Neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer, which helped organize a far-right nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday that turned violent, moved to the so-called dark web on Tuesday because its registration to use the open internet was revoked.
After GoDaddy dropped the site on Monday, a brief attempt to move to Google’s domain service ended with failure as well when the internet giant gave the Daily Stormer the boot. The anti-Semitic blog was left no choice but to post a message saying the site would be inaccessible until further notice.
Andrew Anglin, the founder of the Daily Stormer, did not respond to requests for comment.
In a reminder that the so-called “alt-right” white nationalist movement is not only a byproduct of the far right, but also of original internet culture, the Daily Stormer’s website on the open internet featured a crude drawing of the Fail Whale. The image of the whale harkens back to the early days of Twitter, when it would appear whenever the social media service went offline.
Unable to provide access to their regular blog content, the publishers advised regular tech-savvy readers to use a third-party chat service called Discord. However, in the time since the initial posting, Discord appears to have taken the AltRight.com server that hosted the chat offline, following other service providers that have distanced themselves from the extremist movement.
Despite the site’s inaccessibility, the Daily Stormer’s readers remained active on other online forums. Dozens of users left comments directing others to access the alternate site on Tor, the browser used to access the dark web and deep web, the portion of the internet that is not indexed by popular search engines.
Love. Not hate. pic.twitter.com/5xFpvHTuI2— Discord (@discordapp) August 14, 2017
In their conversations, several users blamed Jews for taking down their site and said that white supremacists are a persecuted group who have been deprived of their freedom of speech.
In a popular comment thread titled “Surprise, Surprise, the ‘witness’ to the c-ville car crash is a CIA operative,” some users tried to prove that the details of Saturday’s attack had been falsified and played to white supremacist tropes that a government-led (and often Jewish-directed) conspiracy is being wielded against them.
Unsurprisingly, similar conversations were being held on the 4Chan message boards, the home of conversation threads that are considered too offensive for Reddit.
After being banned from alternative platforms on Tuesday evening, the Daily Stormer took to a more old-fashioned internet chat service called IRC. Looking at some of the ongoing chats in the IRC group, it appeared that there were only a limited number of users active there, with some of them asking how to use the service.
While it appeared that a version of the Daily Stormer was indeed live on Tor, the site had only succeeded in making a single article accessible and the platform remained virtually un-navigable.
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