A company spokesman “said the move had been requested by a complaint about the content posted by Dove World Outreach Center, but declined to say from where it had come.”
Silencing your opponents in this manner makes it look like you have something to hide — that there is speech you are unable to engage a level playing field, with more speech. Or perhaps one is too lazy, or just feeling entitled to shut down opponents’ lines of communication. “Host company pulls plug on Florida pastor’s website,” from Reuters, September 9 (thanks to Leon):
(Reuters) – The obscure Christian pastor who plans to mark the ninth anniversary of September 11 attacks by burning copies of the Koran has had his website pulled from the Internet, the hosting company said on Thursday.
Dan Goodgame, a spokesman for popular web host Rackspace Hosting, said two websites operated by the Dove World Outreach Center, the tiny Gainesville, Florida church run by pastor Terry Jones, were shut down late on Wednesday.
Jones, 58, has generated international attention and has been widely condemned for arguing that as an American Christian he has a right to burn Islam’s holy book because “it’s full of lies.”
But it is not hate speech to question and reject anything at all in the Qur’an, or to reject Muhammad as a prophet, a great man, or even a good man. By definition, a non-Muslim is one who does not accept the Qur’an as an authentic divine revelation, as Tim Furnish eloquently explains here.
As an American, he has the right to burn whatever he wants — whether a Qur’an or the works of Edward Bulwer-Lytton — and be disagreed with and criticized roundly, but not silenced by cyber-thugs or threatened by real ones.
One of two websites, used to drum up publicity ahead of Jones’s planned Koran book-burning on Saturday, used the domain name “Islam is of the Devil.”
The Qur’an says far worse, far more often about unbelievers, and backs it up with calls for open-ended warfare.
Goodgame said Dove World Outreach Center had violated “hate speech” provisions of its contract with Rackspace.
“What we did was to terminate them as a Rackspace customer because they had violated the contract,” Goodgame said.
He said the move had been requested by a complaint about the content posted by Dove World Outreach Center, but declined to say from where it had come.
He said executives at Rackspace, which has more than 100,000 business customers in 140 countries, were unaware that Dove World Outreach Center was even a customer of theirs until they got the complaint several days ago.
“We looked into it and made a determination that the two sites were in violation of the hate-speech provisions of our acceptable-use policy,” Goodgame said.
“We’re not trying to restrict anyone’s free speech rights We just feel that as a business we have the right to set rules,” he said.
So, free speech is great until it’s potentially bad for the bottom line. The good news is, website owners can take their business elsewhere.