18 Aug'17

Hosting websites’ ability to block content

Go Daddy and Google no longer host the Daily Stormer, a U.S neo-Nazi website, after they wrote that Heather Heyer, a woman who died at the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, was a ‘drain on society’. See the full report on the Independent.


GoDaddy were first to release a statement regarding their ban of the Daily Stormer. Ben Butler, the Director of GoDaddy’s digital crimes unit, made the point to the Independent that, although the hosting website generally supports free speech, they felt the Daily Stormer went too far by encouraging violence.


When Daily Stormer subsequently registered with Google, Google swiftly announced that they would cancel their domain.


The latest news on this is that Cloudfare, known for protecting website from DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service), also banned Daily Stormer from their web services. Matthew Prince, Cloudfare’s Chief Executive, comment regarding Daily Stormer, that he ‘”woke up in a bad mood and decided someone shouldn’t be allowed on the internet”.


It is obvious that these digital giants have a responsibility to block hate publications from public domain. However, this does set a precedent for what they are capable of; blocking content from mass market or failing to protect that content for ideological reasons.


News stories such as, ‘Evidence of Google blacklisting of left and progressive sites continues to mount’, demonstrate that others are also asking the motivations behind  content being blocked. Although probably worth noting this article was published on Website Socialists Web Sites (WSWS), which is aimed at those who are ‘dissatisfied with the present state of social life’, and its ‘cynical treatment by the establishment media’.


Is there a dystopian Sci Fi movie in the making here?