Who hosts the haters? Part 2.

http://martinlutherking.org/ is being run by racists, and is being hosted by the Dallas-based
company, The Planet.

A post on Reddit.com today brought the issue to my attention. As usual, I ran a traceroute on the site and found that it was hosted in the Dallas colocation facility of The Planet.

ThePlanetHostingGmap_0.png

The Planet's Acceptible Use Policy prohibits spamming, child porn, phishing, and "violation of any federal, state, local or international law, regulation, ordinance, court order or other legal process," but seems to allow hate speech.

This is the second time I've traced racist material to a Dallas-area ISP.

The first time was in 2003 when members of the Church of The World Creator/The Creativity Movement, a white supremacist group, threatened a local artist via email because of an exhibit he was organizing about hate speech. A day or two of research revealed threats coming from home computers in Ohio and Florida, stemming from a bulletin board conversation by Creativity Movement members being hosted on servers run by EV1 in Dallas. (The former leader of the Church of the World Creator, Matt Hale, is serving time in federal prison for threatening a federal judge).

Attempts to get that bulletin board shut down were met with a response from their former host that stated that unless EV1 was served with a court order, they would continue to provide hosting for that group.

I guess that's a legal approach, but it's not a particularly civic-minded approach. I added EV1 and their subsidiaries to my "Never do business with this company" list. Little did I know that several years later, I was able to steer a single contract worth about $20K/yr. away from this companies hosting services, in part, because of their policy of hosting sites promoting hate speech.

I'm happy to tolerate difference of opinion, I will not tolerate intentional distortion of fact whose primary purpose is to incite hatred and violence. Had this current case (martinlutherking.org) been an isolated instance, I probably wouldn't spend any time on this, but given our current political climate and the amount of hyperbole that is bordering on incitement to political violence, I'm feeling compelled to act.

In the past 20 years, ethnic and sectarian violence in Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Rwanda, Sudan, Iraq, Zaire/Congo, have all been preceded by campaigns of hate speech transmitted over mass media. How we deal with this issue as a society at this particular time in our history will determine the balance between promoting freedom of expression and educating others on difference of opinion through a process of discussion and intellectual exchange; and promoting violence through speech that encourages emotional response and polarization (I suspect I'll write more about this later). Bottom line is there has to be a balance between free expression and promoting violence. I think Emanuel Levinas's ideas of the Self-Other dialectic provides tools to unravel this knot, but that a different discussion.

For now, I'm concerned with business making money from hosting content whose sole purpose is to deceive, and promote and inflame racial, ethnic and religious hatred. I do not find this acceptable. I'll try to take both passive and active steps to discourage these kinds of business practices.

So, this morning, I entered the following message on The Planet's contact us form at http://www.theplanet.com:80/about/contact.aspx :

"Do you know you're providing hosting for a racist website? It appears that martinlutherking.org is using your servers to spread disinformation about Dr. King and encourage racial hatred. Stormfront, the source organization, is a well-documented hate group whose primary focus is to spread racial and ethnic hatred.

Free speech and all, but I help clients setup hosted services, and considered The Planet as a potential host (your Dallas site is near their office), but ended up going with Neospire instead. I'll continue to steer folks away from your services as long as you provide safe haven for haters and will encourage my peers and clients to do the same.

I suspect you'll get some more feedback on this shortly. A post on reddit appeared this morning highlighting it's existence.

Please do the right thing and ask Stormfront and martinlutherking.org to take their business elsewhere.

Best regards,"

I'm wondering where to take this. I'm going to do a little research on whether anyone is keeping track of who is hosting hate sites in the United States, and how they're rationalizing it. More to come.

Update

Doing a little reading, I found out that EV1 merged with The Planet in 2006. So, not so much a coincidence is it? A few google searches have revealed that The Planet seems to be involved in hosting more than their fair share of hate sites. Interesting.

Update 2

The Planet is also hosting Stormfront.org, a site boasting more than 166,000 members dedicated to the white supremacy movement. Here's part of a plea for money:

Let me remind you all of what is at stake. Our people are being ETHNICALLY CLEANSED FROM THE FACE OF THIS EARTH . THE GOVTS. OUR ANCESTORS FOUNDED TO PROTECT OUR FREEDOM'S HAVE TURNED ON US. LIKE FRANKENSTEIN'S MONSTER , EVERY WHITE GOVT. NOW IS TRYING TO DESTROY IT'S CREATOR'S. THEY NOW ALL DEMAND IT'S WHITE POPULATION SUBMIT TO RAPE , ROBBERRY , ARSON , MURDER , RIOTS, EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION , GUN CONTROL, THOUGHT CRIMES, AND ANYTHING ELSE THAT MAKES IT EASIER FOR JEWS AND NON-WHITES TO PLUNDER OUR WORLD.

Interesting that they also use PayPal to process their subscriptions.

Upadate 3

Tiggee LLC is hosting the German Nazi site www.alpen-donau.net referred to in this article: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110524/ap_on_hi_te/eu_austria_nazis_on_the_net

Tiggee also the popular DNS Made Easy service.

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