There’s no space for racists on Squarespace.
The company builds websites with easy-to-use templates and provides domains for groups like the National Policy Institute, a think tank where white nationalist Richard Spencer is president and director.
Other hateful websites hosted on Squarespace included Identity Evropa and Radix Journal, which called for ethnic cleansing in a series of white supremacist essays. A petition calling for Squarespace to stop hosting these hateful websites reached 58,241 signatures by Thursday morning.
On Wednesday, Squarespace said it gave website owners a 48 hours’ notice that its would be kicked off their platform.
“In light of recent events, we have made the decision to remove a group of sites from our platform,” a Squarespace spokesman said in an email.
“Recent events” points to the online backlash against hate groups following the deadly rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, where neo-Nazis and racists clashed with counter-protesters. Neo-nazi website the Daily Stormer was removed from GoDaddy, then Google, Twitter, and then a tunnel of domains before slinking off into the darknet, where it then lost their CloudFlare protection. Losing the protection opened them up to cyberattacks that took the website offline.
Across the internet, tech companies have been stamping down on hate groups, including Spotify removing “white power” music from its service, and Apple Pay and PayPal cutting off websites linked to white supremacists. Before last Saturday’s chaotic rally started, Airbnb had kicked out white supremacists planning to stay at homes through their service.
Squarespace’s decision comes after months of activists asking it to remove hate-filled websites. In March, Squarespace told a political science professor that “censoring sites like these may cause more harm than good in the long run.”
The group of websites that Squarespace plans to take down directly violates their terms of service, which states:
Don’t advocate bigotry or hatred against any person or group based on their race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual preference, age or disability.