Robert Monster is a Sammamish resident who is no stranger to controversy. He is the CEO of Epik, a company that provides domain and web hosting services, and is known for doing business with several far-right and extremist websites after they have been turned away by other technology providers.
In a wide-ranging interview, Monster touted the integrity of his company, expressed strong views against government regulation of social media, and countered claims regarding hate speech on the internet domains that he has done business with.
He believes he is doing the right thing.
“One of the essential tenets of how we operate as a company is treating everyone who comes into our path with compassion and humility,” Monster said when asked how his personal beliefs impact the way he runs his business.
Epik has been embroiled in controversy over the years, with the Southern Poverty Law Center designating the company as “cornering the market on websites where hate speech is thriving.” The Telegraph recently dubbed Epik “the domain registrar keeping extremist websites online.”
Monster believes his company is “not a safe harbor for people with hate in their hearts.” Giving an example, he said he “got to know the founder and CEO of that site (Gab) and came to the conclusion that he was on a journey and intended to be a force for good.”
Last month, Epik became the domain registrar for Parler, the social media platform that was used by many Trump supporters to coordinate the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. This led technology companies, including Amazon, Apple and Google, to drop their services for Parler on their cloud and app platforms.
Epik’s relationship with Parler at the time of the controversy was nonexistent, Monster said, stating “we barely got to know them at that point and barely had any interaction with their management.”
Since then, he said he has met with Parler executives and is still forming his “opinion about whether or not Parler 2.0 deserves to see the light of day.”
When asked where he draws the line on the type of organization that he would refuse to serve, Monster said he looks for the intent of the website, and asks “is it coming from a place of love and empowerment, or is it coming from a place of hate and polarization.”
You can hear more of our interview with Robert Monster in our latest podcast episode.