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Google, GoDaddy drop neo-nazi group's domain registration
[SAN FRANCISCO] Alphabet Inc's Google yanked its web domain support for the Daily Stormer on Monday three hours after the neo-Nazi website moved to the search engine's registry system following its rejection from another.
"We are canceling Daily Stormer's registration with Google Domains for violating our terms of service," a Google spokesman said. Google also terminated the website's YouTube channel late Monday afternoon, according to a spokeswoman.
The Daily Stormer had moved its domain registry to Google after GoDaddy Operating Co. pulled its services on Sunday. GoDaddy cited Daily Stormer's support of the "Unite the Right" march in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend that ended in at least one fatality as violating the company's terms of service.
In a Twitter post, Go Daddy said it had given the website a 24-hour notice to move its domain to another provider. The Daily Stormer then moved its registration to Google - websites are able to automatically register for back-end support using Google's systems, the company said.
After the Daily Stormer signed up, Google determined that the site didn't meet its rules for web support and advertising, which prohibit content that incites violence. Google plans to implement the cancellation policy over the next two days, according to a person with knowledge of the decision.
It's likely the controversial website will find another willing domain host, said Jay Westerdal, who runs the registry firm .Feedback. "This situation is not going to be apocalyptic for the Daily Stormer," he said. "They're just going to have to move." According to its domain registry site, Daily Stormer publisher Andrew Anglin has registered the domain until 2020. If the site does not transfer to a new registrar, Google's suspension would prevent it from refreshing its site with new content. "I disagree with the website," Mr Westerdal said. "But frankly, when registrars play politics like this, it's really bad for free speech." Mr Anglin didn't respond to an email seeking comment.
Google last week was dragged into a fraught political battle when it fired an engineer, James Damore, after he wrote a memo criticizing its diversity policy and arguing that biological differences between men and women explain in part why so few women work in software engineering. That dismissal ignited a strong backlash from commentators on the right, who accused Google of suppressing free speech.
Self-proclaimed members of the "alt-right," a group that includes some organizers behind the event in Charlottesville, are planning to march on Google corporate campuses Saturday in protest of Damore's firing.
GoDaddy and Google weren't the only tech companies responding to the Charlottesville march. Room-rental app Airbnb Inc. said it removed some users from the site after learning they were using it to book accommodations and hold parties while in the city for the event. Chief Executive Officer Brian Chesky said Airbnb requires members of its community to accept all people.
"When we see people pursuing behavior on the platform that would be antithetical to the Airbnb Community Commitment, we take appropriate action," Mr Chesky said in a statement.