Stormfront, the oldest, longest-running white supremacist website, was kicked offline on Friday. The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law claimed credit for its being forced offline, as Kristen Clarke, the committee’s executive director, said, “Their website is a vehicle used to promote racially-motivated violence and hate. Following our efforts, Network Solutions has pulled the site. And while bringing down one site won’t terminate their efforts, it will make it a little more difficult for white supremacists to sow hatred.”
This follows previous reports that The Daily Stormer, another neo-Nazi white supremacist site, was taken offline by GoDaddy a few weeks ago, shortly after the events of Charlottesville. While The Daily Stormer has found a new Russia-based host (of course they did), it’s unclear yet whether Stormfront will be able to do the same. As Clarke’s comments remark, their efforts more than likely will not cease, but for now, one of the longest standing bastions of hatred and intolerance on the internet has been toppled over.
It’s nice to see that internet hosting providers finally taking a stance against promoting hate and violence–and make no mistake, that’s exactly what Stormfront was promoting. The Southern Poverty Law Center labeled Stormfront the “murder capital of the internet” in 2014, as it was a site that appealed to who they called “wound collectors.” The SPLC broke down that definition, writing:
A typical murderer drawn to the racist forum Stormfront.org is a frustrated, unemployed, white adult male living with his mother or an estranged spouse or girlfriend. She is the sole provider in the household. Forensic psychologists call him a ‘wound collector.’ Instead of building his resume, seeking employment or further education, he projects his grievances on society and searches the Internet for an excuse or an explanation unrelated to his behavior or the choices he has made in life.
So, you know, your proto-typical angry nerd who can’t or won’t believe that anything he does is his own damned fault. Except for these people, their violent outbreaks result in the death of numerous people of color, LGBTQIA people, women, and every person who occupies any intersection therein. It was a lightning rod of hatred, and in its nearly 27-year run, it served as a hub for some of humanity’s most disgusting dregs.
The internet is far, far from perfect (sometimes it’s downright awful), but it certainly is a hell of a lot better without that cesspool in it.
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