American neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer has been forced to join the dark web after major web hosting and DNS services, along with social media sites shut down their presence across the more publicly accessible portions of the web.
The trouble started after the site helped organize the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Unfortunately, Heather Heyer, a protester against the white supremacist rally, was killed after being rammed by a vehicle.
The website which is run by Andrew Anglin, hosted its domain name at GoDaddy. As word spread about the fallout coming out of Charlottesville protests, someone reported the site to GoDaddy after an article was published in which Heyer was mocked and insulted.
Anglin switched the site over to Google, but was kicked out for also violating Google’s hosting terms.
On August 14th, they bought a domain via one of Tucows registrar brands, but were shut down in mere hours as well for similar reasons.
Cloudflare, a site used to handle traffic distribution and prevent DDoS attacks, also blocked the site from using its services. This was one of the more controversial moves as Cloudflare rarely gets involved with the kind of content they host. Cloudflare’s CEO took full responsibility for the move, and suggested that policing at the hosting company be rethought somewhat to address one-off cases like this.
As The Daily Stormer’s hosts scrambled to find a place to manage their domain, they registered dailystormer.ru (a domain with a Russian country extension) to avoid policy problems. Again, their time ran out as RU-CENTER (the domain’s host) also terminated the website’s contract, knocking them offline once again.
On the social media front side of things, Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, and YouTube have also silenced the group, essentially forcing them to spread their content via the dark web.
Tech companies are definitely banding together on this issue as GoFundMe banned them from collecting contributions, while even Spotify removed albums and songs created by several white supremacist bands.