he disagreed with
Trump’s tepid criticism of white supremacy groups. “I disagree
with the president and others who believe that there is a moral
equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who
oppose them by standing up for human rights,” he wrote.
“Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans.”
said he would donate $1 million each to the Southern Poverty Law
Center and the Anti-Defamation League. He also outlined plans to
double donations to human rights groups by Apple employees until
Sept. 30. Apple also is setting up a way in its iTunes media
service to allow users to support the SPLC.
high-profile moves followed a rising tide of tech and other
companies distancing themselves from Trump and the hate groups.
On Wednesday, Facebook deleted
posts that linked to a Daily Stormer article that
attacked Heyer. “There is no place for hate in our
community,” Facebook CEO Mark
Zuckerberg said. “That’s why we’ve always taken down any
post that promotes or celebrates hate crimes or acts of
terrorism — including what happened in Charlottesville.”
sites such as Kickstarter, GoFundMe and Indiegogo also shut
down campaigns to raise money for Fields.
Ride-hailing giant Uber Technologies Inc. banned
two racists from using the service.
Wednesday, Spotify weighed in, saying it’s removing
“hate music” from its streaming service. PayPal and
Apple Pay also stopped
payment support for websites selling white
nationalist and Nazi apparel. Even CloudFlare Inc., the content
delivery network that had continued to support the Daily
out after a reader said its support indicated it was
“one of us.” CloudFlare CEO Matthew Prince pithily
explained: “My rationale for making this decision was
simple: the people behind the Daily Stormer are assholes and I’d
appeared to galvanize all these companies into action early this
week was that just hours after the attack, the Daily
Stormer published a blog post mocking the deceased victim
using obscene and sexist language. Heather Heyer died after
a car rammed into a crowd of anti-white supremacist protesters
who had gathered to oppose the rally. James Alex Fields, the
driver, was arrested shortly afterward.
Donald Trump’s initial failure specifically to criticize white
supremacists, which make up part of his political base, also
came in for criticism. Kenneth Frazier, chief executive officer
of pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co., Inc., said he was quitting Trump’s
manufacturing council as a result. Under Armour CEO Kevin
Plank and Intel Corp. CEO Brian Krzanich followed
suit Monday. On Wednesday, Trump said he’s disbanding the
manufacturing council and his Strategic and Policy Forum.
hours after the Daily Stormer published its post, its web
hosting provider GoDaddy announced that
it would not tolerate this kind of hate speech, and gave the
site 24 hours to find a new host. The Daily Stormer went
offline, blaming the Anonymous group for hacking its site, only
to return hours later after registering its domain with Google,
Google quickly decided that it too would not tolerate the
Neo-Nazi blog’s presence on its servers. “We are canceling Daily
Stormer’s registration with Google Domains for violating our
terms of service,” a spokesman for the company told The
Washington Post on Monday.
Daily Stormer had registered its domain with Google at 7:51 a.m.
Pacific Time, only for Google to cancel its registration at
11:02 a.m., Business Insider reported.
Google later terminated the
Daily Stormer’s YouTube channel with immediate effect.
Internet and social media sites have played host to all manner
of extremists looking to incite action and recruit new members.
Despite some action against terrorist groups such as Isis and
al-Qaida, though, hate groups inside countries have continued
relatively unabated online, until now. Indeed, following
Google’s move, a number of other technology firms stepped
forward to say they would also be parting ways with the Daily
Stormer. Zoho Corp., which provides email services and other
tools to enterprises, said on Twitter it too was dropping the
later joined by Discord Inc., which makes a chat application for
video gamers. Discord said it
was shutting down the altright.com server and would ban the
accounts of users who were associated with the events in
furor comes amid what could be a much wider crackdown on
extremism and terrorism by Internet companies and other big
businesses. In the hours after the Charlottesville attacks, the
hospitality website Airbnb Inc. said it was banning
white supremacists from using its
services. It also revealed it had shut down the accounts of some
individuals even prior to those events.
not clear what the Daily Stormer’s next move will be. The site
will likely be looking for a new host for its domain, but
finding one that’s agreeable to its content could be a tough
ask. The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, a
nonprofit organization known as ICANN that oversees domain
registrations, lists almost 3,000 web host providers. But many
will likely shy away from hosting such a controversial site.
Then again, a smaller provider might yet give the Daily Stormer
a chance in order to gain publicity.
decision to ban the Daily Stormer comes at an awkward time for
the company because it’s already embroiled in its own battle
against the alt-right community following its decision to fire
James Damore for posting a sexist memo. The alt-right community
has largely backed Damore, even going as far as to raise money
the events in Charlottesville, coupled with Trump’s failure to
use his office to tamp down white supremacists, appear to have
knocked more businesses off the fence, suggesting they may be
taking more overt action against extremists.
With reporting from Robert Hof