(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.