Incels.me, the toxic misogynistic community of self-proclaimed involuntary celibates, is no more — at least at that web address.
On Tuesday, the .ME registry, which controls the entire .ME domain database, explaining that they — and not a domain registrar like GoDaddy — had suspended the domain. The registry says the domain was suspended over anti-abuse policy infractions based on the promotion of acts of violence and hate speech on the website. Incels.me has been inaccessible since Oct. 15.
Incels.me acted as the main online hub for involuntary celibates, or “incels” for short, who congregated in its forums. The incel community is known for its toxic misogynistic views, identifying themselves as “single without choosing to be so,” and blaming women as well as men in relationships for their own sexual failures.
“The decision to suspend the domain was made after the .ME Registry exhausted all other possibilities that could assure us that the registrant of incels.me domain and the owner of incels.me forum was able to remove the subject content and prevent the same or similar content from appearing on the forum again,” said the post.
The domain registry says it was monitoring incels.me since May after being notified about the website’s possible connection to a domestic terror attack.
Earlier this year, the forum received national media attention after a man attacked a crowd with , killing 10. The driver, Alek Minassian, identified himself as an incel in online posts. In one Facebook post right before the attack, he wrote “the Incel Rebellion has already begun!” The forum praised Minassian as a This sentiment was not out of the ordinary for the incel community, which , a misogynist mass shooter who murdered six people in Isla Vista, California in 2015, as a hero. The incels.me forum, specifically, has been host to pedophilic, pro-rape sentiment and calls for more incel-inspired violence. Reddit subreddit community over similar content in November 2017.
The .ME registry claims that it reached out to the registrant of the incels.me domain through the domain registrar — the company which the domain was actually registered through.
In this notice sent by the .ME registry in September, it informed the owner of incels.me of a possible suspension due to infractions of the registry’s anti-abuse policies. The registry also explained in this notice how to avoid this suspension by removing the offending content from the site and taking steps to avoid similar content from being posted in the future.
“Upon inspecting incels.me forum for policy violations on October 15th, the .ME Registry determined that the content that encouraged acts of violence and hate speech still appeared on the forum,” said the .ME registry in its post. “Having witnessed this disregard of not only .ME Registry’s policies and suspension warnings, but also of incels.me forum’s policies the domain registrant formulated themselves, the .ME Registry suspended the domain and decided that it would remain suspended.”
The registrants said in a press release that they were not given notice before .ME Registry took the site down.
The suspension may sound a bit reminiscent of Gab.com being over content promoting violence and hate speech last month after a mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh. In actuality, the two cases are a lot different.
GoDaddy, as a domain registrar, simply manages the domains registered on its platform. When GoDaddy informed Gab that they no longer wanted to be its domain registrar, its domain to a different domain name company.
With incels.me, the domain was suspended by a registry, specifically in this case the .ME registry, which runs and maintains the database of all the top-level domains under its management. Incels.me being suspended by the registry means they can no longer use the domain in any capacity, regardless of where the domain was registered.