Did Anonymous Bring Down The Daily Stormer?

A post on neo-Nazi web site Daily Stormer suggested the site was seized by Anonymous, but it's more likely that they simply lost their web hosting.

  • Published 14 August 2017
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Claim

Anonymous seized the domain of white supremacist site Daily Stormer and announced its imminent demise.

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Origin

After the neo-Nazi web site The Daily Stormer mocked a woman who was killed at a 12 August 2017 white supremacist rally in Virginia, the domain host GoDaddy announced that it would no longer host the site:  

GoDaddy published the tweet at 10:24 PM Eastern Standard Time on 13 August 2017. Less than a day later, a post appeared on Daily Stormer claiming that the domain had been seized by the decentralized international activist collective Anonymous:

END OF HATE: ANONYMOUS NOW IN CONTROL OF DAILY STORMER

#TANGODOWN

THIS SITE IS NOW UNDER THE CONTROL OF ANONYMOUS

WE HAVE TAKEN THIS SITE IN THE NAME OF HEATHER HEYER A VICTIM OF WHITE SUPREMACIST TERRORISM

FOR TOO LONG THE DAILY STORMER AND ANDREW ANGLIN HAVE SPEWED THEIR PUTRID HATE ON THIS SITE … THIS EVIL CANNOT BE ALLOWED TO STAND

IT TOOK A UNITED FORCE OF ELITE HACKERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD TO BREACH THE SYSTEMS AND THE FIREWALL

WE HAVE HAD THE DAILY STORMER IN OUR SITES FOR MONTHS NOW

THE EVENTS OF CHARLOTTESVILLE ALERTED US TO THE NEED FOR IMMEDIATE ACTION

WE WANT YOU NAZIS TO KNOW: YOUR TIME IS SHORT

WE WILL ALLOW THE SITE TO REMAIN ONLINE FOR 24 HOURS SO THE WORLD CAN WITNESS THE HATE

THEN WE WILL SHUT IT DOWN

PERMANENTLY

HACKERS OF THE WORLD HAVE UNITED IN DEFENSE OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE

YOU SHOULD HAVE EXPECTED US

The Twitter account@YourAnonNews, which, while not official, is widely viewed as the most accurate source for known Anonymous action, had indicated a response to the events in Virginia was forthcoming shortly before the post appeared:

However, shortly after the post began grabbing headlines, the account pointed out several reasons to be skeptical that the collective had taken over The Daily Stormer. For one thing, the window cited by GoDaddy (24 hours) was identical to the timeframe provided in the “Anonymous” post:

In a separate response, @YourAnonNews noted that the nature of the collective made the claim difficult to discount, but they remained highly skeptical:

By contrast, the account appeared to confirm that members of the group had shut down the Charlottesville city web site using a denial of service (DDOS) attack. The action came as part of what the group is calling #OpDomesticTerrorism, and was a protest against perceived inaction by Charlottesville police:

Although the decentralized nature of Anonymous (as explained by @YourAnonNews) makes it difficult to fully debunk the claim Daily Stormer was downed as part of #OpDomesticTerrorism, we are highly skeptical that the claim is true. No faction of Anonymous claimed credit, other objectionable content on the site was left intact, and most damningly, the window cited in the “hacked” post was identical to GoDaddy’s provided timeframe for Daily Stormer’s shutdown.

The “Anonymous” post on Daily Stormer also failed to mention Heather Heyer, the woman killed at the rally who The Daily Stormer later mocked. However, the post did succeed in providing the condemned web site a flood of traffic:

On 2:21 PM Eastern Standard Time, Reuters confirmed Google was cancelling Daily Stormer’s domain registration after it was reported that the site obtained a replacement provider: