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GoDaddy boots neo-Nazi site after post on protest violence

UPDATED: Mon., Aug. 14, 2017

In this April 1, 2015, file photo, GoDaddy signage and a race car announce the company's IPO, in front of the New York Stock Exchange in New York. (Richard Drew / Associated Press)
In this April 1, 2015, file photo, GoDaddy signage and a race car announce the company's IPO, in front of the New York Stock Exchange in New York. (Richard Drew / Associated Press)
By Patrick Mairs and Michael Kunzelman Associated Press

A leading neo-Nazi website is losing its internet domain host after its publisher posted an article mocking the woman who was killed in a deadly attack at a white nationalist rally in Virginia.

GoDaddy tweeted late Sunday night that it has given the Daily Stormer 24 hours to move its domain to another provider because the site has violated the Scottsdale, Arizona-based company’s terms of service.

GoDaddy spokesman Dan Race said the move was prompted by a post on the site about Heather Heyer, who was killed Saturday when a man plowed his car into a group of demonstrators in Charlottesville. The post called her “fat” and “childless” and said “most people are glad she is dead, as she is the definition of uselessness.”

“Given their latest article comes on the immediate heels of a violent act, we believe this type of article could incite additional violence, which violates our terms of service,” Race said in an emailed statement.

Shortly after GoDaddy tweeted its decision, the site posted an article claiming it had been hacked and would be shut down. It wasn’t immediately clear if hackers had truly taken over The Daily Stormer or if that was just a prank post from a website known for its trolling tactics.

Andrew Anglin, the website’s publisher and author of Sunday’s post about Heyer, said he couldn’t immediately comment Monday on GoDaddy’s move.

“I don’t have time to talk, we’re trying to regain control of the site,” he said in an email to the Associated Press.

GoDaddy isn’t the Daily Stormer’s host, which means the site’s content isn’t on the company’s servers, according to Race. “Only the domain is with GoDaddy,” Race added.

Anglin’s site takes its name from Der Stormer, a newspaper that published Nazi propaganda. The site includes sections called “Jewish Problem” and “Race War.”

The Daily Stormer is infamous for orchestrating internet harassment campaigns carried out by its “Troll Army” of readers. Its targets have included prominent journalists, a Jewish woman who was running for a California congressional seat and Alex Jones, a radio host and conspiracy theorist whom Anglin derided as a “Zionist Millionaire.”

In April, a Montana woman sued Anglin after her family became the target of another Daily Stormer trolling campaign. Tanya Gersh’s suit claims anonymous internet trolls bombarded Gersh’s family with hateful and threatening messages after Anglin published their personal information in a post accusing her and other Jewish residents of Whitefish, Montana, of engaging in an “extortion racket” against the mother of white nationalist Richard Spencer.

The Daily Stormer used a crowdfunding website, WeSearchr, to raise more than $152,000 in donations from nearly 2,000 contributors to help pay for Anglin’s legal expenses.

Other internet services have taken similar action against the Daily Stormer since Anglin founded it in 2013. In 2015, Anglin said PayPal had permanently banned him from using the service. And he complained in January that a Ukrainian advertising company had banned them, leaving an Australian electrician as the site’s only advertiser.

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