Quite the busy 24 hours it has been. First, GoDaddy told neo-Nazi site The Daily Stormer that it had 24 hours to find another place to host its domain. Apparently the site registered with Google.

That lasted about an hour. Today, Google, which only last week fired the author of the so-called manifesto that challenged how Google implemented diversity, also told the site to find another provider. According to a statement provided by Google: "We are cancelling Daily Stormer's registration with Google Domains for violating our terms of service."

What's a racist, anti-Semitic, sexist, white supremacist, and generally unpleasant site to do? If it can't find a domain host, it could effectively disappear to most of the world.

As GoDaddy informed me earlier today, the site has separate hosting. But any site, if it wants to be practically available to most people, needs domain hosting. Any spot on the Internet can be found with the right IP address, which is like a street number. But most people don't have those strings of numbers memorized.

Instead, we all use domain names as references. For example, you could reach Inc's website with the right IP address, but typing Inc.com is easier to remember.

When you get a domain, you also get hosting for it. That's separate from hosting the website. The domain hosting means that some company is responsible for associating your domain name with the IP address you give for the computer that hosts your site. The association between the name and the IP address is propagated across the Internet in what are called Domain Name Service, or DNS, servers.

DNS servers act like telephone books (for those of you old enough to remember them). When you type a domain name, a DNS server translates the name into the right IP address. But what happens when your domain host cancels your account? There's no longer a record for your site with that host. If you move to a new domain host, that company would then update the DNS records and again your site would be visible to anyone using the domain name.

If everyone refuses to do business with you, then your site becomes the online equivalent of an Orwellian unperson. Those who know exactly where you are can find you. Those who don't, can't and may eventually give up trying. Currently the site's Internet records show that Google is still listed as the domain host, but that could end at any moment, as it takes time for DNS records across the Internet to all update.

The terms of service violations seem to be claims that the Daily Stormer advocates violence. The site has a disclaimer that says, "We here at the Daily Stormer are opposed to violence. We seek revolution through the education of the masses." But when you have a feature called the Daily Shoah (Hebrew for the Holocaust) and a section called Race War, claims of opposition to violence seem hollow, if not darkly farcical.

Published on: Aug 14, 2017