Amid growing tensions following a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that saw white supremacists, neo-Nazis and members of the Ku Klux Klan, several technology companies have announced bans on members of the respective hate groups. The bans come on the heels of President Donald Trump condemning “both sides” and the “alt-left” after a woman was left dead and several more injured by a man who rammed his car into a group of counter-protesters at the rally.

For several companies, the fallout and outrage over the weekend’s events prompted corporate decisions to oust any employees or clients who used the respective products. The list of companies that have taken action is growing.


Apple CEO Tim Cook this week pledged $1 million in donations to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and the Anti-Defamation League, and Apple pledged to match two-for-one employee donations to human rights groups the end of September, the Guardian reported Thursday.

"We must not witness or permit such hate and bigotry in our country, and we must be unequivocal about it," Cook wrote in a memo to his staff this week. "This is not about the left or the right, conservative or liberal. It is about human decency and morality."

He added, "I disagree with the president and others who believe that there is a moral equivalence between white supremacists and Nazis, and those who oppose them by standing up for human rights. Equating the two runs counter to our ideals as Americans."


Internet security startup Cloudflare announced Wednesday that it had terminated the account of the Daily Stormer, an online hub for content espousing white supremacy and neo-Nazism. The same day the company’s co-founder and CEO Matthew Prince wrote a blog post explaining the decision to cease “proxying the site’s traffic” and “answering DNS requests for their sites.”

“The tipping point for us making this decision was that the team behind Daily Stormer made the claim that we were secretly supporters of their ideology,” Prince wrote.

“Our team has been thorough and have had thoughtful discussions for years about what the right policy was on censoring,” he continued. “Like a lot of people, we’ve felt angry at these hateful people for a long time but we have followed the law and remained content neutral as a network. We could not remain neutral after these claims of secret support by Cloudflare.”


On Wednesday, Facebook banned both the Facebook and Instagram accounts of a white nationalist who was part of a Vice News documentary that premiered Monday on the Charlottesville rally. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to the Associated Press the same day that accounts managed by Christopher Cantwell were removed.

In addition to using language that disparaged minority groups, Cantwell said the death of Heather Heyer — the woman killed at the “United the Right” rally — was “justified.”

“I'm not even saying we're nonviolent,” he said. “I'm saying that f—ing we did not aggress. We did not initiate force against anybody. We're not nonviolent — we'll f—ing kill these people if we have to.”

Cantwell was later seen openly weeping Wednesday in a video posted to YouTube after he learned there was a warrant out for his arrest.


The Daily Stormer, which used its platform to promote Saturday’s rally in Virgina, was banned by GoDaddy’s site Sunday. GoDaddy, a web domain registrar, hosted the Daily Stormer’s domain until public outcry about events that unfolded over the weekend seemingly forced the server’s hand.

“We informed The Daily Stormer that they have 24 hours to move the domain to another provider, as they have violated our terms of service,” the GoDaddy wrote in a tweet Sunday.


After the Daily Stormer was barred from its GoDaddy domain, the site temporarily moved to a Google domain — but not for long.

Reached for comment, the tech giant on Monday told NPR: “We are cancelling Daily Stormer's registration with Google Domains for violating our terms of service.”

Tech companies “certainly have the right to make their own judgments about what’s in the terms of service and whether it’s being violated,” said Mike Yang, former general counsel at Pinterest Inc. and a former deputy general counsel at Google.

Business Insider reported Monday that per a source close to Google, the company did not want its platform used to incite violence.


Facebook was not the only tech site to ban Cantwell following his controversial appearance in Vice’s Charlottesville documentary. Upon learning that the white supremacist had an account on its server, dating website OkCupid also banned Cantwell.

“We were alerted that white supremacist Chris Cantwell was on OkCupid,” the site tweeted Thursday. “Within 10 minutes we banned him for life.”


The music-streaming service Spotify this week also announced it was working to remove accounts and music on its site linked to hate group. After Digital Music News on Monday published an aggregated list of white supremacist bands that used the service, Spotify quickly issued a ban.

“Spotify takes immediate action to remove any such material as soon as it has been brought to our attention,” the company said in a statement. “We are glad to have been alerted to this content — and have already removed many of the bands identified today, while urgently reviewing the remainder.”


On the heels of announcements of permanent bans of the Daily Stormer by Google and GoDaddy, Twitter too announced that it had suspended accounts linked to the white supremacist hub, Reuters reported Wednesday.

“We may suspend an account if it has been reported to us as violating our Rules surrounding abuse,” the Twitter notes on its support page. “When an account engages in abusive behavior, like sending threats to others or impersonating other accounts, we may suspend it temporarily or, in some cases, permanently.”

Uber Technologies

Ride-share company Uber sent a memo internally to both its drivers and employees Thursday that stated that there was “simply no place for this type of bigotry, discrimination, and hate.” The memo specifically addressed Saturday’s rally and noted that the company would “act swiftly and decisively to uphold our Community Guidelines, including our policy against discrimination of any kind — this includes banning people from the app.”

“Now more than ever we must stand together against hatred and violence,” the company added. “Thank you for making our community one that we can all be proud of.”