(from internal email)
>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.
I have many reasons to oppose nazis, including incredibly personal ones. That said, I think crossing this content line for an infrastructure company is a big deal, and I hope it's not repeated.
To be completely honest - when I went to look at what the fuss was about a few days ago - I couldn't see any serious hate message because it read like hilariously sarcastic teenage angst and black humour (no pun intended).
There was a recent article where they were laughing about a woman who was run down by a car. I absolutely abhor that that woman was killed! It should probably attract a life or death sentence after the facts are reviewed in court.
But the CONTENT about it was so stupid it was funny like 4chan, reddit, or encyclopaedia dramatica. I laughed. I wasn't laughing at her. What happened was a tragic crime. But don't we often laugh at awful things to cope with them?
I'm not a bad person. I myself don't and don't want others to spread hate or racist messages let alone hurt people or encourage others to do it either.
But ummm when it comes to words I think you should be able to poke fun at what you want. And now it seems you can't and things have been going that way for a long time.
I get that it's distasteful but I also find a lot of other stuff distasteful. Shrug.
Now I get on an intellectual level they weren't shut down just for being distasteful and somewhere in there (I didn't read much so didn't find any) there is actually hate content and that's why they were shut down.
But IIRC encyclopaedia dramatica was just distasteful stuff making fun of many colours and cultures and was also shut down.
So it has a real chilling effect and that's not the internet I want. Want to know what world is scarier than one with nazi's on the internet? It's one where corporations and governments paid by corporations tell you what is and isn't allowed to be said.
(Disclaimer: I've got nothing to say myself except we should all live together and get along.)
I think you're taking a very optimistic view on the content there.
Sounds like you don't like what they are saying and instead of allowing it you want to stop them. Shame shame.
Entitled to your privilege of doing so though.
Germany, among others, outlaw this kind of content because they experienced the end result first-hand. Perhaps the US should learn from them.
so you are saying, that we germans ended up in a total dictatorship, because things were too liberal before?
Speech can't limit anyone else's freedom however.
> Germany, among others, outlaw this kind of content
Leading to multiple wwii games having a different version for Germany and for the rest of the world due to the censorship that they apply.
> Perhaps the US should learn from them.
Why should it?
The freedom to say those discriminatory things also serves no purpose - It's either a call to action, or empty rhetoric... the former is illegal, the latter is pointless.
Today? Counter-demonstrate, or walk away. Actual Nazis haven't been a serious threat to Jews for 70 years. By contrast, the large and well-funded groups today who call for genocide of Jews, and are doing their best to put it into practice, have widespread and open support among ‘progressives’, and nobody bats an eyelid when marchers wave their flags.
lol, what the fuck are you talking about?
The following hadith which forms a part of these Sahih Muslim hadiths has been quoted many times, and it became a part of the charter of Hamas.
The Day of Judgement will not come about until Muslims fight the Jews, when the Jew will hide behind stones and trees. The stones and trees will say O Muslims, O Abdullah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him. Only the Gharkad tree, (the Boxthorn tree) would not do that because it is one of the trees of the Jews. (related by al-Bukhari and Muslim)
'progressive' people are pro immigration.
Many immigrants are muslim.
Some muslim hate jews, therefore 'progressive' people support antisemitism.
Simple, isn't it?
I support marriage equality and the right for gays to get married, but I don't enjoy the sexual activities that gay people do themselves.
You apparently also don't enjoy someone just translating?
(hint, translating doesn't mean the translator has the same opinion as the source, I thought that is obvious)
How so? Speech is just speech.
Speaking with IBTimes UK, co-founder and CEO of CloudFlare, Matthew Prince, said that his company would not be blocking its service to websites listed, as it would mean submitting to "mob rule".
"Individuals have decided that there is content they disagree with but the right way to deal with this is to follow the established law enforcement procedures. There is no society on Earth that tolerates mob rule because the mob is fickle," Prince said.
"We're the plumbers of the internet," Prince said. "We make the pipes work but it's not right for us to inspect what is or isn't going through the pipes. If companies like ours or ISPs (internet service providers) start censoring there would be an uproar. It would lead us down a path of internet censors and controls akin to a country like China."
Must have been in a pretty bad mood.
They can die in a gutter, for all I care. They made their line, with the political dissenters, the quiet, and the the hidden. But you know, blame the "bad people" and the "abusers".
They killed _millions_ for arbitrary reasons. What about them?
What does fascists even mean these days?
Real fascists wounded my grandfather and he pushed them back all the way to Berlin. My teacher wintessed German soldiers raping and dismembering their childhood friend.
It seems these days I see a lot of "everyone I don't like is a fascist". Trump is a fascist, the barista this morning who made me a late instead of a cappuccino is a fascist, etc. Pol Pot committed terrible attrocities that doesn't make him a fascist, he was Communist.
Do you not accept a line where free speech threatening violence harms other free individuals? This isn't a thought excercise, the Daily Stormer is a group calling for the extermination of people based on race and religion.
I rather have people saying out loud, that they want to kill me, than saying it it in private and then just doing it ... so I - and others (like police) know whats going on, and can prepare for them.
If you forbid things to be said out loud, they will just boil hiddenly, until they explode.
People like to say "never again", but it's important to actually mean it.
Now, if you want to talk "never again" - it is not words that should frighten us, but violence. It was the brown shirts working the streets and savaging anyone who dared speak contrary to the Nazis that allowed them to obtain real power in the elections. It was the night of the long knives that saw the Nazi's staunchest critics in the Reichstag assassinated, and Hitler's control finally secured. It was the night of broken glass that normalized widespread violence against Jews, and set the stage for what was to come. It was violence that gave strength to Nazism, that let it rise to prominence, that let it overcome the Prussian elite who despised it and let it seize control of the country.
Nazism only succeeds by first putting its boot to the throat of the public, and threatening to crush the windpipe of any critic. Without that, it is just incoherent, anti-intellectual gibberish concocted by brutish thugs - and is torn apart in the market of ideas as a result. I fear a non-violent Nazi about as much as I fear a toothless wolf.
Once you tolerate the "non-violent" Nazi, the violent ones won't be far behind. Nazism has proven that it cannot be tolerated, period. Not a little bit here and there. Not for a short time while we try to reason with them. Not anywhere, not ever, not in any way. If an amendment to the US Constitution came up to exempt Nazis from first-amendment protection I'd be for it in a heartbeat, because there is no longer any need to be hemming and hawing and talking about how on principle we need to let them have their little march and their website and... no. There is no such thing as a "safe" amount of Nazism.
Having a professor who finds intellectual differences by race in his social studys? Definatly a nazi.
Not even worth studying, to search for a remedy, better to ignore a problem forever.
And this goes on and and on and on.
So we concluded, that if your limitation tendencies of free speach are unlimited, they must be limited at the root.
Thus the speech is free. They are not free to act. They are not free to maim, free to violate others rights.
One is free to ignore them- (as large parts of the country have) until the sjw circus visited theire town and gave them attention and manpiulated a large neutral crowd into supporting them with the usual passiv-agressive discourse controll speach.
One man's fascist propaganda is another man's social revolution.
This is the thing everyone forgets about the Nazis: they genuinely thought they were the good guys.
That's not at all equivalent to other types of discussions we are having today about the economy, the environment, and education.
If you want to be a hateful little shit, go right ahead, but don't expect a helpful hand. That's the "plot" here, friend.
Unfortunately, no, it's not. And BTW, the CEO of CloudFlare agrees with me:
> If you want to be a hateful little shit
In my opinion that sort of language is inappropriate. Does that mean that if I were in a position to do so, I should be allowed to silence you?
If you're just saying that some company could be controlled by a "Nazi" and they may restrict their services, I get that. I don't think it's a "slippery slope" type of argument though.
Just for the record, I find the nazis and the neo-nazis repugnant. I'm a descendant of holocaust survivors, so seeing swastikas being paraded down the street in America hits very close to home for me. And I have no problem shutting down incitements to violence. But that's not what happened here. The Daily Stormer was taken off the air because of an alleged false claim that they made about their CDN. That is a very dangerous precedent.
Stalin and Mao killed far more people then the Nazis, but I'll be down voted and banned because my opinion doesn't fit your ideological narrative.
This is assuming I even am allowed to post my view at all.
Still to me blocking nazi comtent is even more obvious since their violence is even closer linked to their ideology.
To me, actual terrorists actually committing terrorism is far worse than bratty idiots throwing the N-word around on an internet forum
So maybe I this case the general public can distinguish between literal and figurative fascism. The Daily Stormer supported acts of violence committed by the former, not the later.
"It's not in CloudFlare's philosophy to just take down sites because management doesn't agree with the content, Prince said. Some hosting companies exercise tight control about what can be served, but his firm doesn't want that kind of power."
I'd be perfectly fine banning whom calls themselves nazis.
perhaps I'd be bad about running the 'pipes' of the internet.... oh wait. I do.
It's like that in America, what things are called is more important than what they are. Obviously there are plenty of Americans perfectly capable of understanding context, but they don't seem to be in control of the political narrative.
In fact, given the American love for sarcasm and hyperbole, and lack of an actual historical Nazi party of any note, it seems to me less likely for one to interpret the label literally.
"c. colloq. Used to indicate that some (frequently conventional) metaphorical or hyperbolical expression is to be taken in the strongest admissible sense: ‘virtually, as good as’; (also) ‘completely, utterly, absolutely’.
Now one of the most common uses, although often considered irregular in standard English since it reverses the original sense of literally (‘not figuratively or metaphorically’)."
The earliest example given, incidentally, is from way back in 1769.
A clear example of this is if you take fringe idiot politicians who say populist stuff and have zero workable policies. In the UK, they're a fringe political group like UKIP. In the US, one was just voted president. Here was a guy with a famous history of scamming (indeed, he was the poster child for it), making obvious and contradictory promises he couldn't keep even if he wanted to, and with no detail as to how. His whole platform was telling people the superficial stuff they wanted to hear. How did he do? Almost half of the voters individually voted for him, in a strong voter turnout. The only thing missing from his obvious scam was twirling a waxed moustache, and still nearly half of American voters went out voluntarily and voted for him.
Don't be a liberal, you might get booted off Google and GoDaddy.
Don't be a white male, you might get booted off Google and GoDaddy.
Don't be a female, you might get booted off Google and GoDaddy.
> That would never happen!
That's what you think, that's not what history has proven.
edit: To expand, observing and noting key similarities between two different sets is not equivalent to saying the two sets are equivalent.
"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."
If the building is on fire, you put out the fire first, and then decide what the future fire safety policy is.
> The term Salami tactics (Hungarian: szalámitaktika) was coined in the late 1940s by the orthodox communist leader Mátyás Rákosi to describe the actions of the Hungarian Communist Party. Rakosi claimed he destroyed the non-Communist parties by "cutting them off like slices of salami." By portraying his opponents as fascists (or at the very least fascist sympathizers), he was able to get the opposition to slice off its right wing, then its centrists, then the more courageous left wingers, until only those fellow travelers willing to collaborate with the Communists remained in power.
The double standards you guys have. Just fuck my society up fam.
Today you're in luck because the guys with this power are on your side.
What happens when they're not?
The paradox of tolerance applies directly to free speech.
As an example, the CEO of Cloudfare stated the removal of Daily Stormer was an arbitrary decision made by him, because he "woke up in a bad mood and decided to kick them off the Internet" and as CEO he had the power to do so , so what happens if the CEO of a Cloudflare-like service is a staunch Christian and starts removing sites based on that?
Or as more realistic example, the Republicans control the house, the senate and the presidency.
They came quite close to having a super-majority in the Senate, and who knows what will happen in the 2018 mid-terms.
For many Republicans, things like abortion and LGBT rights are moral issues and if they get a super majority it's not unthinkable that they will push to remove or criminalize things that they are morally opposed to.
From the ACLU's post on why they are defending Milo Yiannopoulos 
"But the sad reality is that many people think that speech about sexuality, gender identity, or abortion is over the line as well. They’ll say that abortion is murder, civil rights advocates are criminals, or LGBT advocates are trying to recruit children into deviant and perverse lifestyles. If First Amendment protections are eroded at any level, it's not hard to imagine the government successfully pushing one or more of those arguments in court. "
I know Cloudfare is a private company and so from a legal perspective this is not a freedom of speech issue, but beyond the law, freedom of speech as a general principle is something that needs to exist in the hearts and minds of those making the law, and actions that erode that, especially from entities that wield enormous power over communications infrastructure, set dangerous precedent.
Freedom of speech does not apply to those who would take away your freedom of speech with what they are advocating (in this case, killing us). This is the nature of the paradox of tolerance. We need not and must not be tolerant of the intolerant.
Yes they are, but look at how the term 'Nazi' is being thrown about with abandon these days .
Once you have established that it's ok to ban/silence Nazis, then all you need to do to silence your opponents is brand them as a Nazi.
That is not hypothetical, and is something that is actively happening right now.
> it's people who are declaring their allegiance to a group that literally killed millions in the name of racial purity.
Where do we draw the line? Do we kick people off the Internet if they declare allegiance to communists - a group that literally killed millions in the name of ideological purity?
> We need not and must not be tolerant of the intolerant.
Actually, we must. The only speech worth defending is offensive speech or speech you don't like.
No-one tries to stop you from saying nice things that they already agree with.
No, that would require everyone to be a credulous idiot -- people have thrown Nazi around as a pejorative for as long as there have been Nazis. Fortunately it's easy to tell who the actual Nazis are -- they're the ones with Nazi flags doing Nazi salutes saying they're Nazis, and advocating genocide.
Again, this is the paradox of tolerance -- tolerating the intolerant decreases the total amount of tolerance in the world. You are spending time and effort arguing with me that Nazis should be allowed to speak while they threaten those that speak out against them directly with violence.
Perhaps you should go and speak to the Nazis to tell them about how they should defend speech they don't like.
Of which there appear to be plenty of these days:
History is replete with examples of how this happens. For a recent example see the Cultural Revolution in China. It involved public shaming for wrongthink, destruction of statues and other artifacts, desecration of graves (e.g. of Confucius and others) and worse. The parallels going on today are worrying.
Nowhere, because I'm not worried about the Nazis.
500 people showed up in support of that rally. Even if you think that real-life support for Nazis is a thousand times that amount (unlikely to be anywhere near that high) that still only represents a fraction of a percent of the U.S. population (0.15%). That is literally a rounding-error away from zero, and the real figure of Nazi support is likely to be orders of magnitude less.
If the Internet hadn't been popularising for months that it's ok to punch Nazis (drawing counter-protesters spoiling for a fight), if the police had kept the protesters and counter-protesters apart, if attendees hadn't been able to play the victim due to getting banned from Airbnb, and if the media hadn't given the rally such prominence it would have been a total non-issue. 500 people would have come, spouted off offensive, but protected speech and then fizzled out.
Instead, we were left with loss of life and a ratcheting up of tensions along racial and ideological grounds.
That concerns me far more, especially as significant sections of the population seem to be willing (and in some cases actively trying) to conflate right-wing politics with Nazis and white supremacism.
'Slippery slope fallacy' you cry, but it's not, because this is actually happening. Take for example the recent 'March on Google' that is being organised by various right-wing figures. The organisers are right-wing and regularly classified as alt right (a classification they refute), but they are also vocally anti-Nazi and anti white-supremacism (banning Nazis and Nazi symbolism from previous events they've held), and yet in the wake of Charlottesville, several major news outlets were claiming that the March on Google rally was also being organised by 'Nazi sympathizers' and the organisers started getting threats that they treated seriously enough to postpone the rally (http://www.marchongoogle.com/peaceful-march-on-google-postpo...).
The conflation of 'people with politics we don't like' to Nazis, along with the normalisation of violence against Nazis leading to threats of violence, has me far more concerned than any actual Nazis, and the parallels with very recent, very ugly history are close enough that more people really should be worried.
(drawing counter-protesters spoiling for a fight)
Take for example the recent 'March on Google'
the normalisation of violence against Nazis
Ah. Well, it's now quite clear where you stand, and I'm sorry for having wasted time trying to talk to you.
Yes, on the side of freedom of association and freedom of speech, even for unsavoury characters.
Pointing out that some counter protesters were spoiling for a fight (dressed in black, masked, and armed with baseball bats and pepper spray) shouldn't in any way be construed as supporting Nazis.
Pointing out that the March on Google has been postponed due to threats of violence, shouldn't be construed as support for the March on Google.
And pointing out that violence against Nazis is being normalised shouldn't be taken as support for Nazis, rather it's the worry that it's all too easy to expand the scope of Nazis to then include 'other people with views I disagree with' (see above about March on Google being postponed due to threats of violence).
For where I actually stand, I used to consider myself left-leaning, but I'm not really sure I like where the left is heading these days so following Dave Rubin's lead, I'd go with classically liberal.
I'm also not entirely sure how you square this comment with your one above about credulous idiots, but the idea that I'm somehow siding with Nazis is ridiculous.
Anyway, I think we can both agree that there's not much more fruitful discussion to be had between us on this particular topic, so this will be my last reply.
I posit that speech is a pressure release valve, and that you should not muzzle people you don't agree with. This creates resentment and anger in those people whose only other outlet might be violence and revolution. There are odious characters on the right and the left who are already spoiling for a fight, and I think your notion of how we deal with that just escalates the conflict. Smarter people than you or I set freedom of speech as the first freedom, and one reason I think it's highest is because we need free speech in order to live with one another.
Which do you prefer, diplomacy or war? Part of diplomacy is dialogue.
"That would never happen" you might say, but history is full of things "that would never happen" happening (plenty of people said the same thing about Trump being elected).
And while I agree a scenario like that would probably never happen, the CEO has set a precedent, and for every similar case people are going to point at this and say "but you did it for those guys, how come not these guys".
They'll switch to one of dozens of alternatives?
And while dozens is still a decent amount of choice, what happens if/when the industry goes through consolidation and you're left with only one or two major players with similar ideological outlook?
I may also be simple coincidence.
It's an incredibly terrible move. Such an arbitrary and biased move.
What has happened in the past few years where everyone defended free speech to everyone deciding arbitrary and whimsical censorship is something to be lauded? It feels like someone just flipped a switch and people became pro-censorship.
The tech industry is doing the same the chinese or russians are doing. Justifying censorship for "good/morals/etc".
Hate the nazis all you want but we are hurting ourselves by allow censorship on this level. These peole aren't going away. But now there is terrible precedent where social media/tech/etc can censor whatever they want. It's incredible.
The tech industry gladly supplied most of the tech the Chinese and Russians used: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/04/ciscos-latest-attempt-...
I agree not all principles can be effectively codified into rules, and sometimes exceptions are needed, but I do think the exceptions need to be in line with the bigger principles and ethical standards themselves. However I do not think this is the case here. It seems like a clear case of content policing, because the CEO did not like what the Daily Stormer had to say about him or his company.
Well... umm... I've always thought this was a very strange perversion of the separation of powers and the fundamentals of our legal/justice system...
Pretty sure this is the same concept.
Edit: downvote all you want. Parent is making a false equivalency and I'm just calling them on it.
Moreover, a notable contingent of the supporters of the current ruling party believe "being gay" to be a choice - would you be comfortable with a law change?
I find this distinction to be wholly unconvincing. The reason to carve out exceptions for discrimination against gay people is because they've suffered as a minority - it's a practical matter, not a matter of principle. If you try to apply your "choice" principle, you quickly get into logical trouble - for example, does a child groomed by Nazi parents, who has always supported Nazism, have a "choice" to be a Nazi shithead? What if, a few years from now, we discover a chemical that changes your sexual preferences? Should gays stop being a protected class then? What about religion and political affiliation, also protected classes?
Edit: To your point, if I must: YES. Looking at someone, or a group of people and choosing hatred is 100.00000% a choice. Just like you choosing to defend Nazi shitheads was a choice.
I see it as an extreme form of bullying where literally nothing else works other than murder or be murdered, it was law of the jungle, it was might makes right. And fortunately, the Nazis lost.
Equivocating on fascism? That's inherently dangerous. The reaction to equivocation isn't rational. It has a high chance of leading to an irrational, violent response: "sugar coating Nazis is going to get you lost teeth, as a courtesy, for not gutting you here and now".
I think it's worth being very careful about falling into a trap. It is possible to overreact to fake Nazi crap, there are a lot of stupid people. In an overreaction, it might give permission for a weak autocrat to declare martial law, and that's when the real ones come in. There is a nuance, and that isn't equivocating.
If you are employing American Puritan-based philosophy, where neos are resurging, then that answer is a resounding YES, you have 100% agency.
despite the research on addicts at least being more ambiguous.
It would be the ultimate hypocrisy in their(your?) ideology to think otherwise.
Do you not see how the actual content of the choice matters? The fact that one is hate and one is love? It is not the fact that they are both choices, it is the fact that one chooses to be a nazi and advocate genocide
What kind of sick, sad world is that?
An executive changing policy and then throwing up their hands, "I have no choice, it's the policy!" is dishonest and doesn't fool anybody.
So basically Cloudflare are removing their services because of libellous statements by the client, not content. This isn't corruption, but Business As Usual. You fuck over your business partners, and they kick back.
> Without a clear framework as a guide for content regulation, a small number of companies will largely determine what can and cannot be online.
People seem to be saying, "you can't have it both ways". I think the point is that without actually executing the point being made, it's just a theoretical idea, the fact that he did it in this way only proves the point of why we need a better framework.
"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."
His Gizmodo quotes are somewhat revealing as well:
“We need to have a discussion around this, with clear rules and clear frameworks. My whims and those of Jeff [Bezos] and Larry [Page] and Satya [Nadella] and Mark [Zuckerberg], that shouldn’t be what determines what should be online,” he said. “I think the people who run The Daily Stormer are abhorrent. But again I don’t think my political decisions should determine who should and shouldn’t be on the internet.”
CloudFlare is not the only player in town, and that's far from censorship.
If he doesn't like your site and has a bad day he's going to take you off the internet.
Over time, such capricious terminations could lead to the Board seeking action against the CEO, depending on the impact to the business.
Cloudflare apparently has a legal team, so I have to assume they know whether their terms of service are actually an enforceable contract, but that provision sounds fishy to me.
I certainly hope you're wrong. Because I've "unilaterally withdrawn from" (i. e. "canceled") literally hundreds of contracts, and I don't remember ever giving a reason.
It is not a one time performance like washing a car or shoveling a driveway or buying grocheries. It is a continual term contract where each party agrees to continue going. In these cases, it would be legal to have a clause allowing either party to terminate the contract at any time. Certainly daily stormer was free to stop using cloud flare at any time. And similarly, cloudflare is free to terminate the stormer's account at any time provided they refund the cash. So the contract is not really illusory because both parties still have the obligation to perform, they just don't have the obligation to continue performing.
Added since I'm hitting a rate limiter:
These white supremacist flare ups happen in the U.S. and there's no predicting how serious they are by casual observation. There is substantial evidence they want to establish a white ethno state, that is their stated goal and purpose.
1924, Democratic national convention, KKK tried to get their guy made the Democatic presidential nominee, it involved physical fist fights, hundreds of police had to break up the fight, it took over 100 rounds of ballots over two weeks to sort it out. The following year, 25,000 KKK in full regalia were marching on D.C. in broad daylight.
1934-1936 Nazis at Madison Square Garden
1984 there was a broad daylight armored trunk heist in California, $3 million bounty. Most of the money wasn't recovered but what was traced was found to be funding various Nazi organizations with the purpose of starting a civil war. One of those groups, The Order, had a hit list including Allan Berg a Denver journalist who was assassinated outside of his home, by Nazis.
2015 Charleston church shooting by Dylan Roof.
And an FBI DHS assessment this year that finds again, among domestic extremists, they are most concerned about white supremacists.
"White Supremacist Extremism Poses Persistent Threat of Lethal Violence."
The CEO doesn't describe any process that Cloudflare intends to follow that will provide predictable decisions. So the original comment is correct: the explanation doesn't describe anything similar to due process, even though the CEO explicitly says that is/will be Cloudflare's guiding light.
For what it's worth, I think Cloudflare has a strong argument for canceling based on the Daily Stormer's claim that Cloudflare supported them or endorsed them or whatever ( http://codes.findlaw.com/us/title-15-commerce-and-trade/15-u... ). But the explanation promises to go beyond that, and doesn't deliver.
I didn't see how it was relevant either.
If it were my call, every hate group's content would have inexplicable persistent problems. I'd use the Simple Sabotage Field Manual as my playbook.
“Whenever you have a private organization which is making what are essentially law enforcement decisions, that is a risk to due process. And I think due process is important,” Prince said in the interview.
What more due process do you require?
I asked "Actual Nazi's like National Socialists with a Eugenics campaign, or people we just don't like".
Did not go well.
We should be careful to a) not call everything Nazi and thereby dilute the effect b) call people are actual Nazi's whatever the fuck you want, they can all go die quietly for all I care.
"Nazi" used to be a thing that people used to call politicians they didn't like online. Now everyone is calling everybody a nazi everywhere. It'll get to a "Who cares if they're a nazi?" point pretty quickly.
I don't call someone a Nazi unless they are literally a Nazi, I don't call them a Fascist unless they are literally a Fascist and I don't call them a Communist because they think that maybe corporations shouldn't have the game rigged in their favour and own the pitch.
The part I really like is when I've been attacked by people with largely similar views to my own for sticking up for the rights of people to hold different views.
If you think your argument is stronger, then make the damn argument, don't resort to name calling and lazy "but he's a Foo and we all know that Foo's can never be right, stupid Foo's".
There are people on the hard-right in the UK I can't stand and there are some who have some valid points, you can accept the validity of some points without accepting the argument.
Also while I'm venting, I fucking hate "what aboutism", "Foo's have been doing <bad things>" "yeah but what about what the Bars did"...yeah both Foo and Bar can be cunts at the same time, We are talking about Foo in this instance, lets get to Bar's later.
My philosophy is "You have a right to think whatever you want, You don't have any rights to make me think it".
I'd rather have reasonable debate over a wide range of issues than furious debate over a narrow spectrum as Chomsky warned about in Manufacturing Consent (I think, I need to re-read that book).
Sure, but what happens when people thinking whatever they want are able to affect national policy, even if they aren't a majority? You get the Trump administration... or worse.
So for example, if an organization was going to censor certain political websites, they should specify precisely what is not allowed: Advocating socialism? The killing of non-combatants? etc.
If the rules are only going to be applied at the whims of the Twitter mob, then that should be posted in advance: "You will be in violation if you advocate for race-based killing AND there are at least 10,000 tweets in a single day condemning you."
I didn't say "Yup, hateful ideology", I said "Yup, Nazis."
They run around with torches and swastikas and celebrate murder. What's controversial about that, and what does Twitter have to do with anything? I don't use Twitter. It's very telling how people constantly drag in shit like that to bloat and pad. Face Hannah Arendt, face Sebastian Haffner, face Erich Fromm; but your ignorance and shallowness will not keep me from shaking you and any other comers off.
While I might suspect the Stormfronters would like to do that I don't know that they would, authoritarian fascists, sure, Nazi's not really.
Maybe it's because I like history and I've read a lot about WWII and the factors that led up to it but I'm careful with the world Nazi.
Been a race supremacist doesn't mean Nazi because logically a Black Panther would also be a Nazi then.
Been hard-right doesn't make you a Nazi because then the Republican party would be Nazi's.
Been pro-eugenics doesn't make you a Nazi because then the government of the UK, US and USSR where Nazi (in the early 20th century).
Been pro-nationalism doesn't make you a Nazi because then well half the governments on the planet would be Nazi's.
Been a race supremacist, hard right and pro-eugenics and nationalist just might.
If they think they're following in Nazi footsteps, does that count for anything in your book?
If not, then what would?
>[Being] a race supremacist, hard right and pro-eugenics and nationalist just might.
This is people talking to me about grammar who don't even know what a letter is. Read "Origins of Totalitarianism". Read Sebastian Haffner. Everybody is so interested in the subject, so knowledgeable about it, and so against Nazis.
The proof is in the pudding. You cannot disprove my with your straw men and having no clue about the nature of Nazism and related diseases, you can strike yourself from my phone book is all.
How about the test being whether they are waving the Nazi flag? That's pretty unambiguous.
That sounds like something a Nazi would say.
I can do and am things a Nazi cannot do and isn't. I also can be brutal and hateful, like when I get sick of all these snakes on this motherfucking plane. I can do everything they can, but also so much more. That is the difference.
I was more warning of general, "He is a Nazi he doesn't have any rights", sentiment. Any bad actor can devise an identity that isn't Nazi, and prey on vulnerable by making them look like Nazis. I mean it wouldn't be hard to make ACLU look like Nazis for defending neo-Nazis.
Due process is not a synonym for don't do anything nor no consequences.
how about no part of it? if the founders of the united states were able to create the world's most powerful nation without giving themselves the right to censor speech then why should any private company need the right to censor speech?
>Our terms of service reserve the right for us to terminate users of our network at our sole discretion. The tipping point for us making this decision was that the team behind Daily Stormer made the claim that we were secretly supporters of their ideology.
Seems no one woke up in a bad mood here.
>“I realized there was no way we were going to have that conversation with people calling us Nazis,” Prince said. “The Daily Stormer site was bragging on their bulletin boards about how Cloudflare was one of them and that is the opposite of everything we believe. That was the tipping point for me.”
The Pirate Bay and DDOS gangs are okay, but this was the line? The worlds gone sideways.
Edit: I was proud of Cloudflare not turning them off after their domain was deregistered. Now, so disappointed. Freedom of speech is rarely the speech we agree with. Or even speech we find palatable.
When the internet is no longer privatized and is guaranteed as a public service by law, then this argument will have a leg to stand on.
We've taken it for granted for a long time that the folks at the top of the data food chain are benevolent despots. This is a belief that is ultimately not rational.
Maintaining an internet made of actors who are ultimately private corporations providing a service enables these decisions.
The thing is, I suspect if we made the internet a public service in each country, then its speech laws would actually be substantially more restrictive than what CF, Google and others are doing.
Case in point:
> The Pirate Bay and DDOS gangs are okay, but this was the line? The worlds gone sideways.
Yeah. Although sideways? Let's not forget that an horrific act of fatal violence branded as domestic terrorism that was specifically targeted at suppressing free speech to further a regime of racially motivated violence and hate. Daily Stormer put up 2 distinct articles arguing this was okay. They then defamed a private organization by claiming they too supported that vile sentiment.
I mean, don't get me wrong. DDoS gangs are extortionists. But at the end of the day money is just money. Human rights are fundamental.
Edit: This country isn't getting fixed without empathy, understanding, and compromise on a national scale. Without that, we're all just yelling how lovely the moral high ground is when we're all wallowing in the mud.
The murderer may not have woken up that morning and pulled out a binder full of detailed notes on vehicular murder from under his bed, but he did not accidentally drive into that crowd of people. When he got into the car and plowed into that group, he did so because he stopped regarding them as fellow human beings, because he disagreed with their opinions on some issues, and because he hated them.
It was an act of terrorism, identical in purpose and outcome to other acts of terrorism in the UK.
EDIT: I struggled to figure out how to include that the horrific events happened in less than a minute.
This seems to me like a category error that you're making here.
It's possible to be upset about treatment of citizens in China but also strongly disagree with racially motivated violence in the United States. People walking around with torches chanting blood and soil art literal, not figurative, Nazis. They have a very clear agenda. That agenda claimed a life and injured many others. Daily Stormer then supported it. This doesn't seem like a very grey zone to me.
I'm also not entirely sure that I agree with your characterization of the Chinese government has a fascist government. There are degrees of Badness in the world.
I may not be able to understand where White Supremists are coming from, but I fully appreciate their right to free speech. I also don't understand people who prioritize limiting speech, but respect their opinion. That's the empathy I refer to.
And not even the cold, calculated murder of widespread cultural warfare which you yourself demand we awknowledged uniquely. It's the unstable and white hot murder of people so indignant at the existence of opposition that one spontaneously murdered one and injured over a dozen more as his fellows cheered him on.
This is all what you've agreed they are. And it sums up to a picture of danger. I think you understand them quite well.
These two facts are connected. Another example would be not being fully sure what bleach exactly is, but being all for drinking it.
I'll take the world where that exists before I live in a world with thought police.
It seems difficult to have it both ways.
Edit: it seems my debate partner deleted a telling comment. Too bad.
Anyway, I agree with you that the current legal framework allows private companies to discriminate. Ideally, government regulation will fix this; otherwise, as soon as the pendulum swings, I'm sure you'd be displeased with progressive websites being dumped off of internet infrastructure by corporations run or owned by those with conservative leanings.
Very few folks are confused when they see a group of white men fly Nazi flags, then murder and maim, then cheer it on as an act of heroism.
Which is probably why your "Free speech actually means freedom from any and all consequences" is going over here like a lead balloon.
> I'm just expressing my views within the HN bubble.
And for the most part being treated civily, even though you seem to be trying your best to defend the cause of literal fascists and their literal endorsement of spontaneous and fatal violence.
I'm surprised an advocate of "free" speech devoid of consequence can tolerate and support those who engage in violence against that very principle.
There's no "unplanned murder". Intent, and (depending on jurisdiction) premeditation are requirements for a murder charge.
Terrorism is defined as "the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims".
So we have three requirements:
- "unlawful": Intentionally driving a car into a crowd is obviously unlawful
- "violence": yes, equally obvious
- "in the pursuit of political aims": He was a participant in a white supremacist march, and drove into a group of people opposing his politics.
Generally, the only real requirement for a charge is an affirmative response by a Grand Jury. Intent is certainly not a requirement before levying a charge, which is why it is so common that charges levied do not merit conviction. The prosecution needs to prove intent in order to get the charge to stick.
You seem to have conflated 'charge' and 'conviction' here, and are then using that conflation to prop up your argument that intent has been proven, when it has not.
I have no personal insight (or any insight really) as to whether or not the driver did have an intent, but being charged with a crime for which intent is a requirement to convict does not mean that they will be able to prove intent, or that any such intent was present at the time.
It might just as easily have been a prosecutor who wanted to send a strong message by imposing strong charges that may or may not stick.
Because until then, nobody had been convicted, and, by your logic, everyone would have been obligated to act with the assumption that no crime had been committed, right?
Osama Bin Laden claimed credit for 9/11, verbally expressing his intent.
> Because until then, nobody had been convicted, and, by your logic, everyone would have been obligated to act with the assumption that no crime had been committed, right?
A crime is something that may be punishable by law. You can know that a crime is committed without knowing who committed it, or what their motivations are.
You appear to be reaching for a way to be right here, but speaking in legal terms, you are plainly wrong. A charge is not proof. An allegation is not proof. You may or may not be right on what his intent was, but the charge doesn't make that case for you, so you can't use it as proof for further arguments.
Paraphrased, your argument is:
* Bobby (a compulsive liar) says that he intended to do it, so we know he intended to do it.
* "unlawful": Intentionally driving a car into a crowd is obviously unlawful
* "violence": yes, equally obvious
* "in the pursuit of political aims": He was a participant in a white supremacist march, and drove into a group of people opposing his politics.
Your second claim fails because intent has not been proven, as it relies on the first claim, which is not provable.
By all accounts, it seems that it indeed was his intent to commit murder by driving into that crowd. I'm not arguing with that. I'm only arguing with the hole in your logic that gets you there, as it is fallacious.
> According to the Government Accountability Office of the United States, 73% of violent extremist incidents that resulted in deaths since September 12, 2001 were caused by right wing extremists groups.
This is pure sleight of hand meant to deceive.
When incident can be defined arbitrarily and possibly include both a gun massacre and a spray painted swastika as equal events, this stat is incredibly deceptive.
What's the ratio when you count deaths? I'm on mobile but iirc it's about 90% killed by Islamic terrorists.
53% Islamist, 47% (other, as Islamist actually fit this description too) far-right, 0% other. (So the ratio is closer to 1:1 than the 9:1 you suggest)
If we're going to talk about murders in a more general sense, you have to start looking at populations and then note that whites in the US are far, far more prevalent than Muslims.
But it's not murder in a general sense, it's murder by white supremacists.
> It is unfair if we're talking about terrorism, because prison murders are not terrorism.
Sure it is, if it's political, ie about white supremacy.
> the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.
Hold up here.
Substantiate your claim, where does it come from, how do you quantify it?
On it's face you seem to be agreeing with the Nazis that he just 'accidentally' gained ramming speed into the demonstrators his group was attacking earlier.
You wouldn't be doing that would you?
They are nazis. We do not compromise with nazis. The only understanding necessary is that they are nazis.
"Individuals have decided that there is content they disagree with but the right way to deal with this is to follow the established law enforcement procedures. There is no society on Earth that tolerates mob rule because the mob is fickle," Prince said.
I tend to agree with CF that they're a bad place to invest with censor power, but I also tend to agree that if you defame a company you do business with you shouldn't be surprised if they decline further business with you.
This for me is the only real defense for taking them down.
Fine, lets talk about that then.
Governments these days aren't terribly friendly to fascism as a protected idea set.
Speech that the majority agrees with has no need to be protected. Even North Korea will let you agree as much as you want with the party line.
Yes people whose namesake is derived from a group of people that committed genocide is where I draw my line. Do you even hear yourself right now? What kind of mental gymnastics did you have to perform to equate internet vandalism and theft to hate groups who call for a return to Nazi practices?
Jacobinmag has no trouble with its host.
Man, then you'd have to include all the communists, including Mao's party (that's still in power in China).
Brown guy here in case you feel like calling me a Nazi as well
Are you implying that The Pirate Bay and DDOS gangs are worse than actual, literal Nazis? Because that's the only way I can see to read it, but that can't possibly be what you meant.
Your phrasing implies that if they're willing to kick out Nazis, they should be willing to kick out media pirates. That's bizarre!
Cloudflare: "Its okay if you break the law, but say offensive words that don't break the law and you are outta here."
Hence, my surprise. Criminal acts = ok. Offensive legal speech = not okay.
Criminality isn't the only thing people look at for this stuff.
Many of them were coming from right wing circles, white nationalists. They have a thing for Assad, this is white nationalist group leader Matthew Heimbach promoting Assad. Many of them from different nations have been making pilgrimage to Damascus to meet with the regime.
Then one of these Nazi Assad fanboys runs down people in my own nation in a terrorist ramming attack.. I'm heartbroken. Many of us have been detailing this lot in great length for years but no one seems to of listened until we had a martyr in the US.
This is 2017, half a decade of this.
Not really. Why isn't it enough to have destroyed Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya? If you destroyed Syria tomorrow, for whose blood would you thirst next?
>whose blood would you thirst next
Legally, it is when someone decides to sue or prosecute you for assisting a criminal enterprise.
Well, no, actually, they don't draw the line there. They provide DDoS protection for ISIS content and Al-Qaeda content and host that content through their caching.
To be honest, I feel they probably don't want to change their TOS regarding free speech because it creates a new headache for them (now they have to hire people to deal with the claims, make sure a lawyer checks each time they cancel a contract, etc.) In that sense, a "tactical" cancellation of the service like they did with Daily Stormer is probably the most reasonable way to go about it.
You might dislike it, but it's their right.
I didn't say anything in support or opposition to what CloudFlare has done here, merely pointing out the hypocrisy of it all.
I did not claim that they did.
> Their involvement is limited to serving the web sites i.e. speech
I guess so.
I've pretty much reached the point where when someone vehemently declares their adherence to a principle I decide they probably haven't thought about it a lot.
Even in the US where there is a strong, fundamental legal protection of speech, it can't be said to be a principle. There's all sorts of places where it is compromised.
"Icky"? They provoked this response by using CloudFlare's name in their cause. What would be the appropriate response?
Don't use critical internet infrastructure to wage a campaign of hate and to organize rallies that ultimately culminate in a terrorist ramming attack against unarmed demonstrators?
>The worlds gone sideways.
There was a torchlit rally where people shouted "Jews will not replace us" and "Heil Trump." One of those in attendance was Matthew Heimbach, a white nationalist leader who previously assaulted someone at a Trump rally. Heimbach has urged violence before and cheered stabbings by his fellow Nazis as well.
Part of Trump's base is engaging is white nationalist violence in the open. I agree, the world has gone sideways.
“A website is speech. It is not a bomb,” Cloudflare’s CEO Matthew Prince wrote in a 2013 blog post defending his company’s stance. “There is no imminent danger it creates and no provider has an affirmative obligation to monitor and make determinations about the theoretically harmful nature of speech a site may contain.”
better tell the Supreme Court
By the time speech is brought under tighter government regulation, the people pushing for 'hate speech' controls today will be terrified as they watch what a worse version of Trump does with the new power (a serious theocrat for example). That outcome is inevitable, it's what happens every time people don't think through the consequences of handing massive new powers to a very aggressive government.
I'd think that isolating this group is a poor strategy.
Look at terrorist camps in Pakistan where children are indoctrinated from a young age with radical ideas.
Is the solution here to build a wall or to improve education and spread new ideas?
The truth is that you can never build a high enough wall.
"We often meet our destiny on the road we take to avoid it."
At this point, the wall will be too high to effectively toss education / ideas over, the internet being the primary form of communication.
The problem is that there aren't two sides here. Even engaging, at all, legitimizes the notion that this type of idea is up for debate. It's not.
We can try to stem the flow of people into radicalization and extremism. Guess how that's done? By shifting the window of acceptable rhetoric--ie, ignoring their offered ideas and debate--until it's very clearly not within social bounds to be a nazi. And we're trying to do that.
But to engage with the nazis themselves, no. We need to make it such that espousing those ideas--visibly being a neonazi, running hate sites like the daily stormer--means being lonely, isolated, and powerless. And by showing that when nazis try to pry their way in, they will be hurt, there will be violence, and nobody will be sympathetic. Make it so nobody will join them, ever. and we do that by stamping out their propaganda, by not allowing a single resource to be used by them.
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."
All ideas are up for debate.
> shifting the window of acceptable rhetoric
> ignoring their offered ideas and debate
This has no bearing on the people whose ideas you are ignoring, it merely reinforces the notion of an acceptable idea within the already existing good-idea-population. So no.
> they will be hurt, there will be violence, and nobody will be sympathetic
So, espousing violence against a group of people. Here the group of people are defined by the fact that they use violence to achieve their means.
Surely, you are not defining this group by their beliefs of racial superiority, as you would not say the same thing if they were merely writing nonviolent blog posts, would you?
* Your anger and hatred have led you to become the very thing that you set out to hate. *
You should be very scared of the world you're creating. I know I am.
No, this false equivalency, which happens over and over and over again ad nauseam, is just that: false. https://www.vox.com/identities/2017/8/12/16138982/trump-char...
I know very very well that the people I wish to remove from society, I wish to remove for their choice to hate people for who they are. The two key things there are 1) choice and 2)people for who they are.
Do you think the violence of slaveholders is equivalent to the violence of slaves rebelling?
Again, this is, ver specifically, a crowd that shouted "JEWS WILL NOT REPLACE US" during their mob. Again, this is, specifically, a group that is publishing literal neonazi propaganda. Again, this is, specifically, a group that wants non-white people dead because they are not white, that wants non-straight people dead because they are not straight.
The group of people is defined by literal nazis using violence to achieve their goals, the goals themselves being also repugnant and worthy of scorn.
I am done here. You are defending and creating space for nazis, and then further advocating that other people be coerced into using resources to amplify their message. There are not two sides here.
You should be very scared of the world you're creating, in which you suggest that it is permissible to not only be a literal neonazi, but also that moderates will consider the side of the neonazis worthy of having space, to the extent that they will advocate for private entities to be forced to amplify nazi speech. Because that's what you're doing.
Or is the plan to only give those speech control powers to politicians & authorities one agrees with? It's like all sanity and reasoning has left the building.
The issue is: once all the big platforms are aggressively enforcing speech controls, supported by a wider shift in the culture that backs that, how likely is it that the government will take the opportunity to become a speech regulator as it pertains to the Internet just as they are with broadcast & radio today.
I say: it's guaranteed as an inevitable outcome, if the platforms & wider culture keep moving the direction things are going now.
The consequence: the next Trump will do horrific things with those new speech control powers. It's extremely obvious this is where we're heading. The fear people are using as an excuse to argue in favor of controlled speech today, is identical to the fear that was taken advantage of by the government to implement dozens of new abusive post 9/11 powers on the basis of a constantly terrified (eg the Bush terror color codes) citizenship.
The platforms are putting the levers into place, that a future government will use at their pleasure to silence opposition. We have a very, very aggressive, power hungry government; we have a very consolidated power base politically, with only two major parties. You can't see what's going to come out of that?
The debate is a wider cultural one, which ends in political action. That's how powerful changes to government are put into place. See: 1970s, or see: post 9/11.
The issue isn't whether Cloudflare should be able to control the content on its network, that's a small, narrow, mostly settled debate.
The very large issue is: is the culture shifting toward ending freedom of speech as we know it, in favor of controlled speech. That is the only debate that matters here, and it is occurring throughout this thread.
The consequence of any further limitations put onto speech eg in regards to the Internet medium, is that the next version of Trump will use his FCC in horrific ways to silence counter speech.
How do all the people here not understand this is the core issue? We just lived through a terrifying expansion of power post 9/11 because the culture became unduly scared, in which all the reasoning was fraudulent and solely used as a means to expand power. Now we have dozens of new power levers, increasingly abused by each administration.
The single most important bastion of freedom to protect, is speech + press.
Nothing is stopping you from self hosting what ever content you want. If you come to my machines, you play by my rules; simple as that.
That is, they could do so if they paid anything for the services they received (they didn't).
And it's only if Cloudflare didn't have a "we reserve the right to discontinue services at any time for any reason at our sole discretion" clause in their ToS (they do).
We all know what the parent meant.
So it's completely fair that when a layperson talks about the ability of suing, they're talking about net losses from that process and not necessarily about the final verdict.
well, I'm a layperson and I would not interpret it that way. Suing someone is taking a gamble, and that gamble does not necessarily pay off. In this particular case the 'high likeihood of winning said suit' is not all that high.
> We all know what the parent meant.
You only speak for yourself and you definitely do not speak for me.
And for me, as well.
I, like (hopefully) most people who comment here, am well aware that you can sue anyone for any reason, with zero evidence or support for your assertion. When someone asks "couldn't X be sued for Y?", I always read that as a question of someone asking about the likelihood of winning that particular suit.
Because if you take the question literally, then the answer is -- literally -- always yes, so it'd never be a useful question, ever.
But sure, maybe someone with a radically different legal system is asking. In that case, still, a simple, non-pedantic-sounding "sure, they could, but they'd be unlikely to win because A and B" would suffice.
Sure you can sue for that but I do not see any chance of winning such a suit, and I'm pretty sure that that Cloudflare would be more than happy to litigate their right to deny service.
But let's say I did, as maybe the original poster you replied to did. The answer you just gave that I'm replying to (perhaps with a bit of a more patient tone) would have been way more useful than your original answer.
> You only speak for yourself and you definitely do not speak for me.
So you reflexively see the words "X can sue" as a truism, a meaningless statement? It doesn't occur to you that the person saying those words actually wanted to convey some information with them?
Fine by me if you disagree with whether the odds of some suit getting anywhere are better than nil. But to not even realize that such a statement is being made, that must suck.
Yes, you wrote the same thing upthread. But you are not a judge so what you see or do not see isn't all that important here, what is important is how judges have found in other cases and it is typically quite hard to force a company to do business with any entity they do not wish to serve unless that entity is part of a protected class, which Neo Nazis are not. So on what grounds do you feel that Cloudflare would absolutely have to accept every customer that wishes their service? They're not a common carrier.
"Cloudflare unexpectedly revoked our traffic mitigating service in the middle of our highest costly traffic, our costs went up this much. Cloudflare caused this, these are the damages, and here are the punitive damages to deter this behavior in the future, the CEO even said this is not company policy."
"You further agree that if...Cloudflare, in its sole discretion, deems it necessary due to excessive burden or potential adverse impact on Cloudflare’s systems, potential adverse impact on other users, server processing power, server memory, abuse controls, or other reasons, Cloudflare may suspend or terminate your account without notice to or liability to you" .
If you don't want that kind of a service relationship, you negotiate a fixed-term contract up front.
 https://www.cloudflare.com/terms/ Section 10; also see § 15 (Termination)
Section 10 (Termination) says "you expressly agree that in the case of a termination for cause you will not have any opportunity to cure." Sections 25 and 26 require arbitration under the AAA's rules and California law. I'd put the odds of remedy at close to nil. These (mandatory arbitration and contractually-agreed upon indemnification for termination of services) are well-set areas of law.
Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. This is not legal advice.
Neo Nazis are not a protected class in the sense of the word so they'd have to pull some kind of legal rabbit out of their head to make that work.
The fact that there are damages does not immediately imply that some outside party is liable for those damages. It merely means that you are back where you would have been without that outside party.
So even if Cloudflare caused this that does not immediately imply liability. So if the Daily Stormer wishes to sue Cloudflare they obviously can but I really doubt they will make it stick.
Civil lawsuits only look at damages and the argument on what caused the damages. It is just about proving monetary damages.
If I want to run my own website, I need an IP address at the minimum, and ISPs are free to cut off my internet service if they don't like what I'm hosting. In a public setting, if people don't like what I'm saying, they can't force me to be quiet (generally). But when hosting a website, there is the ability for companies to silence you.
For example, if Google doesn't like a website, it can derank it. People who agree with the site might cry censorship, while the others just say that a company can block what it wants. Replace Google with an ISP, and all of a sudden, it seems everyone says the ISP shouldn't be able to do that.
If the web is supposed to be the future of communication, but can prevent you from voicing your opinions just because they're a "deplorable" or you don't agree with them, how is that argument valid? Can someone explain that to me?
Tangent(?): Also, by not hosting Daily Stormer, you simply push them further down. One of the big reasons Trump won was because people felt like they weren't allowed to voice their opinions easily. There were people, basically closeted Trump supporters, who said they didn't like Trump, but secretly did. Pushing people down because they're "deplorables" simply reinforces their opinions.
The idea that companies like Cloudflare should help support sites like this is nonsensical. The slippery slope argument is an awful fallacy and ignores the fact that we can't even get content most of the world agrees is bad (child porn, active malware exploits, spammers) offline.
It is your framing of the idea that's nonsensical. Infrastructure companies should not need to police all their services. Heck, they shouldn't police their services. That is what real police and courts are for.
As an analogy, should AT&T monitor calls and terminate service for customers using racist slurs? Now, a lot of people would surely argue that such example is false equivalency, but it follows from the same line of reasoning and would have similar long-term consequences.
A modern, stable society needs stable infrastructure that does not bend and shift based on current events or social media campaigns. Even if in some cases it seems "fair". Because anyone with a bit of sense knows it will not be "fair" in all cases. Heck, in the current environment of extreme political polarization that much should be bloody obvious.
Lots of private companies wouldn't want that (and AT&T butted heads over it).
Personally I think Facebook is already over that line, when you have the eyeballs of about 1/7th of the planet you are already a potential threat that should have government level oversight, in a democracy, you control the eyeballs you control the politicians.
I'm agreed that they shouldn't need to, but not that they shouldn't at all. Making these sorts of companies on the hook for things their customers do would make it impossible to run a company like this at all.
But remember, companies are made up of people. Those people have values and, with those values, make moral judgments -- and it is entirely within their right to do so. In the majority of cases I would hope that most people would choose to be content-neutral, but I absolutely expect and support that some people will eventually hit a threshold where they cannot look the other way anymore. And, in general, I think that's _absolutely ok_.
Angry mobs aren't thinking about "long-term consequences." Unfortunately, the media loves angry mobs because it generates viewership and clicks.
So is false equivalence. Child porn, active malware exploits and spam that fails to comply with the CAN-SPAM act are all illegal. Hating people is not illegal, nor is it illegal to have a website that hates people.
I'm not suggesting that CloudFlare was or is under any obligation to assist Daily Stormer in getting views, but deplorable or not, there's nothing I know to have been illegal about it, unlike the other bad acts you are lumping it in with.
If we can't even get that content offline, the idea that cloudflare refusing to host this website means this website won't be able to find hosting is absolutely absurd.
It isn't clear to me where/how they determined this organization was "secretly" claiming cloudflare supported them.
Well, for starters, in a hypothetical scenario in which Google does this, Google is not making profit off of it, as ISPs probably would in every hypothetical not-netneutrality scenario which we thought of.
> If the web is supposed to be the future of communication, but can prevent you from voicing your opinions just because they're a "deplorable" or you don't agree with them, how is that argument valid? Can someone explain that to me?
You can't shut them down. They can always host their website from the .onion domain, without Cloudflare, and handle all the traffic they want. You can shut down their domains (see: Pirate Bay), you can shut down their CDN provider (see: this example), you can shut down anything you want, but you still won't be able to shut them down completely. Even if you do, their history is on both archive.is and Wayback.
What you can do is distance yourself and do everything to make it complicated to spread their ideas. And that's what these companies are doing. By making conscious decisions, they're refusing to provide a service to a certain website. That is completely legal to do, with very few exceptions (listed here: http://www.phrc.pa.gov/File-A-Complaint/Types-of-Complaints/...).
> Also, by not hosting Daily Stormer, you simply push them further down. One of the big reasons Trump won was because people felt like they weren't allowed to voice their opinions easily.
I completely agree with you in this section.
If I switch what you said around a little bit:
"I get the whole 'people can choose to interact with whoever they want' argument, but in order to do anything, you have to interact with people."
So you're saying I have to interact with Nazis? I have no choice? Hardly.
People run these companies, and they're free to do business with whom they choose. Some ideologies are beyond the pale, and refusing to tolerate them is a perfectly reasonable choice.
Every business decides to stop doing business with black people we have a real problem.
However, it cuts both ways: your other customers also have the option to boycott you and encourage other people to do the same.
And if every business decides to stop doing business with certain people, then either a) those people really need to rethink what they want to do, because maybe everyone else thinks they're reprehensible, or b) we actually do have a case of a civil rights violation in a new way that we haven't considered making a law for.
Every business deciding not to serve black people would be a case of (b) (though retrograde, as we already have laws around that), and refusing to provide service to hate groups is, IMO, clearly (a).
If it becomes commonplace to discriminate against people based on their political ideology then we may very well see the 'political party' protection broadened.
The same way we deal with sexuality as a protected class, which is to say poorly but better than nothing.
> Should political ideology be a protected class?
I think it should, I wouldn't have said it was necessary in years past but it really seems like we're heading down a road where people are going to have to signal the 'right' political values in order to get hired.
In small doses businesses can refuse service to classes of people, but when the discrimination is so commonplace that it becomes a burden to those being discriminated against then you may see the creation of a new protected class (or realistically the broadening of an existing one) to make sure they aren't starved or unable to find employment.
That depends. Who are you? Is there a code of ethics that would compel you to interact with someone? Is it damaging to society if there isn't?
That's why the distributed web exists, things like Freenet ( https://freenetproject.org/) Beaker ( https://beakerbrowser.com/ ) and MaidSafe ( https://maidsafe.net/ ) and tons more exist.
I don't support Nazis, but people should have free speech, even if it's hate speech. Incidents like this will make people realise that in reality a handful of companies 'control' the Internet, and when a company like Cloudflare that positioned itself as a champion of 'free speech' does a 180 like this (no matter how seemingly justified) it's going to push people to alternatives.
Gee, it almost seems like there ought to be some set of laws or regulations which apply to companies providing what is effectively a public utility!
The solution for this kind of thing would be using something like tor or i2p. However, if these companies start banning these services as well that would be a problem.
I supported Trump(though didn't vote since I live in a deep blue state) and don't really agree with cloudflares decision, but I wouldn't use Trump supporters and "deplorables" as an argument for the Daily Stormer. It's one thing to be against immigration... heck it's one thing to be racist... but what the Daily Stormer engages in is dehumanization(and normalizes it). There's little on there that isn't said elsewhere more tactfully.
But I think the poster has a point in the general sense: shutting people up through force rarely changes their way of thinking, and that can come back to bite you later on.
The government shouldn't be censoring.
I don't allow white nationalists into my house.
At what point does "I" represent something too big for me to no longer have the moral privilege to refuse to collaborate with white nationalists?
Given that the Supreme Court has already decided that "wedding cake makers" are part of critical speech infrastructure, I think that Cloudflare, a service that hosts ISIS, pirates, and others, should be subject to the same restrictions as wedding cake makers.
They have not decided anything, other than to agree to hear the case:
To head off the obvious criticism: Yes, I understand the distinct difference between first amendment protections vis a vis the government versus the absence of those protections when dealing with other individuals and companies.
That said, I'm not a Nazi, nor am I a neo-Nazi, nor am I in any way sympathetic to their causes, but up to the point that their words specifically incite violence, I'll defend their rights to speak them.
"The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all."
- H. L. Mencken
You don't want to let (for example) landlords to deny lending to people because they're gay, black, etc. Not as much of a free speech thing as a 14th ammendment thing
They have? Source? And what's "critical speech infrastructure"?
> And what's "critical speech infrastructure"?
That's the joke. If the government can force a cake baker to make a cake for a gay couple, why not force (excuse me, regulate) internet companies to provide services to those they don't want to provide service for? Surely, if your sexual orientation is a protected class as a consumer, your first amendment rights are moreso protected.
"No federal law requires businesses to serve all customers without regard to their sexual orientation, but 21 states have “public accommodations” laws that prohibit discrimination against gays and lesbians.
In 2012, he said he politely declined to make a wedding cake for Charles Craig and David Mullins, who had planned to marry in Massachusetts but then have a reception in their home state of Colorado. They lodged a complaint with the state civil rights commission.
The commission ruled that Phillips’ refusal to make the wedding cake violated the provision in the state’s anti-discrimination law that says businesses open to the public may not deny service to customers based on their race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. The panel ordered him to provide wedding cakes on an equal basis for same-sex couples.
Phillips appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing he deserved a religious exemption based on the 1st Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech and free exercise of religion. His lawyers say he refused to comply with the commission ruling while his appeal proceeded."
The government absolutely could, but there is currently no law banning discrimination of service against racists or ideology in general.
The notion of protected classes with regards to private (not government) discrimination is not defined in the Constitution, but rather federal and state law. The Civil Rights Act defines race, religion, and sex as a protected class. If you want the government to prevent private companies from refusing to serve racists, you'd need a federal law passed, so I guess call your local congressman.
Given that does society not have a right to say that "If you want to earn money providing a service then you should do so by providing that service equally to all people who aren't breaking the law"?
Not saying which side I fall, I'm not sure but I think the question is interesting.
Far to often we focus on our rights and forget that other people have rights and that society has a duty to us and we have a duty to society.
The wedding cake case didn't have anything to do with free speech, and a lot to do with discrimination: http://aclu-co.org/court-rules-bakery-illegally-discriminate....
Do not conflate a bunch of causes just because you feel they are related. It doesn't do your argument any favors.
That reminds me a joke that someone made during a family meeting. It was something along the lines of "What? You are going to marry a COMMUNIST?" and "I don't want loyalists in my house!", both of which are outdated concepts nowadays.
While you are free to refuse entry to your house to anyone that you want, it doesn't change the fact that refusing access to someone who would otherwise be allowed in just for their political beliefs is a jerk thing to do.
If we're gonna talk about Nazis, let's talk about Nazis.
Are you sure? Because it doesn't sound like you do.
Do you see the problem with that sampling method? Blind is a pretty self-selecting audience, and I wouldn't say it represents the average tech industry at all.
If Google actually does that, they're asking for an anti-trust suit.
Kinderstart v. Google for one of many examples.
For those interested in more info behind this statement:
In a post, [The Daily Stormer] site’s architect, Andrew Auernheimer, said he had personal relationships with people at Cloudflare, and they had assured him the company would work to protect the site in a variety of ways — including by not turning over data to European courts. Cloudflare has data centers in European countries such as Germany, which have strict hate speech and privacy laws.
Company officials offered differing responses when asked about Auernheimer’s post. Kramer, Cloudflare’s general counsel, said he had no knowledge of employee conversations with Auernheimer. Later, in an email, the company said Auernheimer was a well-known hacker, and that as a result at least one senior company official “has chatted with him on occasion and has spoken to him about Cloudflare’s position on not censoring the internet.”
A former Cloudflare employee, Ryan Lackey, said in an interview that while he doesn’t condone a lot of what Auernheimer does, he did on occasion give technical advice as a friend and helped some of the Stormer’s issues get resolved.
“I am hardcore libertarian/classical liberal about free speech — something like Daily Stormer has every right to publish, and it is better for everyone if all ideas are out on the internet to do battle in that sphere,” he said.
Vick at the ADL agrees that Anglin has a right to publish, but said people have the right to hold to task the Internet companies that enable him.
To see him involved in yet another controversy stirring the pot isn't all that surprising, it's what he lives for. As far as I'm any judge of this the man is mentally not 100%.
Would it have been possible to deal with this problem this way instead: http://injury.findlaw.com/torts-and-personal-injuries/defama...
Where I have a problem is that ostensibly this did not happen because the CEO grew a conscience and a backbone (how about those booter and malware sites then?), but because the Neo Nazi's claimed that Cloudflare was secretly in league with them. If that was the real reason then the whole thing sounds hollow and more as an attempt at damage control than a case of a moral line being crossed.
Anyway, from a strictly technical point of view Cloudflare is absolutely optional so no harm done, without the cloak of Cloudflare to protect it the Daily Stormer will have to go through life now as the Daily Naked Stormer.
Does that also apply to pornography? What about atheism? What about lgbt content?
The concerted effort by the pro-censorship crowd to exploit nazis to promote censorship is rather worrying.
If you can't see the difference between those groups then the problem is on your end.
Hint: Neo Nazis wish to return to the good old days of 1939 or so where Jews and people of color are either dead, outcast, deported, enslaved or stuck in camps while white men rule the land as is their god given right.
So just in case it needs explaining: that's not the moral equivalent of pornographers, atheists or lgbt related material and I'm surprised that that needs spelling out.
They were just given the chance and did it. And according to their chatter they are gearing up for more.
If, on the other hand, the rule is "your website exists as long as the courts don't decide otherwise," then both LGBT sites and Nazi sites are safer.
Hint: In other words, neo-nazis have no shot right? So let the neo-nazis have their say.
People like you are so shortsighted that it is bizarre.
We have free speech so that neo-nazis CAN'T win. You start limiting free speech and that's why you have nazi germany.
As my jewish philosophy professor said, nazi germany happened because of censorship. That's why she adamantly supported neo-nazis, kkk, etc having marches and even giving speeches in colleges/forums/etc. And as she said, as long as the most offensive forms of speech are protected, then she knows everyone, including her free speech, is protected.
> The concerted effort to equate Neo Nazis to pornographers, atheists and lgbt people is rather worrying as well.
It's worrying if you don't understand what free speech is about.
The reason why I support free speech for neo-nazis isn't because I agree with them. It's because I don't agree with them.
It's not a matter of just censoring neo-nazis. It's a matter of setting precedence. Okay? If you say it's okay to censor one ideology or one form of speech, then you make a mockery of free speech and nobody has free speech.
If people who disagree with neo-nazis are in power and they censor neo-nazis, then how do we protect ourselves when people who hate porn or gays or atheists are in power? Hmmm? Have you thought about this or are you just going by "emotions"?
The reason why nazi germany happened is because germany had censorship laws. So when hitler won a small minority of votes and he took over the government, he could ban political parties and political speech. If germany had free speech and you couldn't silence the 80% of non-nazis voters, nazi germany could never have happened.
"Saying I support censorship because I find X offensive" is justification for saudis censoring atheists, chinese censoring pro-democracy groups and thais censoring anti-royalty speech.
Okay? So please take a course in philosophy and try to learn what is really at stake. Because if people like you were in charge in the 1950s, 1960s, etc, we never would have had lgbt movement or atheist movement or the civil rights movement. Because they all would have been censored because they were offensive.
Believe it or not, there was a time in america when lgbt, atheist and civil rights speech was deemed more offensive than nazi speech. Thank god people like you weren't in charge and thank god we had free speech rights so that lgbt, atheists and civil rights groups could speak and express their ideas.
And oddly enough, the pro-censorship people like you are more like nazis since the nazis loved censorship. If you truly are disgusted by nazis, then you should be disgusted by censorship.
They actually do, and to close your eyes to the possibility is in light of the developments of the last couple of years a bit strange. But I don't begrudge you your worldview, let's hope you are right and I'm wrong.
Keep in mind that I live in a country that has suffered quite extensively from the previous batch of Nazis, that 'free speech' as you define it is unique to one country only and that that country at present is the one most at risk of having a serious problem on this front. Whether or not 'free speech' as you have enshrined it will survive is up for grabs but is no reason for your rather incoherent post above.
All the 'people like you' references are frankly not conducive to a productive discussion.
They have the vote, don't they?
> Are they outside our moral tolerance as well?
Well, they are outside mine so if that's how you roll you won't find yourself invited into my house because you'd be incompatible with whoever else I might invite and you'd be incompatible with me.
> AFAIU, a lot of these so-called Nazis are just white nationalists who want to assert their superiority, but not in a Hitler way.
Yes, all we want is a nice white place for ourselves, and the temporary problem of how to get rid of those who we find objectionable we'll leave to our friends over there.
Note that the one group needs the others if they are to get their way and so they openly support each other and to all intents and purposes might as well be seen as one group by outsiders.
Note that I'm talking about what stance government and its institutions should take against such rebellion, not who you invite to your private party.
Also, these are not my political beliefs. Just trying to see where the line is being drawn here.
Are you kidding? A 100% peaceful process that will segregate society and return to the days we have fortunately left behind us and you believe that the perpetrators would not use force?
Majority decides that all people of color have to leave and they will just have to abide?
You're going to be in for a rude surprise if you think that would be without violence.
> Are people allowed to believe in a different set of political axioms (isolationism against multiculturalsim/diversity)?
Yes they are, but unfortunately for those people their beliefs are generally against the laws of most or all civilized countries where equality before the law is a very basic principle. What you are advocating is to create classes of humanity that are not equal before the law.
Even if you were to get a majority of a society to accept that there will be an immediate and violent response from the minority that you wish to dis-enfranchise. So there is no '100% peaceful process' to achieve this, that's a pipe dream.
> Note that I'm talking about what stance government and its institutions should take against such rebellion, not who you invite to your private party.
Yes, I got that.
> Also, these are not my political beliefs.
Then you're going to have to be very careful with how you express yourself lest someone mistakenly holds you to account for beliefs you don't have but wish to throw out there as some kind of academic exercise.
> Just trying to see where the line is being drawn here.
Where I deem it to be reasonable: the right for one group to exercise their freedom stops where that group attempts to limit the freedoms of others that they would like to claim for themselves. Symmetry is key.
No, it is not symmetrical because the number of members of the various classes and their power dynamics are not symmetrical. This obviously would benefit the majority ruling, or in the case of outright apartheid the ones in power or wealthy at the expense of those without power or wealth.
So no, it is not symmetrical, in fact it is the same dumb and fallacious kind of reasoning that whites under the apartheid regime used to justify their position.
The law does not allow whites to create schools where blacks are not welcome any more than it would allow a school created by blacks where whites aren't welcome. Ditto for restaurants and if you wish to create such a society you will likely find that your view is a minority view that will not make you any friends.
That is because they are not going be be buying any counter arguments at all, regardless of merit.
> While I abhor violence and believe in Enlightenment ideals, I don't take diversity as an intrinsic good, and I think being against diversity is consistent with other Enlightenment ideals, and is not coming from a position of hatred or ignorance.
If you wish to stake out this position right 'on the line' that's your problem, not mine, it's not up to me to supply you with arguments for your feelings. I'm a bit surprised you would use an expensive word such as 'Enlightenment' and then use it to promote a radically un-enlightened position.
Whether diversity as such is an intrinsic good or not is not even up for discussion, diversity is the direct result of having a society where everybody is equal before the law. If you feel that is something that you could argue about you're going to have a hard time finding a country where you will feel comfortable.
As for the root cause: it need not be hatred or ignorance, there is a much simpler and baser emotion at work here: fear.
Ask yourself this: why is it that you feel that you could not share a country with people with a different culture from yours and with a different skin color than yours?
On another note, earlier you made it seems as if you were just 'asking for a friend' ("Also, these are not my political beliefs.") or speaking entirely in hypotheticals and now you actually admit that this is your own position after all. I'm super interested in how you got yourself into that position in the first place, I've yet to meet someone who openly admitted to such a stance so if you could please try to make me understand how you arrived at your position I'm most interested.
Assuming that all the intelligent people in the world only belong to your camp is a reliable way to cloud your perspective, and not only unpersuasive, but dangerous. Since while you're complacent about the abilities of your opponent, they are recruiting and growing because they are not that stupid after all.
> radically un-enlightened position
How so? As I said, it's compatible with equality and symmetry. Your argument about minorities and wealth disparity is unfalsifiable. There will never be a time when we'd say that wealth disparity is gone, and discrimination doesn't exist. It's un-enlightened to use unfalsifiable statements as driving principles. This is why we're stuck on a downward spiral right now, because someone forgot to put in a good termination condition.
People have moralized their political stances (diversity in tech), so that disagreement automatically categorizes you as sexist, and possibly Nazi. Bulletproofing your stance from critics by moralizing it is profoundly unenlightened. Enlightenment requires making your idea criticize-able, something we're forgetting how to do.
Also, the Enlightenment and Hellenistic ideal is equality before the law, not "each man is equal", but "each man will be treated equally by the law".
> why is it that you feel that you could not share a country with people with a different culture from yours and with a different skin color than yours?
I'm a non-white non-western immigrant to this country, so I do speak from a very academic point of view. I have no skin in the game, and maybe that's why I am comfortable taking such an extremist position.
Color doesn't matter to me. But culture does. I believe there are inferior and superior cultures in this world, and there is little to be gained from an inferior culture. I've come out of such an inferior culture myself, only because I had the writings and wisdom of great western thinkers, who instilled the spirit of scientific inquiry in me. In no other culture, is science and its spirit as respected.
Culture and community is humanity's greatest strength. Most of what we achieved is due to culture (that we accidentally acquired in the 1700s) and cooperation among people of the same culture. By fucking up our culture, we risk losing the very thing that built western civilization and its ideals, and gain next to nothing.
Do you not see how little freedom of speech is valued these days? How hurtful speech is categorized as violence? FoS got us out of the fucking dark ages, and we plan to abandon and replace with absolutisms like "Nazism and anything which remotely touches Nazism is shoot-on-sight", or even better "I'll decide if you're Nazi or not, coz you mentioned biological differences between sexes/races, and we've already established that punching/killing Nazis is Good".
Since I come from a non-western country, I know the value of western ideals, probably (dare I say) much more than you, since I've lived in the counterfactual. And I see that the west is also denigrating to the same, becoming the worst of multiple cultures mixed together haphazardly, adopting the most base populist idea of each.
> there is a much simpler and baser emotion at work here: fear.
I don't deny this. Fear is not a base emotion though, unlike hatred or ignorance. It's fear of losing what's important. It's not an impulsive misinformed fear either. It's very carefully evaluated and sustained.
> you're going to have a hard time finding a country where you will feel comfortable.
I'm not a radical myself, so I am comfortable being a passive observer in a country going to the dogs. The altright have half the story right, and the other half (violence, anti-semitism) wrong, and it's possible to have a decently rational brain which believes in the first half without the second.
Also, believing in something just because it's comfortable and would make you the most friends is a profoundly unenlightened idea. I'm sure I don't need to recount the countless times in history when people had to take contrarian positions, make enemies, and eventually been proven right. I'm not saying you should abandon your friends, but you shouldn't disrespect people simply because they have an extremely provocative position. Being gay or an atheist was extremely provocative in the dark ages. Are you sure you're objective Right and not simply following a moral fashion?
Can't not mention this here: http://www.paulgraham.com/say.html
> how you arrived at your position
Radical skepticism. Mistrusting everything mainstream media tells me, and trying to find alternative explanations for the same. The rationalist bloggers (SSC, LW), Sam Harris, a bit of Moldbug, conservative thinkers like Niall Ferguson, Douglas Murray, but mostly my own deductions from facts obtained from unbiased sources, or if not available, reading from ALL the biased sources (instead of just one), and weighting their argument's merit. You should try this. Every time you read an opinion `X`, find someone intelligent who is (for some godforsaken reason) arguing for `not X`, and see if his explanation makes more sense. Most of the time the mainstream opinion would be right, but often it won't.
Now let me try to correct some of the errors in how you arrived at your conclusion:
The first is that if you're an immigrant into a country you are roughly in the same position as a smoker who stops smoking. You, more than anybody else know the dangers of smoking first hand and so you will now fall through to an extremist anti-smoking position without realizing that the same people that allowed you to smoke before are part of the group of people who you are now arguing against.
Essentially you have leapfrogged the middle to end up on the other side.
Second, and point by point:
> I'm not a radical myself
You'd be surprised how many people would interpret your position as a pretty radical one. The one mistake I see over and over again in these discussions is that people have no idea in how extremist their positions really are because to them it is all reasonable.
> I am comfortable being a passive observer in a country going to the dogs.
It is going to the dogs, but this is in large part because of the group which you say you are a part of. There is a certain amount of hypocrisy in you moving from one country to another and then joining a group which fairly explicitly states that they are against people being able to do what you just did.
> Mistrusting everything mainstream media tells me
Why would you mistrust them and not mistrust the other sources that you have found?
> and trying to find alternative explanations for the same.
It appears to me that you are consciously selecting for sources that agree with your way of thinking and discarding those sources that disagree with your way of thinking.
> The rationalist bloggers (SSC, LW), Sam Harris, a bit of Moldbug
Those are considered 'fringe' (and worse) by a very large fraction of the population.
> conservative thinkers like Niall Ferguson, Douglas Murray, but mostly my own deductions from facts obtained from unbiased sources
Again, unbiased because they agree with you, not because they are actually unbiased.
> or if not available, reading from ALL the biased sources (instead of just one), and weighting their argument's merit.
That's a better method.
> You should try this.
What makes you think I don't? The fact that we disagree?
> Every time you read an opinion `X`, find someone intelligent who is (for some godforsaken reason) arguing for `not X`, and see who if his explanation makes more sense.
So, how is that working out for you so far :) ?
Note that - wittingly or not - you have aligned yourself with that element of your society that wants to destroy it an that given half a chance would deport you. That makes no sense to me.
> Most of the time the mainstream opinion would be right, but often it won't.
This we can agree on, but for different reasons.
Anyway, regardless of our different position on this subject once again my gratitude for taking the time for a reasoned and measured response.
Thanks to you too for engaging with me respectfully. It's a shame that this conversation needs to be anonymous on my side. This will be my last response for some hours. Need to get some work done! :D
> Essentially you have leapfrogged the middle to end up on the other side.
I don't consider this the other side. My position is a fairly moderate "diversity is not as good as it's made out to be". Peter Thiel shares my position as well, but I ack that he's considered fringe at the moment.
> You'd be surprised how many people would interpret your position as a pretty radical one
By "not radical" I meant, I'm an armchair philosopher. I don't think my position is strong/confident enough to merit agency. I am happy merely talking about this, and not acting on it. For instance, I won't go and insult someone from an inferior culture (from my perspective) because of this position.
> It is going to the dogs, but this is in large part because of the group which you say you are a part of
Here, I completely and vehemently disagree. You've just stated this without any effort to argue why. And this truly is the core disagreement. As I said, my "group" isn't Trump or Nazis, but conservatives who want to conserve what is good in this society. What is killing this society is a rejection of enlightenment ideals, promulgated by the leftists and tolerated by the liberals, using violence when necessary.
I try to see things from an unbiased perspective. Whether I'm an immigrant or not shouldn't change what's good for western society (and therefore the world). So, this should perhaps prove to you that I'm not taking this position out of self-interest (unlike the whites), but could be taking this position out of ignorance, and I'm open to being convinced out of.
> Why would you mistrust them and not mistrust the other sources that you have found?
I mistrust them as well. Obviously. You could have simply steelmanned me here.
> It appears to me that you are consciously selecting for sources that agree with your way of thinking and discarding those sources that disagree with your way of thinking.
Umm no. This is literally the definition of scientific skepticism. That you try to find ALL explanations of a given phenomenon, and then pick the one with most merit, which explains the phenomenon completely using as few assumptions as possible and refutes most or all counterarguments.
As I said later, I often find mainstream media correct. For instance, climate change is a real threat (but MSM has the most shitty way of talking about it). I convinced myself of it not by MSM in this case, but by reading IPCC, watching nicely-done documentaries about it. On this topic, the rightwing media had only trash explanations, which was easy to see. Skepticism works. I'm not fooling myself. At least, not in such an obvious way.
At the very least, picking the best out of multiple sources is better than aligning with only one.
I should also add that I don't want to believe in what I believe. It's such an uncomfortable stance. I want to be proven wrong! If you have something I could follow which would convince me out of this, I would honestly be grateful!
> Those are considered 'fringe' (and worse) by a very large fraction of the population.
I agree. Again, I don't trust them blindly, but they offer good explanations. SSC and SH are not that fringe. I know senators listen to SH, and a lot of tech folks read SSC.
> conservative thinkers like Niall Ferguson, Douglas Murray,
I never said they are unbiased. I literally called them "conservative". They can't be conservative and unbiased at the same time. Cmon, give your opponent more credit.
> my own deductions from facts obtained from unbiased sources
By unbiased sources, I mean sources like the IPCC report, surveys by trusted names, etc.
> What makes you think I don't? The fact that we disagree?
You seem to not like anything your friends would disagree with, and therefore it seems you're in a filter bubble. Also, your previous comment to the tune of "I've never met someone who openly takes this stance" is another clue.
> So, how is that working out for you so far :) ?
I don't understand the rhetoric. Good?
> destroy it an that given half a chance would deport you
Core disagreement. I don't think they plan to destroy it. Further, I'd rather have a functioning Enlightened society where I'm not living, than a dysfunctional society where I am.
Please realize that culture is fluid and that culture has always been changing due to influences from other cultures and that you will never be able to find a place that is static to the degree that you seem to desire.
Once you acknowledge that you can start to think about how to constructively guide a culture's change while under the influence of more and less desirable influences from outside.
> Core disagreement. I don't think they plan to destroy it.
You must have entirely missed the hostile take-over of the conservative party by the fringe, this is no longer a thing that is up for debate, the GOP is no longer able to control the fringe to the point where it is forced to dance along to the tune of the minority radical element. It's a real problem. Once the conservative movement manages to distance itself from the fringe - assuming they can do it - you will again have representation in politics but right now it appears that you do not.
Thinking about this a bit more, you should have moved to Switzerland, it is far more in line with your way of thinking than the USA is.
This isn't a good characterization at all.
> that culture is fluid
I do want it to evolve but not in the wrong direction. I want MORE western values and scientific and enlightenment ideals, not less. I don't want identity politics and post-modernism and moral relativism and political correctness and feelings over facts/science. In short I want what Steven Pinker (http://a.co/7ctFP0t) wants. And sometimes, being smarter about immigration is the only way to move towards a better society, instead of axiomatically believing in "diversity and immigration is an intrinsic good", which is an extremely unscientific position to take.
> You must have entirely missed the hostile take-over of the conservative party by the fringe
This is actually a common myth. If you have the patience, Ben Shapiro (Conservative NeverTrumper) explains it in this video (https://youtu.be/67zCG-KPWfQ). He essentially says that the actual number of people who hate other races and want to kill non-whites, i.e. neonazis, are very few, and most altrighters are just people who want to protect western values, are against the "whites are oppressors" narrative, etc.
> you should have moved to Switzerland
This is not so important to me that I sacrifice my tech career. Also, there is pretty much only 2-3 places in the world to do AI, and bay area is one of them.
This, right here, is a straw-man that I've seen repeated countless times. I am not pro-censorship, but I'm sure as hell not for forcing companies to provide services to Nazis and other scum.
There's a huge, gaping difference between those two things and I'd appreciate it if you stopped conflating them.
Is there? If you need companies to effectively publish on the internet, then those companies refusing to work with you means you can't publish. Do you consider that censorship?
I'm kind of surprised that would need re-iterating but yes, there is.
> If you need companies to effectively publish on the internet, then those companies refusing to work with you means you can't publish.
No, you can go buy a printer and write your little screed in notepad and print it out, then distribute your copies. Who every equated the internet with all venues of publishing?
> Do you consider that censorship?
Absolutely not. Censorship is when the state muzzles your ability to communicate, see the former eastblock and present day China and North Korea. That's censorship. This is companies deciding who to do business with.
I, and most other people, disagree with this definition.
Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication, or other information that may be considered objectionable... Governments, private organizations and individuals may engage in censorship.
I have a big problem with people trying to equate objectionable people not being given each and every platform they desire with censorship. If you wish to spew hate and division then you should not be surprised if you will receive some pushback from people who do not wish to become associated with your particular brand of hate. Action begets reaction. I've yet to see an actual example of censorship acted out in a way that I found the term to be appropriate when it concerns online communications between fringe groups and their followers. Typically they're spoiling for a fight and then play the victim when someone engages, and cry 'censorship' when actually censorship and worse is what they would hope to inflict on others if they achieve their stated goal.
It's all about balance.
In this case we're talking about removing these opinions from the internet.
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."
I don't see any practical difference between this and what China does on the internet. Only difference is I agree with the side that gets to censor here.
That's not censorship, that's action begetting reaction and as long as it is limited to groups that aim to do bad things to large numbers of people I'm perfectly fine with it.
Note that this particular gem of a website is run by one of the worlds foremost trolls, a man who I believe is not exactly 100% in the head and who loves to watch the world burn. If you feel that he deserves a platform I suggest you make your own Neo Nazi friendly CDN and take some business away from Cloudflare, they won't mind.
Private internet services of many kinds prohibiting use for “adult” content much more broadly than pornography is routine, and has been for a long time.
No, but there are obvious limits on what companies would like to be seen to be associating with. Cloudflare is a lot more lenient than most in this respect, but that got interpreted as 'there is no line they will not cross'. That assumption seems to not have borne fruit.
I'm reminded of the 'Slashdot will not censor posts' outrage a number of years ago because, yes, Slashdot did have that power and used it once. Of course for the absolutists that once was the sign that the end was neigh, only that's not how it played out.
> I wish we could just pretend these sites don't exist and stop giving them free publicity and advertisement. Trump is president because he's profitable to hate. Seems like we're repeating our mistakes. The only people who win by manufacturing outrage is the media.
Very astute observation, and definitely a thing to remember when looking at media output.
This was a PR stunt. If anything CF should terminate the account and not publish the hate groups name to their blog (it's even embedded in the URL for SEO bonus points. WTF!!).
> Of course for the absolutists that once was the sign that the end was neigh, only that's not how it played out.
But that's exactly how it played out for Digg. Sometimes is pays to have a spine (sorry Kevin). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AACS_encryption_key_controvers...
As time goes on the more I'm convinced the media is the enemy of the public. What's good for the news is not good for the people. Division is profitable. Fear earns clicks. Hate generates inbound links.
If 10 years ago a group of 1000 rallied for a stupid cause I'd never even hear about it. Now it's front and center going viral. Since I choose not to fill my brain with this garbage I'm "willfully ignorant". Somehow I don't see it that way.
Companies can be fined and executives imprisoned for say, selling weapons to terrorists. There's no magic hard line between "moral" / "amoral" in commerce; in a capitalist society consumption/sale are inherently moral concerns.
Free speech is about your right to speak without the government locking you up, or censoring those who choose to broadcast/spread it. But nothing about free speech says someone else has to listen or spread it for you, companies included.
The line is drawn at calling for violence though, which is pretty fucking tricky to navigate.
The "free speech" discussion is not about whether they can do this, but whether they should.
Taken to it's extremity, it's given us corporate personhood via Citizens United, and the codification of the principle that you (private or corporate personage) are entitled to speak freely at whatever volume you can afford to, including explicitly politicized speech.
But more abstractly and insidiously, the value has mutated to give license to liars and manipulators of all kinds. I know there's no way to enforce factual speech in daily life, but the Western ethos of unvarnished free speech has come to mean we tolerate people and companies that just outright lie and manipulate all day every to make a living or a shareholder profit. Sure, the left leaning media makes fun of Fox News or gets worked up about Breitbart, but we have no recourse to the psychological and structural damage they do to our society through their dishonesty. And most average Joes (of whatever political stripe) shrug and say "Hey it's America, we believe in free speech here."
Very disconcerting that you and so many other people feel this way. Free speech and competition of ideas is an essential part of our society. To deny free speech is to oppress.
> no recourse to the psychological and structural damage they do to our society through their dishonesty
Open, civil, and logical debate of ideas is your recourse. If your ideas cannot win over the majority, maybe you (and possibly that society) deserve to lose. Civil rights, gay marrage, and abortion have all come about because of free speech. Thinking anything else is folly.
Why should anybody deserve to lose because they fall victim to the masses? How is that in any way justifiable? This is tyranny of the masses, nothing else.
And I would suggest to you that there are numerous countries on this planet that have not elevated free speech to the status of religion, yet guarantee civil rights for much longer than the United States do.
>To deny free speech is to oppress.
And how does this constitute an argument? We oppress the Marburg virus, why are we supposed to turn the other cheek when our society and our values are threatened by destructive forces?
It is called democracy. It has brought more success/improved living conditions than any other model (tyranny of the elite) in history.
> And I would suggest to you that there are numerous countries on this planet that have not elevated free speech to the status of religion, yet guarantee civil rights for much longer than the United States do.
Let's see some citations. Who are these beacons of civil rights? China? India? Colonel England?
It is also worth noting that free speech is considered a human right by the UN. 
> And how does this constitute an argument?
It's a circular arguement. I oppress you, you oppress me, we are all one big opressive family.
> Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.
The United Kingdom and France for starters, two countries that were relatively egalitarian while the US was still busy enslaving its African-American population. Of course while free speech was already a thing in the United States.
While they may not have made it into law has solidly as in the USA, free speech ideals were very present and popular ideal in France/England at those time periods.
Europe's "hate speech" laws and censorship of speech/press are from more recent times.
> Articles 10 and 11 of the Declaration of the Rights of Man (1789) were written to address the prohibitive nature of the government in preventing the freedom of speech, religion, and the press.
That is the familiar way. But when lies travel faster than corrections, and bots can automate the Gish gallop, it's hard to imagine truth actually winning.
Total free speech as an ideal (not as a legal framework) creates a paradox where it implores people to tolerate the speech of groups that actively intend to destroy free speech (both legally and ideally), such as fascist groups.
There's a decent video explanation here:
You do not have to tolerate all speech in an ideological sense (the only sense that matters) just a physical sense.
Be careful when letting youtube faux philosophers feed you ideas.
EDIT: I apologize if this comment was busque. See my follow up below if you want more supporting arguements.
I'm aware and don't see why an appeal to authority is necessary. Also OP didn't link Karl Popper. They linked a rando-streamer who's opinions on censorship probably have Popper rolling in his grave.
Just for the sake of this thread here's Popper's conclusion from `The Open Society and Its Enemies: The Spell of Plato`:
> . . . In this formulation, I do not imply, for instance, that we should always suppress the utterance of intolerant philosophies; as long as we can counter them by rational argument and keep them in check by public opinion, suppression would certainly be most unwise. But we should claim the right to suppress them if necessary even by force; for it may easily turn out that they are not prepared to meet us on the level of rational argument, but begin by denouncing all argument . . .
This may seem like a logical conclusion, but it's based on a paradox and therefore inherently illogical. A paradox is usually useful for showing issues with a conclusion and not supporting one.
Consider who decides what is tolerant or not. Do the Karl Poppers (who was very opposed to totalitarism) decide? How about the linked youtuber, who blocks everyone with slightly opposing opinions? What if I consider the youtuber intolerant?
By not tolerating the intolerant, that person person should therefore not be tolerated. How could such a thing possibly be realized?
In similar fashion to the capacitor switch paradox,  it stems from an inaccurate model. Toleration is an abstract idea modeling a much more complex social trait. Abstraction models may make reasoning as humans easier but we should always be careful when applying them.
If you didn't want to discuss their authority, then don't bring it up- "youtube faux philosophers". You made an attack on their authority and the other person just defended it.
Thank you. I always appreciate some good sarcasm and condescension.
> Next time I'll link directly to a PDF of "The Open Society and Its Enemies".
Or better yet: include Popper's conculsion directly instead of inserting someone else's interpretation.
Corporations had drastically greater power for 2/3 of the history of the US when it comes to being able to directly influence politics via money. That isn't an argument in favor of corporations being people, it's an argument in favor of the value of unvarnished free speech.
The US smashed the KKK - which was extremely powerful at one time - in part because we were able to have that debate in public thanks to our aggressive free speech and free press protections (they go hand in hand). If you create new levers of power, when the authoritarians get their hands on those levers, they will use them against you in the worst possible ways. You're not using logic and thinking ahead to the obvious consequences, you're feeling in the moment. The US has routinely been through radically worse (I can't emphasize that enough) than what's going on today; the 1970s saw much worse out of the extreme left and right, in terms of challenges to the use of speech. The whole point of free speech as we have it today, is to prevent those in power from arbitrarily silencing things they do not like.
If you don't stop and consider the consequences of giving speech control powers to eg someone much worse than Trump, then you aren't thinking through your position. See: the Patriot Act.
> But more abstractly and insidiously, the value has mutated to give license to liars and manipulators of all kinds.
It never mutated. The point of free speech is to give liars and truthtellers and everyone in between the right to speech. Otherwise, we only have speech from liars.
Free speech exists so that the liars don't get the monopoly on speech. That's everyone can have their say.
It's one of the reasons why we have progress. Imagine if we didn't have free speech. Then abolitionists or civil rights activist or LGBT activist or women's suffragists would never had a right to speak. The people in power would have denied them the right to speak.
Freedom of speech is the right to articulate one's opinions and ideas without fear of government retaliation or censorship, or societal sanction.
The first amendment guarantees the government will uphold this value. You are perfectly correct that private companies can throw the value of free speech in the dumpster if the CEO wakes up in a bad mood.
No, free speech (and the related freedoms of press, religion, and association) is a cultural value that says every member of society should be free to choose which ideas they will promote and which people they will associate with, applying their own values.
That absolutely includes choosing which ideas from other people they will participate in spreading, which, yes, is censorship (but not public censorship), but remains absolutely central to the ideal of free speech.
Freedom of speech is not entitlement to have others cooperate in spreading your speech.
Once a private communications provider becomes recognized as communications infrastructure, they lose the right to police content that goes through their infrastructure. For example, my ISP, even though it participates in "spreading" my ideas, has no say in the matter. If you can argue that some random wedding cake bakers are part of "critical wedding baking infrastructure and must therefore be compelled to make a gay cake," you can argue, much more easily, that Cloudflare has no business deciding what content it offers its services to.
The issue of limited discrimination protections on specified axes for public accommodations is a thorny one especially when it comes to expressive acts; there's plenty of room for debate on what axes should be protected, but a general non-discrimination rule for political ideology has never been seriously suggested, and would arguably run afoul of the first amendment.
> If you can argue that some random wedding cake bakers are part of "critical wedding baking infrastructure and must therefore be compelled to make a gay cake,"
That's not the legal basis; a specific protection from sexual orientation discrimination in public accommodations (in state law in the state in question) is.
Then I guess you're in favor of passing legislation to this extent, right?
I might equally make the point that "not overtly calling for the forcible deportation of non-whites from the US" is a cultural value.
For example, society can start firing people who make arguments against free speech. We could start banning their accounts on the internet, and refusing to serve them at restaurants.
Your freedom to support censorship doesn't mean that you are free from consequences! ;)
Yep, and at that point the only recourse you would have would be the government, right?
> Your freedom to support censorship doesn't mean that you are free from consequences! ;)
Your smugness suggests that you think this is surprising to me, rather than being my entire point. Businesses will do whatever they want, in their own self-interest. If we want them to do something else because we as a society value something like free speech, your options are to ignore it or to pass a law. If you're concerned about CloudFlare's ability to censor the internet, take it up with the government, because CloudFlare's commitment to free speech is good only as long as it makes business sense for them.
But at this point I think that it be better to just have a free market retaliatory war of "social consequences". IE, the pro censorship people get named and shamed and fired from their jobs (starting with the most extreme first)
Then the pro censorship people would try to fix the problem with laws, ect.
Edit: I had it backwards, obviously. I meant to say that most employers would find it much easier to fire a Nazi than someone who thinks Nazi's should be censored...
IE, the revolutionary leftists who have publicly stated things like "The liberals get the bullet too".
Go look up that liberal phrase. It is actually quite common, among leftists.
Radical leftist rhetoric is very violent these days, and is an interesting read. It is all about overthrowing the capitalist, imperialist "system", getting rid of civil rights, the "dictatorship of the proletariat", and killing those that are the "enemies" of leftists (which can range anywhere from literal Nazis, to "Trump Supporters",to Capitalists, to "liberals" who just support civil rights).
Finding leftists who publicly call for mass murder is really easy. I mean, just look at all the people who publicly supported that guy who shot up a bunch of republican congressmen.
> who have beliefs that are equivalent to nazi beliefs
That's an interesting equivalence you've drawn there. Which races do they believe in exterminating again? I forgot.
> publicly stated
> "The liberals get the bullet too".
> Go look up that liberal phrase. It is actually quite common, among leftists.
Liberals say that liberals get the bullet too?
I had never actually heard that phrase before so I googled it. I can't seem to find anything about it from before 2017, so it seems like it got famous due to a piece of graffiti from earlier this year. While I don't doubt that there are people on the far left that say this kind of thing, I think they're pretty fringe and are more bark than bite. In reality these people actually vote for people like Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn.
> Radical leftist rhetoric is very violent these days, and is an interesting read. It is all about overthrowing the capitalist, imperialist "system", getting rid of civil rights, the "dictatorship of the proletariat", and killing those that are the "enemies" of leftists (which can range anywhere from literal Nazis, to "Trump Supporters",to Capitalists, to "liberals" who just support civil rights).
No offense, but your exposure to "leftism" seems pretty new and based on social media. Please do share what you're reading though...
> Finding leftists who publicly call for mass murder is really easy. I mean, just look at all the people who publicly supported that guy who shot up a bunch of republican congressmen.
Do people with their real names do that on twitter (I assume you're talking about twitter)? Or just eggs, like on the far right?
What's really concerning to me is that the white nationalists and neo nazis are out without hoods or masks. They are not afraid of having their pictures taken. They think they can be weekend nazis.
I'd put it in the 10s of millions of people is the amount of people that they want exterminated.
It would include all bourgeois, petite bourgeois (ie small business owners), as well as anyone else that would oppose them in an attempted overthrowing of the capitalist system as their attempted "dictatorship of the proletariat", as well as anyone who supported the current "imperialist regime" of our capitalist system. IE, probably most police officers, soldiers, and politicians.
So yes, in terms of total number of people that they want to kill, I'd say it is about equivalent in badness to literal Nazis.
"Liberals say that liberals get the bullet too?"
Ah, see, here is the confusion. You don't spend much time listening to leftists. (Otherwise you'd get the "liberal" reference)
In communist and anarchist circles, a "liberal" is not in reference to an american leftist. They are talking about classical "liberals" as in someone who support civil rights and civil liberties, and the capitalist system. The "liberals" are the enemy.
Bernie Sanders and Corbyn are not socialists to these people. Neither is Norway, or Sweden or European social democracies. You are only a socialist if you believe in the violent confiscation of the means of production, and the overthrowing of the imperial capitalist system.
Modern day Venezuela is the kind country that they support, but they don't even think that Venezuela went far enough, and don't even think it is correct to call Venezuela socialist.
Go read reddit /r/socialism and /r/Anarchism and read the comments to understand what leftists believe.
I read them every day. It is enlightening.
No I understand I was making fun of your typo. You meant to say that "leftists say that liberals get the bullet to"
Honestly I think you go meet with some actual American socialists you'll find that they're a lot more moderate than the teenagers and shut ins who post on political subreddits. It's like turning to Twitter for an an "average American opinion." Small communities on places like Reddit and Twitter are not proxies for entire groups of people. Just like /r/The_Donald hardly actually represents all Trump supporters, just a vocal subset that gets the most attention.
More like "The first amendment purports to guarantee that the government will uphold this value."
Remember, a "first amendment" in and of itself has absolutely zero power to guarantee anything. Our government violates many of the provisions of the Constitution on a daily basis. "Free speech zones" anybody? Warrantless wiretapping? Civil asset forfeiture? Etc, etc., etc.
At the end of the day, the old line "the Constitution is just a piece of paper" really is true. It's actually down to us, "We The People" to hold our government accountable and make sure it upholds the principles we value. We can't just abdicate our responsibility and say "Oh, it's in the 1st amendment, so I'm sure they'll do the right thing."
I mean everyone on here knows this, yet every time someone feels they need to say it. We aren't debating what the first amendment protects, we are debating on wether it's good for our country to have all internet speech controlled by a handful of conglomerates.
This is going to sound unfair, but it's not unlike saying, "Sure slavery is immoral, but it's legal! The Supreme Court said so!"
If they end up actually getting turned away everywhere, and have no avenue to get their message out, then perhaps that's saying something about what everyone else things of the quality of their message.
And yes, this sort of thing needs to be decided on a case-by-case basis. If every internet company decided to disallow accounts held by people of a particular ethnic group, then that would be a problem. But I don't see an issue with every internet company deciding they don't want to participate in spreading hate speech and giving a hate group a platform to spread their propaganda. We wouldn't be arguing about this if we were talking about shutting down a website distributing ISIS recruitment videos, would we?
That's true that there are alternatives to CF. As long as there is at least one anti-DDoS provider with an "everyone is welcome" attitude, I suppose CF can do whatever they want. So I'll concede that point.
I don't think one can coherently take a neutral stance at that level. If not helping Daily Stormer disseminate their message is branded as censorship, but Daily Stormers acts of bullying and threads of violence are not, then I would say that that definition of censorship needs to be re-evaluated.
Government censorship—having public authority (whether officially styled as the state or one having exercising a monopoly on essential tools of communication) decide for you what ideas you must or must not promote, regardless of your own desire—is what “free speech” stands against.
If it were a protected group like LGBTQ, Cloudflare could not discriminate against them (the gay wedding cake is an example of this). So we've already decided, as a society (or rather our politicians have), that businesses must service protected groups. How far of a slippery slope is it to extend that protection to everyone?
The difference between this and the wedding cake example, is the couple could have easily gone to another bakery. With the internet controlled by a small group of companies in a particular region, and SV's bias towards liberalism (in a capitalist sort of way), it makes it harder to just find another bakery.
I can see the frustration. Imagine if the roles were reversed and the US internet was controlled by a conservative group in Texas (as it almost was) and those companies decided they didn't want to host packets or register LGBTQ type websites; we'd be livid. I mean we have to treat all speech equally, don't we?
It's an interesting dilemma.
That's not a protected class. In some (a minority) states, sexual orientation is. Gender identity is in some also, but not the same set.
> The difference between this and the wedding cake example, is the couple could have easily gone to another bakery.
Outside of a major urban area, that's far from clear. OTOH, there are many domain registrars and web hosts, and they tend not to have very limited geographic service areas. I definitely have more viable choices for either of those than I would for a wedding cake baker.
> With the internet controlled by a small group of companies in a particular region
This is absolutely not the case, especially for domain registration or web hosting.
If Cloudflare can't regulate the content on its service, then neither can any other service properly. Extrapolated, it means a typical blog must allow any comments posted to it. These issues were logically thought through and settled a very long time ago, and it has worked very well for a very long time: disallowing your speech on my private property, is not censorship.
Seems inevitable that this sliding process will end with the US Government having direct policing power of speech in regards to the Internet, as they have over traditional broadcast & radio.
Just wait until everyone sees what the next, worse version of a Trump does with the power to directly use his FCC to limit speech arbitrarily based on shifting definitions on things like hate speech.
What counts as "spreading"? Do cell phone companies kick off customers with views they disagree with? Where is the line?
If AT&T wanted to terminate service to the Stormer organization they could do it without consequence, it's not their responsibility to provide coverage to anyone plus dog like they were under regulation. It's a free market. Stormer can find someone else.
But perhaps the web has reached a point where we have to consider it as a public service. And as such should be subject to free speech laws. There is precedent for this with the "equal time rule" for broadcast networks regulated by the FCC which guarantees air time to opposing political candidates during an election. I could easily see an argument to be made for forcing service providers to dedicate a portion of there resources to dissenting opinion on these grounds. Although obviously the line must be drawn at hate speech, I shudder to imagine a world where acceptable content for the web is determined by the whim of an executive who "woke up in a mood".
Nazis specifically aren't a protected class, of course. Neither are white people. But (any) race is a protected class. And (any) political opinion could be a protected class, as well.
IIRC, this is already the case in California, with respect to employment - i.e. you cannot be fired for expressing a political opinion.
Yes, we advanced to being a more civilized society.
Adding "politics" to the list of protected classes is akin to removing all the other ones, since someone's "idea" can be that their race/sex/age/nationality makes them superior to all others.
I'd never support a politician who promoted the idea of rolling back Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
Not at all. Adding the expression of some idea to the protected list does not, in any way, limit protection for other things on that list. It's the implementation of those ideas that would be a reversal.
What if a nazi wants to go work with a black rights group? Or a male sexist wants to work in a women's shelter?
Adding politics to the list of protected classes would be the end of protected classes.
To the extent that some web-related service is essential to effective communication via the web and provided by a monopoly or oligopoly , whether global or within some clear boundaries, that seems to make sense. ISPs certainly fit that. Domain registrars don't. Web hosts don't. CDN’s probably don't.
Any of these could change with evolving market conditions.
Now, if an ISP decided to cut off someone because they didn't like their (legal) speech, that would be a problem. But that's not what's happened here.
 Don't give me the "but what if they didn't" argument. We're not speaking in hypotheticals here. They do have other options. If they did not, then we might be having a different argument.
Yes and no, that's why phone companies or internet providers are regulated in a certain fashion, so they can't deny you certain basic services.
Imagine you are a controversial figure and all phone companies conspire to deny you a phone number just because they don't like what you say. Or all postal services refuse to deliver your mails. So some line of businesses are deemed of public utility despite being private and have to follow certain regulations.
But that's not what's happened here. CloudFlare (or any CDN, for that matter) does not provide access. CF terminating their account did not remove their ability to speak. They have many other options.
Regulations around ISPs and telecom providers exist specifically because there are often no other options.
> Free speech does not mean a company has to take part in spreading it :).
IS false in practice. Some private companies cannot suppress speech.
I see you're not a big fan of net neutrality.
This is also the same line of reasoning that has been applied to deny service to gay couples and people of color. You can't discriminate based on ideological or social factors, however ludicrous someone's position may be.
> In a not-so-distant future, if we're not there already, it may be that if you're going to put content on the Internet you'll need to use a company with a giant network like Cloudflare, Google, Microsoft, Facebook, Amazon, or Alibaba.
For context, Cloudflare currently handles around 10% of Internet requests.
Without a clear framework as a guide for content regulation, a small number of companies will largely determine what can and cannot be online.
> 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."
As far as I know, he's right. It's basically only Cloudflare, Google, and a handful of other megacorps that can keep your content online if someone's willing to pay a vigilante with a botnet to get rid of it.
It’s classical short-term vs. long-term thinking, and it’s damaging not just to privacy, but also to the startup economy as a whole.
FB, GOOG, MSFT, etc all serve billions of people. FB's network has a 1 people more than china.
The pro-censorship crowd wants to distract with "government vs private company" argument but that really doesn't fly when these companies are larger, wealthier and more powerful than a handful of countries.
FB censorship would affect more people than the communist chinese censoring content in china. That is extremely dangerous.
Further, does it matter if they are a hosting provider? A network provider? A telephone provider? Can those providers cancel you if the company doesn't like what you say or are?
This is tough: I honestly don't know if freedom of speech needs to be enforced by private companies. I think of freedom of speech is the problem here: companies have more influence over our conversations and the old protections are simply not adapting well.
The Christian bakers / gay wedding cakes is one example.
But people being booted off services like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Patreon are others.
We ought to have the right to exclude people from our own private spaces, our own private clubs, and our own private businesses (freedom of association).
However, at what point (and at what scale) does our private club become so large it is a de facto public space?
There does not seem to be any real precedent for discussions like this. The Internet has created an entirely new wrinkle in the debate around free speech and public places.
No, absolutely nothing has changed. What has changed is that the internet has given every idiot out there a megaphone and a way to link up with other idiots at a moments notice and groups like the Neo Nazis love like minded company because there is safety for them in a crowd, a way to be part of the monster without having to stand up to scrutiny.
The alt-right would undo all the protected classes. Tolerance is a peace treaty, not a suicide pact. Your rights do not supplant mine.
i.e. "we don't serve people with dark very curly hair", good luck with that one.
The internet giants are monopolies and should be regulated as such, or broken up. But the government has basically abandoned monopoly enforcement over the last couple decades. The irony is that it is because of right-wing, anti-regulation, libertarian politics that the government has become so reluctant to enforce monopoly laws.
And, in each of the major categories, the law has already been applied on the internet.
While the specific scenarios may have some novelty, the general issues are not new with the internet.
Will we ever be at a point where a VoIP call is filtered because the service doesn't want to transmit what you're saying?
1) Does the reason for terminating a customer violate law that protects certain classes of people/orgs? If so, you can't do it.
Obviously there are jurisdictional concerns here, but let's assume we can navigate them successfully, at least most of the time, without a messy court battle.
2) For any content, regardless of #1, does the customer have other choices besides you? If not, you can't do it.
For the second point, I think that should be there to protect from a company arbitrarily imposing its values. My feeling is that if there's enough healthy competition (I won't define what "enough" is because I don't know, but hope that it could be definable), someone will host your content. And if no one wants to, that should be a pretty clear signal that you're so unbelievably far away from what the vast majority (or even the near unanimity) would consider acceptable that you really will want to rethink some things.
If you are the only option, then likely you are a legally-regulated monopoly anyway and have some rules around needing to offer service blindly (rules imposed in exchange for that monopoly status).
This is why VISA was instrumental in the 'war on porn' and why every service provider ever has a provision in their contracts stating they can terminate your online presence at their discretion.
That's a way for the industry to avoid becoming government regulated, as long as this self regulation takes care of the worst excesses companies will continue to be able to operate in relative freedom.
The few times that local national law (such as in France and Germany) has butted up against companies trying to re-write the law in a more lenient way this has - predictably - failed.
But as long as companies stay on the far side of that line they are free to draw more restrictive lines as they see fit with impunity so long as those lines do not affect the lives of so called 'protected classes' in a negative way and because of the item that triggers that class to be protected in the first place.
So yes, everybody is afforded equal protection under the law and protected classes exist to ensure that the majority can not hide behind their majority in order to legalize discriminatory practices.
You are suggesting that being a member of a (protected) class now equates to having an advantage but this is not the case, it is to make sure that being a member of a certain class does not become a disadvantage.
This is contradicted by 'protected classes'.
Let me give you an example: In a country with 99% black people and 1% white people employers have a habit of selecting people 'just like themselves' which has resulted in the 1% being vastly over represented in the ranks of the un-employed. An enlightened segment of the legislative branch of government recognizes the unfairness of this and establishes a protection outlawing discrimination based on skin color and creates a protected class, the 'whites'. Of course some blacks will argue that this is in contradiction of everybody being equal before the law, however those people fail to appreciate that this is not an advantage being bestowed upon the whites, merely a lack of dis-advantage resulting in everybody now being equal before the law.
Feel free to replace black and white with whatever groups you care about.
If I open a bookstore, I'm not under any obligation to sell books promoting white nationalism. I choose my selection. So too can Cloudflare choose its business partners.
There are alternative CDNs. Cloudflare isn't equivalent to broadband monopolies like Comcast. You can easily switch to another CDN.
Plus, companies in general make moral judgements all the time. Deciding to start a medical services company vs. an educational services one can be a moral judgement.
I was a systems admin for a while; User privacy and security were very important to me, despite my lack of technology or skills. FWIW.
CloudFlare did not necessarily follow "Due Process" because no such process exists. They seem to think that's a problem worth addressing.
There's dozens of CDNs to choose from
(https://www.cdnplanet.com/), with the best one obviously being https://fastly.com
However, for most companies it's a wash which CDN to pick.
Unless you're serving media to a large audience the cost is
usually in the low triple digits. And unless you need to serve problematic regions (parts of Asia, Africa), there is barely a difference in performance between most of the contenders.
So what tips the scale for any one of the CDNs?
Well, after this move me and certainly others will definitely
consider Cloudflare more often than previously - out of sheer sympathy.
The point is that we have a legal process to deal with murder. If we wanted to suppress the message glorifying it and encouraging it, we should do that directly, and take down the site through legal due process. Going after infrastructure is the wrong solution when you should be confronting problems directly. And if you don't want to confront it directly (ie, maybe the site is protected by free speech laws that we don't want to revoke)... whats the point of those free speech protecting laws if they just end up being subverted through a different avenue, and one that does not have to follow the process and regulation of the law at that?
That sounds like a much bigger conflict with the 1st amendment than society simply deciding to shun messages we want to suppress.
What he's arguing, though, is to use courts because he knows courts would never do that in the US.
Seems more like this would remove the echo chamber than drive them underground, I would agree with your point if it was about public shaming. But if FB goes offline I wouldn't consider anyone being "driven underground", more like forced above ground.
Goebbels was in favor of free speech for views he liked. So
was Stalin. If you’re really in favor of free speech, then
you’re in favor of freedom of speech for precisely the views
you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of free speech.
Just because two "bad" people liked something in a certain way does not mean that "good" people must therefore like it the converse way. Both Goebbels and Stalin may also have liked butter and jam on their toast, but that doesn't mean I should eat toast with just butter.
If that seems a little facetious, consider it this way: many leading figures deemed "good" by history were also in favour of regulated free speech. That doesn't make regulated free speech good, of course — though one might suppose that it means that these "good" people were probably not as liberal as many people seem to think.
In fact, during times of war, and of apprehension/anticipation of war, I'd say that there were many things that went on, which would make many liberal people take umbrage today. I would say all free speech was heavily regulated by most nations up until the perhaps the '90s or even the '00s.
I do not think it is unwise to regulate free speech. It is not wise for a civilisation, with laws, to allow people to flaunt their breaking of, or desire to break, said laws, without some legal consequence.
Are we to have rapist support rallies next? Join the Rapist Party for the legalisation of rape? No. The rape of anybody is a crime, just like murder. It is not legally permitted to be perpetrated by anyone in most countries.
The same should apply to racism — and you might say that it should not be illegal to make racist remarks, but actually, it should not be tolerated in terms of free speech either, because it is objectively wrong to believe a race is superior to another race.
It's not a question about the meaning of life or the existence of supernatural deities, so the answer is not something that lies beyond the bounds of our language to discuss. It's a question of whether one race of people is superior to another race of people, and this question is answerable scientifically: there is no superior race.
Given that there is no superior race, just like there is no superior gender i.e. women are not inferior to men, it should not be permissible for people to advocate views contrary to this — not because it is a "dominant discourse" or whatever Foucault might have said, but because it is a scientific fact.
Science is not a discursive means to enforce order, it's just the application of logic to evidence. There are no meaningful genetic differences between different races, and there are no bounds set to what a person can achieve other than those set by political regimes and by the person's financial situation/access to education.
Nothing should be able to call into question a scientifically-proven fact other than other scientifically-proven facts i.e. new evidence. It should not be legal to spread sophistry or incite dissent and disorder based on sophistry.
So, racism should not be permissible simply because it carries no truth. If racism had a basis in science, or indeed any truth to it whatsoever, it would not require fanatical cults and violence to spread its message. It would just be taught, as it is already taught that homo sapiens outmatched the neanderthal (though this is actually speculative and remains to be conclusively proven, but that's another debate).
There is no universal rule for handling free speech and it's not something that should be considered in terms of setting precedents. Every case of permissible free speech is distinct and the question must be asked each time: is the message that being advocated logically plausible/scientifically justified?
Remember, "rape is bad" is not something you can scientifically prove because it's not a comparison between two people from different places, it's a moral statement, albeit one that most agree with.
Thus, if you permit racist discourse against science, you will set a far more dangerous precedent for the rapists, human traffickers, murderers and paedophiles around the world who also feel that for too long their voices have gone unheard.
I wonder if Chomsky would readily be the one to grant them the freedom to speak openly about their preferences for murdering and raping people, from his armchair.
Just because two "bad" people liked something in a certain
way does not mean that "good" people must therefore like it
the converse way. Both Goebbels and Stalin may also have
liked butter and jam on their toast, but that doesn't mean I
should eat toast with just butter.
I do not think it is unwise to regulate free speech. It is
not wise for a civilisation, with laws, to allow people to
flaunt their breaking of, or desire to break, said laws,
without some legal consequence.
I wonder if Chomsky would readily be the one to grant them
the freedom to speak openly about their preferences for
murdering and raping people, from his armchair.
I've been jumping back and forth over the fence on this topic, but this stance is where I've ended up.
"No one should have that power"
"I woke up in a bad mood and decided someone shouldn't be allowed on the Internet"
Seems like a very tricky precedent to set that you can just not allow someone on the internet.
The natural question from this is: how long until this type of power is used against views you support?
I'm conflicted. On the one hand, I support free speech, even when the speech is hateful and malignant, because I honestly believe the best way to combat vile ideas is out in the open where people can see them, hear them, discuss them and repudiate them. Cultures can't innoculate themselves against ideas without an intellectual herd immunity, and that is impossible without mass exposure.
On the other hand, fuck Nazis.
I think I'm quite willing to let them come for the Nazis then start caring when they come for the Socialists and Trade Unionists, etc. If that makes me a hypocrite, so be it.
Of course, on the third hand, I have no real power over anyone else's speech, and I'm just some rando on the internet, so it doesn't really matter what I think.
They're Nazis. They can fuck themselves.
Similarly, the Daily Stormer is free to take their custom to a provider who turns a blind eye to or supports their toxic ideology.
I always felt Cloudflaire was a hotpot service with nsa hooks.
"It's not in CloudFlare's philosophy to just take down sites because management doesn't agree with the content,"
...unless the press tells them what their philosophy needs to be? The lesson is that no capitalist company can remain neutral, today. Which has good and bad consequences. It's amazing how the small number of media conglomerates have solidified their political power alongside their commercial power. A true locus of control in Western society.
I learned an important lesson in 2016, my worldviews are not shared in America outside of big cities. It forced me to realize that I didn't even know people disagreed so fiercely because of media conglomerate created echo bubbles.
Many people having non-leftwing ideas simply hide it. Since most workplaces have become politicised and hostile to conservative/right/slightly right of center views, people just hide it. Some people (including me) even engage in fake virtue signalling.
Polling (both opinion polling and actual elections) show that it is very strongly an urban-vs-other thing.
Polling also said that Hillary would win the election, and brexit won't happen. People, including me, lie to pollsters.
I can also sorta understand how the groups in question create a strong(er) emotional reaction. These are hate groups from "our" society. And in the same way that the death of someone close saddens more than a stranger's, seeing a swastika-bearing mob of people who could have gone to school with you may stir more anger than the hate and atrocities committed by strangers–especially if you don't understand their language, and have gotten used to it.
If we interpret Cloudflare's action as a symbol, it may also be more effective when used in this case than with ISIS: coming from (in general terms) the same society, such a signal of disapproval is more meaningful. People are social animals, and they are hardwired to seek approval from their peers. No matter how much someone tries to convince themselves that they don't care, it stings when their neighbour stops inviting them to his parties.
The same isn't true for ISIS, to whom the people at Cloudflare would have always been "the other side".
Plus, obviously, the fact that stormtrooper monthly apparently said that Cloudflare were sympathisers. That statement made it impossible to continue working for them.
Online radicalization is real. The challenge of how to deal with that and offer considerable freedom on the Internet will be a challenge for our society.
How is speech perpetrated by white supremacists to incite violence any different from that of foreign terrorist organizations?
There's a couple of ways of looking at this. One is to say Cloudfare is a private company, they were free to make a decision, they exercised that right, and now white nationalists have the right to choose to go to a different provider. Others have the right to do business or withhold business from Cloudfare in response.
Another, though, is to say that Cloudfare is now in a unique position--by the CEO's own admission--and has power over another person's speech as a result. It would be akin to a husband controlling a wife's contacts with others. Sure, the wife could leave, but that's not really a good argument for the husband's behavior being ok; someone is, similarly in the hands of the company somewhat unfairly.
Yet another way to look at it is this: when Cloudfare decides it can and will make content-based decisions, have they now implicitly argued that when they don't remove content, they implicitly support that content, in that it's not aversive enough to remove? Where do you draw the line with that? And if a company nominally accepts that responsibility, does that mean we, in exchange, should allow them to regulate other traffic?
One argument for net neutrality is that while it binds a corporation's hands, it also frees them of responsibility for things they might otherwise be liable for. This was the bargain with phone companies, after all, with common carrier status. No one blames the phone company for supporting white supremacists because they carried their phone calls, but nor do they worry about the phone company dropping their calls because the phone company disagrees with their political position.
My impression is that the CEO of Cloudfare is freaking out at the moment because he realizes he has now made Cloudfare implicitly responsible for the content on its systems, and has opened up an argument against net neutrality. He's essentially saying to the government "please come up with rules that absolve us for responsibility in this situation."
If Cloudfare had simply said "we don't drop clients because of the nature of the content" they would have had a very strong position. Now they've opened a can of worms and have called into question their complicity in the content they carry.
They can't have it both ways: by saying that white supremacist groups are too aversive for them, they have now implicitly said that everything else is not too aversive. This is a very undesirable route to be going in in terms of freedom of speech.
For what it's worth, I also oppose network companies removing ISIS recruitment videos, all other things being equal. Now, if a court decided that the content poster/creator was in violation of some ethical and legal code to such an extent that their right to distribute content should be restricted, that's one thing, but that would require actual due process in a court of law.
Once you take it upon yourself to begin moderating and regulating content, you are now -- in my opinion -- obligated to do so consistently. Do you really want that responsibility?
My opinion may be unpopular, however. I'm one of those folks that believe that everyone, equally, deserves to be able to express their thoughts, beliefs, and beliefs regardless of whether I agree with them.
(Yes, you absolutely need to remove the bullet point now.)
Yes, you're one tough maverick for repeating something stated only about 20x in just this thread.
But you're indeed quite brave to pretend not to have seen the 25 answers pointing out that it's also this CEO (and everyone else's) right not to participate in the spreading of hate speech and nazi propaganda.
"slippery slope" is not an argument, it's a fallacy. Observe: "now, they're only imprisoning the murderers. It's only a matter of time until they'll throw you in jail for walking funny"
> you are now -- in my opinion -- obligated to do so ...
Why? Does eating one apple pie obligate you to eat all the apple pie?
> ... unilaterally
As opposed to bilateral moderation?
Did you actually want to discuss/argue with my comment or just criticize the way I worded it?
This was big when I was growing up too. KKK was always used as an example. No one liked what they had to say, but as Americans, we felt we were obligated to protect their ability to say it. You know, principles and all.
Their right to say it.
Their ability to say it is a different thing.
Their ability: do they have the tools they would like to have (and that others might own) to communicate effectively.
I think in the printing press example, people ended up stealing them to print. I'm not sure you can steal the internet.
Yes, because it prevents people from free using their own resources and those gained through mutually consensual trade to spread their ideas.
> The difference here is it isn't necessarily governments, but rather corporations that control access to the internet (printing press).
No, the difference is that nothing is being banned; people are choosing not to let other people use their digital “printing press”, which is no different than the NYT choosing not to print your opinion piece.
No one is preventing the Stormer from self-hosting. And there are a very large set of domain registrars; the fact that a handful have refused their business doesn't mean that they can't get a domain name (which is certainly a convenience that affects reach, but also not a necessity, to publishing via the internet.)
Oh, I totally agree, but the prescient is unsettling to me.
You may want to read this comment of mine I put in a thread that probably won't get seen much because it's not intellectually stimulating enough, or something: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15032018
I'll add a quote from a White Rose leaflet:
> Do not hide your cowardice under the cloak of cleverness!
That's a bad thing for us overall because now it won't just be something the CEO finds offensive; rather, it will be anything that could, through any potential legalistic contortion, result in legal liability.
We should all be very concerned about these low-level infrastructure components like GoDaddy, Google DNS, and CloudFlare beginning to adopt a policy of content moderation.
I'm shocked that something as simple as "they're nazis" is actually being accepted by people here; it is pretty much the stock anti-speech argument that we've all rehearsed forever. Sad to see that many aren't living up to it now that the cards are on the table.
Domains should only be seized when the government issues a binding legal order, not when the registrar or CDN's CEO wakes up on the wrong side of the bed.
This is so ridiculous that it's hard to imagine it's not coordinated specifically to weaken/undermine any form of anti-establishment or politically incorrect speech online. These attacks on core infrastructure delivery components need to be denounced loudly.
However, this doesn't seem to indicate that such editorial activity can't have a legal effect in some areas. It is limited only to cases where the service provider would otherwise be implicated as the publisher/speaker instead of a neutral mechanism used in the delivery of others' publications and speech. There are many other relevant circumstances where such behavior creates at least a non-legal precedent (Not A Lawyer, so can't and don't want to get into the nitty-gritty) and expectation that CloudFlare will act in a specific manner that violates the content policy they claim to want to keep.
The simple fact is that even if the law unequivocally allowed such activity, that doesn't mean that Cloudflare hasn't set a standard of behavior that they will be expected to live up to, inside and outside of the coutroom. That's especially true in the case of a jury trial, but there are certainly no shortage of politically-aware judges who don't want to let their 15 minutes be wasted in falsely associating them as "pro-white-supremacist". And if Cloudflare is at all PR-sensitive, they are now in for a long, slow beating.
This is all a large can of worms that everyone should regret ever having opened. How hard would it have been to say "Sorry, that's not how DNS works" when some random person on Twitter said "You're supporting a white supremacist! Undo it!"?
IMO the evidence here indicates a coordinated takedown and censorship campaign by organized political forces, and this operation has undeniably been a resounding success for them. So much so that they have fundamentally undermined the core institutions of the internet itself, hardly realizing the sacrosanct barrier they've pierced.
And I know that the HN that recognizes this with near unanimity is lying around here somewhere. I'm just not sure why they're not showing up to these threads. Maybe the votes are being artificially manipulated? Maybe everyone has slowly earned themselves bans/account censures for touching a topic that the mods are sensitive about? Maybe employers are becoming extra vigilant about catching those who express heresy on HN in hopes of catching a Damore-esque figure before it becomes a national press story? I dunno. But this type of non-neutrality on the part of core online infrastructure providers should be a much bigger deal than it is.
I don't understand? Are you saying that lying would have been morally superior? Because, as we've just seen, that's exactly how DNS works.
As for the other legal consequences, I don't see how this changes anything. Did anybody ever doubt Cloudflare's technical ability to stop serving individual sites?
I also don't see how consistency can be an argument in any such case: Being consistently wrong doesn't seem like a strong excuse for being wrong.
I feel you're also operating from a view of the court system that is vastly more cynical than the courts deserve. This is, unfortunately, a point that I cannot adequately put into words. But if you ever have the time, maybe find some decision that interests you (or, actually, pick anything at random) and read the decision, or maybe watch the oral arguments. I often read both the majority and the dissenting opinion of cases, and come away agreeing with both of them! That should be impossible because they contradict each other, but even opinions I disagree with often have an undeniably forceful argument.
(I just thought of a good example, which is a transcript from the Waymo vs Uber lawsuit. You may be surprised to see the forceful stand the judge takes to make the proceedings open to the general public. Quote:
if you want all this stuff to be so secret,
you should be in arbitration. You shouldn't be
trying to do this in court and constantly [insisting
on closed procedures].
The public has a right to see what we do.
And I feel that so strongly. I am not --
the U.S. District Court is not a wholly owned
subsidiary of Quinn Emanuel or Morrison & Foerster
or these two big companies. We belong to the public.
With regard to your expectation of HN's opinion: I believe you're mostly just underestimating how dramatic many people consider the current political situation to be. This is somewhat beyond the usual partisan divide, as can be seen by the almost unanimous decision by CEOs (generally not suspected to secretly harbour leftwing believes) to quit their advisory roles, by the increasing willingness of republicans in congress to criticise their president, or even in the Fox News moderator's spontaneous reaction to Trump's press conference, calling it "disgusting" and "surreal".
As more and more people continue to participate in the internet, there are going to be more issues like this, not fewer.
So let's maybe kick off that discussion a little bit? Someone that's articulate might be able to build the foundation for a policy here that would be attractive to lots of service providers.
Some things to consider:
-> Local law vs. ethical considerations. A lot of expressions and statements that are just fine by US standards are illegal or otherwise censored in other place. Google has struggled with this in China for years now. There's no reason to believe that the US will continue to be a beacon for free speech forever. Efforts to control, surveil, and censor speech are ongoing in the US, as Dreamhost recently pointed out. How should services handle this? Do you adhere to local laws or to what you believe is right?
-> Free speech vs. abuse. In this case, I don't mean abuse-by-meanness, but abuse by misuse of resources. From blatant spamming all the way down to just being the loud-mouthed jerk who posts too often in a forum, there's a whole spectrum of abuses here and most service providers happily block this content. What constitutes abuse? Should everything be supported, to the best of the service provider's ability, or is this a point where nearly everyone agrees that free speech should be limited?
-> Free speech vs. disruptive or disgusting speech. Communities gather assholes. Some of them are accidental or ill (HN has its own, which it has merrily perma-banned), some of them just want to stir shit up. Some of them give us something to think about, they just want to be really abrasive in the process. What are the limits here? What if we end up on the wrong side of some issue, what would our opinions about limited speech be then?
-> Nice vs. Free. These all kind of could be distilled down into a single debate: do we want a nice society, or a free society?
Yes, if you're drawing a line there will be, by definition, cases close to it, on both sides. But this isn't one of them. And it's not like this is some sort of new problem that we haven't successfully navigated before. Courts have always had to make binary decisions from continuous facts: pornography vs. art, or just naming that single grain of sand that makes this stretch of coast a beach per California regulation 343 etc.
"Free vs nice" is an insidious way to delegitimise the concerns of those actually targeted by torch-wielding nazis. People aren't asking for a "nice" country. They're asking for the freedom to peacefully walk around without the fear of being splattered onto the pavement by the next terrorist's car attack.
If I have a controversial opinion (hypothetical, unrelated to the current subject matter) and it gets removed from CDN's and if I then put that opinion in my self hosted blog and someone powerful decides to DDoS my little server (and consequent hosting attempts)... Am I then not effectively censored on the internet?
It's interesting in how many places (internet and real world) this is happening lately... Interesting but mostly just scary.
I'm sure Cloudflare meant well but this action should have been thought through more.
The reality is that private companies and individuals, unless compelled by law or regulation, have no obligation to facilitate the free speech of others. None. They certainly don't have an obligation to facilitate speech that falsely smears or defames them themselves. Trying to believe or claim that they could do so in all circumstances was naive.
The principle of absolute moral neutrality is simply untenable. Choosing not to choose is itself a choice. Given the existence of repulsive opinion and content, choosing not to exclude it is simply a choice to publish it. It doesn't in any way dodge moral responsibility. It's time companies like this did the truly hard thing and set actual policies they believe in and can follow as a matter of conscience.
I can't believe I'm saying this but here in 2017, I've had a change of heart. It's not that I support ISIS, or Daily Stormer, or Nazis. Fuck all of those guys. The problem here is that I feel that the post-Charlottesville Internet is rapidly sliding into a very scary trend of _weaponizing speech_. Prior to last weekend, the weaponization of speech was mostly confined to SJW-speak, where people call others' speech "violence". No longer confined to Twitter outbursts and op-eds, we are now seeing the weaponization of speech by service providers.
It's easy to write off Daily Stormer as a bunch of inbred Nazi assholes because, hey, that's obvious, but who's next? Who's the next group that gets knocked off the Internet? Trump supporters? Civil War historians? Encryption experts? You? Me? Who gets to decide? Social activists? The government? Some other government? Matthew Prince?
Even if you're ready to drive a truck into Richard Spencer's house, you should be outraged by Cloudflare's action today. This is quite possibly, as one of his employees said, the end of the Internet--certainly the free Internet.
If one person at a private corporation can single-handedly end the free Internet, it was already over.
What does this have to do with the termination?
From Mr. Prince:
"> What safeguards do you have in place to ensure that CloudFlare does not support illegal terrorist activity?
This question assumes the answer. A website is speech. It is not a bomb. There is no imminent danger it creates and no provider has an affirmative obligation to monitor and make determinations about the theoretically harmful nature of speech a site may contain." 
"Again, CloudFlare is not a hosting provider. If we were to terminate this, or any other customer, the material wouldn't go away, it would just be a bit slower and be more subject to attack. We do not believe that "investigating" the speech that flows through our network is appropriate. In fact, we think doing so would be creepy." 
> Your CEO has in the past publicly defended providing services to websites hosting dangerous material. Would his position change if one of his own family was hurt or killed in an incident that could be reliably linked to the [controversial website]?
In a word: no. As a way of proving that point, rather than speculate on a gruesome hypothetical, let's discuss a concrete example. About a year ago, a young hacker broke into my email accounts, rummaged around, and caused a significant amount of damage and embarrassment to me. At the time, the hacker was a CloudFlare user. He even used his CloudFlare-powered site to publish details of the attack. I was furious. It was a direct attack by one of our users specifically targeting me. Despite that, we did not kick him off our network nor should we have.
Let's say you host porn. Let's also assume you wish to charge for porn. Many banks, credit card merchants, etc DO NOT wish to deal with your company at all. They wont take your transfers nor business. There are merchants that are comfortable taking payments from you (CCBill) but they cost much more since they have the expertise to deal with these types of chargebacks etc. I am not sure how I see this is different. If you create a hate website - you might get dropped from SendGrid. Tough. That is how it works.
If true, that makes them a very special case.
I generally oppose almost all cases of a company using their legal right of censorship, at least when it's squarely aimed at censoring OPINIONS rather than just censoring specific modes of expression (e.g. threats, curse words, whatever). But he managed to find a legitimate-sounding loophole. He has no obligation to support the Daily Stormer's false claim of endorsement via his (in)actions.
Don't like it? Create a competitor to Cloudflare.
"The act was passed in part in reaction to the 1995 decision in Stratton Oakmont, Inc. v. Prodigy Services Co., which suggested that service providers who assumed an editorial role with regard to customer content, thus became publishers, and legally responsible for libel and other torts committed by customers. This act was passed to specifically enhance service providers' ability to delete or otherwise monitor content without themselves becoming publishers"
That law does not change the fact that one could argue "well they did censor this so...". It is a risk. If you have a record that says "we censor nothing" then you are much safer. I would agree that under the law you site it should be clear cut, but that is not the way it has worked lately. It's a risk based on a moral belief and I applaud the CEO for doing it. That does not invalidated the risk.
"The important difference between CompuServe and Prodigy for the Stratton court was that Prodigy engaged in content screening and therefore exercised editorial control. The holding in Stratton was overruled in federal legislation when Congress passed Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act in 1996. As a result, Internet service providers in the United States today are generally protected from liability for user-generated content."
Anything else would obviously be unworkable. Facebook, for example, exerts wide-ranging control over content (i.e. they delete quite a lot). If that were to create liability for all user-generated content on Facebook, they would have seized to exist long ago.
(quoting CloudFlare CEO Matthew Prince below, aka eastdakota on HN https://news.ycombinator.com/threads?id=eastdakota )
45:52 "Where would you draw the line?"
47:25 "It's really tricky when private organizations act as law enforcement"
47:33 "We try to follow what is due process"
47:56 smart-ass/sick burn re: Krebs's journalism
48:46 "We comply with any court order that we receive" (both takedowns and to not take things down) "unless we feel that it's truly abusive in these cases we [interrupted/unintelligible, maybe: would] ..."
49:00 "There have been some hacking-related sites that we have been asked to take down"
source: HN user kefka https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14654680
People get shouted down on college campuses if they disagree with politically correct views. So they go somewhere else to speak out their views, not being interfered with anymore. So they radicalize.
People in companies have to fear penalties if they speak out against developments they disagree with, so they don't speak out openly and form small circles and consult forums of their own. So they radicalize.
People see themselves misrepresented as extremists by what they perceive as the "mainstream media", so they turn to what they think is the opposite of that, so they enter their own world of facts with Fox, Breitbart, etc. So they radicalize.
Those people will vote for whoever they think represents the enemy of their enemies, and even support foreign governments that they think represent the opposite of their own establishment. They won't give a f about virtue-signaling platform providers in their own country, they will turn to providers elsewhere, whoever that may be (Russia etc).
The belief that further exclusion everywhere will make anything better is just absolutely ridiculous.
A court could easily side with the "abhorrent neo-nazis" if DDOSing raises their bills and Cloudflare's adhoc policy was the culprit, no matter what arbitration clause was written in their contract, and put the damages on Cloudflare.
As much as I don't like cloudflare because it does create security issues (you are afterall proxying traffic through them) I have to respect the CEO's position on this. And it isn't easy.
I think you can safely say this has nothing to do with political pressure if it's something you've asserted yourself. You can't say, "We've never taken down a website due to internal moral pressure," but that's something I actually consider when picking a business to do business with, so it stands to reason a business should make decisions based on this. Not everyone feels this way, and that's fine, but I prefer to do business with people I consider principled in the way that I am.
Is this a dangerous notion? It doesn't seem so in practice, in that the only people being banned are Nazis and child porn distributors; tough luck making that slope slippery with those two players.
Perhaps a statement that you did not support them in their ideals would have suited both the situation and your minds.
I've always felt like Cloudflare was one of the better leading internet companies, especially because of their neutrality towards their customers.
This is kind of a downer.
Thankfully Cloudflare are not and should never be in the position where they decide what stays on the internet, as they are just one provider, and do not have a monopoly. This is why monopolies are undesirable, even though most companies aspire to one.
Companies make those clauses arbitrary for a purpose: that's so they don't get a bunch of amateur legal eagles who will attempt to argue forever about what they can and can not get away with. By purposefully leaving a gray area the company can draw the line by adjusting to fluid conditions when it suits them.
You can disagree with that but I totally understand why a company like Cloudflare would want to reserve some room for maneuvering: it is impossible to know what the future will throw at you.
After all I have read in the news regarding Daily Stormer, I thought it best to go straight to the source, and find out whether what I had been reading was accurate, or if their views had been entirely, or in part, misrepresented.
As a result of Cloudflare revoking their services to DS, the site is down. I can't evaluate DS directly. To me, this is bad.
If everything that was said about DS is true, their own words would reveal their colours. People could judge them accordingly.
The media regularly misrepresents individuals and groups. We shouldn't have to take the media at their word. Whenever possible, we should be able to evaluate the source. Now we can't, and we're worse off for it.
I hope this isn't a precursor to HN being sockpuppeted to death like Reddit...
Does it mean food stores could deny selling you food, based on your associations/affiliations? Airlines deny you travel? Cell phone companies, deny you a phone?
I think the reason we're seeing backlash here is that the internet is largely perceived as a utility now (I believe utility companies cannot deny service at will).
Secondly, more than once is US history have those attempting to be virtuous gone too far (e.g. McCarthyism). Surely it will happen again. When that day comes, will it be better if we err to the side of too dismissive or too open-minded?
There are literally thousands of hosts out there in and outside the United States. The idea that Cloudflare is a public space requiring the protection of the first amendment from a company's policies is laughable. The idea that I'm seeing any of these comments arguing to the contrary means HN is already infiltrated by /pol/ and other Nazi sympathizing groups.
The commentary on past posts on HN and elsewhere floors me. It seems one or two things are prevalent:
1. Folks will gladly loan the hangman the rope that he will use to hang you, your family, and your neighbors — all because of "purity of belief" in free speech. Sorry, hate to break it to you, but these illiberal forces are a clear and present danger to this comfortable society you call home.
2. Support for Cryptofascism (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crypto-fascism) is rampant. Either folks don't know that they already support it, or they wittingly do and are too afraid to say it out in the open.
Immensely disturbing. As someone who cherishes the rule of law over the rule of man, not aiding and these illiberal parties is the minimum. They are not pluralists; they don't care about the rules of the game. They won't politely tolerate you. Deviants will be chastised, expelled/expatriated, jailed, or killed. Ignoring prudence (preservation of self and the society at-large) is perilous.
I just don't see where this is stopping. What else needs to be taken down? /pol/? Who about Breitbart? Or maybe some 2nd WW Nazi propaganda? Or something from the US civil war?
You guys seem to be ok with this very slippery slope being assessed by random private companies accountable to who knows. And then you have the nerve to call us who believes that limits of free speech should be set by courts and open process "nazis"?!
To me its strange someone would consider closing down /pol/ a "slippery slope". I am amazed that someone would consider 4chan a moral compass for the type of things their admins should put up with. moot has closed down /pol/ for this very reason in the past with even less "political" awareness than the CEO of cloudflare.
4Chan is "free-speech" not through effort but through negligence & apathy. moot shut down /pol/ (aka /n/) before, twice, on a whim because he didn't like the content. It's not the first time it has devolved into nazi-fetishism. While 4chan has the reputation for being a seedy place, moot has taken stands and banned people and conversions from 4chan (for example most recently gamergate on /v/) for reasons that can be boiled down to that he didn't like it (mods of 4chan have done this as well, such as no Naruto on /a/). The current iteration of /pol/ has likely been allowed to live through negligence - moot is no longer involved with 4chan, and the new owner hiroyuki has been as absent as moot during his VC startup days. Simply put 4chan never had any moderator accountability (see Rule 9 of the internet).
In conclusion, the notion that this is a "slippery slope" is nonsense. "Free speech" on the internet never really existed, the current view points that exist only exist because their operators have never bothered to flex their muscles - and the reason they haven't has rarely been because of some moral high ground. At the end of the day there is plenty of "reasonable" content YouTube won't host for you, and that Facebook will kick you for. If you are concerned about being silenced by a corporate vendor, then choose your partners wisely. If none will support you - then self fund. Free Speech doesn't mean the NYT is obligated to print your content, only that the government wont stop circulation of your newspaper. If you can't acquire the resources to start your own print, then tough luck.
The issue here is more nuanced. It's about any site on the Internet being censored by a mob. That's why the YouTube or Facebook analogies don't hold. You could always host the content yourself. But DDoS can knock out any unprotected host anywhere. And DDoS protection isn't really something you can DIY.
So the issue here is not about being silenced by a corporate vendor. It's about being silenced, period, wherever you host.
A website is not such a thing.
It's important that a small private business should have the right to not do business with someone they don't want to do business with, but that's not an absolute principle, just as free speech is not. Or rather, all of our principles can come into conflict.
The idea that an entity that processes 10% of internet traffic can exclude someone from expressing their opinions - vile and hateful as they may be - via that entity, is scary. Scarier than not being able to express a given opinion in many countries, frankly. I'm not even saying CloudFlare is necessarily in the wrong here, but it's certainly not a non-issue.
 Not to be confused with the US First Amendment, which is very close to absolute where it applies, but does not apply to many cases where the principle of free speech is relevant.
Look, the spirit behind free speech is the principle of the bazaar of ideas.
The place where everyone can meet, exchange and learn. If someone sells something and it's distasteful, well you learn that you don't like it.
That's the spirit, which too many people don't understand, or don't go far enough to understand.
In this bazaar are now thugs, they sell wares designed to disrupt the bazaar, to addict customers, and to stop more complex goods from being sold.
They choose to disrupt the bazaar, and they count on those who repeat "free speech", to tie themselves down and not stop them.
Like a child taunting someone by saying "prove that 2+2 is not = 5."
Valid questions which have hard proofs are regularly used to tie up discussion. It's done intentionally in order to "win".
There's no victory here- the opposition isn't playing by the rules. when there is no good faith, then there is no discussion.
The problem with that example is the same thing can be used to describe MLK during the 60s. He was all of that by most of the people who lived during that time. It can be applied to pornography, or Catcher in the Rye. You either squash distasteful ideas or you don't. Here's a little secret for you younger folks. The stuff the next generation does, you might find distasteful, but it's the future. They have to be allowed to try on new ideas. If you don't those ideas become more attractive because they are forbidden fruit.
The nice thing about allowing Stormwhatever to speak, is it allows people to see them for what they are. If you squelch them, well, that just makes them stronger.
You have to be able to apply it to people who you admire and people you despise.
I too am an acolyte for the cult of free speech.
The key difference being I test the ideas and beliefs in the real world. I signed up to mod a subreddit which was in trouble and I saw what worked and what didn't.
I urge you and others to make that time investment.
You are worried about catcher in the rye- we're long past protecting it. What's being fought are memes - mind bombs and channel stuffers.
We are fighting to let thought survive, in the face of people intentionally releasing material designed to hijack human brains via emotion.
Catcher in the rye is not what's being protected.
The foundation for civilization scale thought is what's being defended.
You are using a paragon to defend something unrelated.
You assume a lot of things about the current state of discourse and the motives of the attaxkers.
They aren't debating Marxism or porn. They're trying to drown out other ideas, and to tie Down people who present cogent counter arguments.
Want a non tech example? Take a look at anti vacc or creationism.
Those are ideas designed to be consumed by human brains- polarize them and then herd them away from information which could counter the infection.
That's not the bazaar of ideas. Thats not free speech.
That's what's happening.
And we have nothing to defend against it.
That sounds like every news station since the 80s, or the Washington Post forums. People on both sides do nothing but prey on emotion, it's a common tactic. Their opinion and even news articles prey on emotion. Fox of course does it as well. News is now a liability in the US; sold their soul for the almighty dollar.
>And we have nothing to defend against it.
Reason and logic. A good BS detector helps too. I understand our educational system is in shambles though. I don't disagree that is a problem, but censoring it won't solve it, at least censoring by blocking websites to register.
You are far from an "acolyte for the cult of free speech" if think ideas you disagree with should be kicked out of the bazaar by mobs.
Here is my statement
> , in the face of people intentionally releasing material designed to hijack human brains via emotion.
And then later
> They aren't debating Marxism or porn. They're trying to drown out other ideas, and to tie Down people who present cogent counter arguments.
>Want a non tech example? Take a look at anti vacc or creationism.
How you went from there, to
>Wait, so you're saying censoring creationist and anti-vaccine sites is acceptable too?
I am not sure.
SO let me re-iterate my main point.
The battle being fought right now, is between people who are using techniques to stymie actual discussion and actual trade of ideas.
The idea is to "hack" the human brain, to target emotions, logical errors, rhetoric and so on, and to then build a block of people who can be counted to work together.
The active target is free speech itself, science, and so called "liberal" values, which is now just a label for an ever expanding field of targets.
You want to look at creationism and anti vacc to study how those non factual ideas were propagated.
Remember that these ideas won in the country which had the greatest claim to carrying the torch of civilization and science.
You look at those topics for study, not censorship.
You then understand the techniques used once you study those topics.
Once you do that, you realize that this is not about free speech, and that nothign in free speech can really deal with what is happening.
Free speech is not contingent on the subject that is being "targeted" -- science, liberal values, or even the concept of free speech itself (if challenged merely by speech). Free speech is simply the right to speak your views, no matter how unpopular, illiberal or radical. The proper response to speech you disagree with is: more speech. As soon as you designate certain speech as dangerous, "brain hacking" speech that we need to censor for the sake of "civilization and science," you begin sliding down the slippery slope into censoring stuff like creationism.
The correct way to respond to creationism, and Nazi ideas, is by explaining how wrong they are. And that means that unpopular Leftist ideas (of which I am a subscriber), as "dangerous" as they may be to some, also get their forum in the bazaar.
I've already applied those ideas, "more speech". We've seen it repeated on so many forums now, so many subreddits a year, that the follow up pattern is already known.
It sadly doesnt work.
You can hold your view all you like mate, but in the end - its just a theory.
And do you honestly think, you are special and the only forum moderator, or forum attacker to NOT know those theories?
This isn't undiscovered country. Its just undiscovered for you.
Read what I have written.
As for your specific charge against dealing with Creationism.
1) why the hell are you fixated on creationism? are you some sort of free speech bouncer? Unless I wear the colors and say "I shall protect Creationism, even though I don't agree with it", you won't listen to me?
2) Creationism is REGULARLY debunked. In mass media, on forums, everywhere.
It makes no whit of difference to its target audience. Studies show that showing counteracting information often results in those views becoming EVEN MORE entrenched.
People debunking creationism can easily walk into a discussion - expecting that it will be a discussion.
Instead its a Specatcle, in the old Roman sense of the word - The opposite side hits them with a technicality "You can't explain all of evolution. See! theres even a debate among scientists on evolution!"
Which the antagonists then spin into "Teach the controversy!".
How can you have speech, when the other side never intended to speak in the first place?
3) WHy stop at creationism? What about jihadist recuritment material? What about JIhadist material explaining the pain they suffer, and the good reasons (according to them) they have for killing infidels?
4) What about libel? What about Laws against subliminal advertizing for that matter?
And here are some real life scenarios for you to answer -
What are you going to do when you get DDOSed? What do you do when the forum gets over run or brigaded?
What do you do when the people making speech are targeted and harassed, and thus removed from the discussion?
What do you do when people use the forum rules like lawyers, and tie forum mods into knots in order to make space for hate speech?
What do you do when experts enter a discussion, but the other side uses it as an opportunity to go "YOU CANT EXPLAIN EXTREMELY COMPLEX SUBJECT IN 2 SENTENCES! SEE THEY ARE FRAUDS!"
Please cite your source for showing where a "private association" that is not a public accommodation cannot discriminate, or explain why any church can bar non-believers from membership.
But we can make a distinction between destinations, like Instagram, and infrastructure, like streets and public parks and libraries that allows you to access the destinations of your choice. DDoS is something that kicks people off of the very infrastructure of the Internet itself, thus denying others the choice to visit them.
The underlying problem is that core Internet infrastructure is managed by private entities. This is unlike "meatspace" where there are public spaces protected by the police / government who block the physical equivalent of DDoS (duct taping mouths / burning down printing presses). So, what does this mean as more of our communication as a society moves into the digital realm? Is it a blessing that it is more privately managed, empowering those managers to block "bad" speech? Or should we extend the same "meatspace" principles of free speech for all by requiring Internet infrastructure providers to provide unimpeded access to all?
/j/ was temporarily accessible through a bug and IRC chatlogs are widely available. The moderation on 4chan is very much active, it's just not compelled to fast and hard action for anything save child porn or an impending murder. Much of the hooliganism is largely explicitly allowed, at least according to the info currently available to us.
Hate to bring /b/ into my hn, but newfriends, who make up the majority of the /pol/lacks don't even know this.
Your usual neighbour's 18-year old son.
> What are their actual motives?
For the 'lulz' of course.
So how does one distinguish between a genuine kill-all-the-scum Nazi, and a child who's pretending to be one, for the lulz? You get lulz from people who get upset. And you get lulz from people who agree with you. It's a win-win.
Ultimately, there's no way to tell. It's a textbook example of Poe's Law. And indeed, there's no observable difference. Maybe everyone behind Nazi sites are in it for the lulz. And/or for the money, or fame. You get the same fucked up social impacts, either way.
I mean, many gangbangers are fundamentally after lulz.
I am really not convinced of that. I believe they have been marginalized by society and this is their way to regain their relevance. The fact that that conveniently plays into the agenda of those that would like to see the world change in that way as well but who do not have sufficient agency to do it themselves doesn't help at all.
Anyway, we've seen this movie before and it did not end well back then, I wonder how many people saw the trainwreck happening in slow motion and realize they were powerless to stop it. It's like an explosion or an avalanche. Once sufficient activation energy has been added the end result is inevitable, even if you as an observer of the first act feel the need to warn of the impending disaster it will happen anyway and you're going to be along for the ride until a new stable configuration has been reached at a lower energy level.
Re lulz, maybe spend some time reading the chans and Encyclopedia Dramatica.
"See, we just had a misunderstanding. I thought I lived in the USA, the United States of America, and actually we live in the USA, the United States of Advertising: freedom of expression guaranteed, if you've got the money!"
-Bill Hicks on being censored by CBS
Long before 4chan repeated everything Usenet had done many years earlier there was plenty of free speech on the Internet.
Not because nobody was in control to prevent it, but because the news admins who were in control believed in free speech enough to facilitate it. Although Usenet is a shadow of its heyday, that still applies even to this day.
Then DailyStormer says CloudFare are secretly nazis.
Then CloudFare say "no we don't, goodbye".
If DailyStormer hadn't been so stupid, and had never claimed CloudFare was anything other than neutral, then they would still be served?
Stupid own goal DailyStormer.
The censorship and 'line' seems to be not what you say or incite against others, but what you say about CloudFare.
The censorship and 'line' seems to be not what you say or incite against others, but what you say about CloudFare
But if you shit on my living room carpet I'll also show you the door. As I think is my right.
Oppresive government wants cloudflare to stop hosting some dissenters site.
Cloudflare says no
Then such government tries again, this time accusing dissenters of terrorism or something else despicable such as child molestation or hate speech.
Cloudflare still refuses
Then someone in such government impersonates the dissenters and claims cloudflare is on their side.
Cloudflare immediately kicks dissenters out of their network.
Free speech is hard.
Of course it's going to be dragged through the mud anyway now, but at least it'll be for something they actually did.
According to CloudFare... Can't seem to find exactly where they say this. Their platforms on which to say things seem to be dropping like flies here.
Not saying they didn't claim that, but that's one of the problems with taking away someone's speech entirely - your only "source" for knowing what they have actually said is the claims of the people who just shut them down.
Slippery slope arguments are only valid if you believe that your jurisdiction doesn't have proper rule of law. Otherwise experience, at least in European countries, showed that courts are very well capable of recognizing the importance of free speech even for tasteless and hateful speech.
The targets of the 234,341 criminal insult investigations conducted by German police last year might argue otherwise. A few thousand of those were elementary school kids. Sixteen were preschoolers.
> courts are very well capable of recognizing the importance of free speech even for tasteless and hateful speech
Bless your heart. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that your personal experience is untainted by exposure to actual courts. Prosecutors in the United States are not exactly known for rigorous exercise of discretion, and defending yourself in court can be ruinously expensive even if you prevail.
You do not need to convict or even formally charge someone in order to have chilling effect on speech; when the police investigate you for a crime, and the mere possibility of being charged and convicted hangs over your head, you will think twice about what you say.
And while I know little about German jurisprudence, I do know that prosecutors in this country do not need to attain a conviction in order to destroy someone's life. Once a prosecutor claims you are guilty, plenty of people will believe it no matter the outcome, and that's on top of depleting your life savings on legal representation. I urge everyone to keep this in mind when contemplating how European-style hate speech laws (or any proposed laws) would play out in the United States.
The stats I linked above suggest a clearance rate of 89% for criminal insult investigations. While that number dwarfs the 56% average clearance rate for criminal investigations across Germany, it is unclear to me whether those figures describe how many investigations led to convictions, indictments, a suspect being formally charged, or merely the positive identification of a suspect. I believe the term generally refers to the proportion of investigations that lead to a suspect being formally charged, but I wasn't certain, so I left that figure out.
Feel free to dig deeper.