Hosts Are Impartial
Web hosting companies are facing a lot of slack lately. Clients of hosts wonder why their sites aren't supported when legal troubles happen. Instead of backing up a client, most hosting companies will just shut down a site. You can check out the legal details here in my recent interview.
Why don't web hosts take sides? Why don't they tell the government, and other people, to get lost when asked to take down a site? Well, it's kind of a philosophical debate. It begins with this question: what side would a host take?
How a Host Might Take Sides or are Impartial
It's best for hosting companies to remain impartial. If the country that the host is located in doesn't have a problem with adult web hosting, for example, the hosting company supporting those adult sites shouldn't have a problem either – that's the way that most hosts look at the situation. The same goes for any kind of content.
Even if you find content questionable, it's legal to post that content as long as the law says so. When the law comes knocking, web hosting companies will just take down a site in order to remain impartial. But, there are some exceptions to the rule.
Morally Driven Hosts / Hosts Are Impartial
Some web hosting companies have morals. These companies won't allow any kind of controversial content. There are even web hosting companies that only allow religious content or content that's pure and moralistic. If you are thinking about seeking out one of these hosts, keep in mind that your site could be taken down if someone posts a comment that's not in line with site morals.
This is where things get sticky. You see, most hosts have a clear set of rules already in place as far as site content is concerned. If you violate those rules, your site will be taken down. That's pretty much the only thing that a host will take sides on. You have to obey the rules. Disobey? Goodbye, site!
What About Illegal Content?
With Google's recent announcement of the company's policy to get rid of any child pornography on the Internet (article here), some people are wondering: how can a host let these sites operate anyway? Well, it goes back to that impartial stance.
There are some countries that have no laws against child pornography. If a site that runs this type of content is using a host based in one of those countries, there's little that can be done. Google will try to get rid of all of this content, but no host will take down a paying site customer without a good reason. It might seem horrible, but that's the truth.
Should web hosts remain impartial? Should hosting companies take clear sides? What's your stance on the issue?