GoDaddy, a company that registers Internet domains, severed its relationship with white nationalist Richard Spencer and his website, Altright.com, on Thursday.
GoDaddy’s move to shut down Spencer’s site comes after the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a nonprofit organization dedicated to combating discrimination, filed a complaint. The organization’s president, Kristen Clarke, announced the news on Twitter, posting the complaint made to GoDaddy CEO Scott Wagner.
“Altright.com is in clear violation of GoDaddy’s terms of service as it includes content actively inciting violence, particularly against racial and ethnic minorities,” the complaint stated.
Altright.com was not running on Thursday afternoon.
The complaint filed by the Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law offered examples of Altright.com’s violent rhetoric, in articles and user comments. One article from Jan. 26 in regard to border protection stated that “Superiors would do well to turn their heads to a bit of brutality and vengeance by our guys on the border, perhaps even tolerating a massacre here or there.”
Spencer is a leader of the so-called alt-right, a white supremacist movement. He has held rallies across the country that have sparked aggressive counterprotests, sometimes resulting in violence and arrests. Spencer is also facing a civil lawsuit after his “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last year resulted in a death.
GoDaddy emphasized to HuffPost that it is only the domain registrar for Altright.com and does not host the website. The company also told HuffPost in a statement that it takes complaints about content on websites seriously.
GoDaddy does not condone content that advocates expressions of hate, racism or bigotry. However, we generally do not take action on complaints that would constitute censorship of content and that represents the exercise of freedom of speech and expression on the Internet. While we detest the sentiment of such sites, we support a free and open Internet and, similar to the principles of free speech, that sometimes means allowing such tasteless, ignorant content.
In instances where a site goes beyond the mere exercise of these freedoms, however, and crosses over to promoting, encouraging, or otherwise engaging in specific acts of violence against any person, we will take action. It is our determination that altright.com crossed the line and encouraged and promoted violence in a direct and threatening manner. As is our standard process when dealing with these incidents, we gave the customer 48 hours to transfer the domain elsewhere.
Richard Spencer did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.