AR15.com, the biggest gun forum in the world, was deplatformed on Monday by web hosting company GoDaddy.
“ARFCOM IS DOWN. We’ve been booted from GoDaddy and are looking for an alternative solution,” the site announced Monday afternoon on Twitter.
The swift termination by internet host GoDaddy forced AR15.com’s leadership to think on their feet and quickly create a temporary URL so “freedom lovers and firearm enthusiasts” could continue to access the information and resources on the site.
Instead of offering specifics about kicking the gun site off the internet, GoDaddy merely claimed that AR15.com violated its terms of service, which resulted in instant termination.
“On Monday, January 11, 2021, I received notice from our site registrar that AR15.com had violated their terms of service and that AR15.com would be shut down immediately,” President and Co-Founder of the gun site Juan Avila told The Federalist in a statement. “The registrar’s decision to de-platform AR15.com was final and no method to appeal was offered.”
“It remains unclear specifically what content allegedly violated the registrar’s terms of service,” he added.
When asked by The Federalist about the decision to remove AR15.com, GoDaddy claimed that the site “both promotes and encourages violence,” but did not offer any specific examples. Instead, they offered AR15.com 24 hours to relocate its business.
The decision from GoDaddy follows of series of bans and contract terminations by big tech companies such as Amazon, Google, Apple, Twitter, and Facebook targeting conservatives and supporters of President Donald Trump. In addition to using their acquired power to ban and distance themselves from the president and his supporters, many have also engaged in what some have labeled anti-competitive behavior, encouraging and pushing each other to nuke alternative sites such as Parler.
Despite the abrupt change in AR15.com’s site domain and traffic, Avila said that AR15.com already found “a new, First Amendment-friendly site registrar” that will accommodate the forum during its transition, which may take a few days.