One of the more prominent domain stories to be discussed in the mainstream has been the game of hot potato being played with The Daily Stormer domain and website.
GoDaddy hosted the site and finally made the decision to tell the registrant to transfer their domain out.
Just hours after being dropped by GoDaddy, prominent white nationalist publication The Daily Stormer attempted to find a home at Google. As of press time, the site’s registration info pointed to domains.google.com, indicating the web giant had taken over services as registrar.
Shortly after the switch was noticed, Google announced plans to drop the site. “We are cancelling Daily Stormer’s registration with Google Domains for violating our terms of service,” the company said in a statement. Later in the day, Google also banned The Daily Stormer from YouTube, according to Bloomberg.
Google banning The Daily Stormer from YouTube seems like a big move, because there are a lot of YouTube channels that host content that most would find offensive. Google now in my opinion has to shut down a lot of channels that also provide what many would consider “hate” content.
There was a post on Namepros asking if members supported GoDaddy’s decision to request a transfer? While everyone is against the message of a neo nazi website, some wonder if GoDaddy is now on a slippery slope? Surprisingly more people do not support GoDaddy’s decision, in what so far is a very small sample.
Aaron Strong noted, “It’s amazing how many “hate” group domains I can find on GoDaddy using Google search.“
Brad Mugford wrote, ”
So what happens if a domain is allowed to exist under Versign policy, but zero registrars are willing to allow it to be registered there?
The content is one thing, the domain itself exists independently.
It is easy to defend this decision when the content is morally repugnant to most people, but once again it is a subjective decision. What happens when this same standard starts being applied to other content people don’t like?”
I think in the current environment GoDaddy didn’t have a choice with this particular website. Registrars have a well worded TOS where they can effect whatever kind of change they would like with regards to a domain registration.
We did reach out to Goidaddy who sent TheDomains.com a comment:
“GoDaddy does not condone content that advocates expressions of hate, racism, bigotry. However, we generally do not take action on complaints that would constitute censorship of content and that represents the exercise of freedom of speech and expression on the Internet. While we detest the sentiment of such sites, we support a free and open Internet and, similar to the principles of free speech, that sometimes means allowing such tasteless, ignorant content.
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.
Please know that we take all complaints about content on websites very seriously, and have a team dedicated to investigating each complaint we receive. As has been our position for over a decade, if at any time someone believes a website may be operating in violation of our terms of service, we ask that they visit https://supportcenter.godaddy.com/AbuseReport to submit a report.”
Now a slippery slope would come into play, if GoDaddy tried doing that to someone running a political website that did not espouse hate in anyway but went against their political beliefs at GoDaddy HQ. That’s where people wonder if it’s right, not about this website, but does it move to areas where they are not offended?
Let’s say the conservative ex Google employee that just got fired, if he had a blog, would they tell him to move his blog? Some worry it can turn into that once the egregious sites are gone.
I think registrars are going to see a flood of emails coming in, people are going to point out what they see as hateful or wrong and want to know why their website is allowed at their current registrar.
YouTube has a lot of work to do, there are several channels espousing hate from every perspective, they really need to get work.