back to article GoDaddy exiles altright.com after civil rights group complaint

GoDaddy has decided it will have no part in keeping a site called altright.com on the web. The site promoted white supremacist views. Civil Rights group The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law Tweeted the news on Thursday, May 3, along with its complaint that the site contravenes GoDaddy’s terms of service, …

  1. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Ughh I had to do a dubble take...

    ...Thursday, May 4th

    I take it you wrote this on a Thursday, and you still can not get grips with them huh?

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Re: Ughh I had to do a dubble take...

      Shittest. Derail. Ever.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    forcible suppression of opposition and control of industry and commerce.

    Not sure where I've heard this done before? Could it be fascism?

    Another website where people will go underground unchallenged on their very wrong views, it's also advertising of said websites to people that were previously unaware of them. You also remove the ability to track these people when they completely shutter a website. However they can have a nice cup of "Doing Something to make the world a better place" to make them feel better.

    Sure I'm going to get down votes from people that don't understand the nature of the internet, shutting one website makes absolutely no difference because another will replace it. The solution is to educate people so they understand that their beliefs serves no purpose other than to create division and that everyone is equal.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re: The solution is to educate people

      And the best way to do that is to publish racist material?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: re: The solution is to educate people

        I find generally racists have smaller brains and lower intelligence.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: re: The solution is to educate people

        No, you do it through school, you challenge them when they post vile content, for every website they create, create one opposing everything it says with reasons why it's wrong and evidence. Eventually the people that support this will begin to see through it, sure there will be some beyond saving but they are in a minority anyway and you have the next generation through the schools. That's my opinion for what it's worth.

        Edit: Here's a question, can anyone give me an example where forced oppression of opinion has resulted in that opinion being removed? In fact it probably gives it support in the minds of simple people, look we're being oppressed so we must be right.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: re: The solution is to educate people

          And how does that work in the polarised echo chamber that is the Internet today, are you expecting commentards to go to alt right sites and argue the finer points of Neo-nazism and they'll see the light and become well-adjusted members of society?

          It doesn't work, there aren't enough commentards to make a difference and they'll get modded, booted off, or doxxed.

          1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

            Re: re: The solution is to educate people

            The old adage:

            Never argue with a moron, they will bring you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

            1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

              Re: re: The solution is to educate people

              "Never argue with a moron, they will bring you down to their level and then beat you with experience."

              Except the key is to put on a show for others, who may be wavering. You'll never convince the indoctrinated. But among those watching are some who are open to persuasion. Just look at how much the popularity of Jordan Peterson went up after his debate with Cathy Newman. No way was Cathy convinced, but many watching, who had previously simply accepted the story that the gender pay gap was real, or that capitalism is what causes ones misery. Or that identity politics was harmless. That t-shirts with the face of Che Guevara was no-way not the same as a t-shirt with the face of Hitler. Etc.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: re: The solution is to educate people

            And how does that work in the polarised echo chamber that is the Internet today, are you expecting commentards to go to alt right sites and argue the finer points of Neo-nazism and they'll see the light and become well-adjusted members of society?

            Yes! Pretty much. Look at any 'alt right' or 'anything goes' site that isn't a white supremacist site per se. Observe that most users regard the hardcore nazi 1488ers as a bunch of obnoxious cunts with major mental problems.

        2. veti Silver badge

          Re: re: The solution is to educate people

          I'll turn your question around: can anyone name an instance in which education alone, absent legal support, has resulted in an opinion being abandoned by all?

          For 200 years we've been crying "education is the answer!" It doesn't work because we can't agree on what the question was. Education that creates social cohesion and consensus? - that's brainwashing. Education that tries to lead the way to a more advanced, enlightened consensus? That's not only brainwashing, but also divisive and calculated to alienate half the country from the other half.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: re: The solution is to educate people

            Good points, maybe someone could come up with an alternative solution, I still don't think banning them is the answer though especially with the way the internet works, it's like the war on drugs or prohibition, sure you may be making a small difference at one end but it does nothing for the start. Maybe the media needs to change its attitude to race/gender/religion etc... It sometimes feels that in the search for popularity they can incite people.

            1. Just Enough

              Re: re: The solution is to educate people

              The website was not banned, and GoDaddy's action was not necessarily intended to make the world a better place.

              The idea was to get fascists off their systems, as is entirely their right.

              They are entirely free to take their website somewhere else, and GoDaddy is not responsible for educating them otherwise.

        3. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

          Re: re: The solution is to educate people

          " Here's a question, can anyone give me an example where forced oppression of opinion has resulted in that opinion being removed"

          Well, there's Britain's EU Membership Referendum and the 2016 US Elections. Oh, wait.

      3. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: re: The solution is to educate people

        And the best way to do that is to publish racist material?

        You have to. Otherwise there is no examples to work with and educate the kids of what is wrong and what is right.

        1. Hans 1 Silver badge
          Angel

          Re: re: The solution is to educate people

          You have to. Otherwise there is no examples to work with and educate the kids of what is wrong and what is right.

          You have to. Otherwise there is no examples to work with and educate the kids of what is altright and what is right.

          TFTFY

      4. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

        Re: re: The solution is to educate people

        "And the best way to do that is to publish racist material?"

        You could try debate.

      5. evilhippo

        Re: re: The solution is to educate people

        It is not the best way, it is the only way. Same applies to Islamosfacist material, Marxist material, Nazi material, Deep Green Human Extinctionist material, etc. etc. etc.

        Refute bad ideas rather than try to hide them & pretend they don't exist.

  3. malle-herbert Silver badge
    Coat

    I'll just leave this here :

    Free speech...

    1. Timmy B Silver badge

      Re: I'll just leave this here :

      @malle-herbert

      That's one of the stupidest things xkcd posted. The holes are glaring and obvious. Does he hold up that standard to bakers and their choice of customers and cake decoration? I very much doubt it.

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: The holes are glaring and obvious

        So obvious that you didn't even mention them.

        Go on, elucidate rather than straw manning.

        1. Timmy B Silver badge

          Re: The holes are glaring and obvious

          "Go on, elucidate rather than straw manning."

          I'll bite... "It doesn't mean that anyone has to listen to your bs" - Who decides what is bs? I suspect that they Christian baker thinks that gay weddings are bs (I don't - it's totally fine to me). Who is the final arbitrator of bull and s*?

          "If you're yelled at..." etc could include have your "cake order refused". Why doesn't it?

          ta - da!

          1. veti Silver badge

            Re: The holes are glaring and obvious

            When you see Randall Munroe post his opinion about the baker case, then you can reasonably try to pick holes in it and, if appropriate, compare with his other stated or implied opinions. Right now all you're doing is arguing against your own imagination of his opinion, which is textbook straw-manning.

      2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

        Re: I'll just leave this here :

        Does he hold up that standard to bakers and their choice of customers and cake decoration?

        That one is not free speech, it is anti-discrimination. It is also not a USA law, it is the way ECHR is codified in UK law. If you are providing a service you are not allowed to discriminate on the grounds of race, sex, etc.

        As far as free speech it does not exist. At least in the UK. Let's be real the government says not to print something like this:

        https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/czech-president-czechs-made-novichok-citing-spy-agency/2018/05/03/034cf488-4f0e-11e8-85c1-9326c4511033_story.html?noredirect=on

        It will not be printed. And it is not (at least as off my morning coffee read of the newspapers online at around 8 am).

        1. AndrueC Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: I'll just leave this here :

          As far as free speech it does not exist. At least in the UK.

          Yes it does, subject to restrictions. We are a signatory to the ECHR, So thanks to membership of a European institution we finally got freedom of speech in 1998.

          1. Hans 1 Silver badge
            Headmaster

            Re: I'll just leave this here :

            As far as free speech it does not exist. At least in the UK.

            Yes it does, subject to restrictions. We are a signatory to the ECHR, So thanks to membership of a European institution we finally got freedom of speech in 1998.

            You both forget speaker's corner in Hide park, but then again, you only have drunks as audience there...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Flame

      Re: I'll just leave this here :

      If there are consequences for free speech, it isn't free speech.

      Laws may protect one against consequences for freely criticizing one's government. However, when the consequences come from employers, coworkers, a large segment of society, or especially SJWs, one cannot exercise free speech without privacy or anonymity. This has always been the case; there's a long tradition of controversial opinions published under pseudonyms.

      The war on privacy, anonymity, and 'hate speech' is a war on free speech.

  4. Timmy B Silver badge

    Stupid.

    If they say or do something illegal then prosecute them. If they don't then leave them alone. The feelings of people should not be the determining factor on who you do business with. This counts for both sides of the argument, left and right. You are free to talk about, discuss and promote communism as much as you are fascism. At the point you resort to violence or break the law you forgo that right.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      Inciting violence is against the law. GoDaddy aren't in a position to prosecute, they're not the state. They are in a position to hold users to their terms of service and are perfectly within their rights to terminate service to users who don't stick to those terms.

      Free speech doesn't mean we all have to promote hateful views. Free speech means we have the right to not promote those views.

      1. Timmy B Silver badge

        @sabroni

        "GoDaddy aren't in a position to prosecute, they're not the state."

        No - but they can report what they think is a crime to local law enforcement, temporarily take the page down and wait a set period of time, say 30 days for the law enforcement to reply.

        Free speech DOES mean we have the ability to offend others. It means we should be allowed to promote views others may find hateful. If this is not true it's not free. I find the views of many people hateful and offensive - some that are lauded by other people. Do I say they should not be able to speak. NO! Let them speak - but as a dialog where I can debate and tear down their views.

        That is free speech.

        1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Free speech DOES mean we have the ability to offend others.

          Bingo.

          Or as Lazarus Long used to say: "One man's theology is another man's belly laugh."

        2. big_D Silver badge

          But if it is my platform and I don't agree with you, I can tell you to clear off and find somewhere else to espouse your thoughts. I am not infringing your right to free speech, I'm just telling you not to do it on my lawn...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            > But if it is my platform and I don't agree with you, I can tell you to clear off and find somewhere else to espouse your thoughts.

            DNS isn't GoDaddy's platform, it's a public utility. And even platforms like Youtube and Facebook are arguably public utilities. Their administrators cannot be allowed to discriminate.

            Regardless of where you stand politically, they'll come for you sooner or later. Alt-righters are making the biggest stink about it, but in aggregate, it looks like alt-left/progressives are bearing the brunt of censorship.

            1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

              " but in aggregate, it looks like alt-left/progressives are bearing the brunt of censorship."

              How so, troland?

      2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        MiniTrue says

        Free speech means we have the right to not promote those views.

        Degeneracy. Unbelievable degeneracy of the mind.

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: MiniTrue says

          I take it you'll be the first to offer the KKK your back garden so they can hold a meeting.

          1. Michael Habel Silver badge

            Re: MiniTrue says

            Are the Demorat created, KKK even still relevant? When was the last time we heard from them? David Duke back in the 90s? Perhaps more recently with his support of President Trump. But, AFAIK he's no longer affiliated with them.

            Perhaps you ment to say AntiFa, or BLM? That lot are a nastier blight on society then the morons at the KKK ever were.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: MiniTrue says

              So when did the AntiFa or BLM last burn down a Christian church? Or murder someone simply due to their color?

              1. Timmy B Silver badge

                Re: MiniTrue says

                "So when did the AntiFa or BLM last burn down a Christian church? Or murder someone simply due to their color?"

                When did Richard Spencer?

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                So when did the AntiFa or BLM last burn down a Christian church?

                And when did the KKK last do that? As the comment said, they are pretty much nothing now - and have been for quite a while. They'll advertise a rally and generally the only people to show up are the media and protestors against the rally.

                At least there are fewer of those particular morons.

              3. Captain Obvious
                FAIL

                Re: MiniTrue says

                Boy are you ever clueless, which is why you are anonymous:

                Let us just start here:

                https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/black-church-vote-trump_us_585afef4e4b0eb5864851c49

                and here

                http://www.latimes.com/nation/nationnow/la-na-black-lives-matter-20170708-story.html

                and here

                http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/st-louis-readies-protests-rallies-injure-10-cops-article-1.3500248

                and here

                http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3321190/F-filthy-white-s-Black-Lives-Matter-protesters-scream-epithets-white-students-studying-Dartmouth-library.html

                and I could keep going and going and going and going and going.

                How about BLM denying whites access to the "safe space" room even though white people were supporting them? Have to find that link as well. Is this not racism by BLM?

      3. P. Lee Silver badge

        >Free speech means we have the right to not promote those views.

        I absolutely agree. We do need to understand that the legal system is downstream of politics, which is downstream of culture, which is downstream from morality.

        The question is, does providing DNS mean you support the altright values?

        - if you answer "yes" to this question, and you think GoDaddy has the right to not promote the altright based on terms of service, then logical consistency at the morality level says that providing a cake for a gay wedding is also promotion of gay values and the bakers have the right to refuse service.

        - if you answer "no", do you still think GoDaddy has the right to determine who provides service to? Should they be forced against their will to provide service to altright organisations which do not align to GoDaddy's beliefs because GoDaddy is offering a commercial service to the public and should not discriminate? Essentially, does the State have the right to take GoDaddy's labour and resources and appropriate it as the State sees fit, to make them serve the altright?

        The free speech arguments are not about freedom of expression. The free speech argument controls the outcome of arguments about freedom of thought, conscience and action, which control the outcome of the argument over freedom from State-imposed morality. This is why free speech is such an important issue and why free speech advocates are willing to defend the rights of those expressing the most vile views. If those people are kept safe, then everyone is kept safe. Once you abrogate the principle, no-one is safe (in the long run) and we might see the State and the Church Of The Left combine to force bakers into slavery through State-backed morality laws.

        1. Shart Tank

          Godaddy by extension now supports any site on their system.

    2. Jaybus

      "The feelings of people should not be the determining factor on who you do business with."

      What? If, due to the feelings of people, you will lose more business by keeping them than by banning them, then of course they are a determining factor!

  5. Tim 11

    Human rights

    It's all about a trade-off between the rights of non-white people to go about their lives, the rights of white-supremacists to air their views and the rights of go-daddy to choose who they want as a customer. All of these are enshrined in law.

    Just as white-supremacists can't be forced to shut up unless they break the law by violating the rights of non-whites, go-daddy can't be forced to give white-supremacists a voice unless that breaks the law by violating their free-speech rights (which it clearly doesn't).

    In the same way, Wal-Mart refuses to sell CDs with the "explicit lyrics" sticker on - that's their choice

    1. Timmy B Silver badge

      Re: Human rights

      @Tim 11

      "go-daddy can't be forced to give white-supremacists a voice unless that breaks the law by violating their free-speech rights"

      Should Christian bakers be forced to make cakes for those they don't agree with?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Human rights

        @Timmy, do you have some sort of Christian Cake Fetish?

        Lets alter that very slightly

        Hello I'd like a cake for my friends wedding saying "Congratulations to Mr Muhammad and Miss Mohammed on their upcoming wedding"

        Sorry Islam is wrong. I won't make it.

        Now tell me the difference?

        1. big_D Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Human rights

          @Lost all faith... but those Christian cakes are so wholesome.

          1. ratfox Silver badge

            Re: Human rights

            Ultimately, there is a point to what Timmy is saying. If you're a baker, you're not allowed to refuse baking a cake for a gay wedding, but you're allowed to refuse baking a cake which says "Hang all the N***"

            And Timmy doesn't get why those cases are treated differently by the law.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Human rights

              The bakery incident involved a company not wanting to offer service due to the sexual orientation of the customer (or eventual recipients, in any case). That's clearly discriminatory, and straightforwardly against the law. At the same point in the business transaction in the GoDaddy's case they completed the transaction and provided service - just as the bakery should have done.

              GoDaddy have since decided to withdraw service on the basis that the customer broke their terms of service (and possible criminal law as well) by permitting the incitement of violence on their website. To concoct something remotely comparable in the bakery example you could imagine the people collecting the cake attempting to start a gay orgy in the shop by forcefully propositioning other customers. If the bakers had decided to ban them from future custom at that point I don't think anyone would have raised an eyebrow.

              Is it clear now, Timmy?

              1. Jediben

                Re: Human rights

                So if the terms of service for the bakery state they will not make a cake featuring two males figurines on it, because they buy their figurines in cis gendered pairs and do not want to wreck their stock management levels, is that fair or not?

              2. Timmy B Silver badge

                Re: Human rights

                What Jediben says, below.

                What if you belong to a religion (a protected designation) that has white supremacy as a faith element. You could argue that some of the white supremacists do indeed follow some warped, perverse form of Christianity. Thus making GoDaddy refusing on the grounds of religion. It's possible. GoDaddy just didn't want the label of "Site that promotes Nazis" so they found a reason - any reason to drop them.

                It's sad that people have removed the part of their brain that allows them to differentiate between allowing a group that you don't agree with to express their beliefs and supporting those beliefs yourself.

                1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

                  Re: Human rights

                  some of the white supremacists do indeed follow some warped, perverse form of Christianity

                  If it's that warped or perverted then it ain't Christianity.. Especially as the very concept of racism is explicitly opposite to the whole reason why salvation is needed..

                  ("All have sinned and fallen short". "In Jesus there is nether male nor female, Jew nor Greek[1[, all are one in Jesus".. And many, many more)

                  [1] Which was shorthand for "us and them". So can be applied to any two opposing groups.

                  1. Timmy B Silver badge

                    Re: Human rights

                    @CrazyOldCatMan

                    "If it's that warped or perverted then it ain't Christianity.. ". Don't you no true Scotsman me!

        2. Timmy B Silver badge

          Re: Human rights

          It's just a handy corresponding example. One commercial enterprise refuses service for reasons and so does another. It's just fairly well known. I think all people should be able to refuse to service anyone for any reason even including "I just didn't fell like it"

          There is no difference in your Islamic example. People should either be forced to service all people without exception or be allowed to refuse for any reason.

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Human rights

            People should either be forced to service all people without exception

            That is one of the fundamental requirements of conducting business in the UK. You *can* refuse service, but not on the basis of the severally-defined categories.

            So, you can refuse to serve someone who stumbles into your shop blind drunk and swears at the staff, but not on the basis of their skin colour, sexuality or religion.

            It's not rocket science.

            And if you don't find that legal requirement fits your princliples then you are free to do something else.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Human rights

          The difference is that you will have your bakery torched, you will be doxed, and you will be accused of rape.

      2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

        Re: Human rights

        Should Christian bakers be forced to make cakes

        Well - the law says that they have to offer their service to everyone and cannot discriminate on a number of factors (sexuality being one of them).

        So, as good Christians they have two choices:

        1) Obey the law of the land as commanded by Jesus or

        2) Decide that the law offends their conscience and so cease the activities that trasgress the law if those activities are optional (as running a cake business is).

        The point being that, if they were following the letter of their Christian principles they should also refuse service to those who are not married but are living together. Or those who are rude, vain or boastful ("have nothing to do with such people.."). But, instead, they have decided that 1 aspect of human behaviour is a 'mortal sin' and refused to have anything to do with it while ignoring all the others.

        In summary: "wherever possible, as long as it lies in your power, live at peace with everyone".

        (Commentards might have discerned that my variey of Christianity is somewhat different from theirs.. and one of the core princliples is "do not judge others or you too will be judged - the judgements you use on others is what will be used against you" (loosely paraphrased))

  6. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    A never-ending argument

    Supporters of the site and/or free speech argue that activism of the sort practised by The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law is a restriction on free speech. Others point out that GoDaddy is a business, not a government, so has every right to decide how its service is used. Others still say the likes of altright.com are so far beyond civil speech that they deserve censure

    A very succinct summary of the different points of view.

    And the validity of each argument depends on the situation. As has been frequently pointed out, 'free speech' does not allow people to say anything they like, in any situation, and not expect consequences. By all means you can shout 'Fire' in a crowded cinema, but expect to spend the rest of your life in jail for causing numerous deaths in the panic.

    In this case, the second point applies. Individuals and groups have a right to decline to facilitate speech and actions they disagree with. I must admit I'm not comfortable with the decision about declining to bake a cake for a gay marriage being illegal. An unpleasant manifestation of a closed mind, perhaps, worthy of censure, and boycott of the business, but not actually illegal. Would I be acting illegally if I declined to build a new website for the alt-right, or the 'Welsh' Labour Party? Of course not. So what's the difference.

    In this case this is exactly what Go-Daddy are doing. They are merely declining to facilitate alt-right. It might be different if it was a notional public monopoly, such as ICANN, refused to allow them to have a domain. But where that domain is hosted is a different matter. If necessary they can host a site on a laptop in their shed, if they can find someone to provide a fibre connection. If they have enough dosh let them set up a hosting provider exclusively for really unpleasant scum sites. That's their right, so long as they stay legal, and don't incite hatred and violence.

    So, thumbs up to Go-Daddy (for once - not the best of hosting companies!)

    1. Timmy B Silver badge

      Re: A never-ending argument

      @Pen-y-gors

      In many ways I agree with you. But the issue is where the lines are drawn. How far right do you go to find the "alt.right". It's not even an easily defined definition. What if it eventually becomes anything right of Communism?

      It should be that you can either not serve anyone you don't want to for any reason you feel like (preferred) or the law says you're not allowed to refuse service unless you would, by offering that service, break a law.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: A never-ending argument

        Straw man argument.

        GoDaddy didn't ban them because they're alt-right, or even because they're nazi's (which they may or may not be - I don't particularly care). They were banned because they broke the GoDaddy terms of service by allowing their domain to be used for the incitement of violence. If the website for a communist lesbian kibbutz did the same thing it would get banned too - probably after receiving a helpful letter from an alt.right group.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: A never-ending argument

          I won't downvote you for your rather naive view of today's world.

          Most likely the letter would be leaked to the right places to give the letter and your university campu... I mean communist lesbian kibbutz the right spin and godaddy will emerge as heroes.

  7. Elmer Phud Silver badge

    and where did the biffers go?

    (biffers - if they can't learn the English language I ain't gonna capitalise)

    biffers now are residing on a server stuff with other far-right exiles.

    Best of all, for all the 'give England back' and all that bollocks, the server is on a British Protectorate haven.

    Bless, they really keep 'em coming, the dears.

    Can't wait for Screechy and Porky to get out, brave ikkle soldiers, that they are, I've not had as god laugh for a while -- and my cat is being groomed to be Muslim, too!

  8. imanidiot Silver badge

    I'm on the fence on this one

    On the one hand I think the majority part of the alt-right movement is reprehensible and I entirely agree that Go-Daddy doesn't HAVE to host them. On the other hand I find it scary that a website can be taken offline because a group of people complains about it's content and its against what is good taste (or now considered to be so). Yes, in this case taking down the site might be the right move, but will it always be? Where does a company like Go-Daddy or the group demanding the take down draw the line on what can stay up and what to take down? And how fixed is that line?

    Personally I prefer content like this to stay online. So we can point and laugh, or at least keep an eye on the people that go there.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm on the fence on this one

      The grounds for complaint were that the website was inciting violence, breaking GoDaddy's terms of service and probably local criminal laws too (depending on where you consider "local" to be, given it's a website). That's where the line is drawn.

      GoDaddy decided to opt for the nuclear option rather than issue a cease and desist + reminder of the terms of their service - and assuming their terms of service gave fair warning of this as a possible outcome, they're completely in the clear. I suspect they did this because now that it's in the public eye they don't want he reputational damage of being associated with hate-mongers, which you can hardly blame them for.

  9. TrumpSlurp the Troll Silver badge
    Windows

    Commercial sale rules? Gay cake?

    I seem to recall, from various instances of items being incorrectly priced, that the price tag is an offer to trade but there in no obligation to trade. So "I'll have this computer for 50 quid please because price tag" carries no force in law. If the vendor even feels that the prospective purchaser was rude and unhelpful then there is no obligation to trade. There are all sorts of reasons not to conclude a sale.

    I do wonder, therefore, if you could refuse to take an order for a cake UNLESS the prospective customer phrased the order in a way that included a reference to something covered by anti-discrimination laws. That is, you can refuse without reason unless discriminatory terms are included in the order request, or even unless discriminatory terms are used in the refusal.

    Wandering slightly back towards topic, could you refuse to bake a cake with a fiery cross and six hooded horsemen?

    I can see that there is no easy answer to the GoDaddy issue. Can you be forced to trade in a way that adversley impacts your business? Activists often use a boycott to pressure a business not to deal with something they don't agree with, be it fast food, sweets, oil, animal products, whatever. I can't somehow see Harrods being forced to sell real fur because freedom.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Commercial sale rules? Gay cake?

      As I understand it, the bakery could have refused service without giving a reason before they had entered into a contract. I seem to remember they accepted the order to make a cake, only to baulk later when they were told the message that needed to be piped onto it - at that point it was a breach of contract. Then when asked why they tried to justify it as religiously-inclined bigotry, which was never going to work.

      In practice you can often get away with being a bigot, you just have to keep your mouth shut about it afterwards. This isn't a particularly edifying state of affairs, but that's the practical outcome.

  10. GIRZiM

    Look

    Can't we just stop messing about here, form mobs of like minded souls instead and hunt down and lynch people we disagree with and/or don't like the look of?

    I'd be right up for nailing a few people to some burning crosses myself - everyone who isn't me basically ('m not prejudiced, I hate you all), but if you join my side then, irrespective of your age/sex/sexuality/race/ethnicity/gender/star sign/hair type/whatever, I'll leave you until we've rid the world of all the intolerant bigots first (you can't say fairer than that now).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Look

      That whooshing sound was the point flying over your head.

      The domain wasn't banned for it's views. It was banned because the site hosted on it contained content inciting violence towards others. Kind of like your post, if it wasn't obviously meant as parody. I mean, it *was* parody, wasn't it?

      1. GIRZiM

        Re: Look

        That 'whoosh' was the sound of satire passing overhead, yes.

        Dear Lord, what hope is there in a world in which it would appear that some people can't tell the difference between a genuinely meant remark and a comment so outrageous that it couldn't be more obviously tongue-in-cheek if you painted the word "JOKE" on a brick and smashed them in the face with it?

        Quick, somebody no-platform me before I say something someone thinks someone else, somewhere else, might mistakenly find offensive some time, just in case!

        Avocado-toast lover! (There, that should upset a few people.)

        Sometimes I despair ... really, I do

      2. Shart Tank

        Re: Look

        Microft's windows updates incite violent behaviour and they're still there.

  11. Claptrap314 Bronze badge

    Matter of scale, matter of society

    It is true that the First Amendment only applies to government. That is because it is part of the constitution, not because that is the limit of the intent of the ratifiers. The ratifiers were committed to the principle of Free Speech _in society_, not just relative to government. They knew that the government is a natural vector of oppression, so when they formed this one, they did so on the condition that a Bill of Rights be added. It is not an accident that the amendment first adopted was this one.

    But government is not, by far, the only instrument that people can use of oppression. In fact, we regularly use the government to shut down oppressive behaviors by other entities. Even the government/non-government distinction is not that clear. We allow states to vary their laws, not just to test them before national application, but because people can (and do) move between states in part because the agree or disagree with the policy of government in those states. National media attention is often brought to bear on HOA restrictions for things like flags. In fact, the HOAs win these fights in the courts. They sometimes loose them in the court of public opinion.

    If I have a comic strip, blog, or newsite, even one with a global following, whatever constraints that I want to demand of commenters is my business. Why? Because there are literally tens of thousands of other equivalent places people can go to express their views, and I will lose ad revenue, or at least my own voice, if they do.

    But...what happens when there is a pervasive exclusion based on weak criteria? The Jim Crow laws were overturned, so that governments could not discriminate based on race, but how much difference did that make? In fact, discrimination by businesses and associations became more intense as people holding these views resented the repeals. Privatization also became a popular dodge.

    Marxists theory explicitly calls for this sort of exclusionary behavior. Why should the political views of a professor of mathematics affect their job prospects? Of someone in IT? And yet expression a libertarian or conservative view will get you targeted in much of our industry.

    Ever see a comedy bit where the commander asks for a volunteer to step forward & everyone except one mug takes a step backwards? That is what we are seeing as it regards free speech on the internet. The internet allows "anyone" to have a platform to express their views to an extent undrempt of by any but a few just fifty years ago. As long as you don't offend (current) liberal sensitivities. Then, you will hounded out of every forum which they control--whether you expressed said opinions in a particular forum or not.

    THIS is the complaint against Monroe's comic. The "more equal" brigade is on the march, driving unhygienic views out of the public sphere. The marketplace of ideas is becoming decidedly unfree. And he defends this.

    ---

    As for the particulars of this case, if they were calling for violence, then they were crossing the line. They need to be shut down along with Antifa & BLM. Oh, wait. Antifa & BLM are NOT being shut down, you say? Why exactly is that?

    Was Der Stormer calling for violence? I've never heard that they were. And yet, they had to go to China to find a registrar. If you are completely confident that your views will remain acceptable to the constantly evolving leftist intersectionality, then good for you, I guess. I, for one, don't welcome my new overlords.

  12. DCFusor Silver badge

    My take

    If these guys assume they are superior to various others....

    Duh, it's not too hard to set up and host your own site. I did it long before there was facebook and never did join that disaster as I had my own "page" and total control over content and membership - it's a science site FYI - I have and had no interest in FB type material or politics and so on.

    The point is, it's easy, only costs a little money...and any "superior" type shouldn't have an issue pulling off what those they consider inferior do all the time.

    I'm reminded of Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady "Show me".

  13. Sailfish
    Meh

    Easy Enough Workaround

    The boneheads only need to get a static IP from their ISP and then advertise their content to all their usual suspects. Or, find a domain registrar willing to take their business. Snowflakes! "Smoke and fury signifying nothing"

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