Anonymous & more tech companies knocking white supremacy groups offline
Crowdfunding site GoFundMe has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to help pay for the medical expenses of the victims of Charlottesville. One campaign to pay for the memorial service of Heather Heyer, the woman killed in the attack, raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars just days after the incident.
However, the company said they have removed several other campaigns set up to help pay the legal fees of James Fields, the man charged with killing Heyer and injuring 19 others after he crashed his car through a crowd of activists.
Bobby Whithorne, a spokesperson for GoFundMe, told RT America the company “immediately” removed "multiple campaigns” made for Fields, adding they will “continue to do so if other campaigns are created.”
"White nationalists and neo-nazis cannot use GoFundMe to promote hatred, racism, or intolerance, and if a campaign violates GoFundMe’s terms of service, we’ll remove it from the platform," Whithorne told RT America.
Whithorne added that the campaigns to support Fields did not raise any money before they were taken down.
On Tuesday, Paypal wrote a lengthy blog post on their decision to ban hate groups from raising money using its services.
“Regardless of the individual or organization in question, we work to ensure that our services are not used to accept payments or donations for activities that promote hate, violence or racial intolerance,” Franz Paasche, senior vice president of corporate affairs and communications, wrote. “This includes organizations that advocate racist views, such as the KKK, white supremacist groups or Nazi groups.”
PayPal has reportedly removed at least 34 organizations since the deadly attack, according to a list provided to the Washington Post by Color of Change, a racial justice organization. The organizations blocked by PayPal include all of the accounts associated with Jason Kessler, the white nationalist blogger who organized the Charlottesville march, Richard Spencer’s National Policy Institute and two companies that sell gun accessories marketed for the purpose of killing Muslims.
The company said that if they become aware of a website using their services that violates their policies, they will send it to a "highly trained team of experts,” who will evaluate each site on a case-by-case basis. The company also asked anyone who finds a website with “questionable or offensive content” that uses PayPal to contact them by email.
Twitter reportedly suspended accounts related to the leading neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer, including the @DailyStormer account, according to USA Today.
Another account that used to provide updates on behalf of the Daily Stormer, @rudhum, was also suspended by Twitter due to the attack in Charlottesville, the Washington Times reported.
Facebook has also reportedly removed eight pages, including the page that was used to promote and organize the "Unite the Right" protest in Charlottesville.
A Facebook spokesman told The Hill the company “does not allow hate speech or praise of terrorist acts or hate crimes, and we are actively removing any posts that glorify the horrendous act committed in Charlottesville.”
Cloudflare reportedly banned the Daily Stormer from using their services, which they relied on to stay online, according to Andrew Anglin, who runs the site.
Anglin told ProPublica that they have “effectively been banned by ICANN and the monopolistic anti-dosing service Cloudflare.”
On Tuesday, the hacktivist group Anonymous announced they were going after “those who have aligned themselves with the Ku Klux Klan, with Nazism, and with White Supremacy.”
Using the hashtag #OpDomesticTerrorism, which stands for Operation Domestic Terrorism, the group released a video proclaiming their operation “will succeed because we will not be tackling this alone.”
After Google canceled the Daily Stormer’s registration with Google Domains and GoDaddy removed the site from their hosting service, the site was seen using a Russian-based internet domain with an .ru extension Tuesday.
The site was reportedly taken down within three hours, according to Alexey Kovalev, a Russian journalist.
A Twitter account associated with Anonymous retweeted a post Wednesday which claimed they were responsible for taking the site down.