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Should Hate Group Websites Be Banned?

Alan Goffinski
James Alex Fields Jr., second from left, holds a black shield in Charlottesville, Va., where a white supremacist rally took place on Saturday. Fields is accused of plowing a car into a crowd of people protesting the white nationalist rally.

A neo-Nazi website that mocked a victim killed in the Charlottesville protests over the weekend has been banned by GoDaddy and Google, but the website is still up.

The Daily Stormer has been under scrutiny for some time, but on Sunday the internet company Godaddy refused to register the site after an article mocked Heather Heyer, the 32-year old who was killed when a car drove into a crowd of counter protesters.

The site’s registration was then transferred to Google, which said it will also ban the site for violating its terms of service, but did not say when its ban would take effect. Currently, the site is still up.

Andrew Allemann, an industry analyst for Domain Name Wire, says it’s very unusual for name registers to ban sites.

“The content is hosted elsewhere, is it legal is it not. So as horrible as this site is, it isn’t kind of an easy thing for domain name registers to deal with because it kind of goes down a slippery slope for them…then people start complaining about other types of content.”

Allemann says a similar controversy ignited over the publisher of Wikileaks.

But, he says, somewhere around the world a company is willing to host and register almost any type of site.  

Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.