Over the weekend, while protesting the white supremacists who gathered at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, a 32-year-old woman named Heather Heyer was killed by one of the rally-goers, who drove his car into her and several other counter-protesters. On Sunday, The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website, published an article mocking Heyer and saying that “most people are glad she is dead.”
The Daily Stormer has published a number of troubling articles since it was founded, but the post about Heyer was the final straw for the site’s hosting platform, GoDaddy. On Monday, GoDaddy announced that it was kicking The Daily Stormer off its platform for violating its terms of service.
GoDaddy’s spokesman, Dan Race, said in a statement about the decision:
‘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.’
Things got worse for The Daily Stormer later on Monday. After being kicked off of GoDaddy’s hosting platform, The Daily Stormer moved to Google. That move only lasted a few hours, though.
The Daily Stormer first registered its domain with Google at 7:51 a.m. Google canceled the registration at 11:02 a.m.
A spokesperson for Google told Business Insider that The Daily Stormer’s domain registration was being canceled because the site had violated their terms of service by publishing the article about Heyer. A source close to Google also said that the company didn’t want its services “used to incite violence.”
Following GoDaddy and Google’s lead, Zoho, a business management software company, also published a statement on Monday afternoon saying The Daily Stormer would no longer have access to their services.
The Daily Stormer’s hateful article about Heyer was obviously the catalyst for so many platforms finally deciding that they were finished with the site. However, some have questioned why The Daily Stormer was allowed to remain on GoDaddy’s platform for so long.
The site first came under fire in July, when it published an article promising to “track down” relatives of CNN staffers. At the time, the director GoDaddy’s digital crimes unit, Ben Butler, said that The Daily Stormer was allowed to remain up because GoDaddy supports First Amendment rights.
‘While we detest the sentiment of this site and the article in question, we support First Amendment rights and, similar to the principles of free speech, that sometimes means allowing such tasteless, ignorant content.’
Butler explained to The New York Times on Monday that GoDaddy’s executives had decided that, with its comments about Heyer, The Daily Stormer had gone “beyond the mere exercise” of free speech.
‘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.’
It’s unfortunate that it took something as repugnant as the article about Heyer to get The Daily Stormer taken down, but at least the site’s writers can no longer use that particular platform to spread their hateful messages.
Featured image via Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.