Tech Companies Begin Blacklisting Alt-Right Sites, Purging Them from the Internet
The blacklisting of alt-right sites on the Internet has begun in earnest.
Add CloudFlare to the growing list of companies refusing to do business with the loathsome, hate-spewing Daily Stormer. Reversing the company's previous stance on not censoring content, founder and CEO Matthew Prince wrote in an internal email that he "woke up this morning in a bad mood and decided to kick them off the Internet. It was a decision I could make because I'm the CEO of a major Internet infrastructure company."
"My rationale for making this decision was simple: the people behind the Daily Stormer are a**holes and I'd had enough," Prince wrote. "Let me be clear: this was an arbitrary decision." [Emphasis added]
At the company's blog, he further explained that "we're going to have a long debate internally about whether we need to remove the [bullet point in our transparency policy] about not terminating a customer due to political pressure. It's powerful to be able to say you've never done something. And, after today, make no mistake, it will be a little bit harder for us to argue against a government somewhere pressuring us into taking down a site they don't like."
Squarespace is also jumping on the censorship bandwagon:
Squarespace, a hosting company, told Ars on Wednesday that it would soon be booting some of its current customers. The company currently hosts numerous extremist sites, including freedomfront.org, identityevropa.com, and npiamerica.org, among others.
"In light of recent events, we have made the decision to remove a group of sites from our platform," Terry Wei, a Squarespace spokesman, e-mailed Ars. "We have given the site owners 48 hours' notice. We cannot provide further information at this time, but we’ll be in touch as soon as we have an update."
Apple and PayPal are also joining in:
In addition, on Wednesday, Apple said it would pull support for Apple Pay to a number of websites that sell "White Pride" apparel, and PayPal ceased its services to VDARE, a white nationalist group.
Cloud hosting company Digital Ocean, not wanting to be left out, took down Hatreon (a crowdfunding platform that doesn't have "hate" restrictions) today:
The company has also stopped providing services to Daily Stormer as well. Tech Crunch:
Earlier today cloud hosting platform DigitalOcean was publicly called out on Twitter for providing services to both The Daily Stormer and pro-hate speech crowdfunding platform Hatreon.
A few hours after a tweet by Ryan Block calling out Digital Ocean for providing services to Daily Stormer, the company responded on Twitter saying they “investigated and determined this site violates our TOS by inciting violence or hate crimes," adding, "We’ve terminated their account."