In many cases, the dark web appears to be final refuge for many online activities that have no real place in the ‘surface web’ universe.
The neo-Nazi and white supremacist news website Daily Stormer realized this the hard way last week when the site’s permissions were withdrawn by Google and GoDaddy.
The Daily Stormer has since shifted its site to the dark web and can only be accessed through the Tor browser, which practically hosts all darknet websites.
Crossing the Line: Coverage of the Charlottesville Tragedy
For the past week, the whole world’s attention has been riveted on the goings on in Virginia that caused the death of one civil rights activist, Heather Heyer.
While many Americans mourned the tragedy and demanded justice, the Daily Stormer was pulling together its own coverage of the event.
The site justified the killing of an innocent counter-protester at alt-right, neo-Nazi, white supremacist rally in Charlottesville.
There were already complaints regarding the contents and comments on the site, but these posts appeared to further the hate and tension between communities and social groups across the U.S.
This cannot be tolerated in any civilized society.
No doubt, both Google and GoDaddy found that the Daily Stormer had crossed the line, subsequently pulling the site from their servers.
Extreme views do exist on the web, but when there is a surcharged atmosphere, publicly advocating hate can only aggravate the situation.
Visitors to the Site Greeted with a Blank Page
Once the Daily Stormer was removed from the hosting servers, the site was also removed from Google search results.
The site’s homepage displayed different messages. Some people even reported that they read a message that said the site will be back soon.
There is another report which says the founder of the Daily Stormer had sent a media statement in which he laments that the site has now been relegated to a place where one finds the worst lot in the society doing business, like terrorists and smugglers.
His statement goes on to blame the “Jewish Media” and then says the Daily Stormer will make one more attempt to register its site with the standard hosting sources and if their registration is again turned down, then their supporters can reach them using the dark web browser Tor.
The Daily Stormer has organized to send Tweets with the new Tor URL so that followers can log into the site on its new domain.
Crowdfunding Another Concern
From an entirely different perspective, the damage Daily Stormer has caused itself, due to such hate-mongering activities, can result in other losses as well.
The site, as long as it was functioning, had a link that took visitors to a crowdfunding page where the neo-Nazi site was soliciting financial assistance from the public in order to fight and win a legal battle it was already involved in.
It is learnt that some $150,000 has already been collected through this link.
However, this source is as good as closed now.
The new dark web-based site also has this link, but even there it seems the Daily Stormer is facing a problem.
There is already a Twitter message emerging from the Daily Stormer handle relating to dwindling contributions and again, the blame is being put on the cryptocurrency exchange and a service provider Coinbase.
The Daily Stormer claims contributors’ Bitcoin transfers are being canceled by Coinbase.
Other Outlets Do Not Consider Site’s Contents Appropriate
It is not just Google and GoDaddy which took action against the Daily Stormer for its racist and white supremacist contents.
As soon as its website was shut down, Daily Stormer redirected visitors to a dedicated chat room.
But Discord, the site on which this chat room was located, also de-linked the chat from its server, leaving the site high and dry.
Earlier, the Daily Stormer registered for a .ru domain and continued to exist there briefly.
But soon after, the site was also removed from Russian Network Information Center’s servers.
Almost uniformly, all these agencies providing server hosting services have strongly condemned the way the Daily Stormer allows its visitors to post contents that blatantly instigate violence and promote human oppression.
The site will now find it very difficult to regain visitors in the same numbers as before since it’s unlikely that most people in the general public will download Tor and visit the sites within this anonymous browser.
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