The Lawyers’ Committee For Civil Rights Under Law has implored GoDaddy to censor and shut down Richard Spencer’s Altright.com website. The move was not well received by a lot of First Amendment advocates, as it effectively makes Spencer and the Alt Right victims of censorship.
Kristen Clarke, the executive director for the Lawyers’ Committee For Civil Rights Under Law, tweeted out that Altright.com has officially been shut down, as of May 3rd, 2018.
BREAKING: We shut down Richard Spencer’s Altright website. We will continue using every tool in our arsenal to confront white supremacists, the alt-right & those who incite violence and hate in our country. We applaud @GoDaddy for heeding our call and pulling the site. pic.twitter.com/1gU2ZOlNXN
— Kristen Clarke (@KristenClarkeJD) May 3, 2018
The Lawyers’ Committee For Civil Rights went to GoDaddy.com, the domain provider for Altright.com, and had them shut down Spencer’s website for violating their terms of service. If you attempt to visit Altright.com you’ll only receive the following message:
The reason for seeking the site to be shut down? Well, Clarke and the rest of the committee trawled through Spencer’s site and found various articles that supported what they claimed to be violence against minorities, specifically an article published on January 26th, 2018 entitled “Trump Can Enact His MAGA Agenda Anytime He Wants”. They point to a specific passage written by Emmanuel Sprageur, who wrote…
“Furthermore, we should use live ammunition. Shoot the invaders. Shoot low, but shoot nevertheless. You don’t have to shoot to kill every time, but put those bastards on notice. If you invade the sovereign territory of the United States of America, in defiance of our laws and the will of our people, hijacking our democracy in the long-run and by extension our fate, you do so at risk of your own life. People won’t invade America under the pretext of seeking a better life if there is a real, substantial chance that they lose their life in the process.
“Fear, terror even, can be good, especially in certain contexts. A little bit of lawlessness and savagery in the ranks of border patrol should be encouraged (you see this in Bulgaria and Russia where private citizens and militias do much of the border patrolling, far more effectively I surmise). They are not afraid to dole out a little punishment to their would-be conquerors (megalomaniacal Muhammadans). One of the West’s primary problems is that we have become too law-centered, too law-abiding. 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. The more palpable fear aspiring illegal invaders experience when considering crossing our southern border, the less likely they will be to do it.”
Sprageur encouraged the Alt Right to be less humane, noting that being humane is how America will lose its safety, lose its future, and lose its democracy.
GoDaddy claimed that the calls to violence against minorities was against their terms of service. They stated…
“This type of language clearly violates the provisions of GoDaddy’s terms of service prohibiting content which ‘promotes or encourages’ illegal activity or violence against people.”
The Lawyers’ Committee also cited various comments from Altright.com — where the commenters called for the gassing of Jews and killing Muslims and people of color — in order to pressure GoDaddy to shut down the Altright.com website both for promoting violence through its articles and through the comment section.
There is a clause in GoDaddy’s terms of service about violating their general rules of conduct. Under section 5.3 in the GoDaddy terms of service agreement, it does state that service can be terminated if any of the rules under that section are violated, including encouraging or promoting violence against people, animals, or property.
While the shut down may be paraded around as a terms of service violation, many people see it as a means of continued censorship against Conservative outlets.
Shutting down someone’s first amendment right, honestly Fascists like you and your organizations should be the ones who should be shut down since fascists like you are more dangerous then the alt right ever will be.
— LandOfLightQueen (@MihoShirasaka89) May 4, 2018
Hey thanks. By making discussion of White interests verboten, you’re doing our work for us.
— Walter Huwyte (@WHuwyte) May 4, 2018
So you basically took someone’s first amendment right away
Very fascist of you
— Ex-Dem Latina (@ExDemLatina) May 3, 2018
Others pointed out that calling for violence against others is still a First Amendment right, and that censoring such speech works against the better interest of the people, as without the First Amendment there wouldn’t be the Suffrage movement or the Civil Rights movement.
What you don’t seem to understand is the 1A protects all speech, no matter the type. Without the 1A there would have been no Women’s Suffrage marches, no Civil Rights movement etc. Without the 1A police can come and arrest you for this post. It’s there for everyone not just you.
— Capt.Morg3n (@Morg3n_) May 4, 2018
Others pointed out that the Alt-Right was a containment board and also a counter-narrative to the rise of groups like Black Lives Matter and black supremacists in America.
Reminder – Black Lives Matter inspired terrorists murdered at least 9 Americans, 8 of them police officers, in 2016, and that organization has not suffered a single consequence.
— NarcolepticSaxon (@NarcoleptcSaxon) May 3, 2018
America was never brown and was never supposed to become brown. If somehow it does become brown; it will just become a country like the ones brown people came from. Look at any brown country and tell me which one is ideal.
— 4241 (@TTat4241) May 3, 2018
It’s frightening that you’re a lawyer. You’re yelling about white supremacy but not black supremacy? You’re qouting DeRay? A good lawyer had the ability to be objective. You have failed.
— American_Rabbi (@americanRabbi) May 4, 2018
Chances that God bans you from heaven just increased 6X. The story of Jesus is a story about FREE SPEECH. Even Jesus hates people like you.
— Ariel Felidae (@ArielFelidae) May 4, 2018
GoDaddy didn’t appear to make any follow-up statements about the terms of service violation. Some noted that they would be marching for the free speech of the Alt-Right and their right to exercise their ideas under the First Amendment.
This follows close on the heels of Disqus shutting down the comment section for Altright.com, while other domain hosts also denied hosting services for the nationalist media outlet, The Daily Stormer.