The fallout from the Charlottesville protests is continuing to blow through the tech world, as more companies stop offering their services to The Daily Stormer and other white supremacist sites.
In the wake of the demonstrations in Virginia, which saw 32-year-old Heather Heyer killed when an alleged white supremacist drove into a crowd, tech firms have been distancing themselves from extremist groups and their websites.
On Monday, GoDaddy, the world’s largest seller of domain names, said it would no longer allow the Stormer to use its services following the publication of a disparaging article about Heyer. Hours later, the site briefly moved to Google Domains before being booted off by Google, who also banned the Daily Stormer from YouTube.
Tuesday saw Discord, the popular chat platform for gamers, close servers and accounts associated with the “alt-right.”
Yesterday, the Daily Stormer reappeared with a Russian domain name - dailystormer.ru – and set up a .onion address as a backup. Hours after its return, however, the site was down again after content delivery network CloudFlare, which has long protected the Stormer from DDOS attacks, dropped the neo-Nazis.
CloudFlare CEO Matthew Prince wrote an extensive blog post explaining the decision. The company had previously taken a neutral position, claiming it wasn’t interested in policing content, but that view changed when the Stormer suggested CloudFlare secretly agreed with its racist views.
Prince did acknowledge that "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."
Social media has been clamping down on the white supremacists, with Twitter suspending an account that provides daily Stormer updates, and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg promising that the platform is “watching the situation closely and will take down threats of physical harm”
Apple is also making its position on extremist websites clear. The iPhone maker has disabled Apple Pay support for a number of sites selling goods from white supremacist groups.
“We’ve seen the terror of white supremacy & racist violence before,” tweeted CEO Tim Cook “It's a moral issue - an affront to America. We must all stand against it.”
PayPal, which has already banned some users associated with the alt-right, has banned several accounts that were used to raise funds for the Unite the Right rally.
The latest tech firm to take action is web design and hosting service Squarespace. It revealed to The Verge that it would be removing a “group of sites” from its service. It didn’t specify which ones but did say they have been given 48 hours’ notice for violating Squarespace’s policy banning “bigotry or hatred.”