Tech giants Google and Facebook, as well as Twitter, web hosting company and domain registry GoDaddy, and Google subsidiary YouTube, have all taken stands against the white supremacist site The Daily Stormer, effectively shutting down their web presence for now.
A rumor spread quickly on social media Monday that white supremacist site The Daily Stormer had been hacked by the group Anonymous, who vowed over the weekend to shut down those advocating for domestic terrorism or the alt-right. The site itself showed a front-page post proclaiming as much, but as Salon reported, that post went up shortly after the site's web host, GoDaddy, warned them they would need to find a new host within 24 hours clearly in an attempt to confuse the story.
GoDaddy took action after the Daily Stormer posted a story blaming the victim in the Charlottesville protests, Heather Heyer, and an outcry erupted on social media. A spokesperson for the company told the New York Times, "Given The Daily Stormer’s latest article comes on the immediate heels of a violent act, we believe this type of article could incite additional violence, which violates our terms of service."
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.— GoDaddy (@GoDaddy) August 14, 2017
This potentially marks a major change of policy for GoDaddy, which previously had refused to shut down sites including this one under First Amendment protections. As the Daily Beast reported last month, GoDaddy said it did "not see a reason to take any action" against the Daily Stormer after an article pledged to "track down" the family members of CNN staffers.
Following GoDaddy's action, within hours of Daily Stormer registering its domain with Google Domains, that registration was canceled, as Business Insider reports, with Google saying they didn't want their services used to incite violence, and "We are cancelling Daily Stormer’s registration with Google Domains for violating our terms of service."
The site then turned to a company called Zoho, which also canceled the site's registration for the same reason around noon on Monday.
We believe that The Daily Stormer has violated Zoho’s Terms of Service, so its access to Zoho’s services has been terminated. (2/2)— Zoho (@zoho) August 14, 2017
At some point, a Twitter account with the handle @dailystormers was suspended, and a Toronto-based company called Tucows, which masks the personal information of domain registrants, unmasked the information of Daily Stormer founder and professed neo-Nazi Andrew Anglin, as Reuters reports.
Facebook took their own stand to begin stemming the spread of the Daily Stormer article, however they stopped short of flagging or deleting posts that included user commentary. As The Verge explains, Facebook acknowledged that the article violated their terms of service, and links to it would be removed automatically unless they contained commentary condemning the article.
The article itself, however, is now inaccessible because TheDailyStormer.com is now offline.
YouTube, under the Alphabet umbrella, also shut down the site's channel.
In February of this year, the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups, identified The Daily Stormer as the "top hate site in America."
In an autobiography, founder Anglin said, "I had always been into 4chan [a message board popular with the alt-right and many racist radicals], as I am at heart a troll. This is about the time /new/ [a particular 4chan board] was going full Nazi, and so I got into Hitler, and realized that through this type of nationalist system, alienation could be replaced by community in a real sense, while authoritarianism would allow for technology to develop in a direction that was beneficial rather than destructive to the people."