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GoDaddy pulls Richard Spencer's AltRight website offline

The domain host says "crossed the line and encouraged and promoted violence in a direct and threatening manner."

Screenshot by Sean Hollister/CNET is gone, at least for now. The website, founded by white nationalist Richard Spencer, has been pulled off the internet by its website domain hosting provider GoDaddy. GoDaddy and Google similarly canceled the domain registration for neo-Nazi site The Daily Stormer last year.

GoDaddy says that while it doesn't generally take action when users complain about the websites it hosts, "crossed the line" by encouraging and promoting violence "in a direct and threatening manner." The company also says it gave GoDaddy 48 hours to find itself a new domain hosting service, but apparantly Spencer didn't do that in time.

You can read the company's full statement below:

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 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. 

Please know that we take all complaints about content on websites very seriously, and have a team dedicated to investigating each complaint we receive.  As has been our position for over a decade, if at any time someone believes a website may be operating in violation of our terms of service, we ask that they visit to submit a report.

Ben Butler

Director, Global Policy


Spencer didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, but he's been retweeting criticism of GoDaddy on his Twitter account. Twitter removed the "verified" flag from his account last November so it didn't look like the company was endorsing his views, but didn't ban him altogether.

Spencer told BuzzFeed that he hasn't found a new host for the site yet.

CNET has been reporting on the culture of internet hate for a while now. You can check out our iHate package for more.