Twitter and Cloudflare have followed in the footsteps of fellow internet titans GoDaddy, Google and Facebook by taking action against the Daily Stormer, a white supremacist website that’s been all but driven offline after mocking the woman killed while protesting a white nationalist rally this weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.
A Twitter account used to provide updates on behalf of the Daily Stormer, @rudhum, was abruptly suspended Wednesday as the infamous neo-Nazi website continues to face blowback over a recent tirade targeting Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old woman who was fatally run over by a car Saturday while counterprotesting the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville.
“The Twitter Rules prohibit violent threats, harassment, hateful conduct and multiple account abuse, and we will take action on accounts violating those policies,” a company spokesperson said broadly with respect to the suspension, while declining to comment on individual accounts.
Cloudflare, a tech firm hired by The Daily Stormer to protect its websites from distributed denial-of-service attacks, a tactic used to knock sites offline, terminated its contract Wednesday, Andrew Auernheimer, an administrator of the website, told The Washington Times.
The DDoS protection firm’s CEO acknowledged dropping The Daily Stormer as a client in an interview with The Verge later Wednesday.
“This was my decision, I don’t think it’s CloudFlare’s policy and I think it’s an extremely dangerous decision in a lot of ways,” said CEO Matthew Prince. “I think that we as the internet need to have a conversation about where the right place for content restriction is … but there was no way we could have that conversation until we resolved this particular issue.”
The Daily Stormer has struggled to maintain an accessible internet presence after its publisher, Andrew Anglin, penned an article Saturday describing Heyer as an “overweight slob” and “the definition of uselessness.” GoDaddy and then Google responded one after another by booting The Daily Stormer from its domain registration services. The racist website has since tried hopping to at least two other domains — dailystormer.wang and dailystormer.ru — in a bid to stay online.
Facebook has begun deleting posts linking to Mr. Anglin’s article and has banned the pages of at least 10 groups this week accused of violating the social network’s policies against hate speech, a spokesperson told The Washington Times on Wednesday.
“The CloudFlare betrayal adds another layer of super complexity,” Mr. Anglin responded online. “But we got this.”
Neither of The Daily Stormer’s two latest domains nor a mirrored version of the website hosted on the deep web could be immediately accessed Wednesday afternoon.
Mr. Auernheimer referred The Times to public accounts he and Mr. Anglin each maintain on Gab.ai, an alternative social network, as well as The Daily Stormer’s presence on VK, a Facebook alternative popular in Russia, when reached for comment.