by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
David French of National Review Online ponders the effort to purge white supremacist groups from the Web.
Last week, multiple major Internet corporations essentially cooperated to kick a hate site, The Daily Stormer, off the Internet. Cloudflare, GoDaddy, Google, and various other companies withdrew their services, and now one of the Internet’s most odious sites lives mainly on the “dark web,” largely inaccessible to the casual user.
This was an ominous development for free speech — and not because there is anything at all valuable about The Daily Stormer’s message. It’s an evil site. Its message is vile. Instead, The Daily Stormer’s demise is a reminder that a few major corporations now have far more power than the government to regulate and restrict free speech, and they’re hardly neutral or unbiased actors. They have a point of view, and they’re under immense pressure to use that point of view to influence public debate.
It’s a simple reality that the lines of Internet communication are in progressive political hands, these progressive corporations look to left-wing activists to define hate, and a large number of leftists believe to the core of their beings that “hateful” speech should be censored and suppressed whenever possible.