“So what?”, some of you might say. The ‘A Tangled Web‘ website has been shut down by the server hosts Arvixe. Why should that bother anyone else? Firstly, ATW was taken offline by Arvixe without any consultation with the website owner. Secondly, it was all due to a complaint made by a troll of the site that ATW was ‘racist’. Thirdly, A Tangled Web is a stablemate of the Max Farquar website. So, who’s to say that we won’t be next. Yes, we too are hosted by Arvixe.
I am totally at a loss. I can’t decide which I am angrier and outraged at … the most. A host that can take the word of a comment troll against that of a site owner. OR a host that can just do whatever the fuck they like without warning. If there was ever a clear example of an attempt to stifle free speech then this is it. This is serious. Deadly fucking serious. If someone like Arvixe can strike out 10 years worth of political debate on the say so of a someone who is falsely accusing a site author of something he didn’t do … without approaching the owner for their side of the argument … then …
Free speech on the internet is well and truly fucked!
Regular readers of this site will know that freedom of speech is all I ever really care about. Freedom to express an opinion. Freedom to criticise those with differing views. Freedom to say what you want … without fear or favour. Not everyone will agree with every opinion. Some might even take offence. However, that is what free speech is all about. The right of reply. The right of complaint. All form part of it.
Closing down a website, without warning, due to an unproven allegation is NOT anything to do with free speech. I feel so strongly about this that I am quite prepared to see the Max Farquar website closed down by Arvixe. Just because I have made the choice to publicly announce how outrageous their actions against ‘A Tangled Web‘ have been. I’m not bothered about cutting off my nose to spite my face … the principles of free speech are far more important.
Here is what David Vance, the owner of ‘A Tangled Web‘ website has to say :
FREE SPEECH UNACCEPTABLE
Today started like any other on my long-standing website, A Tangled Web. There were a few posts on the moral obscenity of appeasing terrorists and the foolishness of leftist economics. Plus ca change. Then, this afternoon, I tried to log on to my site only to discover it was unavailable. I contacted the host, a company called Arvixe, only to be casually informed that the site was now suspended because it had been complaints of racism and harassing content had been confirmed.
Naturally the host had not contacted me nor provided any information on the allegations that led to this “confirmation” – I think this is called summary justice. The truly remarkable aspect that it is my view that the person behind this complaint has been BANNED by the site for his persistent trolling. So, one deranged troll can close down a site that seeks to provide free speech and the owner has no opportunity of rebuttal.
If you think this is unfair, can you do me a favour and contact firstname.lastname@example.org and demand that they reinstate the site pending a proper consultation with the site owner. Failing this, Arvixe must be shown as the enemy of free speech. I hope you can help me.
So …. if you have a blog or website or a Twitter account AND you value your right to free speech, then I urge you to link to this post or produce an article of your own on the subject. While you still can. While you still have access to your blog or website or Twitter account.
Today … A Tangled Web
Tomorrow … maybe Max Farquar.
The day after … maybe you.
If you’re not prepared to fight for your right to free speech then both I and David Vance are wasting our time, in trying our fucking damnedest to protect what is rightfully yours … because that is what we believe in.
Or think on.
+++ UPDATE +++
The site was disabled after our staff verified the presence of hateful/defamatory content within articles/posts on the site. We are currently working with the site owners to resolve this. We always verify any and all complaints prior to taking any further actions, and as you can see in our terms of service and acceptable use policies (www.arvixe.com/tos.php and www.arvixe.com/aup.php) we do not allow racist/hateful/harrassing, etc. sites on our services, and even if this weren’t the case, we do hold the right to refuse service as we see fit. The reason the site owners were not given prior notification, is because (as I’m sure you must understand) it is HIGHLY unfeasible for our staff members to thoroughly comb through the content of an entire website and all articles, posts, etc to compile a list of all infringing/violating material that would need to be removed. We cannot simply specify to a client to, for example, remove one offending phrase yet allow (X) others to go unnoticed. As such, the site is being disabled until we have come to a resolution one way or another.
Sr. Technical Operations Officer Arvixe
* speechless *
+++ UPDATE 2 +++
Our tech guy has found what appears to have caused the so-called complaint … check out the last line under the photo. Looks like Obama has friends with influence. I’m sure he must have been called worse. So what’s the problem? I don’t see that any part of that statement is racist.
* dunno *