Domain name was taken down after warning and request to remove content.
The registry that runs the .ME top level domain name has released a statement explaining last month’s takedown of Incels.me.
Incels.me was a forum for “involuntary celibates”, which basically means people who are unable to find a romantic or sexual partner. The term was introduced to the mainstream after the April Toronto van attack that was allegedly undertaken by an incel.
The .ME registry says it was informed in May that “certain members of the online community at incels.me forum might have been involved in or associated with the April 23rd, 2018, Toronto van attack. Ever since, we have closely monitored the content on incels.me forum and determined that it was allowing part of its members to continuously promote violence and hate speech.”
In September the registry asked the registrar for the domain to inform the registrant that they must take down the offending content or face suspension. The content wasn’t removed by the middle of October, hence the suspension that took down the website.
The suspension or deletion of domain names and websites has become a hot topic over the past year. It’s been a debate between free speech and speech that incites violence. The most recent example is Gab.com, which found a new home after GoDaddy punted it in the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue attack.
It’s worth noting that there are two main entities controlling domain names: the registrar where someone registers the domain and the registry that controls the database of names. GoDaddy is the former. In this case, .ME is the latter. (.ME is the country code domain for Montenegro but has been commercialized for general use.)
The registry for .com (Verisign) has so far avoided getting into content regulation, instead relying on registrars and court orders before making any changes to the .com database. That could change.