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Why We Terminated Daily Stormer (cloudflare.com)
857 points by SamWhited on Aug 16, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 1526 comments



>“This was my decision. This is not Cloudflare’s general policy now, going forward,” Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince told Gizmodo. “I think we have to have a conversation over what part of the infrastructure stack is right to police content.”

(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.

http://gizmodo.com/cloudflare-ceo-on-terminating-service-to-...


It's so bizarre. He tries to have it both ways. He says "no one should have that power", but then says he did it literally earlier that day. He says CloudFlare isn't changing their "content-neutral" policy... but clearly they did change that policy.

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.


What gets me is - I don't think Daily Stormer was even important, was it? I mean it's not like this is a giant propaganda machine with millions of visits a day run by Hitler. It seems to me to be pretty much a pissant little blog.

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 couldn't see any serious hate message because it read like hilariously sarcastic teenage angst and black humour (no pun intended).

I think you're taking a very optimistic view on the content there.


You sound pretty privileged to only be asking for all of us to get along when so many people are asking not to be shot or subjugated by systems built to work against them.


You sound pretty privileged to be able to respond in such a way.

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.


Cloudflare is pushing its pretend free speech PR too hard. But make no mistake, it's still just PR, no company like that actually cares about free speech.


That's a fallacy because "free speech" is not unlimited - every civilization recognizes its existence is the result of limiting specific freedoms in order to guarantee everyone other freedoms.

Germany, among others, outlaw this kind of content because they experienced the end result first-hand. Perhaps the US should learn from them.


"Germany, among others, outlaw this kind of content because they experienced the end result first-hand."

so you are saying, that we germans ended up in a total dictatorship, because things were too liberal before?


> That's a fallacy because "free speech" is not unlimited - every civilization recognizes its existence is the result of limiting specific freedoms in order to guarantee everyone other freedoms.

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?


Discriminatory hateful speech absolutely limits the freedom of the discriminated group. If a Jewish person encounters an energized gaggle of Nazis, how do you think they will behave? Not freely.

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.


> If a Jewish person encounters an energized gaggle of Nazis, how do you think they will behave?

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.


> 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?


He's talking about muslims.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_and_antisemitism#Hadith

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.[79]

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)


I can translate:

'progressive' people are pro immigration.

Many immigrants are muslim.

Some muslim hate jews, therefore 'progressive' people support antisemitism.

Simple, isn't it?


What a load of bullshit.

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.


sigh

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)


> Discriminatory hateful speech absolutely limits the freedom of the discriminated group

How so? Speech is just speech.


They have learned why following the same path is not the best approach. Trying to censor and hide the past is easier than facing it:


If you'd ever been to Germany you'd realise they have faced it, they just don't want anyone celebrating it


It's not black and white, or even shades of gray. Different entities make different decisions about what they'll allow, along multiple dimensions.


"We had to destroy the village in order to save it" - US Officer, talking about the decision by allied commanders to bomb and shell the town regardless of civilian casualties, to rout the Vietcong.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%E1%BA%BFn_Tre


Am I correct that you are equating a private company terminating its business relationship with an avowed neo-Nazi website with the U.S. military killing civilians?


Parallel is not equals.

edit: To expand, observing and noting key similarities between two different sets is not equivalent to saying the two sets are equivalent.


As far as I can see, you are not correct.


[flagged]


We just asked you to stop violating the guidelines, so we've banned this account.


He addresses this in his email to staff, which quoted in the article:

"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.


I am conflicted. On one hand, I totally agree with what you say, on the other hand, the reason I am agreeing is that I fear what a nazi would do with that kind of power.


You should fear this. And you should acknowledge that owners always have this power and the precedence here isn't going to be what enables them to wield it.


Yes, fear this, yes, give them more power over your life.


First they came for the Nazis, and I did not speak out— Because I was not a Nazi.


...and then everything was fine–because "slippery slope" isn't actually an argument.


My comment was intended as a joke mostly, but then I recalled this: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salami_tactics

> 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.[1][2] Rakosi claimed he destroyed the non-Communist parties by "cutting them off like slices of salami."[2] 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.[2][3]


Why not? I've seen it with youtube and reddits censorship on Syria.


Not untill you are the one getting censored, then its a slippery slope again, right?

The double standards you guys have. Just fuck my society up fam.


I would want them to do this to ISIS and other terrorists.


And ISIS would want them to do it to the US government and a bunch of other sites.

Today you're in luck because the guys with this power are on your side.

What happens when they're not?


When ISIS or Nazis are in power, you will not have the right to free speech without being subjected to state violence, regardless of how you kowtow to them now.

The paradox of tolerance applies directly to free speech.


The thing is, it doesn't have to be Nazis or ISIS in control. It just has to be people with a different ideological and moral framework from your own.

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 [0], 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 [1]

"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.

0: http://gizmodo.com/cloudflare-ceo-on-terminating-service-to-...

1: https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-freely/how-could-you-represe...


Well, there's no need for pointless hypothesizing about what might happen, because this is actual Nazis. It's not "[just] people with a different moral or ideological framework" -- it's people who are declaring their allegiance to a group that literally killed millions in the name of racial purity.

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.


> because this is actual Nazis.

Yes they are, but look at how the term 'Nazi' is being thrown about with abandon these days [0].

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.

0: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWFMUIP3lHo


Once you have established that it's ok to ban Nazis, then all you need to do to silence your opponents is brand them as a Nazi.

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.


> No, that would require everyone to be a credulous idiot

Of which there appear to be plenty of these days:

https://twitter.com/markos/status/896760610242912260

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.

https://www.vox.com/2017/8/15/16150176/watch-protesters-topp...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3173456/Vigilante-pr...


Sorry, where in any of your examples are the people waving Nazi flags saying they're Nazis? I'm unclear on why you keep bringing up red herrings when the issue is actual Nazis marching together here, in America, right now. These are all slippery slope arguments that don't appear to have any aim other than justifying not confronting real Nazis.


> where in any of your examples are the people waving Nazi flags saying they're Nazis?

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.


I'm not worried about the Nazis.

(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.


> Ah. Well, it's now quite clear where you stand,

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.


[flagged]


You went from arguing with him to proving him right. Congrats.


Saying that he is siding with Nazis is not proving him right at all. Proving him right would be calling him a Nazi.


Thank you for illustrating my point.

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.


He didn't pick Nazi's, he just wants them to be free to speak. Consider please that your ideas on freedom of speech have the opposite effect to what you intend.

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's the point. That's why it's so important to be careful when you screw with free speech on your own without legal means behind it.


Exactly, what happens if the CEO becomes a born-again Christian and decides that LGBT, abortion and bunch of other sites are no longer suitable for hosting on Cloudfare.

"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".


> Exactly, what happens if the CEO becomes a born-again Christian and decides that LGBT, abortion and bunch of other sites are no longer suitable for hosting on Cloudfare?

They'll switch to one of dozens of alternatives?


At what cost, and with how much downtime?

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?


It's not that bizarre. He isn't trying to have it both ways, he'd rather have it the other way, but until that's law, he's forced to have it this way.


Their account was not terminated because of the websites content. It was terminated because they (explicitly!) claimed Cloudflare was one of their supporters.


Aside from the net neutrality or freedom of expression concerns, I wonder if it just became too costly to host them because of ddoses


That doesn't seem to be the case. It could be hypothetically (Cloudflare certainly has no interest in admitting that there's an upper bound to the DDOS they can mitigate and hackers have found it), but I think the "I remembered I'm a CEO in a country where there is not much restrictive policy on who a company chooses to do business with, and I think even my customers will agree 'Nazis suck and don't deserve a platform'" explanation holds here.


I guess I'm saying that claiming it's taking a moral stand could act as cover for an altogether different motive --because most people would not think of the move as a precedent for what the limits are for speech from an 'inet infra co' but rather as a conscientious CEO who takes a moral stand.

I may also be simple coincidence.


Condemn the message, but protect the medium.


Meh... Reading the article I got more of a Miller test vibe, where apparently using their services with "claims of secret support" wasn't as acceptable as they assumed.


He is a human being after all with his ideas and opinions...


I have to wonder if he really made that decision of his own accord, or did he receive one or more calls from large customers that influenced the decision.


Agreed, wholeheartedly


Gee, I hope my site doesn't happen to anger him in some way.


There are few things worse than nazis. Just make sure your content is better than fascist propaganda and you should be good.



Wow, yeah, this article should be higher up. Choice quotes, from the same guy, regarding taking down ISIS sites:

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 already do, with TOR.

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".


Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot?

They killed _millions_ for arbitrary reasons. What about them?


What about them? How were they not fascists, for all practical purposes?


> How were they not fascists, for all practical purposes?

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.


How about literal neonazis waving swastikas, calling for violence to exterminate Jews and blacks? Ones literally identify with Nazi facists.

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.


"Do you not accept a line where free speech threatening violence harms other free individuals? "

I don't.

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.


[flagged]


I'm pretty OK with saying the marketplace of ideas has evaluated the ideals of Nazism and found no need remaining to preserve or protect them. We have, after all, tried the experiment of negotiating with Nazis, appeasing Nazis, and seeking peaceful coëxistence with Nazis, and we've learned what the resulting body count is.

People like to say "never again", but it's important to actually mean it.


The marketplace of ideas evaluated the ideals of Nazism, and rejected them by itself the first time. The fact we even call them Nazis is testament to that - it's an insulting reference to the fact National Socialists were uneducated country bumpkins. In battles of wits and words, Nazis lost every single time. So the idea we need to violate our ideals about freedom of speech, to defeat an enemy who never did stand a chance against us in that way, makes no sense. Do you really think our society's beliefs are truly so weak? That we are truly that vulnerable to pernicious memes?

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.


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.


The problem is not them beeing clearly nazis, its there opponents never stopping with the censor-ship and persecution once they get going.

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.


I guess not all murderers and murderous philosophies are created equal, huh?


how about the purpose of self-identification rather than convenient relabeling that i'm sure has nothing to do with your political allegiances?


Convenient relabeling? I beg your pardon? Aren't you just conveniently making up shit right now?


What about ISIS are they citizens of the US?


> There are few things worse than nazis. Just make sure your content is better than fascist propaganda and you should be good.

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.


The difference is that they thought they were the "good guys" and that other, lower humans, were ruining mankind's gene pool. They pushed for separating those classes of people, and then to kill a portion of them since segregation/"concentration" camps weren't enough.

That's not at all equivalent to other types of discussions we are having today about the economy, the environment, and education.


I think you've lost the plot here. We're talking about who gets to decide what content gets to stay on the internet and what gets booted off.


I think you have: it's pretty fucking clear what information should and shouldn't need help to be distributed. These hosts of this site could throw their page up on a home computer right now and it would be widely accessible to whomever wanted to see it. Nobody's under any obligation to make it safe (SSL certs), convenient (domain registrars) or available (bombardment security), especially when it's something so abhorrent.

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.


> it's pretty fucking clear what information should and shouldn't need help to be distributed

Unfortunately, no, it's not. And BTW, the CEO of CloudFlare agrees with me:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=15034304

> 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?


I guess completely out of context your comment may mean something else to you. In the context of this thread it seems like you're saying that there are other "social revolutions" that could be squashed because of content restrictions that are defended based on this incident.

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.


I'm saying that it's often hard to tell the difference between a positive social revolution and a repugnant one. Every social revolution is repugnant to someone, otherwise it wouldn't be a revolution. I am willing to defend your right to say things I find repugnant in order to preserve my right to say things you -- or more to the point, the CEO of my ISP -- may find repugnant.

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.


Everybody always thinks they are the good guys - that's what ideologies are for.


Yeah, like Communists right?

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.


Fact.

Still to me blocking nazi comtent is even more obvious since their violence is even closer linked to their ideology.


that is not very clear, since "communism" can mean many different rhings. And in the way of Pol porlt and co. it was clearly linked to violence


Well, ISIS has a large internet presence.

To me, actual terrorists actually committing terrorism is far worse than bratty idiots throwing the N-word around on an internet forum


FBI and DHS assess that white supremacist extremists were responsible for more attacks than any other domestic extremist movement, from 2000 to 2016.

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3924852-White-Suprem...


More attacks or more fatalities? This is a silly metric. 9-11 was a single attack.


9/11 was a foreign sourced attack, this assessment is about domestic extremism.


Most right wing politicians in the west have been called Nazis at one time or another.


Very few of those folks held up torches in public chanting an English version of a Nazi slogan. Even fewer still walk in public rallies waving Nazi flags, or hop in cars and run down counter-protesters.

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.


The Daily Stormer is literally named after a Nazi propaganda newspaper[1]. Describing the web site's viewpoint as "Nazi" or "fascist" isn't even an insult -- it's a plain fact.

[1]: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Der_St%C3%BCrmer


While I agree Nazi is an reasonable label to apply to these guys, the way the word is thrown around these days makes this argument worrying to me personally. I have seen people called Nazis simply because they are pro life. Considering cloudflare allegedly hosts Islamic extremist content I really wonder where the line is.

"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."

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/11/18/cloudflare_ceo_rubb...


Apparently the line is crossed when the site says Cloudflare literally supports their ideology.


Do you have a source for this? I've seen it claimed on this tread but I haven't seen evidence of it actually happening. Did they have a cloudflare logo on their homepage or something?


The source is the linked article. I said "apparently" because I have no other source (nor inclination to search for one).


"Nazi" is a slang term used to refer to a member of the National Socialist German Workers' Party. In that sense it is an insult rather than a fact.


that may be true. But in light of the no true scotsman argument, perhaps we should re-evaluate whom calls themselves nazis.

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.


As a member of neither continent, I find it beyond bizarre that in Europe, they're perfectly capable of determining from context whether someone called a 'nazi' is just having a slur thrown against them, or is actually a follower of the ideology, whereas in America they can't seem to tell the difference. Some yobbo calling a senator a nazi doesn't literally mean the senator is one, whereas people that wave nazi flags, openly promote nazi policies, and wander around giving the nazi salute are a different kettle of fish.

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.


Here in the USA, calling someone a Nazi does not at all suggest they are a member of some well-organized noveau-NSDAP. Even the swastika-waving type are understood to be trying to upset and frighten folks.

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.


Yea I agree. It's really weird that white supremacists are 'literally nazis' in the eyes of many Americans. Did the meaning of that word change recently?


I do think that the word "literally" has changed for many people recently and now means "figuratively" to them.


Indeed it has; even the OED recognises this sense:

"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’)."

(http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/109061)

The earliest example given, incidentally, is from way back in 1769.


I don't really think semantics of literally matter in this case. In Charlottesville people were attending a "Unite the Right" event with actual Nazis .... If you are uniting with Nazis you're becoming a Nazi.


You know, I was going to spit venom back, discussing the European in fighting and greed post WWI for putting those goose stepping morons in a place where normal people thought they held the answers. But, if you can't be trusted to listen to why the Nazis were put into power and not skip to the atrocities, why would I think you'd understand why our politic and society is the way it is.


I find that when discussing politics with an American, I want to say "you know what I fucking mean" more than when discussing with a European. Americans tend to attack the surface meaning of what you say rather than the actual meaning.

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.


Weird, that doesn't sound like the events of Brexit, at all. Oh well. Have fun being superior, I think I'm done with this pissing contest. You can win. I don't care..... Cheers, I guess =)


the thing is where does it end, once cencorship started ..


Famous last words before you get silenced.


Then 1. Don't be a nazi 2. Don't have Google and GoDaddy boot you off their services already leaving you looking like you support nazis. But mainly just 1.


Don't be a feminist, you might get booted off Google and GoDaddy.

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.


> That said, I think crossing this content line for an infrastructure company is a big deal, and I hope it's not repeated.

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 is doing the same the chinese or russians are doing

The tech industry gladly supplied most of the tech the Chinese and Russians used: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/04/ciscos-latest-attempt-...


Tech companies have been banning and censoring since the start of the commercial Internet. This is not a precedent for anyone except Cloudflare itself.


no one should have that power, but fuck nazis


If you are too reasonable when evil forces are at work, they might win.


This is in a way much worse than if they actually changed their policy. With this precedent, it looks like what they're saying now is "we're not policing content, except for when our CEO feels like it". Basically this is a clear act of corruption, given their own proclaimed principles of content neutrality. That the ultimate trigger seems to have been that the removed site said something negative about CloudFlare is also worrying.


Is it corruption when a governor issues a pardon, or a president vetoes a bill? The point of an Executive is to be able to do act-utilitarian evaluations of context, while the organization itself is stuck following rule-utilitarianism.


Well, when a president convicts someone to a prison sentence because they said the president is a nazi, I'm pretty sure most people would call that corruption (if he bypasses the courts and written laws).

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.


> Is it corruption when a governor issues a pardon

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...


How do you feel about bakeries refusing to bake cakes for gay weddings?

Pretty sure this is the same concept.


Being a Nazi shithead is a choice.

Edit: downvote all you want. Parent is making a false equivalency and I'm just calling them on it.


How do you know it's a choice? Do you know if people choose what ideologies to align with? Is it a choice to become an addict?

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?


Why are you being a Nazi sympathizer?

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 don't think there's anything in the tech consciousness alone, that conveys the sheer individual and global damage WW2 did. Upwards of 80 million dead? I don't think people have any grasp at all what a struggle it was, how totally uncertain it was that Axis powers would be defeated, or the extent of human suffering enacted.

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.


> Is it a choice to become an addict?

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.


Getting married is a choice.


Wait the argument you are making seems to be "one chooses to be a nazi and hate, so we should stigmatize that" therefore "one chooses to get married, so we should stigmatize that"

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


Are you suggesting that people who don't want to be discriminated against should choose not to get married?

What kind of sick, sad world is that?


It's better than if they had reverse engineered the policy. Do it or don't do it, but either way, stand by your actions and get outta here with the mealy mouthed BS. IMHO.


I feel like a lot of Supreme Court decisions are reverse engineered. I'm not sure that bell can be un-rung.


That's different, the SC isn't an executive body.

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.


> 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.

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.


People seem to be missing the entire substance of what he's getting at. That's why he mentions "no one should have that power". He even follows up about this in the blog.

> 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.


Exactly! Extremely frustrating that the rest of the quote wasn't included.

"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.”


Well, at least the CEO fully admits that it's an arbitrary decision. And indeed it is in his power to make.

CloudFlare is not the only player in town, and that's far from censorship.


If he has the power to do such things then does it that is definitely HIS official policy going forward. Apparently company policy doesn't matter when you're the guy at the top, or at least that's what he's trying to tell us. Way to send a terrible message to your employees BTW.

If he doesn't like your site and has a bad day he's going to take you off the internet.


If he doesn't like your site, he may not allow you to use his service, which is something the TOS already cover.

Over time, such capricious terminations could lead to the Board seeking action against the CEO, depending on the impact to the business.


I'm no lawyer, but I seem to recall that a contract that allows one side to unilaterally withdraw for unspecified reasons is not a real contract (the legal term is "illusory promise" or "illusory contract").

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.


The point here is that if you have an account with Cloudflare, but Cloudflare's terms of use allow it to cancel your account for any reason--which is how I understand the CEO's explanation, regardless of whether I think the stated reason is good or bad--then you may be relying on something that you shouldn't rely on.


> I seem to recall that a contract that allows one side to unilaterally withdraw for unspecified reasons is not a real contract

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.


Don't take my word for it: https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/illusory_promise .

If Cloudflare can cancel the contract at the CEO's whim without needing to prove that the customer has somehow violated some terms of use, then Cloudflare isn't "bound to perform" using Cornell's terminology.


In ordinary contracts that's true, but this case is different because it's more of a continuing contract

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.


I think arbitrary is the wrong word, the correct word is subjective. The decision wasn't random, or capricious as is the denotation of arbitrary. But the decision was subjective in that it's based more on instinct, bias, opinion, feeling, than it is on something objective that can be articulated in a way that it's a reproducible judgement with different particulars.

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. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1924_Democratic_National_Conve...

1934-1936 Nazis at Madison Square Garden http://mashable.com/2016/07/27/nazis-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. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1985-01-31/news/850106068...

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." https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3924852-White-Suprem...


I think what the subtext is is that he values free speech, but if he gets enough political pressure and threats he'll do what he has to to protect the company's bottom line on a case by case basis.


So much for believing in "due process".


Due process? For what? It's a private company, deciding to terminate the contract with a shitty customer that is ruining their image. Worst case scenario the Nazis might have a case for breach of contract, but they won't get much out of it. Also, I'd love to see them show up in court to try to defend this as a "freedom of speech" case, and get told what a bunch of abhorrent human beings they are and to GTFO.


The CEO's explanation includes a section titled "freedom of speech < due process." But he defines "due process" as, roughly, predictable decision making. Legally speaking, due process involves a lot more than that.

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.


Gotcha, when he said "due process" he didn't mean it in the legal sense, but in the "we have to follow the right procedures internally to make sure what we are doing is right" sense.


Right. But I don't see where he describes those internal procedures. Basically, the post amounts to "we were upset that these guys claimed we supported them, so we canceled their account." There's a discussion about how important it is to not make decisions on a whim, but no discussion about how this decision wasn't made on a whim.


Due process is something the CloudFlare CEO mentioned believing in.

I didn't see how it was relevant either.


I think private companies serving public with ability to control visibility, especially those with majority marketshare should be subject to similar laws as anti-trust.


tbh, if they're that fundamental to our society then they should be nationalised.


His only mistake is explaining himself.

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.


And the hate group would be defined as such by whom?


Sometimes we yield idealism for the sake of pragmatism. Yes, the definition of "hate group" is subjective and also political, but most people recognize that self-described nazis and members of the KKK meet that definition.


Much like free speech due process concerns citizens and their government rather than people and any public organization.


No. The 1st amendment is specific to the government, but free speech is a much broader normative concept. It is about cordoning off the market place of ideas from reprisals in meatspace. A canonical defense is John Stuart Mill's "On Liberty" (available free online).


It might be a canonical concept, but it's not encoded in law.


Indeed. The law does not completely protect free speech; the first amendment prevents the federal government from infringing it, but it's up to us to defend it when it's threatened by other private citizens or organizations.


He said so himself in May that every website deserves due process before taking it offline.

“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.


"Yup, they're Nazis".

What more due process do you require?


There was a post on twitter earlier that said "Take your first name and your last name, that's your Nazi-fighting name".

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.


Point A is something people don't realize they need to be careful with. The terms "racist" and "sexist" have been so overused and reduced to meaninglessness in the past few years, that true sexism and racism have been allowed to grow and become publicly visible. People can just brush off or even proudly own up to accusations because it's been so wrongly applied so often.

"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.


Yep and you lose (in a general sense) a convenient way of summarising a narrow and dangerous political ideology for a moments gratification in saying "Don't listen them, they are a Nazi".

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).


> My philosophy is "You have a right to think whatever you want, You don't have any rights to make me think it".

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.


[flagged]


Since no one answered your question about how much due process is needed, let me take a stab at it. To paraphrase the article, due process requires that the rules be known in advance, and that they be applied non-arbitrarily to each accused violator. I would also add that the rules should be as specific as possible, since vague terms like "hateful ideology" can be applied to almost anything controversial.

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 would also add that the rules should be as specific as possible, since vague terms like "hateful ideology" can be applied to almost anything controversial.

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.


Pretty much or at least an organisation that adheres to all or the preponderance of the tenets of the ideology.

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.


So, essentially there's no definition outside of "participated in the German SS during World War 2" that you will accept? Even if the people called themselves "neo-Nazis" and talked about "the JQ" openly?

https://twitter.com/classiclib3ral/status/896860224971128836


The Daily Stormer self-identifies as neo-Nazi.

If they think they're following in Nazi footsteps, does that count for anything in your book?

If not, then what would?


Tell me what "the ideology" is then.


Did you even finish reading his post?

    >[Being] a race supremacist, hard right and pro-eugenics and nationalist just might.


Can you please change your formatting on this? It's breaking HN for me (Chrome on Win10)


Nothing about being German in there? Nothing about hating Jews? Or any of the other things that the Nazis espoused just because they were handy, and which had nothing to do with "the ideology" because there isn't one?

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.


I guess you haven't had a chance to go check their website. Maybe you should, before you spend too much time trying to give them the benefit of the doubt. These people are self-declared Nazis, and they do fantasize about killing all kinds of minorities.


Actual Nazi's like National Socialists with a Eugenics campaign, or people we just don't like

How about the test being whether they are waving the Nazi flag? That's pretty unambiguous.


Unless they're being paid to wave that flag by that PewDiePie character.


> What more due process do you require?

That sounds like something a Nazi would say.


I'm not saying it, I'm asking it. What more do you need than swastikas and glorification of the holocaust and so on? I love how the bar there seems to be raised so high that even Adolf Hitler might not qualify as Nazi to some people here, but I simply ask a question, and that's being like a Nazi.

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.


Well Adolf would need to be pro and against abortion, pro and against LGBT rights, since that was the usage for Nazi before this started. A political slur. If everyone is Nazi, no one is.

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.


Even when one explicitly calls it out as something they believe in?


Do you honestly believe this is a good argument?


> So much for believing in "due process".

Due process is not a synonym for don't do anything nor no consequences.


Due process is not a synonym for "I woke up this morning in a bad mood and decided to kick them off the Internet" either.


> I think we have to have a conversation over what part of the infrastructure stack is right to police content

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?


So what other arbitrary decisions has made that haven't attracted as much publicity?


This is excellent context to have. Thank you for providing it.


Not sure why you are quoting earlier content instead of Cloudflare's statement on this particular matter.

From today:

>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.


If eastdakota said it, it's damning, regardless of the later PR scrubbing.


Damning? I find it humble and self-deprecating to call a lucid moment as this a "bad mood".


He also said this:

>“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.”


Don't try to market yourself as critical Internet infrastructure if you're going to throw your principals away because someone made you feel icky.

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.


> Don't try to market yourself as critical Internet infrastructure if you're going to throw your principals away because someone made you feel icky.

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.


I'm cringing at the cognitive dissonance. Every major silicon valley tech company helps China oppress it citizens on an unparalleled scale to allow them to continue to operate in the country, but one "terrorist attack" (unplanned murder with a vehicle, a hate crime) occurs in a state in the US and suddenly the gloves are off.

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.


We might agree on a few points but trying to clarify that the murder wasn't a terrorist attack, that it was just "unplanned murder with a vehicle", makes me want to re-examine my opinions on the points where we agree.

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.


You make it sound like the facts are known and the arrested has already been convicted. I have every suspicion that the events happened as you describe with murderous intent, but will wait on the criminal court's decision.

EDIT: I struggled to figure out how to include that the horrific events happened in less than a minute.


I'm sorry, is it empathy to agree with folks that, "yes" it is okay to kill? Should we not call that act of violence and act of violence?

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'm sorry, is it empathy to agree with folks that

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.


You yourself have called it a position of hatred and spontaneous and fatal violence. A spontaneous violence that is unrepentant upon it's exposure, that claims it has to kill to make it's point and that those who stand against it deserve killing.

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.


Ignoring the issue about calls for violence which are not always protected, how has their right to free speech been affected? CloudFlare is not the government and the first amendment doesn't generally obligate a private company to provide service. They're still free to speak all they want, run their own servers, etc.


> I may not be able to understand where White Supremists are coming from, but I fully appreciate their right to free speech.

These two facts are connected. Another example would be not being fully sure what bleach exactly is, but being all for drinking it.


Bluntly, people have a right to hate, as long as they're not committing assault and battery.

I'll take the world where that exists before I live in a world with thought police.


If people have a right to hate, then your ethos demands private companies can mute anyone they want.

It seems difficult to have it both ways.

Edit: it seems my debate partner deleted a telling comment. Too bad.


I didn't think we're debating? I'm just expressing my views within the HN bubble.

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.


Maybe, but there is a clear difference in magnitude between the celebration of murder to quash speech and the historical debate about the direction of this country.

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.


> but one "terrorist attack" (unplanned murder with a vehicle, a hate crime) occurs in a state in the US and suddenly the gloves are off.

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.


> There's no "unplanned murder". Intent, and (depending on jurisdiction) premeditation are requirements for a murder charge

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.


So you're saying it was wrong to assume 9/11 to be a terror attack before 2006?

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?


> So you're saying it was wrong to assume 9/11 to be a terror attack before 2006?

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.


> but one "terrorist attack" (unplanned murder with a vehicle) occurs in a state in the US and suddenly the gloves are off.

> 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.[41][42]


73% of incidents?

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.


> 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)

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2017/aug/16/...


That GAO report for all intents and purposes counts any murder by a person affiliated with a right wing group as an act of terror, including prison beatings, death of a homeless man etc and lumps them in with legitimate acts of terror.

http://www.gao.gov/assets/690/683984.pdf


But that standard is consistent across every group, so you can hardly argue it's unfair when it's universally applied.


It is unfair if we're talking about terrorism, because prison murders are not terrorism.

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.


> 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.

Terrorism:

> the unlawful use of violence and intimidation, especially against civilians, in the pursuit of political aims.


It seems hugely disingenuous to leave sept 11 from that.


9/11 was a foreign in origin. The GAO and the FBI / DHS risk assessments are domestic extremism.


>unplanned murder with a vehicle

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?


> This country isn't getting fixed without empathy, understanding, and compromise on a national scale

They are nazis. We do not compromise with nazis. The only understanding necessary is that they are nazis.


How about refusing to take down ISIS? They stuff they say is much worse and much more violent than anything that recently happened in US.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/anonymous-opisis-cloudflare-refuses...

"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.


Evidently the line that was crossed here was defaming Cloudflare itself?

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.


> They then defamed a private organization by claiming they too supported that vile sentiment.

This for me is the only real defense for taking them down.


> 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.

Fine, lets talk about that then.


As I said though, I don't think this ends up getting what a small segment of people want.

Governments these days aren't terribly friendly to fascism as a protected idea set.


> Freedom of speech is rarely the speech we agree with.

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.


> The Pirate Bay and DDOS gangs are okay, but this was the line? The worlds gone sideways.

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?


people whose namesake is derived from a group of people that committed genocide is where I draw my line

Jacobinmag has no trouble with its host.


Ditto "The Young Turks"


History is written by the winners.


And there is controversy insofar as whether they truly committed a genocide with many scholars saying they didn't. There is no controversy with regard to Nazis. If you did 10 minutes of research you could find as much.


There is no controversy. The genocide happened. I've met the survivors. They were brought to my school and I saw the tattoos with numbers on them. I saw the sadness in their eyes. The Holocaust denial statements you've spewed would be illegal and banned in Germany, too.


That's quite the stretch to say the Jacobins committed "genocide".


> Yes people whose namesake is derived from a group of people that committed genocide is where I draw my line

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


"The Pirate Bay and DDOS gangs are okay, but this was the line? The worlds gone sideways."

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.


I'm saying Cloudflare has made a decision which criminal conduct they're willing to allow, which is dramatically different then "we turn off no one".


And why is it a surprise that media pirates or gangs weren't enough to change their minds, but Nazis are?

Your phrasing implies that if they're willing to kick out Nazis, they should be willing to kick out media pirates. That's bizarre!


> And why is it a surprise that media pirates or gangs weren't enough to change their minds, but Nazis are?

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.


You don't see why someone might be more opposed to actual literal swastika-carrying roman-saluting Hitler-worshipping Nazis who would be out exterminating inferior races right now if they had more followers, than to a web site that helps you download movies without paying for them?

Criminality isn't the only thing people look at for this stuff.


2017 - when people are comparing illegal downloads to Nazis, but not in a way you'd expect to. (Does this count as Godwin's law?)


This whole episode has been a vigorous reminder that many nerds are extremely rigid thinkers.


Since 2012 I've been dealing with right wingers coming onto the subject of Syria to denigrate victims of SyAAF bombing runs, justify the bombing of civilian clinics and hospitals, claim desperately that victims of Sarin attacks were dolls.

Many of them were coming from right wing circles, white nationalists. They have a thing for Assad[1], 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[2].

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.

[1] http://archive.is/Xb0fk

[2] https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2017/08/13...


Sorry you didn't get your war!

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?


>you destroyed Syria tomorrow

Huh?

>whose blood would you thirst next

What?


If not in order to foment war in Syria, why do you repeat the "fake news" about supposed abuses by Assad? As for this "white nationalists love Assad" thing, that's just goofy. Did weev tweet something? Did you believe him?


> Criminality isn't the only thing people look at for this stuff.

Legally, it is when someone decides to sue or prosecute you for assisting a criminal enterprise.


Who's talking about suing or prosecuting?


Anyone who wants to sue (or prosecute, if a prosecuter feels it's warranted) Cloudflare in the future when they're providing services to a site breaking the law. Common carrier doesn't apply to them, as they're not an ISP, but they've shown they make the choice, which doesn't help in front of a jury or judge.


I could see that. If true, that means that the CEO's revulsion of Nazis overcame his business sense. Which is completely expected.


Yeah, I guess they draw the line at "people who actually want to kill other people." I don't know you but I think it's a pretty solid line.


> I guess they draw the line at "people who actually want to kill other people."

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.


Maybe we should claim for them censor all those bad actors too, then. Again, intending to kill people sounds like a solid line.

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.


> 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.


The Pirate Bay is fine. DDOS gangs however? I would argue that they are worse than people who express a fascist ideology online.


Please do. I'd like to see it.


Free speech harms nobody. DOS attacks harm the people whose service is denied to.


I don't think Cloudflare is providing the DDOS part, though. Their involvement is limited to serving the web sites i.e. speech.


> I don't think Cloudflare is providing the DDOS part

I did not claim that they did.

> Their involvement is limited to serving the web sites i.e. speech

I guess so.


What about being upfront about a lack of principles and also marketing a the company as critical internet infrastructure?

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.


> Don't try to market yourself as critical Internet infrastructure if you're going to throw your principals away because someone made you feel icky.

"Icky"? They provoked this response by using CloudFlare's name in their cause. What would be the appropriate response?


Maybe a press release saying "Hey, we're not nazis, but we also have this policy that says we won't shut off service to people with whom we disagree politically" would have done the trick?


You think appealing to principles and fairness is enough to quell the mob mentality that's consumed America the past few days? Have you not been watching/reading the news? I've been learning all week that Trump and everyone who voted for Trump is no different than a Nazi.


>Don't try to market yourself as critical Internet infrastructure if you're going to throw your principals away because someone made you feel icky.

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[1]. Heimbach has urged violence before and cheered stabbings[2] 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.

[1] http://www.cbsnews.com/news/white-nationalist-leader-pleads-...

[2] http://archive.is/ZBOOa


Cloudfare used to market itself not too long ago ago as an entity that didn't censor speech. I guess things have changed.

“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.”

https://www.propublica.org/article/service-provider-boots-ha...


Inciting violence has never been a protected form of speech.


In USA, the supreme Court has stated that it is only not protected if it causes an IMMEDIATE risk to life. A website doesn't meet that bar, most likely, at least the way SCOTUS phrased it..


Yeah, if you don't see the difference between a Nazi website and Pirate Bay you have some serious problems.


Freedom of speech does not cover incitement nor hate speech.


> nor hate speech

better tell the Supreme Court

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/201...


In the US, "hate speech" is not a recognized category of speech and therefore protected, and even incitement has to meet a high bar, including immediacy.


Hate speech is a fake category, recently invented (in the historical time scope of US speech debate) as a means to instigate tighter speech controls by the government. The definition of hate speech is entirely arbitrary, you'll notice it has approximately as many definitions as there are people discussing it. That's by design, it's meant to have any definition desired at any time, to be of maximum use in destroying freedom of speech in the US. The effort is succeeding and accelerating rapidly. Freedom of speech in the US has less than a decade left, the vise grip will start with things that are very hard to defend, and move down the ladder often varying by who is in power.

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.


The Pirate Bay and Lizard Squad aren't an existential threat to our society. Neither is ISIS. Fascism and white supremacy is.


That's just hyperbolic. An ideology that has as few individuals as white supremacy does is hardly an existential crisis. Unless, of course, there is reason to believe more people will be pushed to white supremacy in the future, which is proposterous. For what reason would more and more people be pushed to extreme ends of identity politics? Truly a mystery.


Let's say you're right.

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."


who said it had to be either or. It can be both.


This is where the analogy breaks down though. If we reach a place where the internet itself is fragmented, then I will no longer be able to access trash like the Daily Stormer, and the child of a radical will no longer be able to access the content that I see.

At this point, the wall will be too high to effectively toss education / ideas over, the internet being the primary form of communication.


So you think we should be debating the nazis about whether or not we should consider genocide?

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.


> engaging, at all, legitimizes the notion that this type of idea is up for debate. It's not.

"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

I agree

> 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.


Great, I can entertain thoughts without accepting them. I am not the person I'm concerned with here. The social signal required in debating actual genocide is, fundamentally, a problem. This doesn't happen in a vacuum. Debating actual genocide whatsoever in any what at all lends legitimacy to the idea in the eyes of those with a propensity to entertain it. This is not theoretical. This is happening.

* Your anger and hatred have led you to become the very thing that you set out to hate. *

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.


I find it incredible that so many people here do not realize what inventing and enforcing a new, arbitrary hate speech category will enable politically over time. While simultaneously they're terrified of Trump, they're extremely eager to intentionally give him extraordinary new powers of speech control.

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.


In fact private corporations already have the right to censor or refuse service to any of their customers.


That is not the primary issue being debated here.

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?


Every country in the world has more stringent free speech laws as the US, and the democracies among them have not devolved into dictatorships. So I'd be careful with any certainty approaching a "guarantee of an inevitable outcome:.


Unless you bake cakes.


No. Cake maker must make cakes for gay wedding. duh.


Excepting protected classes, which "neo-Nazi" is not.


Trump is going to run Cloudflare? What?


> Trump is going to run Cloudflare? What?

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.


People don't "understand" because you're wrong (or at least, have no evidence of being right). Infact, what you argue for is a worse outcome than your conclusion, an outcome where individuals and businesses are forced to support speech they don't agree with, thus robbing them of their freedoms.

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.


Couldn't he face personal liability in a civil lawsuit for monetary damages? Like if Daily Stormtrooper's hosting costs go up in a DDOS


Obviously, absolutely not.


The site could, in theory, sue Cloudflare for failing to provide the services they paid for.

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).


Of course they can sue. Anybody can sue anybody else for whatever fancy they have. But that's not the same as winning that suit.


There's no need to be pedantic here. When a layperson talks about the ability of one person to sue another they mean the high likelihood of winning said suit.

We all know what the parent meant.


There's more to suing than the likelihood of winning. War of attrition is a big one. If you have a lot of resources you can sue just to cause financial damage, emotional distress etc to the defendant without having to actually eventually win the case.

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.


> There's no need to be pedantic here. When a layperson talks about the ability of one person to sue another they mean the high likelihood of winning said suit.

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.


> You only speak for yourself.

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.


So, in what world do you see a judge awarding damages to a Neo Nazi outfit that decided to sue a provider of an optional internet service for damages incurred because the internet service provider withdraw their service in explicit agreement with their terms of service?

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.


Never said I did see that world. Just that it was a reasonably question that didn't deserve a flippant, pedantic answer.

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.


Noted.


>> We all know what the parent meant.

> 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.


thats the complete rebuttal? I could see a judge granting summary judgement in favor of Daily Stormer before Cloudflare even gets around to responding.


> I could see a judge granting summary judgement in favor of Daily Stormer before Cloudflare even gets around to responding.

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.


Can you give me several reasons why a judge wouldn't merely grant summary judgement in favor of Daily Stormer? Or why their arguments would fail?

"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."


Because of this sentence from Cloudflare's Terms of Service:

"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" [1].

If you don't want that kind of a service relationship, you negotiate a fixed-term contract up front.

[1] https://www.cloudflare.com/terms/ Section 10; also see § 15 (Termination)


that doesn't mean a judge wouldn't put the monetary damages square on cloudflare


> that doesn't mean a judge wouldn't put the monetary damages square on cloudflare

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.


Because it is pretty rare for a judge to side with a consumer who states they would like the judge to force the company to do business with them.

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.


This isn't about a protected class, that wouldn't even be the argument.

Civil lawsuits only look at damages and the argument on what caused the damages. It is just about proving monetary damages.


Sure, but that all starts with you claiming you have a right to the service to begin with. And that's the hard part to prove here, especially since Cloudflare fairly explicitly reserves the right not to do business with anybody they don't feel like serving.


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