The Neo-Nazis of the Daily Stormer Wander the Digital Wilderness

Since this past August, the Daily Stormer, a prime hub for neo-Nazism on the Web, has found itself in a peculiar kind of digital exile. Its journey began in the wake of the “Unite the Right” rally, in Charlottesville, Virginia, at which a young woman named Heather Heyer was murdered by a man who drove a car into a crowd of anti-racist protesters. The following day, Andrew Anglin, the Daily Stormer’s founder, published an article about Heyer titled “Woman Killed in Road Rage Incident was a Fat, Childless 32-Year-Old Slut.” Hours later, GoDaddy, one of the Web’s largest domain registrars, announced that it was cancelling the Daily Stormer’s service. Several other U.S.-based companies, including Google, Namecheap, and Cloudflare, soon followed suit.

In the ensuing four months, the site bounced around the world, with brief stays at TLDs representing various countries—.ru (Russia), .al (Albania), .at (Austria), .is (Iceland), .ws (Western Samoa). During the tumultuous period surrounding 2017’s independence referendum in Catalonia, the Daily Stormer took advantage of a .cat domain; five days later, the site was banished to obscurity once again, eventually resurfacing at a .ai domain, in Anguilla. Then, last month, the neo-Nazis apparently found their promised land. After being ousted from its .hk domain by the Hong Kong Internet Registration Corporation, the site resurfaced at a new, non-geographical domain: .red.

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