Squarespace is latest to purge white-supremacist sites after Charlottesville

Trump's business panels disband post-Charlottesville
Trump's business panels disband post-Charlottesville

Neo-Nazi groups may soon have one less option for building a website.

Web-design and hosting company Squarespace is giving eviction notices to some of its customers. "In light of recent events, we have made the decision to remove a group of sites from our platform. We have given the site owners 48 hours' notice," a Squarespace spokesperson told CNN Tech on Wednesday, in response to a question about a Change.org petition against the company.

The petition urges Squarespace to stop hosting white-supremacist groups on its platform, such as Identity Evropa, Radix Journal and Richard Spencer's National Policy Institute. The petition has been gaining traction this week and had more than 40,000 signatures on Wednesday afternoon.

Squarespace declined to provide further details.

Related: Should web-hosting companies restrict who's on their platforms?

The petition also called out Squarespace's Acceptable Use Policy, which says users cannot "advocate bigotry or hatred against any person or group based on their race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual preference, age or disability."

"Squarespace's continued hosting of these sites constitutes an in-kind contribution to neo-nazis, white supremacists, and the violence they promote -- in Charlottesville and elsewhere," said Joseph Brown, who created the petition.

Squarespace's move comes after GoDaddy (GDDY) and Google Domains (GOOGL, Tech30) dropped white supremacist and neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer earlier this week after it published a derogatory story about Heather Heyer, a 32-year-old woman killed protesting a white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday. The Daily Stormer moved to a Russian domain Wednesday, but the site is now unavailable.

Other tech companies such as PayPal (PYPL, Tech30) and crowdfunding service GoFundMe have also taken a stand this week against hate speech.

"Tech companies feel increasing pressure to police speech on their platforms and to take down speech that the vast majority of people find to be offensive, vile and hateful," said David Snyder, executive director at the First Amendment Coalition.

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