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Inciting violence vs freedom of speech (namecheap.com)
26 points by ted0 on Aug 20, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 50 comments



This is turning into a virtue signalling circle jerk.

The one quote provided is nothing near incitement violence, in the legal sense. I'm now in the icky position of defending Daily Sturmer because I believe in the First Amendment and this latest campaign against one web site feels so contrived and politically correct. Yes yes, I know that the First Amendment doesn't apply to Namecheap or godaddy or cloudflare. But this has gotten downright silly.

As another commenter noted, these large companies have no compunction hosting/registering domains for sites that actually do incite violence and actively ruin people's lives... like jihadist groups or ripoff report, a site that makes it an active business model to defame people online, destroy lives and careers, and then extort people to remove that content.

This whole daily sturmer campaign has gotten to the point of being nothing more than a way for companies to pretend like they care or want to prevent a type of speech they don't like, but in reality is picking on one site that is mild in comparison to the other things these companies tacitly approve of.

Edit to add a link that apropos: The Seductive Appeal of the "Nazi Exception" https://www.popehat.com/2017/04/18/the-seductive-appeal-of-t...


I agree with you.

We're in such a state of things that people feel compelled to upfront state that while they don't support the thoughts of these sites, they support their right to free speech.

It used to be assumed that in supporting free speech one did not agree with the most vile of those expressions. Now we're compelled to say that up front lest someone conflate the two.

This re-interpretation of free speech is just as likely to come back to apply to the people now in favor of kerbing free speech.

One of the most obvious is religion and people holding views opposite to it. Or, what if you espouse Marxism. That could be incitement to violence, in this interpretation.

Today one groups is in control of what acceptable speech is. Tomorrow it will be someone else. And I will still be supporting free speech whoever is under attack by the contextual free speechers.


    > This re-interpretation of
    > free speech
This is an exceptionally American-centric view. The rest of the civilised world outlawed hate speech and moved on a long time ago.


Good for you. We hold sacrosanct the view that free speech is free speech and governments shouldn't be the arbiters of what is and isn't "hate."



No mention of the word "hate", because there are no exceptions for it.


This isn't a hindrance to free speech, neither legally or practically. That companies decide to exercise their free speech when a site either gets loud enough or vile enough is likely about practicality.

About the link you posted in another comment pointing out that Cloudflare (and others) hosted ISIS material:

1) At the point they start removing those, they delve into a cat&mouse game that is both financially costly, as well as establishing a precedent in behaviour. It can be argued that that was reached now in regards to dailystormer, but not when considering the other point.

2) ISIS isn't being normalized within the states, and no one would ever believe that Cloudflare (or anyone else) supported the contents on those sites. Dailystormer both explicitly claimed that Cloudflare supported them, while the "alt-right" is being normalized by the POTUS. They exercised their right because they wanted (or rather their hand was forced) to make it explicit that their speech didn't mirror the site's.

There are two sides to every coin, and both sides are free speech.

I'll also add a link apropos of the topic, by the same author: "Speech Is Tyranny!" https://www.popehat.com/2009/07/01/speech-is-tyranny/


    > like jihadist groups
Is that true?



I don't see any reference to Namecheap, the company in question there. Have I missed it?


I don't know about namecheap in particular. The point is that these companies are piling on the same site and they all host sites that are much worse than daily sturmer.


I think all the new companies in America are in a bind. America's future is "diverse" based on projected population demographics.

If I was incharge of one of these companies, I have no choice but to 'virtue signal'. This would literally be my thought process, 'Oh shit google banned them, we don't want to be called out as Nazis lets write a blog post and ban them'. I don't want to blame that guy from cloudfare or this person because they literally have no choice.

I think this is only going to stop if "diverse group" of people come forward and oppose this visibly, which is borderline impossible.


This claim keeps coming up that "hate speech" isn't allowed and isn't legal. It is kind of funny to read since legally no such thing as "hate speech" exists. SCOTUS has carved out only a few exceptions to free speech. The one relevant here is "fighting words" and it doesn't apply since saying "all $X-attributed people should be killed" is LEGAL. It does not CAUSE immediate harm. But, saying that to an armed angry crowd MAY be illegal. Websites, at least how SCOTUS saw it, cannot by definition be fighting words and thus anything you say on a website would be protected under 1st amendment

This doesn't matter much, of course, because the amendment only applies to government shutting you up, not a private entity.

BUT, I hate how all of these bozos keep making the excuse that these websites wouldn't even be protected by 1st amendment so they can be banned from the internet. This article does this too. It is annoying since this basic premise itself is wrong.


Further amplification of the point, "Supreme Court unanimously reaffirms: There is no ‘hate speech’ exception to the First Amendment":

https://www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/volokh-conspirac...


How To Spot And Critique Censorship Tropes In The Media's Coverage Of Free Speech Controversies https://www.popehat.com/2015/05/19/how-to-spot-and-critique-...


I'm pretty sure that statement they quoted is vile and disgusting, but certainly not incitement to violence as the courts understand it.

Of course, Namecheap can probably choose their customers however they like according to their own TOS. But don't delete someone off the Internet who is saying things you don't like and spend the whole post patting yourself on the back for following principles of free speech.

I think it's pretty simple -- if you don't believe that Nazis should be able to voice their vile and disgusting opinions openly, you don't believe in free speech. If you don't believe that Nazis should get to organize a nonviolent protest, then you don't believe in freedom of assembly.

The Washington Post featured an article 'Who are the antifa' [1] by Mark Bray who is the author of "The Anti-Fascist Handbook" which explained, "Antifascists argue that after the horrors of chattel slavery and the Holocaust, physical violence against white supremacists is both ethically justifiable and strategically effective."

Of course we see how effective it is, because defending the bedrock principles of freedom of speech and assembly when the speakers are Nazis now apparently puts you at risk of being labeled a Nazi sympathizer / white supremacist / racist yourself.

I'm not sure exactly when it became impossible to have an adult conversation on the matter. When did it become impossible to understand that a protester can represent abhorrent viewpoints without it being OK to throw bags of urine and paint at them? That a protest can turn violent and even deadly without being able to then condemn every single protester that was present? And that we should not be celebrating, but in fact be very worried if not outraged, that private parties who have gained superuser access to parts of the internet through their course of business are now leveraging that power to police content they find personally offensive, or which they takedown for PR reasons to appeal to a populist mob.

[1] - https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/made-by-history/wp/2017/...


Quote from https://blog.namecheap.com/we-say-no-to-sopa/

"Why are we against the proposed SOPA legislation? It’s very simple; at Namecheap, we believe in internet freedom.

When you register a domain name, you can do anything you wish with it within the confines of the law."

You find how much you believe in your principles, when they lead to outcomes you don't like. Given their actions now, namecheap's SOPA opposition now sounds like just a cheap publicity trick they did to distinguish themselves from GoDaddy.


As someone who is facinated by what is happening I spend a decent amount of time spelunking in the dark web.

The Neo-Nazis are not that upset by this. They want to use the same tools to boycott the Zionist and Jews. It's actually one of the many things the Alt-Left and the Alt-Right agree on.

In addition we're making them into martyrs. Banning and suppression was counter productive on the original Nazis and it is counter productive here.

This should be we'll know by those who read civics. It is even codified in the book Rules For Radicals by Saul Alinsky. It makes me wonder what books Antifa are reading as they are doing all of the wrong things.

I get that it feels like we're (non nazis) are winning but we're not and this is isn't helping.


You're right, this is giving an inordinate amount of free publicity to daily stormer and is making people (like me) who support free speech uncomfortable. I'm now instinctively supporting their right to free speech against the horde of disingenuous virtue signallers.


>Rules For Radicals by Saul Alinsky

I'm halfway through the prologue and I have to say, this is very insightful and relevant to today for having been written in 1971. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.


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

To me, out of context, that reads as anti- White men, not anti-Semitic. Or at least ambiguous. Certainly not an outright endorsement as such.

I haven't read the material, and I'm sure it's as hateful as they say. But as their entire argument is predicated on how beyond the pale that statement is, and if "the site spends considerable effort demonizing Asians, Blacks, Mexicans, etc" - they could probably have found a better example to make their point.


Wow, what an amazing quote to pick since that is exactly the kind of thing a far-leftist would say.

If the site is as bad as they say they should have picked a better quote than that obviously ironic one...


Why are registrars doing the policy decisions when its the registries has the mandate to control and policy the domain name system?

If IANA decide that .com address should not be used for sites like this, then at least it would be their decision to make. They also already thought about how to handle this type of questions, and drawn the lines where the consensus says they should be. If people want to change them, the process to do so is likely well documented.


I guess I won't be down-voted for posting this, right?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Streisand_effect


All these companies tripping over each other to ban DailyStormer while at the same time they won't take a position against similar sites that are just as unquestionably immoral/illegal as DailyStormer (Torrent sites, ISIS sites). One might be forgiven for thinking that this sudden moral awakening of 'Big Internet' is nothing more than a selfish PR stunt.


If you think torrent sites are "just as" immoral as White Supremacy sites, your moral compass is unambiguously broken.


Well you didn't mention the ISIS sites. Much of the torrents are actually illegal, the hate speech is protected speech.


The 1st amendment protects speech from being suppressed by the state. Private entities may ban whatever they see fit, basically; you know they do if you ever read a end-user license.


Yes, I know that. We are talking about a public communications medium. If they can throttle hate speech, they can throttle Netflix. So they won't host it, they won't provide DNS resolution. How far does it go? Can't get a static IP?


"Protected" from the government, not from private entities. I would gladly support Namecheap taking down Isis sites, but is there any evidence that they aren't?


Well what about net neutrality (my thread on that is already -2)? Neo-nazi shows are on cable access channels. I'd think the same reasoning applies.


    > cable access channels. I'd
    > think the same reasoning 
    > applies
That's because you haven't done even the most basic of research.


No I have not. So what's the reason, in a nutshell?


The spectrum isn't important here though. Things are either illegal or immoral or they're not.

These companies are only banning this one domain because it's bad publicity right now if they don't.


The law certainly thinks that where things exist on a spectrum is important, suggesting that we as a society do too. You can't use that shaky axiom as a jumping off point.


Thanks for agreeing with my point.

These hosts should kick all of the illegal and immoral sites off or none of them.


There's an argument to be made that piracy is illegal whereas hate speech (in USA) is not but my point was that Big Internet has no moral compass whereas you seem to want to argue with a strawman of moral equivalency between two unquestionably immoral acts.


It's not a strawman because I am attacking the actual argument you made.


I drew an equivalency between the unquestionability of the immoral character of two acts (even that was not my central argument) and not between the relative degree immorality (which is what you decided to argue against).


Fine then. I assumed you had considered the degree of immorality to be important, because the alternative just makes you look whichever you prefer of disingenuous or deranged. Mea cupla


In the end its a good thing for privacy (and the internet), since these antics will speed the adoption of zeronet and associated tech.

A decentralized web is the next game changer that has been brewing for a few years, and now is becoming ready for prime time. Its going to represent a seismic shift in the next few years...poor Zuckerberg, et al.


In a sense, I agree with you. These virtual signallers make me feel icky, at the same time it motivates me to support projects to decentralize the web and support free speech for all people.


Seems like the proponents of net neutrality have a dilemma on their hands.

There are neo-nazi shows on cable access channels, so I'd think the same legal reasoning applies to the internet.


>: Daily Stormer: “Summer of Hate Edition.” The site spends considerable effort demonizing Asians, Blacks, Mexicans, etc.

I am an Indian and every single "crossover" indian youtube video is filled with "Designated Shitting streets [1]" comments. I really don't give a shit( pardon the pun) about those comments. Do majority of "Asians, Blacks, Mexicans" in America want this kind of censorship on their behalf ? Really curious.

1. http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/designated-shitting-streets-po...


Is there a history of large-scale and state-enforced discrimination against Asian Indians in the US?


That sentence has "Asian" in it. I am not so sure, assumed Asia includes India. Is "Asian Indian" a separate category ?

Also are "Asians, Blacks, Mexicans" only three groups that those rules apply to? Noone else has a 'history of discrimination'?


America also uses the term Indian to mean Native American, so I was attempting to distinguish between the two. East Asians (as against separate from Indian Asians) -- or at least Japanese -- have indeed been the victims of state-sanctioned discrimination in the past.


well we were 'historically discriminated' via colonialism too. But, I think you saying that these rules should specifically apply to groups that were discriminated in America. Vast majority of mexicans and asians in America are immigrants in last 3 decades so that definition doesn't really apply to vast majority of them either.

But I guess you can see that how vague and meaningless defintion you have come up with to decide which cites deserve to be censored.

I have a feeling all these people are just following a trend, there is no solid principle, any rhyme or reason to what they are doing. Its literally this- 'oh google banned site X, we don't want to get called out, lets ban it too'


The Americans didn't colonise India. Is history education there really that poor?


In the US, Indian is an ambiguous term due to Native Americans. Asian Indian disambiguates.

In the UK, Asian (or South Asian) often means Indian.




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