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How the tech industry is responding to the far-right

Steve Helber/AP

Following the violence in Charlottesville this weekend, leading alt-right website The Daily Stormer published an article that suggested the woman who died during the protests was killed during a "road-rage incident" and went on to belittle her appearance. GoDaddy, the internet domain that hosts the alt-right website later kicked them off for violating their terms, The Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: Tech platforms have been criticized by all sides for hosting extremist content. Several, including Facebook and YouTube, have taken steps to crack down on such content, only to be accused by some groups of hampering free speech — underscoring the difficult position platforms find themselves in when it comes to policing users' posts. Alt-right groups have started creating their own platforms that cater to right-wing users with fewer rules, the LA Times reports.

The bigger picture: This is just one of the recent instances of the tech industry pushing back against the far-right.

  • Reddit banned three alt-right forums, r/altright,, r/alternativeright and r/rightyfriends, due to doxxing and harassment campaigns. Reddit did not identify one instance that prompted the ban, but there was speculation that it was in response to members attempting to dox the person who punched white nationalist Richard Spencer during inauguration.
  • PayPal restricted the accounts of various people and groups that promote alt-right politics and fully banned others. They told Buzzfeed News that the site does not "allow [its] services to be used for activities that promote hate, violence or racial intolerance."
  • GoFundMe banned top alt-right personalities, Kyle Chapman and and Tim Gionet from fundraising on their site, providing similar reasoning with PayPal earlier this year. After the events in Charlottesville, GoFundMe removed pages that were fundraising for James Fields, the man accused of driving his car into counter-protestors, Vox reports. Other crowdfunding sites, Patreon, and YouCaring, have also banned fundraisers that align with the far-right.
  • AirBnb suspended the accounts of users who attended Saturday's rally in Charlottesville and rented nearby homes from the site. The site said that they require costumers to ""accept people regardless of their race, religion, national origin, ethnicity."
  • Twitter took down The Daily Stormer's account on Wednesday. ""The Twitter Rules prohibit violent threats, harassment, hateful conduct, and multiple account abuse, and we will take action on accounts violating those policies," a spokesperson told The Hill.
  • Spotify removed hate music that came from "white power" bands, the BBC reports. Spotify told Billboard music that they do not tolerate any "...illegal content or material that favours hatred or incites violence against race, religion, sexuality."

Update: The Daily Stormer moved their domain registration to Google, who later cancelled the registration "...for violating our terms of service," Business Insider reports.

Steve LeVine 5 hours ago
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Self-driving lab head urges freeze after "nightmare" fatality

Uber self-driving car in Pittsburgh. Photo: Jeff Swensen / Getty

Carmakers and technology companies should freeze their race to field autonomous vehicles because "clearly the technology is not where it needs to be," said Raj Rajkumar, head of Carnegie Mellon University's leading self-driving laboratory.

What he said: Speaking a few hours after a self-driven vehicle ran over and killed a pedestrian in Arizona, Rajkumar said, "This isn't like a bug with your phone. People can get killed. Companies need to take a deep breath. The technology is not there yet. We need to keep people in the loop."

Stef W. Kight 3 hours ago
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Mississippi now has the nation's most restrictive abortion laws

Crowd on the floor at RNC with blue lighting
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant on the floor at Republican National Convention Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant just signed a law that bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, according to the AP.

Why it matters: This is now the most restrictive abortion law in the country, and the state's one abortion clinic is preparing to challenge the move in court, according to CBS.