UPDATE: Daily Stormer on strike two as both GoDaddy and Google refuse to provide domain registrar service.

Last week it was Google in the spotlight after an engineer argued, among other things, that a portion of his colleagues, the women, are less capable than men because of biology. With his memo, James Damore created a hostile work environment.

This week, the spotlight could well be on GoDaddy.

The week of white supremacists leading the news

After Google fired him for “perpetuating gender stereotypes,” political conservatives, including the Wall Street Journal, jumped to Damore’s defense.

Damore also quickly became the darling of America’s white supremacists (self-named “alt-right”). Note, affirmative action is a whipping boy for the political right.

On Saturday, white supremacists converged on Charlottesville, VA, ostensibly to protest the removal of a statute of Robert E. Lee, a Confederate general.

Many protestors openly carried arms and wore military gear. Many carried Confederate flags, displayed swastikas and sported t-shirts lauding Nazi sentiments. They also chanted Nazi slogans and performed Nazi salutes.

A self-avowed nationalist, James Fields, 20, drove his car into a peaceful crowd of counter-protesters. He killed Heather Heyer, 32.

On Sunday, Andrew Anglin published a hate-filled rant about Heyer on The Daily Stormer.

Daily Stormers

The story was shared widely on Facebook.

daily stormer

At 9.30 pm Pacific on Sunday, the story had 165,000 likes on Facebook.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, The Daily Stormer is a neo-Nazi website published by Anglin.

Styled after popular image-heavy Internet forums like 4chan and 8chan, the Daily Stormer is dedicated to spreading anti-Semitism, neo-Nazism, and white nationalism, primarily through guttural hyperbole and epithet-laden stories about topics like alleged Jewish world control and black-on-white crime.

Sunday night on Twitter, GoDaddy announced it would be suspending its hosting of The Daily Stormer domain service. The site had already been banned from Disqus, a blog comment hosting service. In May, ProPublica exposed how Cloudflare facilitates hateful speech on the web; Cloudflare hosts The Daily Stormer website content.

This is not “free speech”

I have a passing acquaintance with neo-Nazis on the web; I used StormFront as a teaching tool at the University of Washington. But I had never visited The Daily Stormer and was not prepared for the viciousness that hit me in the face:

The woman killed in yesterday’s road rage incident has been identified as Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old overweight slob with no children. Here’s five fat facts you need to know.

I fully expect GoDaddy to be criticized for squelching “free speech,” a claim lobbed at Google.

But neither of these incidents are free speech matters.

First Amendment free speech rights are binding on government; they do not extend to private workplaces or private services.

xkcd summarizes:

free speech

It’s a well-orchestrated campaign

Damore is positioning himself as a media celebrity. His new Twitter account is that of a provocateur wearing a t-shirt that mocks the Google logo. The graphic is a not-so-sly play on the Gulag, Soviet labor camps where as many 30 million prisoners died.

USA Today reported that “fake bus-stop ads” featuring the same modified Goolag logo as that on Damore’s shirt are on the streets of Venice, CA. There are also spoof ads outside Apple’s offices.

Peter Duke is Damore’s photographer. Last month, the New York Times dubbed Duke “the Annie Leibowitz of the alt-right.” Duke, working pro bono, is on a mission to present “the figureheads of the political fringe in a more refined, almost majestic light.”

Jack Posobiec, an “alt-right, pro-Donald Trump Internet activist and conspiracy theorist,” is organizing a March on Google on Saturday, August 19. He claims to have protests organized in

  1. Atlanta, GA
  2. Austin, TX
  3. Boston, MA
  4. Los Angeles, CA (Venice Beach)
  5. Mountain View, CA
  6. New York City
  7. Pittsburgh, PA
  8. Seattle, WA (Kirkland)
  9. Washington DC

 
On Saturday, conservative and nationalist websites claimed that a Michigan man had been the driver of the vehicle involved in Virginia homicide. Subsequently, his family has received threats and police have advised that they might need to leave their home.

The Daily Stormer brigade has begun a doxing and harassment campaign against the woman who organized the GoDaddy awareness effort.

 

It’s Gamergate all over again but the stakes are bigger: national politics and the White House.

Mr. Trump is alone in modern presidential history in his willingness to summon demons of bigotry and intolerance in service to himself. He began his political career on a lie about President Barack Obama’s citizenship and has failed to firmly condemn the words and deeds of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan leaders and other bigots who rallied behind him.

White nationalist Preston Wiginton is organizing a White Lives Matter rally at Texas A&M on Sept. 11.

The white-male-as-supreme point of view is not new, but it has been reinvigorated by Trump’s campaign and election.

In this worldview, women and people of color are inferior and fair game. If you’ve not experienced the mindset that permeates this world, you owe it to yourself to read both the Google memo and the DS story about Heyer (includes comments).

And then call them by their real name, not the one that they made up for themselves.

NOTE:
At 9.17 pm Pacific on Sunday, The Daily Stormer was being flagged as a phishing site. At 11.30 pm, Anonymous claimed control.

Daily Stormer flagged for phishing

Anonymous controls Daily Stormer

KATHY GILL, Technology Policy Analyst
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