UPDATE 26/02/2011: BlueHost have now suspended this website. Thanks to the many people who made complaints and brought this to the attention of the internet community and mainstream media.
Amid the tragedy of the Christchurch Earthquake, I was shocked to find this website. The (clearly un-medicated) owner has hidden their identification but the website is hosted by BlueHost.com in Utah. As you can see from my discussion with Blue Host customer support (below), their management have decided not to remove the website and are hiding behind the excuse of needing legal direction from a court before they can do anything. This is clearly unnecessary and the cynic in me thinks that they are hoping to generate some media attention from it. Either that or their company management is utterly spineless.
Online Discussion with BlueHost.com support staff
(I am “FIRST TIME SALE”)
FIRST TIME SALE..: [6:04:41 PM] Hi there… I just wanted to alert you that you’re hosting an offensive website… http://www.christchurchquake.net
Jolynn: [6:05:27 PM] Thank you for letting us know. I can get you to our Terms of Service Department for review. Just a moment please
Tony: [6:05:38 PM] Welcome to the Terms of Service department. Please be patient as I am often working with several different people. Thanks! How may I assist you?
FIRST TIME SALE..: [6:06:01 PM] I just wanted to let you know that you’re hosting an offensive website: http://www.christchurchquake.net/html/
[6:07:26 PM] sorry try this one: http://www.christchurchquake.net
Tony: [6:07:42 PM] yes, we’re well aware of that site… we’ve been getting quite a few complaints about it today.
FIRST TIME SALE..: [6:08:03 PM] I thought you might be
Tony: [6:08:52 PM] Unfortunately, while they may be quite objectionable, they aren’t in violation of our Terms of Service, so we are unable to take action against them at this time.
[6:09:21 PM] Should they cross the line, or should we be presented with a valid court order for the takedown of the site, we’ll shut them down.
FIRST TIME SALE..: [6:09:26 PM] Isn’t publishing hateful material against the law there?
Tony: [6:09:57 PM] yes, but the material has to be deemed “hate speech” by a court first.
FIRST TIME SALE..: [6:10:23 PM] Bluehost can choose who they have as customers
Tony: [6:11:23 PM] Questions of libel, slander, defamation and hate speech are legal matters, about which a court must make a decision. We can remove a website if we receive a court order so stating. Please provide a notarized copy of the injunction or other court order once you have obtained one; we can then verify the document with the court and take action.
We apologize for this inconvenience; in matters such as this, we must rely upon the courts’ discretion.
FIRST TIME SALE..: [6:13:02 PM] I’m sorry but that’s absolute rubbish. You can do business with whoever you choose to. You’re saying that you have no morals, only the law.
Tony: [6:15:25 PM] I am sorry but this is the position taken by our management regarding this website. We are currently monitoring this website and should they violate our Terms, we will act, but until that happens, only a court order will be sufficient to take down the site.
FIRST TIME SALE..: [6:16:26 PM] I understand that it’s not your call. Thanks for your time. Maybe you need new management. Perhaps you will when the media get hold of it!