Twitter, Facebook and others in dilemma over Policing Hate Speech

Saturday, 19 Aug, 2017

"We do it because we believe that no one-not the government and not private commercial enterprises-should decide who gets to speak and who doesn't", they continued.

In a post on Thursday, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) agreed that the decision by Prince was risky, and "that on the Internet, any tactic used now to silence neo-Nazis will soon be used against others, including people whose opinions we agree with".

Squarespace, a hosting company, told Ars on Wednesday that it would soon be booting some of its current customers.

In the days since the rally, which killed one counter-protester, a growing number of other Silicon Valley companies have made the decision to purge users and groups promoting hate speech.

According to Avi Selk of the Washington Post, other technology companies, ranging from Uber to PayPal, also have taken action by kicking off anyone linked to the Daily Stormer.

Google briefly became the registrar for the site, before it too canceled the site's registration later on Monday for violating its terms of service. In response to the role of the Stormer in organizing last weekend's deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, the site's domain registration was revoked, first by GoDaddy and then by Google.

Following Google and GoDaddy's decision to drop The Daily Stormer, Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince chose to drop them as a customer, after which the website was soon hit with a DDoS attack.

"This was my decision".

Cloudflare's CEO Matthew Prince addressed this issue when reversing its position.

In an email Prince sent to staffers, he explained that he "woke up this morning in a bad mood and chose to kick them off the internet... it was a decision I could make because I'm the CEO of a major Internet infrastructure company". One such effect, the EFF argued, is that other entities such as foreign governments might invoke the same power to de-list websites based on political considerations.

Social media networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, along with Spotify Ltd and GoDaddy Inc were among the companies cutting off services to hate groups or removing provocative hate-fuelled material. "We have a lot of fun with it", said Andrew Auernheimer, a notorious hacker and internet troll who writes for the site. "We strongly believe that what GoDaddy, Google and Cloudflare did here was unsafe", it said in a blog post.

But Prince acknowledged that this was an arbitrary decision on his part. "Are we going to get bad publicity because we are giving them a platform or a website and allowing them to display their music?" And other companies that provided web-related, chatting or email newsletter services, such as Zoho, Discord and SendGrid, nixed any ties to the web site, citing violations of their terms of services.

Obeidallah's suit says the site embedded fabricated messages in June 1 story to make them seem like they had been sent from Obeidallah's Twitter account, tricking readers into believing he took responsibility for the May 22 terrorist attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester. When GoDaddy chose to drop the popular white supremacist site, it attempted to move to Google, which also rebuffed it.