[quote]I’d hate to have Dreamhost making political judgments as to
which sites express acceptable opinions (and doing so would
require them to be fluent in every language on Earth and
familiar with the details of thousands of ethnic, religious,
and political conflicts in order to understand what a site is
about and whether its views are in or out of the "mainstream"
in its proper context).
This has been an issue in the past, as sometimes the operators of non-mainstream sites do not provide an English translation. However, thus far we’ve always been able to work around it (usually by contacting the owner or having someone translate for us).
[quote]If the U.S. Department of Homeland Security declares a
particular group to be “terrorist”, then it’s possible that under
the Patriot Act and other legislation and regulations (unless
they’re declared unconstitutional) a U.S.-based host like
Dreamhost might be forced to take down its site. But
otherwise, I’d rather they didn’t take such action, even if
I’m offended by a site.
For what it’s worth, we’ve never taken down a site for strictly political or ideological reasons. We host a great many sites that would probably greatly offend you, certainly offend me, and probably offend everyone in our company.
With regard to the Israeli/Palestinian situation, it’s quite possible to be sympathetic to the Palestinian position but still not advocate (or incite/recruit for) any actions that some people take in the name of that position.
That’s the real difference: action. A web site that incites/recruits people to actively attack civilians goes beyond “free speech” and has rather frightening real-world implications. As much as we try to remain absolutely neutral when it comes to content issues, we just can’t do it in that type of case.
Obviously, there’s a value judgment that goes with this: We’re not going to take down a video game web site because someone thinks playing Quake is going to turn kids into mass murderers. Nor if someone delineates their positions with regard to Israeli activities are we going to just accept “it might make someone really angry” as justification to remove the site. We get emails like that every day from people who want us to remove sites, and generally they are turned down.
If the argument for taking the site down is tenuous, the site stays. If there’s any question at all (ie. foreign language, etc) we either contact the owner directly and ask them what’s up or find another way to determine the nature of the site.
- Jeff @ DreamHost
- DH Discussion Forum Admin