24 Aug'17

Website giants criticised for banning neo-Nazi site


Last week The Report featured Google, Go Daddy and Cloud Flare’s banning of the Daily Stormer.


The Report made the point that these website giants’ actions set a precedent for what they are capable of; blocking any content from mass market.


Although this new story may spark questions regarding the motivations behind content being blocked, we were of the opinion that these digital companies have a ‘responsibility to block hate publication’.


However, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) have released a statement condemning Google, GoDaddy and Cloud Flare for banning the Daily Stormer.


The BBC quoted EFF, stating ‘”We strongly believe that what GoDaddy, Google, and Cloudflare did here was dangerous,”


EFF added, “Because internet intermediaries, especially those with few competitors, control so much online speech, the consequences of their decisions have far-reaching impacts on speech around the world.”


Other large companies, from the banking industry to music streaming corporations, have followed suite; having a zero-tolerance policy towards publications/content that fuel violence and hate. For example, as quoted by the BBC, Spotify said “We are glad to have been alerted to this content – and have already removed many of the bands identified, while urgently reviewing the remainder.”


This is not the first time an organisation has acted against a publisher as a result of differences in political views. November of last year, Lego stopped their advertisement deal with The Daily Mail because of the tabloid’s anti-immigration content.


It is one thing for an organisation to no longer affiliate themselves with a publication due to their political content. It is another when a corporation can block another’s free speech, however abhorrent that speech might be. It sets a precedent that freedom of speech can be controlled by a corporation, rather than a government.


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