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18 years in Wall Street, left after finding out it was all horseshit. Founder/ Master and Commander: iBankCoin, finance news and commentary from the future.
Joined Nov 10, 2007
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Cloudflare CEO Terminates Neo-Nazi Site After ‘Waking Up in a Bad Mood’

The CEO of Cloudfare, Mathew Prince had enough of the Daily Stormer, a neo-nazi site dedicated to fomenting strife amongst races. In an email sent to employees, Prince described his actions as ‘arbitrary’, saying ‘literally, I woke up in a bad mood and decided someone shouldn’t be allowed on the Internet. No one should have that power.’

Here is the full email.

Earlier today Cloudflare terminated the account of the Daily Stormer. We’ve stopped proxying their traffic and stopped answering DNS requests for their sites. We’ve taken measures to ensure that they cannot sign up for Cloudflare’s services again.

This was my decision. Our terms of service reserve the right for us to terminate users of our network at our sole discretion. My rationale for making this decision was simple: the people behind the Daily Stormer are assholes and I’d had enough.

Let me be clear: this was an arbitrary decision. It was different than what I’d talked talked with our senior team about yesterday. I woke up this morning in a bad mood and decided to kick them off the Internet. I called our legal team and told them what we were going to do. I called our Trust & Safety team and had them stop the service. It was a decision I could make because I’m the CEO of a major Internet infrastructure company.

Having made that decision we now need to talk about why it is so dangerous. I’ll be posting something on our blog later today. Literally, I woke up in a bad mood and decided someone shouldn’t be allowed on the Internet. No one should have that power.

(Cloudflare employee’s name redacted) asked after I told him what we were going to do: “Is this the day the Internet dies?” He was half joking, but I actually think it’s an important question. It’s important that what we did today not set a precedent. The right answer is for us to be consistently content neutral. But we need to have a conversation about who and how the content online is controlled. We couldn’t have that conversation while the Daily Stormer site was using us. Now, hopefully, we can.

I’ll be publishing a blog post with all our thoughts on this issue in a few hours. Until then, I’d ask that you not talk about this externally.

Matthew Prince

Co-founder & CEO

In a blog post describing his decision, Prince openly admits that being judge and jury of what is acceptable content is almost an impossible task, saying that without his companies protection, hackers could easily take down sites they disagree with.

The size and scale of the attacks that can now easily be launched online make it such that if you don’t have a network like Cloudflare in front of your content, and you upset anyone, you will be knocked offline. In fact, in the case of the Daily Stormer, the initial requests we received to terminate their service came from hackers who literally said: “Get out of the way so we can DDoS this site off the Internet.”

You, like me, may believe that the Daily Stormer’s site is vile. You may believe it should be restricted. You may think the authors of the site should be prosecuted. Reasonable people can and do believe all those things. But having the mechanism of content control be vigilante hackers launching DDoS attacks subverts any rational concept of justice.

And here’s the rub. The CEO is obviously conflicted about his actions, taking down a website that he disagrees with. His screed is practically a cry for help, yet he’s doing it in spite of all that. I am shocked that his attorneys permitted him to post this rant, since it opens him up to all sorts of legal issues. Here he is admitting what he’s doing is wrong, wielding the power to arbitrarily take down a site because he woke up in a bad mood — then expecting the world to see it his way and respect his decision.

He concludes:

Someone on our team asked after I announced we were going to terminate the Daily Stormer: “Is this the day the Internet dies?” He was half joking, but only half. He’s no fan of the Daily Stormer or sites like it. But he does realize the risks of a company like Cloudflare getting into content policing.

There’s a saying in legal circles that hard cases make bad law. We need to be careful of that here. What I do hope is it will allow us all to discuss what the framework for all of the organizations listed above should be when it comes to content restrictions. I don’t know the right answer, but I do know that as we work it out it’s critical we be clear, transparent, consistent and respectful of Due Process.

Corporations like Cloudflare and the big web hosting companies literally control the flow of traffic and can do the job that a fascist government wishes it could impose on its people. The political environment is so aggressive now, the leftist tech community are now emboldened to intermingle their views with their business practices. Who in their right mind can make the claim that America is accepting of dissent and permissive of free speech anymore?

By definition, freedom of speech is allowing hate speech to exist. Now that we’ve crossed the rubicon of freedom of expression, all for the good of the public, expect the environment online to get increasingly toxic.

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19 comments

  1. Marc David

    #FakeNews

    CloudFlare is just a CDN. This “website” could easily switch to using another CDN. CloudFlare didn’t take them off the Internet. They just don’t allow them to use their servers for faster content delivery.

    Easy switch. CloudFlare is public. No shoes, no shirt, no service. They can do what they want.

    MaxCDN can get the biz now or Amazon CloudFront

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    • Cricket

      If I am not mistaken, Cloudflare’s brand is build around the protection of free expression, from their blog:

      “Protecting Free Expression Online

      Over the last few years, we’ve witnessed a troubling trend: an increasing number of politically or artistically important sites targeted by very large denial of service attacks. Often these attacks appear politically motivated — going after, for instance, citizen journalists reporting on government corruption. The promise of the Internet is that it is a great leveler — that anyone with an idea can reach a global audience. These attacks threaten that promise.”

      https://blog.cloudflare.com/protecting-free-expression-online/

      Well they’ve f*cking blown that image sky high now. Nothing more arbitrary than kicking someone out of the system because you’ve woken up in a bad mood.

      Cloudflare customers, you have been warned. Time for a change.

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  2. Dr. Fly

    What’s fake about the news? Yes, of course, they can switch CDNs. The point the CEO made was that he had the power to take a site down because he didn’t like them and did it anyway, in spite of all that.

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    • Marc David

      CEO of a private company can make that choice.

      You did it when you got sick of “Frog” and the shit they were posting on YOUR site. You got rid of that person because you didn’t like them. You in essence, took Frog out of iBC. You as the CEO of iBC can make that choice. Whoever Frog is, can spew their shit elsewhere just like whoever owns this website can go use some other CDN or not. F em…

      Why can’t private companies run by humans make the choice? Sometimes you SHOULD fire your customers.

      I bet that website was using the Free CDN option anyway.. freeloaders

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      • Dr. Fly

        I never banned Frog, she elected to leave on her own. So that’s fake news.

        With regards to a private company making the decision to boot someone, sure. I never said they should be regulated. I just think it is wrong, especially when the vast majority of tech firms are explicitly one sided.

        So now we have a political environment created by crazies that have given corporations to license to censor speech as they deem fit without backlash. Cloudflare would never have done this a year ago.

        You will see more of this in the coming months. Hate speech is no longer permissible.

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        • sarcrilege

          Who defines what “hate speech” is these days? It goes to show that most often the truth becomes hate speech because the agitprop that lives under the thin veneer of political correctness is so thin that it cannot withstand the slightest amount of healthy criticism. It becomes blasphemy and sacrilege to point out the obvious; therefore, to shut criticism down, it is labeled as “hate speech” and dumb dipshits unable to think for themselves regurgitate that nonsense ad nauseum.

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        • TJWP

          Anyone who has ever hunted will tell you that a cornered animal is an animal at its most dangerous. The continued demonization of all those who hold opposing political views and lumping them in with the “Stormfags” (most of whom, by the way, would have been top of the list for the concentration camps) has exactly one logical conclusion.

          It is pure fantasy to think millions of people will go quietly into the night and suffer this sort of malice indefinitely. We are at a very dangerous inflection point.

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          • sarcrilege

            You would definitely be wrong in that regard. Tens of millions of native russians were exterminated quietly into the night and suffered this sort of malice indefinitely in the hands of filthy Jew-bolsheviks. The vast majority of these Bolsheviks were of Jewish ancestry, many of them American Jews.
            https://tinyurl.com/y7asuebr
            These filthy zionists and pinko marxists are angling for a repeat of bolshevik revolution here with the aim of annihilating many more, tens of millions, of goyim.

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          • TJWP

            The Russians weren’t Americans and this isn’t the 1950s – people can organize and share information like never before. I do, however, take your point: if you boil the water slowly the frog will never jump out of it.

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        • bennyhill

          Let me be clear – it I disappear, its because he banned by like OA did for silly reasons.

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        • skulduggery

          I’m a capitalist, but there are times to step in. Facebook and Google must be broken up. Amazon needs to be examined, too. A good clue is when the CEO hits the top ten richest in the world. A good and noble goal, but it probably signals a monopoly which may collude on behavior. I hope I don’t sound like Obama, but they’re attacking free speech.

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  3. paradox

    Seems like unintentionally helping the left carry their water by even giving this story coverage. Personally, I’m hoping that like Trump himself everyone that isn’t part of the left’s propaganda machine keeps pressing the point that Trump never equated Nazi’s with the counter protestors and make them admit that they literally made headlines up to fit the story they want to tell. The Sacramento Bee (for instance) still has on their front page this headline – “If you agree with Trump that Nazis and protesters are equal, then you are the problem”. This is TEXTBOOK LIBEL AND SLANDER with malice. (even public figures can sue if malice is alleged by the way – the point isn’t that Trump should sue, it’s to point out just how serious these actions are)

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    • paradox

      Btw, I saw a zerohedger bring up something that I thought was possibly even more poignant than the questions of whether we should be taking down monuments of Washington and Jefferson – how about democratic party hero FDR – he put a whole bunch of people in internment camps for being Japanese. Tear it all down?

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  4. joshua

    Could be they don’t want to get in trouble when someone does something stupid. It’s actually happened a few times from that site. Sort of like when Alex Jones backed up from his pizzagate conspiracy. It got the natives excited, but then a guy actually went there with a gun to check the rape tunnels in the non existent basement. He knew it wasn’t true and protected his own bum. Just a thought.

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  5. sarcrilege

    Ahh, who cares. Only those that are not in the know think the visible net is all there is…..it’s no more than 10%. The rest of us have all our needs satisfied on the dark web where freedom loving and truth seeking individuals meet. Eventually I may meet some of you here on there too:
    https://tinyurl.com/yb7ebook

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  6. Cricket

    It is clear that the establishment, including corporate America, the corporate media, the Democrats and RINOS never had any intention of working with Trump’s agenda, or the peoples agenda, anyway.

    The mask has dropped from the ugly face of the Fascist District of Columbia and it is in full war with the United States of America. Make no mistake about it.

    This entire event has been planned and coordinated from a walled compound in DC – you can be sure. It was planned to coincide with George Soros’ birthday, August 12. There are more to come.

    Maybe now Trump will understand that he has to go full Andrew Jackson: “You are a den of vipers and thieves. I intend to rout you out, and by the grace of the Eternal God, will rout you out.”

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    • sarcrilege

      Let’s focus now on Trump and the impending eclipse in the days ahead:
      https://tinyurl.com/y86fvjjt
      The luciferians love significant dates and events for their blood sacrifices….this could go places this time.

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  7. bennyhill

    Hope you enjoyed your history lesson on George Washington and slavery yesterday. Maybe the New England intellect will rub off on you while you are here.

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