God Hates... Server Not Found

It is a black day for freedom of speech.

The destruction of the Library of Alexandria; the burning of "degenerate" books by the Nazis... and now this.

I shudder even to say it, but... The Westboro Baptist Church's globally renowned site, godhatesfags.com, has been taken down.

(I'm not kidding about the "renowned" part. Godhatesfags.com currently has a Google PageRank of 5. That's only one point lower than mine. And I'm fantastic.)

Wikipedia currently says that this terrible development is the fault of one "Iridius Izzarne of Seattle Washington", who complained to The Planet, Fred Phelps' Web hosts, about an Acceptable Use Policy violation.

If that's true (I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the complainant's name, at least, is not entirely kosher...), then the only part of it that surprises me is that it took this long.

The Planet's Acceptable Use Policy (PDF) prohibits any "data or content...which...constitutes a violation of any federal, state, local or international law".

Godhatesfags.com is one big hate-speech violation. The "international" part of the AUP makes this an open and shut case.

How long have The Planet been hosting Phelps' sites? Surely other people have complained?

(And yes, it is sites, plural. The similarly entertaining godhatesireland.com, godhatescanada.com and godhatessweden.com, Phelps' other sites which make clear his opinions about God's opinions about what Fred reckons are the most homo-friendly parts of the world, are also now down.)

This shouldn't be much of an obstacle for the Phelps', of course. There are plenty of hosting companies that'd be happy to take them on, either out of a fanatical devotion to free speech or because they already host a zillion spam servers and just don't give a shit as long as the cheques don't bounce.

I also presume that a family of lawyers like the Phelps' won't actually be dumb enough to complain about this horrible infringement of their free speech. Freedom of speech does not guarantee you the right to have your speech broadcast by any private entity.

(Ten thousand points go to anybody who can get Phelps to declare that this is all part of the Jewish banker/Muslim paedophile/Catholic sodomite conspiracy.)

Phelps, whose continued existence at the age of 77 testifies to the fact that neither God nor Satan wants Fred to get any closer to them, remains an absolute pearler of a test case for one's personal commitment to free speech. He's a stinking pustulent bubo on the buttocks of society, but he's got the same right to his beliefs, and right to state them in any even slightly decorous way, as everybody else.

I've got to say, though, that I wouldn't mind at all if Fred Phelps was just a gedankenexperiment.

5 Responses to “God Hates... Server Not Found”

  1. Zarquon Says:

    Could it have something to do with WBC losing a 10 million $ lawsuit. I guess they expect the suit to be ruled unconstitutional on free speech grounds.

  2. Robert Synnott Says:

    Breaking mad people news - God Hates Fags vanishes

    From Dan's Data, godhatesfags.com, and its attendant sites (godhatessweden, godhatesireland etc.) have vanished, apparently due to someone complaining to their ISP. Said sites are, of course, the work of noted mad person Fred Phelps, and are absolutel...

  3. Anthony Hersey Says:

    I'm sure that somewhere Phelps is protesting a soldier's funeral over this.

  4. peridot Says:

    Perhaps Phelps is actually doing the gay community a service? After all, it's hard to look at him protesting a soldier's funeral and not think the fundamentalists are total whackos. Not that I've seen any evidence of bible-thumpers trying to dissociate themselves from him, but by himself he drastically lowers the credibility of the "homosexuality is an abomination" crowd.

  5. Malcolm Says:

    Thanks, I'd long been labouring under the misapprehension that it was spelled "buboe".

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