NameCheap and Daily Stormer : CEO faced freedom of speech vs. inciting violence dilemma

Directnic

The Daily Stormer – booted from NameCheap.

NameCheap declined services to the controversial Daily Stormer web site, and in particular its re-incarnation in .LOL.

After being ousted by GoDaddy and declined by Google’s registrar, the Daily Stormer sought refuge in the .RU ccTLD; it was short-lived there as well.

Richard Kinkerdall, CEO of NameCheap, faced a dilemma regarding freedom of speech versus supporting content that “incites violence.”

According to Kinkerdall, the following statement on the Daily Stormer crossed the line of free speech, qualifying instead as hate speech:

“It doesn’t take a Ph.D. in mathematics to understand that White men + pride + organization = Jews being stuffed into ovens.”

Kinkerdall sent the Daily Stormer packing on Saturday, but not without returning yesterday to share his obvious dilemma:

“But is this the right thing for freedom of speech and should a registrar be the one making this decision? I don’t think so. In a perfect world, a registrar should be able to remain neutral in these situations regardless of public opinion but the fact of the matter is that this cannot happen in reality.

Let me be frank here and I’ll repeat, this was the right decision for the human race but it was also an existential threat for our company.”

Meanwhile, the blog post attracted an onslaught of mostly negative comments, accusing NameCheap and its CEO of censorship, and for violating the same free speech principles that it raised in the past, when they opposed the SOPA support by GoDaddy.

“You ARE censoring content, and trying to sleaze your way out by lying and saying you support freedom of speech. From now on nobody will trust you, and you will be held up as an example of the kind of cowardly, traitorous loser who tries to play both sides and loses everything in the process.”

And:

“You people are useless. I’m a professional IT architect and I am recommending that noone I know use your services.”

And even attorney Marc Randazza chimed in:

“Bullshit. You have zero principles. You’ll happily take the business of criminals. I represented a party against you in SolidHost v. NameCheap where you knew full well that a domain had been stolen. Your view? “We are a neutral host, can’t do shit.” You’re on a bandwagon here – and it is not the free speech and internet freedom bandwagon. Say what you need to to virtue signal, but you’re full of shit. “

This puts NameCheap on the axis of conditional decision-making, and not one that supports (or condemns) free speech across the board.

In the US, domain investors and end-users alike should be able to use a domain registrar’s services without fear of persecution, as long as there is no court decision for this kind of treatment.


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