GoDaddy is a hosting service. As such, the company hosts all kinds of websites. So many sites, in fact, that GoDaddy doesn’t really monitor all the sites that are hosted through the company - to do so manually would be extremely time-consuming. Regardless, the company has come under fire lately for hosting white supremacist websites.
Following the death of a woman that was recently killed at a white supremacist rally in Virginia, GoDaddy has shut down one website that was using the company as a host. The site, ‘The Daily Stormer’ was informed by GoDaddy that it had 24 hours to find another host provider. GoDaddy claims that the site violated its terms of service agreement after posting hateful comments following the aforementioned rally.
Fighting Hate on the Internet
The Internet is a tricky place. Anyone can, supposedly, post anything they want on the Internet. It’s supposed to be a place to freely talk about anything. But there’s a fine line between freedom of speech online and a company’s terms of service agreement. In the case of GoDaddy, those terms include agreeing not to spread violence.
GoDaddy claims that the comments made on The Daily Stormer were violent in nature and could stir up additional violence. What those comments were, exactly, are unclear at this time. The Daily Stormer is no longer up and running (for the time being). The founders of the site have issued a statement that the site has been hacked.
A Tough Job
It’s easy to take aim at a company like GoDaddy. It’s easy to say that they are allowing hatred to spread by not monitoring all the sites posted through their company. But it’s a hard job to keep up to speed on what every site that uses GoDaddy is doing. It’s almost an impossible job. But does the company have the right to shut down a site that may or may not have violated its terms of service?
That’s the question that many are asking this morning. The other question that needs to be asked is whether or not preventing these types of sites from finding a home on the Internet is possible. There’s a good chance that the site in question will find a new place to host and post. Even though that place won’t be GoDaddy, there are plenty of other companies out there that will allow the site to run without interruption.
Where Does it Stop?
Even if companies like GoDaddy no longer allowed hateful content to exist, it’s hard to prevent this type of content from existing everywhere. Even if it were banned in the US, there are other hosting companies spread across the globe that aren’t savvy to US news. But something has to be done. Something has to be done to stop hatred, to prevent fake news, to tame the Internet.
What is that thing? There’s no answer yet. GoDaddy might come under some legal fire for preventing the website from existing on its servers. The company has to have a very good reason for booting the site - and that terms of service agreement has to be iron-clad. Otherwise, The Daily Stormer might find the legal right to continue its operations through GoDaddy. This will be one to watch.