A post on The Daily Stormer claiming it is under the control of Anonymous has been dismissed as a self-orchestrated "false stunt" by the hacktivist collective.
The post appeared shortly after web hosting company GoDaddy said the neo-Nazi and white supremacist site had 24 hours to find another host, after it violated GoDaddy's terms of service by publishing a deeply offensive article about Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old woman who was killed after being struck by a car during violent protests at a far-right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday (12 August).
The article was headlined: "Heather Heyer: woman killed in road rage incident was a fat, childless 32-year-old slut."
Allegedly perpetrated by a man with white nationalist views, the Dodge Charger was driven at high speed into a crowd of people. Footage of the incident was soon distributed on social media.
In response to a request on Twitter to remove the website, GoDaddy tweeted late on Sunday: "We informed The Daily Stormer that they have 24 hours to move the domain to another provider, as they have violated our terms of service."
Shortly after, a post appeared on the front page of The Daily Stormer, apparently from the hacking and digital vigilante collective Anonymous. The message read: "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."
The post, which includes imagery often used by Anonymous, including the Guy Fawkes mask from the film V for Vendetta, goes on: "We have all of the details on the servers and will be releasing the data when we feel the time is right. We have also gathered locational data on Anglin [Andrew Anglin, site editor] himself and are sending out allies in Lagos to pay him a visit in person. This evil cannot be allowed to stand."
However, YourAnonNews, a Twitter account used to distribute news about Anonymous, was quick to distance itself from the apparent hack, stating: "We have no confirmation that Anonymous is involved yet. Looks more like a DS [Daily Stormer] stunt. Wonder if they are having issues finding a new host."
The Twitter account said. "We are 99% confident that this is a completely false stunt by DS derps. Still not anyone taking credit, despite feelers."
An issue YourAnonNews has with the apparent hack is why the site's original content, and in particular the post against Heyer, remain online.
Anonymous is also said to have taken down the Charlottesville city website, with the news confirmed by affiliated Twitter account AnonyInfo. The same account branded the Daily Stormer post as "nonsense", adding: "Daily Stormer is using GoDaddy's removal to claim their website will be removed by Anonymous within 24 hours. Nice try!"