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‘Daily Stormer’ Termination Haunts Cloudflare in Online Piracy Case (torrentfreak.com)
159 points by vespian on Oct 1, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 230 comments



Besides the politics, this was a very stupid move by Cloudflare. Cloudflare set up a limit to what they allow or not so now they will have to fight where that limit is. It can become death by a thousand papercuts. It'll start from the most controversial ones like child stuff and revenge porn. Then will keep moving, scandal by scandal.

Don't get me wrong, we shouldn't tolerate the intolerant (e.g. nazis/terrorists), but who decides what belongs in that category is a huge problem that shouldn't be in the hands of a private tech company.

See how Google/YouTube/Twitter did mass bans and ended up including people like Jordan Peterson.


Cloudflare set up a limit to what they allow or not so now they will have to fight where that limit is. It can become death by a thousand papercuts.

Twitter also enforces its policies very selectively, and seems to be getting away with it so far, but they are walking a tightrope. E.g. now violating the ToS is OK if it's "newsworthy" etc. Or how "Kill all X" will get you banned for some values of X but not others.


Twitter is a joke.

I keep reporting accounts that call black people "nic gurr" to avoid being caught dropping actual N bombs and they are almost never banned.

I guess Daily Active User KPI is more important!

Edit - For anyone wondering about Trump's place on Twitter, he's not going anywhere. Twitter is extremely proud of his account and is using him in advertising in Japan:

http://www.businessinsider.com/twitter-ads-featuring-donald-...


> I keep reporting accounts that call black people "nic gurr" to avoid being caught dropping actual N bombs and they are almost never banned.

This is a war you'll never win, though. People will keep inventing new combinations of characters as you ban the previously used ones.


That seems naive. It's impractical to technologically predict and exclude all undesirable letter combinations, but once humans get involved it's not hard to tell when someone is trying to slip the N-word. That's why there's a report button.


> it's not hard to tell when someone is trying to slip the N-word

Coded language like "states rights"[1][2] sill slips by a lot of people today.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dog-whistle_politics#United_St...

[2] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_8E3ENrKrQ


Political opinions, however reprehensible, are a different thing than slurs.


I suggest listening to the video [previous 2]. That political opinion is explicitly designed as a racial slur.


I think Twitter has not claimed they are content agnostic. That's the difference.


There used to be a time when twitter tried to brand itself as "the free speech wing of the free speech party"[1]. Obviously they have changed their stance by quite a bit.

[1] https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2014/aug/21/twitter-f...


[flagged]


The full quote was "The US has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea."

The word "if" was probably the key factor here. Since his threat was conditional, that most likely puts it into a different category than outright threats.


"If you don't shut up, I'm going to kick your ass" is still a pretty clear outright threat despite containing the word "if."


More like, if you attack me, I will be forced to kick your ass.


The Jordan Peterson point is a good one. His point has been for quite a while that if you're a young man, and you're unhappy with your life, the way to fix that is to work on fixing your life, not joining some far-right movement.

Google really worked at cross-purposes with its own agenda there.


It depends what one considers Google's agenda to be.

If Google's agenda is to promote a progressive worldview, then a highly-credentialed man cultivating attention for rants about how using non-traditional gender pronouns is a road to gulags makes an unlikely champion, even if some of his more nuanced and informed opinions are interesting in their own right.

If Google's agenda is primarily to make ad revenue - which is better supported by the evidence - then having a flagging system and demonetising videos by people that annoy certain sections of society enough to get flagged a lot even if you reinstate them is probably a net positive for the overall value of advertising on Google's network. (I don't think Peterson's income has exactly suffered either; quite the reverse since his Patreon account will have enjoyed the additional publicity)


I wouldn't say your point about how he cultivated attention is accurate.

At every possible opportunity, in every interview and discussion, he's stated that his problem is not the use of these words, it's the prospect of forcing their use through policy and categorizing this as a form of forcing speech.

I agree with you that overall it's ended up as a net positive for him, at least income and publicity wise.


[flagged]


[flagged]


> every statement he has ever made on the issue that I can find focuses on compelled speech

That's the problem: his speech isn't being compelled. Bill C-16 doesn't compel* anyone[1]. It makes two changes.

1) "gender identity or expression" is added to the list of possible aggravating circumstances tha should be taken into consideration during sentencing. For this to affect anyone, they first have to be found guilty of some crime.

2) "gender identity or expression" is added[2] to a list of "identifiable groups" that might be targeted for genocide. For this to affect anyone they must [318 (2) (a)] "kill members of the group", or [318 (2) (b)] "deliberately inflict on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction". Both (a) and (b) require "intent to destroy in destroy in whole or in part any identifiable group.

If Peterson insists he could be affected, he must either be committing some other crime against trans-people or plotting their genocide. Instead, the simpler - and more plausible - explanation is that he doesn't know what he's talking about.

[1] http://www.parl.ca/DocumentViewer/en/42-1/bill/C-16/first-re...

[2] http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-46/page-73.html#h-...


I don't see what you said as a counter to the part where you quoted me. I never argued anything to the contrary of your sources.

Your answer is an actual good faith counter to Peterson's assertions but the part where you quoted me is where I simply state what he's claimed in interviews.

I do this because people usually start out by straw-manning him, claiming he's said he's anti-this or that, whereas I'm claiming he's mainly said that his stance is against speech being compelled by law (which is fair game to argue against, as you did, if you think he's wrong).

I don't have to agree with his arguments to point out when people straw-man them


[flagged]


> and lambasts his fellow professors for being Marxists

I suspect You're employing a little slight of hand here that reads like he's shouting "marxist!" at all professors rather than some professors, that is, the professors who he claims promote that ideology. If he suspects that some professors have that aim, he's entitled to call out what he sees without people painting it like he's screaming at shadows.

We could argue around in circles about this, although I think we might agree on what we're debating.

- He argues that using non-traditional gender pronouns is road to gulags. (paraphrasing your first comment)

vs

- He argues that compelling speech through policy is a road to gulags, and the noun issue at hand happens to be a vehicle in this particular instance.

I'm not saying that I agree with his thoughts on the nouns in question, but it seems that your focus is the hill he chose to stand on, whereas I'd argue that it's important that people stand on hills when it comes to laws that compel speech.

When you say that he argues that people don't have the right to choose their own nouns, I think it's lacking context from his lectures. He explains in his talks that he sees rights as something that become the responsibilities of other people. So in essence here he's simply repeating his assertion that his speech, and therefore his thoughts (if you accept his premise that control of speech is a tool to shape thought), shouldn't be compelled by demands of other people to control speech via policy.

I'd concede that it's not the readers fault that the context is lacking in the writing, and that leaves it open for you to reasonably argue that he didn't make that statement with this context in mind. Anecdotally from watching hours of interviews and lectures, I'd make a claim that the context is important.


To perhaps sum it up more, I believe the attacks he frequently receives on the internet suffer from people unwilling to view the situation in any sort of context and end up looking for a way to settle an issue in the short format of an internet forum (or God forbid, twitter).

It's this same gung-ho strategy that leads to the videos of protesters approaching Peterson after shutting down his speeches and smugly asking him "about the neo-nazi" presence" at his event (he of course responds that he deplores them) as cheap way of implying guilt by any sort of implied association.

It's stunningly dishonest to try such cheap association tactics against someone who's spent their career studying and lecturing on the dark aspects of the human condition and how they lead to murderous and authoritarian movements like the Nazis and then sets out frameworks to both recognize and turn away from that darkness.

Edit: to be clear, I don't view your writings in this dishonest lens, the comment was more about the patterns I've seen creep up in general.


Holy s---!

I never knew what could happen by bring a stickler for traditional English. (Adds a whole new depth to 'grammar Nazi')

Thanks for the massive wakeup call... I'm going to have to move to less capricious ways to use the internet.


> His point has been for quite a while that if you're a young man, and you're unhappy with your life, the way to fix that is to work on fixing your life, not joining some far-right movement.

Weird, then, how as soon as something went wrong with his life, he joined a far-right movement. (And seems to be very well-compensated financially for doing so.)


It doesn’t seem like this is true from his Wikipedia page. Don’t see any movements listed here. Don’t think havi views that a far right movement supports is the same as joining and supporting that movement, and I don’t think it’s fair to label him that way.


Whether a person has actually joined a movement appears to matter less than if some vocal group claims a person has.


I fear your belief is in the minority. Increasingly, choosing a side and holding it is becoming required.


For people who disqualify themselves as honest thinkers. Numbers don't change that.


I do try to be tolerant of different views, but I can see the viewpoint that there's slim difference between belonging to an organization that wants to revoke my human rights, and merely wanting to revoke my rights independently.


It is not being stated that he supports the same views. Only on some points they align.

For example, some of the far right such as DS are anti-capitalist. We wouldn't say that anti-capitalist are far right, although some far right groups align on that topic.


It is naive to think this battle wasn't going to eventually come to Cloudfare or the Internet as a whole. The US has some of the most extreme laws on allowing free speech and there is still plenty of stuff that we don't allow. Humanity has decided there are just some things that shouldn't be said or shared. Child porn is the most obvious example. Once you go from 100% free speech in which anyone can say anything to disallowing a single thing, you have to start defending where that line is. I don't think that is bad. I also think it may be a dangerous thing for the technolibertarians in our community to continue pushing for 100% free speech as if it is an ideal state because it doesn't account for how negative speech can silence the speech and infringe on the rights of others.


A rather ignorant view of history.

Lookup US obscenity law and case history. Child pornography is an easy example, 80 years ago it was any pornography, or even obscene literature, joyces Ulysses was once banned.

On general speech has only gotten freer, to think we now are at the precipe and speech won't be even freer is naive, provincial, and arrogant.

Interacial kissing was once provocative, sodomy illegal as recently as 2003, and now depictions of transexuals is edgy.

That anyone thinks its okay to limit speech, the midwife of thought -- its a debate going back to the State sanctioned murder of Socrates for 'corrupting the youth', 'making the weaker argument the stronger', and 'profaning the gods' -- its sad hilarious but those we are educated know such views are on the wrong side of history even if good people like Socrates are murdered along the way.

Let's see if I even share my speech here, I'm regularly shadow banned for no reason.


This is exactly the type of belief I was talking about in my last sentence. All speech is not equal. That may be a hard truth for some to accept, but it is the truth.

Once your speech starts to infringe on the rights of others it is no longer deserving of protection. Your rights are not more important than the rights of your fellow citizens. I don't understand why libertarians don't agree with that. I thought the whole point of the government was to protect the rights of the individual.


>Once your speech starts to infringe on the rights of others it is no longer deserving of protection

That is quite a chilling statement. What right do others have to silence speech? A right is not something that can be taken away due to public opinion. Otherwise it is a privilege. The entire foundation of a free society is built on free speech.


>That is quite a chilling statement. What right do others have to silence speech?

You have the right to silence speech that infringes on your rights. Someone's speech shouldn't be protected if they knowing print lies in order to ruin the career of another individual. Someone's speech shouldn't be protected if they leave a burning cross on the curb outside their black neighbor's house. Someone's speech shouldn't be protected if they are reprinting the published work of another person without permission or fair use. Someone's speech shouldn't be protected if they are threatening violence on another individual.

>A right is not something that can be taken away due to public opinion. Otherwise it is a privilege.

You don't even have to go back a decade to find that this isn't true. Prop 8 is a perfect example of how a right can be taken away by public opinion.

Some people get misled by the Declarations of Independence's whole "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights" thing that human rights are some natural phenomena. That has never been true. We bestow these rights on each other because we as a civilization have decided they are the bare minimum that every person should be guaranteed. As human history will show it is a constant struggle to help ensure that is true.

>The entire foundation of a free society is built on free speech.

By that logic no free society has ever existed before.


>You have the right to silence speech that infringes on your rights.

Most of your examples are covered by other laws. Property rights, defamation or such. However, none of this is forbidden as speech.

>We bestow these rights on each other

This is demonstrated as false because we had these rights before there ever was something we could call government or even a society. When you are born into the world alone as a living being there is nothing to silence you. Freedom did exist before civilization.

>By that logic no free society has ever existed before.

Status of a free society is not a boolean. The degree to which the society is free is strongly correlated to the degree of free speech within the society.


>Most of your examples are covered by other laws. Property rights, defamation or such. However, none of this is forbidden as speech.

That is exactly my point. What do you think defamation is if isn't a limitation on free speech? What do you think copyright is if it isn't a limitation on free speech? What do you think laws against threats or intimidation are if they aren't a limitation of free speech? Those laws are created because we think some speech shouldn't be protected.

>This is demonstrated as false because we had these rights before there ever was something we could call government or even a society. When you are born into the world alone as a living being there is nothing to silence you. Freedom did exist before civilization.

There is no one stopping anyone from taking your rights away if you are born into the world alone as a living being. That is one of the primary purposes of government. The protection of its citizens' rights. If we don't have some force to protect those rights, there is nothing preventing the powerful from taking away the rights of the weak as evidenced by the entirety of human history.

>Status of a free society is not a boolean. The degree to which the society is free is strongly correlated to the degree of free speech within the society.

That is obviously true, but the r value in that correlation also isn't equal to 1. The US is at the extreme in terms of free speech but it is rarely in the top of the various freedom indices that exists to measure the freedom of a society.


> What do you think defamation is if isn't a limitation on free speech?

Think of it this way. If I harm someone by punching them, I will not be prosecuted for improper use of my fist. I will be prosecuted for the damages. Same with these examples of speech. You are being prosecuted for damages, not violating a speech code.

So a law that forbid certain speech and allowed for prosecution without proving damages or somehow prevented me from saying something in advance would then be a limitation on actual speech.


And deep down everyone has that feeling, that his gut feelings should be the judge of that.

The problem starts, when people project there wish to control the lives of others upon some vague enough person as power.


For most of its followers, Libertarianism is a means to an end, a label that can be shed and worn repeatedly, a justification rather a-way-of-life.

Other People need the help of government? They should stop being lazy and put their faith in the free market.

My folks need government help? Well we deserve it, give it to us, right now, don’t delay, don’t you have a heart?

Compared to the members of communist, conservative and other demanding and identity-integral idealogies, libertarians are far smaller in number and altogether weaker as an independant political force.


> Humanity has decided there are just some things that shouldn't be said or shared.

The thought of this terrifies me. It invites the absolute worst kind of collectivism.


Welcome to being a human. Collectivism is built in. No man is an island and all that.

The question worth exploring is how to balance individual and collective needs.

Using "collectivism" as a pejorative gets us nowhere.


Yes, particularly with controlling what can be said, especially political speech.

It's kind of crazy that we finally agreed that the government doesn't have the right to unfairly treat two gay dudes who want to get married, but now if someone doesn't want to serve them the cake the government can force you to. No matter how righteous either act, we just traded one form of tyranny for another and made no progress in understanding the importance of the lesson. When can we just agree that telling you what to think should have never been a legitimate role of government in the first place? It is a concept fundamentally and completely opposed to democracy and individual liberty.


Is it a similarly-terrifying tyranny when the government forces restaurants to serve black people?


You know I can appreciate some good snarkiness like this; but to be fair, governments almost always sell tyranny to the people in the name of moral righteousness.

I guess what it comes down to is what you fear more: tyranny or some racist people with restaurants.


Like what happened in lord of the flies:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tyranny_of_the_majority


Almost everyone would agree at least some things should be illegal to express or share, like child pornography or calls to physical violence.

Human rights end at where someone else’s rights begin. It’s obvious following from this that perpetrating physical violence on the innocent is wrong and must be stopped. But what of people who glorify, encourage or publicly plan to do such a thing? Do you always have to wait until people translate toxic words into toxic actions?


>Do you always have to wait until people translate toxic words into toxic actions?

Yes. Otherwise we are attempting policing through pre-crime. Also, `toxic` is always subjective. It becomes a useful vehicle by which the definition will always be expanded to include what someone dislikes.


I consider the discussion of fruit, that can be shaped like human genitalia a insult to my religion. Thus i demand, the bannishment of cooking recipes from the internet, to protect the worlds morals.

Who are you to judge my religion and culture wrong and vane?


How naive are you? I would say that an ideology that advocates for racial or ethnic cleansing should not be shared. I would say that sexually explicit images of children who are emotionally traumatized should not be shared. As someone mentioned above, when the speech advocates for the harming of other people, it should not be shared.


Yet this is exactly why speech must be protected. Speech is always lost in the interest of what would appear the public good. You start with what most would agree to be speech that should not be shared.

Some entity must then be given power to determine what qualifies as that speech. This is then the point speech is lost. Once someone has the power to determine what people can say, then that becomes the vehicle through which it will be undermined. The definition of what is acceptable will continue to change as the state will want to keep expanding its power of `public good`. This becomes a selling point to the public to support such efforts while the state will continue to silence opposition to its interests with support of the public as all will be framed in the interest of protecting the public.


That is what the judicial branch of the State is for: if someone has a problem with some kind of content, he can go and denounce it.

The other possibility is just chaos and vigilante justice. Which is what the CEO of Cloudflare did.


The idea that the owner of a business can not set any rules above the bare minimum legally is a little silly. Do you think an expensive restaurant should be able to deny service to a guy who comes in shirtless even though it is completely legal for him to walk around like that? Is that vigilante justice?

Both the legal system and businesses need to draw lines. We can't pretend those lines don't exist or that 100% free speech is some ideal natural state. Once those line are drawn it is only natural for there to be debate about them. I think frequently debating and reassessing those lines is healthy.


> Do you think an expensive restaurant should be able to deny service to a guy who comes in shirtless even though it is completely legal for him to walk around like that?

If the restaurant benefits from special safe harbor exemptions to food safety laws because they have so many customers from all walks of life that they supposedly can't spare the resources to play hygiene police while serving everyone on time, then no.


I assume you're referring to copyright laws and safe-harbor provisions.

But aren't copyright laws another way of suppressing free expression? It seems contradictory to say that it's not ok for Cloudflare to suppress the free expression of Nazis while implicitly supporting the suppression of the expression of file sharers, remixers, and other violators of copyright who want to use Cloudflare. Furthermore, you seem to be arguing that the explicitly political expression of Cloudflare's CEO should be suppressed using the power of the state (by suggesting that it should open them up to legal liability).


I wasn't referring to copyright laws. If someone in the "move bits from point A to point B" business wants to make it their responsibility to suppress activities that are legal, purely on ideological grounds, then they should also shoulder some responsibility for the activities they're facilitating that actually are illegal and actively harmful. I mean, priorities! Otherwise they should stick to moving bits from point A to point B, cooperating with lawful orders when required.


You mean beyond taking it down after it's reported? Surely they already do that.

Are you suggesting that in order for them to be allowed to turn down Stormfront's business they must take on the legal obligation of actively screening all their content for illegal material?

I don't see the connection or justification.


As long as you let the people know in advance, before the contract is written, that you are willing to do so.

As the Cloudflare CEO explained, that is not the case in this instance.


There is nothing in the Cloudfare ToS that state that if they find the content objectionable that they can terminate the service.

https://www.cloudflare.com/terms/

The only way they can terminate the terms is:

"Cause for such termination shall include, but not be limited to: (a) breaches or violations of the Terms of Service or other incorporated agreements or guidelines; (b) requests by law enforcement or other government agencies; (c) a request by you (self-initiated account deletions); (d) discontinuance or material modification to the Service (or any part thereof); (e) unexpected technical or security issues or problems; (f) extended periods of inactivity; (g) you have engaged or are reasonably suspected to be engaged in fraudulent or illegal activities; (h) having provided false information as part of your account; (i) having failed to keep your account complete, true, and accurate; (j) any use of the Service deemed at Cloudflare’s sole discretion to be prohibited; (k) use of fraudulent payment methods; and/or (l) nonpayment of any fees owed by you in connection with Cloudflare.com and associated Services."


> ... but not be limited to: ...

Meaning "and anything else we forgot to include or think of later," so "woke up pissed off at you" is a valid reason for termination under that clause.

To to mention that "j" is broad enough to include pretty much any content-based decision.


Yet child porn is clearly a criminal act. Producing the media material would make you complicit. Kinda like if you went along with bank robbers to rob a bank, video tapped it and never reported it. You would be complicit of covering up the crime. I believe this distinction separates child porn from free speech.

Also, like yelling `fire` in a building is not a speech issue, it is a property rights issue in that you cause damage to the owners of the property.


Yelling "fire" in a crowded theatre is likely to cause people to stampede in panic which can lead to persons being trampled to death.


Property rights covers damage to people as under property rights you own your self.

The point is that it can be prosecuted, but not on the grounds of speech.

https://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2012/11/its-tim...


It is worth remembering that DS had claimed that Cloudflare's management secretly supported DS ideas/worldview/etc. There was a reputation problem brewing for them, so they decided to drop one customer to keep a lot of others.


We never made such a claim.

Cloudflare's CEO has basically come out and admitted that now it was powerful well connected individuals threatening him instead.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/24/cloudflare-ceo-matthew-princ...


Would you happen to have a third party source that could corroborate that you didn't make this claim? I realize I'm asking for the unreasonable (disprove an accusation about yourselves!), but perhaps the source material for the meme would suffice.

It's a bit surprising to hear your assertion, as I've only ever heard that "Daily Stormer" egged Cloudflare on. This was easy to accept, as it falls into the general pattern of trolling. But if this tidbit was actually malinterpreted and amplified by the media to flesh out their narrative, it gives a whole new face to the situation - don't let a good crisis go to waste and all that.

(FWIW I'm not in agreement with your specific political view here. But most people in the world are some type of asshole, and yet I still believe in their right to communicate freely).


Prince dropped us at the same time as a dozen other companies. To pretend that anything but the same pressure that had been applied to all those other companies had anything to do with it is pretty ludicrous. It is obvious that nothing we did had anything to do with it, given the timing.

We never made any such claim, but it is obviously irrelevant even if we had. Did we also claim that GoDaddy, Google, RU-CENTER, 101domains, Zoho, Sendgrid, Namecheap, Dreamhost, and a dozen other things I can't even remember were secretly Nazis supporting us? No, but Cloudflare dropped us with them and came up with a really fucking lame excuse to try to pretend that we were a special case.

We're not a special case. We're the only legitimate opposition to the establishment. The establishment came to him and made him an offer he couldn't refuse. If he had integrity, he would be honest about it. Now he's a bitch and a liar, whereas he could have been just a bitch.


Unfortunately, without anything concrete this isn't very compelling. Plausible and likely, sure. But not convincing to others.

It also hinges greatly on what you mean by "The establishment came to him and made him an offer he couldn't refuse". This reads as if you're referencing a top-down collusion to silence your type of speech, whereas I think it's more likely that these companies are worried about populist/democratic outrage affecting their image. Same result for you, same chilling effect on free speech, same dynamic where centralized communications administrators are ultimately forced to censor. But stemming from a completely different power mechanism and thus needing a very different approach to tackle.


Except that Prince is on record stating that a "case was made to him" by "an executive at another company" and that the context was his upcoming IPO.

From TFA I posted:

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/24/cloudflare-ceo-matthew-princ...

>The CEO who pulled the final plug on the neo-Nazi web site Daily Stormer said he removed it from his company's Internet service to protect his firm's business in the run-up to a potential initial public offering (IPO). >"We were worried that people would say, 'We won't work with you anymore,'" Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince told CNBC.

..

>But then comments from others forced the hand of Prince, who co-founded the company with COO Michelle Zatlyn in mid-2009. >First, another CEO "whom I admire," Prince said, tweeted that Cloudlare should boot the Daily Stormer off its services, as its rivals had done.

It doesn't care at all about the mob (the same mob is right now demanding that they shut off other sites, and they are ignoring them) but rather about the enterprise clients that comprise the majority of their revenue.


Suppose for the sake of argument that CF stopped doing business with DS because those enterprise clients that comprise the majority of their revenue were threatening to drop CF. So what? CF is a business and sacrificing their biggest customers for the sake of a nazi website is not a great way to stay in business.

Really though, this is just splitting hairs. The difference between "CF was angry that DS claimed CF supported their views," "CF was being pressured by its biggest and most valuable customers," and "CF was concerned that keeping DS as a customer would negatively impact their IPO" is just a small detail. The point is that having DS as a customer is bad for business and CF, like all those other companies, decided that it was time to protect their business. What specifically prompted that decision is not too important -- it was just the straw that broke the camel's back.

Don't play coy about the nature of your site. Almost nobody actually wants websites like DS to exist and DS is toxic to the brand of any company that does business with it. The existence DS is merely tolerated as an unfortunate consequence of free speech, something which is outweighed by the various benefits of a democratic society. Your ability to remain online at all is tolerated as an unfortunate consequence of the free and open nature of the Internet. Maybe you cannot see that, but it's not hard for the rest of us.


You're clearly Jewish.


First, that's not what's going on in that article. The protection was for his company's reputation ("We were worried that people would say, 'We won't work with you anymore,'") pending their public stock offering. Prince has a fiduciary duty to his company and that was on display.

As to your counter claim ("We never made such a claim.") you need to understand that you are asking us to believe you rather than Cloudflare. As the Daily Stormer you have zero credibility.

What you do have is legal recourse. If you feel you've been libeled then sue Cloudflare. That is your right in a court of law. But your expectation of credence, no. Moreover, the lack of this lawsuit lowers your credibility below zero.


> As to your counter claim ("We never made such a claim.") you need to understand that you are asking us to believe you rather than Cloudflare. As the Daily Stormer you have zero credibility.

He's not asking us to believe anyone. Cloudflare made an accusation that should be easily provable. The fact Cloudflare and nobody in this thread has been able to come up with a single quote supporting Cloudflare's accusation is pretty damning.


Suing a multibillion dollar company requires us to have the budget to do so-- generally that's a quarter million dollars or more for a federal civil case of that magnitude. Furthermore, what exactly are we suing for? Someone not doing business with us is not a valid tort. They can do that, and they can even lie about why they are doing that. That isn't cause for a suit, you absolute moron.


What exactly are we suing for?

You are suing for damage to your reputation such as it is. You may be able to find some law firm to take you on pro bono or for a substantial cut of the proceeds. The Berkeley Patriot found a lawyer (and they have zero money) to take on UC Berkeley [1] (who has hella money). However, if you will not protect your reputation then asking reasonable people to believe you, The Daily Stormer, well, that is a bit much.

[1] http://www.dailycal.org/2017/09/22/berkeley-patriot-files-ci...


Torts rooted in libel require financial damages. Our revenue has increased (companies banning us increases our legitimacy among our readers) so we have no plausible claim to damages. Cloudflare could literally argue that they did us a favor in court and get the case dismissed.


YANAL. However if you believe that to be the case, and while it has the stench of possibility I have to keep in mind that you are The Daily Stormer, then you should thank Cloudflare.


That emphasizes a technical shortcoming of Cloudfare's infrastructure, no?

I ask that in light of two recent HN articles that explain how IPFS works.


From that article:

"The Daily Stormer then raised the stakes with a claim that Cloudflare's management was supportive of its ultra-nationalist ideology."


Cloudflare never provided a screenshot or quote to support that claim, and in a different article admitted that it was just a regular user posting on the dailystormer forum, not a post on the site.

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

>“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.”

I suppose Cloudflare customers should make sure to censor what gets posted on their sites if it refers to the political opinions of Matthew Prince.


That quote doesn't say that it was "just a regular user" (it's possible that it was, but that's not what it says)


The only source on that is Cloudflare, and they are not telling the truth.

Please source it directly. Where did we make this claim? We have not removed any Cloudflare related content from any of our articles. Our site is currently up at dailystormer.cat -- you're free to search it, as well as archive sites like archive.is for dailystormer.com. We never made any claim like this. It is simply a lie on the part of Matthew Prince, trying to spin the fact that he isn't an anti-DDoS company anymore as long as the DDoS traffic comes in the form of valid SMTP from powerful individuals and SJW mobs.


> It is worth remembering that DS had claimed that Cloudflare's management secretly supported DS ideas/worldview/etc.

Where/when did they claim that?


I too have not seem evidence of this claim but I have often heard it repeated. It seems odd that they would make such a claim to me as well.


Cloudflare: We dumped Daily Stormer not because they're Nazis but because they said we love Nazis

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/08/16/cloudflare_ceo_dail...


Further reading indicates that it just someone posting on their forum. User-generated content is hard. Cloudflare users should make sure to censor what gets posted on their sites if it refers to the political opinions of Matthew Prince.

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

>“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.”


Let's not pretend that this is about Prince's "political opinions," as if the claim is about his views on tax reform or welfare programs. The claim was that he and the rest of Cloudflare's management supported nazi ideology.


again, this is someone saying DS said it, but not giving a screenshot or a quote


Again, no. The article cites Cloudflare and points to their statement on why they terminated DS. You can find that here:

https://blog.cloudflare.com/why-we-terminated-daily-stormer/


My concern is that Cloudflare's decision is based on some generous interpretation of an otherwise innocuous post. If there was a direct quote of what DS said, I could accept it, but otherwise I am left concerned that Cloudflare's CEO just woke up angry one day and gave a hand-waving excuse wrapped in a big blog post.


While I personally accept cloudflare as a source, some are concerned that there are no screenshots of DS saying this to be found anywhere, on cloud flares site included.


I don't. This looks super shady. It's clearly in CF's interest to justify their decision. I'd even say they have a very powerful need to do so, given that they just took an unprecedented action against them in order to appease a mob, and now need to convince all of the rest of their customers that they won't do the same to them if they ever fall afoul of the internet hate mob.

We have 1. Cloudfare has a powerful need to justify their actions, 2. The person they're making these claims against has drastically reduced ability to provide his side of the story, thanks to Cloudfare's actions, 3. They already did one thing that most people believed they would never do, in arbitrarily terminating services to a site they didn't like, are we really going to make the claim that they would absolutely never twist somebody's words to serve their own purposes?

I don't think they straight made something up, but I can certainly believe that they took a quote out of context, interpreted something creatively, or misrepresented a post on their forum as an official statement by the site owner. In what other situation with such a powerful conflict of interests would we take the word of somebody in Cloudfare's position at face value?


I don’t know what was / wasn’t said. That said, I find this portion of your argument particularly unlikely:

> 2. The person they're making these claims against has drastically reduced ability to provide his side of the story, thanks to Cloudfare's actions…

Given the clickbait / pageview drive of modern “news” online, I think that someone at the middle of a hotly debated issue such as this could find many outlets happy to quote them on a perceived scandal. It has the potential to the flames and generates yet more controversy.


As Daily Stormer's CTO I can personally attest that your concerns are very well founded.


Oh yeah I know how most people operate.

Free speech is all fine and dandy until somebody says something you don't agree with.

Happens every single time.


Yes, before we know it, Cloudflare will also get in trouble for "facilitating fake news" or "not doing something about it."

The internet is trending towards becoming a cluster of walled gardens. Whether or not that will make a "better internet" than the one we have/had, it remains to be seen, but I'm inclining towards believing it won't. It could make it better for some things, but I think it could make it much worse for other things (freedom of speech, defending controversial ideas like gay marriage, or national security whistleblowers, etc).


Not tolerating the intolerant makes you an intolerant too.


Nah. Read your Popper or your Rawls. Every modern moral philosopher has come to the same conclusion: intolerance of intolerance is a practical necessity to the maintenance of a tolerant society.

I could give you the canonical example of why that's the case, but I'd trip the Godwin wire.


The good thing about Popper and 'intolerance of intolerance' is with the moral high ground you can use whatever force is necessary while setting 'intolerant behavior' as a moving goalpost.

Today it's 'mildly sceptical over mass immigration'. Tomorrow it's 'not advocating for free healthcare'.


We're talking about the Daily Stormer here though. "Mildly sceptical over mass immigration" is putting it a bit too "mildly".

That being said, I personally lean towards allowing free speech without restrictions (with exceptions for things like extortion). I just wanted to remind us about the context in which the parent comment was written.


> The good thing about Popper and 'intolerance of intolerance' is with the moral high ground you can use whatever force is necessary while setting 'intolerant behavior' as a moving goalpost.

> Today it's 'mildly sceptical over mass immigration'. Tomorrow it's 'not advocating for free healthcare'.

"Neo-Nazi" is not anywhere close to the same category as "skeptical on mass immigration".

Skeptical on mass immigration represents a reasonable political position that is commonly accepted (as shown by how many Republicans with that position as part of their platform in the US).

Neo-Nazi represents a fetishism for Nazism, Fascism, and the idea that mass murder might be acceptable.


In todays climate, everyone who is not radical left is being called a Nazi.

Ben Shapiro has been called a Nazi.


You are arguing Weev, the Daily Stormer, and the people who call themselves Neo Nazis ... are not?

Do you have any proof their proclamation they are neo nazis is a lie?

You are aware it is literally named after a Nazi tabloid:

The Daily Stormer is named for the Nazi tabloid Der Stürmer, known for its antisemitic caricatures. This 1934 billboard for Der Stürmer reads "With Der Stürmer against Judea. The Jews are our misfortune".

Yes?


Please read the comments upthread. Meanwhile, we moved away from Daily Stormer to Popper, calling people names for various reasons, including Nazi for immigration skeptics. The discussion in this thread is not limited to Daily Stormer anymore, but revolves around radical left calling anyone not having 100% identical opinion Nazis.

Including Ben Shapiro, who is a guy that "wears a funny hat".


This article is about the DailyStormer. They proudly called themselves nazis.


You're moving the goalposts. Ethno-nationalists are not "mildly sceptical over mass immigration". They advocate for the mass murder or violent removal of every person they consider to be "non-white".


Even with a slippery slope, you can install fences to prevent people from falling down. Every society needs to have standards it adheres to, and you can't accept every idea, or as happened in America, the bad ones get louder, because the intolerant are not interested in a discourse, but rather enforcing their views on people.

The 2 cases you picked are poor, because in each case, there's evidence that people can use to make up their minds.


The great thing about tolerating intolerance is that you can have people shot in the streets and pretend it's nothing to do with you.

Every slope is slippery.


I dunno, that sounds like a crime though.


"You also had some very fine people on both sides."


Which leads to other complications. Who enforces the law when the police are the law breakers?


Depending on which school of though...

If you refer to peaceful methods, then look no further than Ghandi and MLK. Protest peacefully. Make them raise their fist. And record it, tell the stories, reduce their mandate.

If you come from Malcolm X's or IRA's point of view: assassinations, military-like strikes, and generally war.

I reserve judgement on which way is better.


Then of course there's Nelson Mandela. He started with peaceful means, came to the conclusion it was ineffective in his case and turned to violence. Later he refused opportunities to leave prison that would have required him to renounce violence. Ultimately, he didn't need to fire a shot after he was released but he would have done so with a clear conscience. Non-violence can be a moral choice, but so can violence in the face of great, violent injustice.

Of course, we're assuming asymmetric warfare here. No-one honestly believes FDR was wrong to declare war on Japan.


It depends. Do you regard your enemy as a good person doing a bad thing, or as a bad person doing a bad thing? If it's the former then teach them a better way a la MLK and Gandhi. If it's the latter, then teach them a better way a la Malcom X.

If you can see some compassion or love in your enemy's eyes, then every time they hold up their fist to beat you you should hold up a mirror.


Gandhi, not Ghandi.

Gandhi was most effective when the Indian armed forces rebelled.

MLK had Malcom X.

You need a good cop and a bad cop.


The Coast Guard.


Nah, those were Jews and communists. No crime shooting them.

/Godwin


Instead of doing that, how about we have laws against killing people, and then actually enforce them?

"Where is the line" for how much we should "tolerate intolerance" is a very easy question to answer.

The line is at current, US law. Break the law with your intolerance, via engaging in violent assault, and you should go to jail.


Regardless of what any philosophers have said, the meme survives because it's ambiguous. What does "not tolerating" mean? It could be anything from quiet disapproval to all-out war. The target is ambiguous as well.

Instead of debating this slippery slogan, better to ask people to clarify what they want to do.


> Every modern moral philosopher has come to the same conclusion

Everything after a statement like that can be safely dismissed as pure bull.


While its a false generalisation, most of modern philosophers specialized on morals/ethics whether they are utilitarists or not agree that excluding the intolerant (more like banning intolerant behavior) is beneficial for the "common good".

From an utilitarist point of view, this isn't even a question: intolerant behavior leads to less people being happy (not even talking about hypotethical fights resulting of intolerance, just people feeling excluded), therefore it should be banned.


But that's not even what his argument is, it's much more bizarre. If I understood correctly, he claimed that

1) Intolerance of intolerance is tolerance.

2) Every modern philosopher agrees with #1.

Both a false statements, as far as I can see.

As for "Intolerant behavior", it's a completely subjective concept that is orthogonal to morality. In most places in Saui Arabia it's not tolerated for a woman to not appear wrapped in a bag, and considered immoral too, but I consider that kind of treatment of women completely intolerant and immoral in itself.


The thing : #1 was wrote by Popper, a rather known utilitarist (well, negative utilitarist: every action, instead of optimizing overall happiness, should aim to decrease overall pain). There is a lot of modern philosopher that agree with this as well. This is a catchphrase, it doesn't refer to what you read but to the reflexion behind (like "i think therefore i am" refer to cartesian doubt and that you can doubt of anything except the fact tht you exist).

HS: The main issue with that, a sentence that resume an "essai" (don't have a clue about the english translation), is that people that do not know what philosophy really is. Let's be honest, if it is taught as well in the world than in France, almost nobody knows. So most people misunderstand what it really means, while some of the other use this knowledge to put people down. Even writing this, i'm pedantic, and i really don't want to be, so imagine someone who like feeling full of himself? And that way, more and ore people hate philosophy and philosopher, and get disinterested. (i wrote like a hundred lines about philosophers in French media, but i'm sure no one care so i will refrain...)


Why so?


Because it's a false premise.


I'm sorry, but what is a false premise? I'm trying to figure out what your argument is, but I'm just not sure. Could you be more clear?


I think the key distinction here is between “intolerance” and refusal of services. No one should be going out of their way to hear or publish the Nazi point of view, and people ought to call them disgusting and monstrous when they appear in the news.

That said we shouldn’t deny them services like hosting, because maintaing a neutral hosting stance is what allows for a firm argument that protects imprortant discourse like legitimate political dissent. Once you allow for a line to be drawn, suddenly bickering over that line becomes a an endless problem that might stifle any idea.


> "Nah. Read your Popper or your Rawls. Every modern moral philosopher..."

I'd also recommend Carl Schmitt [1]

[1] https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/schmitt/#ConPolCriLib


It's always a good idea to know exactly what you're talking about when making gross generalizations regarding the application of a single word. Before you start - define terms and give precise instances please else discussion is mere hand waving.


You replied to the wrong post.


You misunderstand the spirit of the paradox. A society that is tolerant without limit is eventually overrun by the intolerance it seeks to live side by side with.


This is such an interesting topic and so hard to draw the line the right spot. The biggest question is always "Who gets to say?". If you leave it up to whoever is in charge right now, they have all the power. Slippery slope and all that...

I've come to the (current) belief that these idiots have the right to free speech even if I hate it. Outlawing it won't stop their bigotry, just take it underground and give them another thing to blame on the "bad" people.

I also think although they should be able to have their rallies and websites, we also have free speech to identify and make public their identities and call their families and employers and ask them if they support these ideas too. Some people at Charlottesville were dumb founded when they got fired. I think this approach does a better job of saying this line of thinking is not accepted here but maintaining people's right to free speech. I also personally believe you aren't going hate by yelling at people that they are dumb. Cliche but you only stop hate with love and familiarity.

I also think there is a topic in this discussion that doesn't get enough mention. I personally feel this issue is as much an economic one as ideological. People don't have jobs and Trump's platform gives them someone to blame. It is the immigrants who stole your jobs and we are going to bring all the jobs back to the US. We need a wall to keep out all these "bad" people. We are going to do everything America first. This rhetoric give people a pass. People who feel they have nothing left to lose are dangerous. Even more so when someone else is giving them a target to blame.


There's definitely an... Economical or "social outcast" angle that produces a good chunk of these people. You're stuck in a shitty environment , so you find one where you can feel better. This is also a pattern seen with gangs.

RE legality though: meth and tabacco are basically the same level of addictiveness, but tabacco is more preponderant because it's legal.

Not to say that we should "make illegal speech" to deal with this problem, but no-platforming racists (as private citizens) likely helps fight against racism.

It's not ideologically inconsistent to be for free speech but not let klansmen into your home. And there are more than enough service providers for these people, you don't have to serve them. They found a replacement for Cloudflare quickly in this example.


Can you site an example? I can see where tolerance of something like murder, but not political ideas.


I would assume it means tolerating them as giving them the same platforms and resources as anyone else. So news shows inviting Nazis for them to explain their views, companies treating Nazi symbols the same way as all other symbols etc.

You can still have free speech in the constitution while society as a whole is intolerant towards those ideas.


A more recent example than the Nazis is Rwanda, where hate media played a key role in causing the genocide: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_T%C3%A9l%C3%A9vision_Lib...


What do you do when murder is a political idea?


It's easy to distinguish them. One is thoughts (we don't arrest and convict people for thoughts) and one is action. When it comes to something like inciting a riot though, that's a fairly grey area. I would guess it is mostly used to squelch unpopular speech.


we don't arrest and convict people for thoughts

If whether they're getting arrested is your concern, there's no need to worry. Simply being a white supremacist doesn't get you arrested. Though it looks to me like the thread started over the question of what sort of non-government concession a tolerant society owes to white supremacists and the like.


I believe the assertion was that a tolerant society succumbs to the political ideas they tolerate. The OP seems to be arguing that tolerating distasteful political ideas will inherently lead to society adopting those distasteful political ideas which ends in it's ruin.

I find that assessment difficult to swallow and was asking for a citation or example of when this happened.

I also find that idea dangerous, because in the US political power changes every 4-12 years and ideas you might hold dear may be deemed distasteful. Of course, I'm willing to discuss the merits of that idea rather than just banning it.


It's a popular idea that there are two legitimate sides to every issue. It's also a wrong idea. "Tolerance" as a societal ideal does not require treating ethnic cleansing as a legitimate goal, a respect-worthy political platform, etc. This comment thread was initially about the Daily Stormer, not something that is merely "distasteful."


Unfortunately a lot of people fall for this technique. People that are generally educated and willing to argue back with rational/logical arguments seem to be particularly susceptible. The problem is assuming the person trying to introduce an inappropriate, reprehensible, hateful idea is trying to win an argument. They expect to lose the current argument, nor are they actually interested succeeding in the "marketplace of ideas".

The point is to get everyone talking about the meme until it becomes a legitimate "side". To in introduce humans to a radical idea that is far outside what they would normally consider acceptable, you have to reframe the idea and/or their beliefs. The easiest way to do that - which marketing departments have known for a long time ("branding") - is by repeated exposure. If enough people talk about e.g. ethnic cleansing in a way that gets you to repeated argue back about how they are "obviously wrong", you will eventually believe it's a legitimate political point of view that people might have.


Nobody said anything about treating ethnic cleansing as a legitimate goal or a respect-worthy political platform except you. That is a huge red herring and it's disingenuous to associate that with an discomfort with banning speech and ideas, particularly in a country where it explicitly lists that freedom in the first amendment of the constitution.

Look, one of the people you replied to was talking about branding and all that. The second you go on a crusade and talking about banning people with ideas, the stronger their brand becomes.

I haven't thought about Neo Nazis in 20+ years, that is until everyone started talking about banning their sites. It's not the people who tolerate their speech and ignore it that gives these people's ideas weight, it's the people who demand a moral crusade by silencing them that do.

It's true irony that in the effort to silence distasteful ideas, people are giving those ideas much more relevance than if they had done what we always do. Allow people to say stupid things, ignore them, then wave as they scurry off under the rock of which they came.


> I haven't thought about Neo Nazis in 20+ years,

Then may I suggest doing some research on what they have been doing in the last two decades? In particular the current tactics[1] they are using?

> banning their sites

A private business refusing service is very different from a government ban. I agree that the extreme centralization of the internet has put a troubling amount of power in the hands of very few businesses. However, this is orthogonal to the fact that neo-Nazi groups have took advantage of a lot of people ignoring them for 20+ years.

> It's not the people who tolerate their speech and ignore it that gives these people's ideas weight

If everyone was actually ignoring the neo-Nazis, we wouldn't have a problem. Instead, we have people tolerating their speech and arguing against it in the neo-Nazi framing. They have been very successful at constructing a framing with blurring language and rhetoric constructed specifically to sound reasonable. So now we have people unintentionally defending fascist ideas that has been carefully camouflaged as "distasteful idea".

[1] https://twitter.com/ContraPoints/status/896823834338263041


>>I find that assessment difficult to swallow and was asking for a citation or example of when this happened.

It happened in post-WW1 Germany. Nazis were originally a fringe movement. Even though they weren't particularly competent, they were able to gain power and influence due to the ambivalence and apathy of (and tolerance by) the masses.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adolf_Hitler%27s_rise_to_power...


>they were able to gain power and influence due to the ambivalence and apathy of (and tolerance by) the masses.

Yes, this is the only example I could really think of, but it isn't a good, concrete example by the simple facts that Hitler was never elected as chancellor and the Nazi party never held a majority in the Reichstag. In other words, tolerance didn't give them power, the took power. They also did a lot of things other than propose ideas to get into power.

I don't want the idea of allowing people to present and hold distasteful thoughts confused with being allowed commit crimes (including but not limited to assault, murder, carrying an illegal firearm, inciting a riot, etc).


It always is in the US because there are always wars with each party making their own promises about who they plan to murder.


How about a society that has a law embedded into their Constitution stating that free speech is a right no matter who the president is?


The 1st Amendment of the US Constitution says the government cannot make laws that prohibit free speech.

It doesn't say that members of civil society must tolerate any and all speech without consequence or pushback.


You are right, it doesn't say that. It does imply it, at least in my opinion. See, free expression should be a social ideal. Free speech should be something we strive to allow, even to facilitate.

And yes, yes that includes speech from hateful Nazis.

Please keep in mind that Nazis would absolutely harm me, if given the chance to do so. I'm quite distinctly not white.

But, the goal should be allowing even the deplorable to make use of their basic human rights. The Constitution says what the government cannot do. It should also serve as a baseline as to how we should model our society.

We should facilitate free speech, freedom of and from religion, security of our papers, innocence as the assumption, etc... Well, we should if we care about fostering a society where people can enjoy their liberties. Rights shouldn't just be allowed for those we approve of. If they are not allowed for everyone, they are privileges and not rights.


> The 1st Amendment of the US Constitution says the government cannot make laws that prohibit free speech. It doesn't say that members of civil society must tolerate any and all speech without consequence or pushback.

That's just shamelessly trying to get something in through the back door when it won't fit in through the front door. "Oh, the _government_ isn't oppressing you but they'll just look the other way while businesses and vigilantes do it to you instead. nudge, nudge, wink, wink"

And what will you do when the day comes that your political opponents come to power (elections haven't been that favorable to the left recently, in case you hadn't noticed) and find you've left them this nice, neat, and completely "legal" mechanism to wreck your lives?


I'm just telling you what rights the Constitution grants and what rights it doesn't.

The government's job is to enforce laws that are on the books. If someone commits a crime, whether they are a business or a vigilante group, they will be persecuted.

Attacking cops and breaking store windows are crimes.

Running over counter-protestors is a crime.

Firing people because of their religion or skin color is a crime.

Banning users for breaking your terms of service is NOT a crime. The reason is simple: no one owes you a platform from which you can express your opinions, regardless of what those opinions are.


This wasn't a free speech case.


What about it?



It turns out there's a considerable body of prior work on this specific issue:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_tolerance


And that work is mostly false.

The US has extremely strong protections for "intolerant" and "unpopular" beliefs. And it works out fine for us.

Freedom of speech, and tolerating everyone, including the intolerant, has worked out pretty well for us.


> has worked out pretty well for us.

I'm not sure how anyone can look at the fucking mess the US is currently in and say that.


Even in the US the current conception of "free speech" - both culturally and legally - only goes back to 1964.


Tolerance isn't a moral viewpoint, it's a peace treaty.


The underlying morality is respect for people regardless of their views.


The point of calling it a treaty is to be able to reject those who violate it.


Whoops, I guess word games have proven that it's wrong to speak out against Nazis. /s

Personally I like this page's description of the word tolerance, which solves this word game: https://extranewsfeed.com/tolerance-is-not-a-moral-precept-1...


Grouping tolerance with tolerance of speech muddies the issue of free speech.


I can live with that.


If I'm fleeing a fire in my building and I run across the street to get away from it, am I jaywalking? Does that make me not respect that law?

You're attempting to rationalize intolerance on a linguistic loophole (see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paradox_of_tolerance). I know that cartoons for late-adolescents have popularized this in mass media over the past decade (ahem, South Park), but it's still childish and distracts from the legitimate concerns over the free expression of ideas in our society and world.

Yeah, sure, you have a right to engage in the expression of childish thoughts, but you should be aware you're not as clever as you think you are.


> Don't get me wrong, we shouldn't tolerate the intolerant (e.g. nazis/terrorists)

No. They are precisely who we should tolerate. That's what free speech rights exist to protect.

We shouldn't tolerate violence, but we should tolerate speech.

> See how Google/YouTube/Twitter did mass bans and ended up including people like Jordan Peterson.

But according to the left, peterson is an intolerant person.

This is why we have principles and rights. The first thing everyone used to learn in a philosophy class was that if the neo-nazis don't have free speech, then nobody has free speech.

You can disagree with neo-nazis. That's your right. But if their speech is curtailed, then nobody has speech because speech no longer is a right, it's a privilege that depends on the whims of the offended.


> We shouldn't tolerate violence, but we should tolerate speech.

Yet we already don't tolerate violent speech. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_free_speech_ex...

It is crazy to me that a (if I might assume) straight white non-Jewish and non-Muslim man living in a like society will speak authoritatively about what kind of speech should be allowed. Go live in a society in which you are the minority where a significant and growing segment of society hates you, and then tell me what kind of speech we should allow.


> we shouldn't tolerate the intolerant

Doesn't this make us intolerant by definition?


> It'll start... keep moving... ended up

slippery slope


Regardless of the political causes in question, it's nice to see that the CEO is being held accountable. And he seems to be a responsible person, judging by the concern he expressed over his own actions.

It's easy to say that we should take every opportunity we can to fight Nazis. It's much harder to explain why we really should stop and think before trying to enact vigilante justice. This is one of the reasons why; vigilante justice is hard to enforce equally and fairly, and raises the question of how impartial and fair the vigilante is.


>It's easy to say that we should take every opportunity we can to fight Nazis.

We fought the Nazis in 1941-1945. These guys aren't Nazis, they're angry, misguided white people trying to look tough. Why is this an important distinction? If we as a society are going to upend core values and norms, we need to have a damn good reason.

If I were a cynic (which I sometimes am), I would say this guy was trying to ride a political wave and it is now biting him (and us) in the ass. DCMA takedown without a warrant is bad for everybody. It sounds like there is a decent chance he just squandered that to score a political point that no one will remember 6 months from now.

Politics and business don't mix, regardless of how much of a "slam dunk" it seems.


I'm a german who spent 6+ years of his school life continuously learning about nazis, lived for the first 25 years of his life in a town where i saw people in nazi attire on my way home or shopping every single day and always kept a key ring at the read, and is from a voting district that voted 20%+ for a party whose leadership explicitly hires neo nazis as security for demonstrations, a town where the lamp posts on the 200m way from my apartment to the shopping centers call for violence against foreigners.

And i have to say:

Those guys are nazis. They believe in fascism being the good and right way of the world. They hate people who're unlike them.

Don't try to sugarcoat them.


The central issue here is 'content neutrality'. Prince the Cloudflare CEO is an attorney so he knew what he was saying when he disabled the dns.

There are huge numbers of people with strong political beliefs of all persuasions out there, including the racist isolationist nationalists you have to co exist alongside. In the US society where free speech is enshrined in the constitution, it is a very slippery slope to suppress that right to speech. I grew up alongside lots of violent skinheads in the UK (and got knocked about by them unless I ran very fast).

I am absolutely for protecting free speech, because for every apparently clear cut case of reprehensible online behavior - racism, child abuse, snuff videos etc - there is someone else with a legitamate voice who will be suppressed. Here is an example - syriangirl, who has been removed from Facebook. https://youtu.be/QvT95w6H59g Speking via youtube on a channel called russianinsider'

The lifeblood of democracy is free speech. We've ignored extremist dialog for decades, if we suppress it we glamorize it and it goes underground, not away. Allowing free speech means the ability to argue with people about their views as 'rock against racism' in the UK during the 70's proved before the internet. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rock_Against_Racism That popular movement was inclusive to all and celebrated the anomaly that English skins loved jamaican ska and reggae. It pulled people to together and humiliated the far right fringe...


I'm not taking a stance on the CEO's actions.

Merely disagreeing with the claim that Daily Stormer are not nazis. They are.


I've recently been looking at the usage of the word fascism.

Italy was fascist. Fascism is extreme authoritarian nationalism.

They didn't really do much about Jews until after the Nazis moved in. They were primarily concerned with their nation.

White Nationalists, what people are calling Nazis, is actually concerned with wanting a white nation. They prioritize race, not the nation itself.

I'm thinking fascism isn't correctly used to describe them.


Here's what dictionary.com defines it as:

(fascism) a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.

http://www.dictionary.com/browse/fascism

I don't know that much about them, but I think White Nationalists in the US want the nationalism and racism without the authoritarianism, but I could be wrong. I honestly don't think they've given it that much thought. The closest I believe any of those type groups have gotten to actual Nazis is when David Duke ran for office. Their primary objective seems to be "spreading the word." That's one of the reasons I don't like comparing them to Nazis. The Nazis were much more organized, intelligent and dangerous.


Yeah, I was going with this:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism

And using the actual Fascists (namely Italy and Spain) to determine what fascism means. See the very first sentence in the link where they define it.

It's not that these are good people, I just think there should be a better word to describe them. Perhaps just 'Nazi' is adequate? White Nationalist works too.


You guys are getting lost too much in domain-specific terms. At its core fascism is one thing:

The belief that a nation is like a living being and must do everything to protect itself as it is at that moment and try to grow, and that might makes right on a national scale. It's the belief that Darwinian principles of the survival of the fittest do not only apply to creatues, but also to nations and that this is also how the world should be.

Everything else is just the expression and logical conclusion of this belief.

And the nazis currently in germany specifically 100% subscribe to this. They do not want the national culture to be changed, they do not think other nations should be helped, etc. etc.

Even white supremacy is just a side effect of that. It comes from wanting the demography of one's country to remain unchanged.


>The belief that a nation is like a living being and must do everything to protect itself as it is at that moment and try to grow, and that might makes right on a national scale. It's the belief that Darwinian principles of the survival of the fittest do not only apply to creatues, but also to nations and that this is also how the world should be.

I don't mean to sound snarky, but this sounds an awful lot like US foreign policy since the start of the Cold War.


It's a good thing the USA doesn't have many direct neighbors.


I was specifically referring to the US flavor of Neo-Natzism. I'm unfamiliar with the current German flavor. The US flavor seems to be all talk. For example, the leader of the Charlottesville protests where the lady was run over and killed, cried on the internet when he found out the cops were going to arrest him. They act fierce, but when it comes down to it, they're all talk.


She was hit by a car but that was not the cause of death. She was morbidly obese and a heavy smoker.

https://www.nbcnews.com/video/heather-heyer-s-mom-delivers-m...

You heard that right. Heather Heyer died of a heart attack.

Heather Heyer, whom the media has told us again and again was killed after being run over by a white supremacist. While that statement might be strictly true, generally people assume that when someone dies as a result of being struck by a car that the death is a direct consequence of injuries sustained due to being struck by a car.

EDIT: Note that James Fields, the driver, had a history of mental illness, he was denied his request to enlist in the US Army because of history of taking anti-psychotic medication.

The media deliberately used a 10 year old picture of Heather Heyer where she was young and beautiful and not morbidly obese to deliberately spark the outrage by creating the optics of "young beautiful girl tragically run down by an ugly white supremacist". That sells so much better than "a panicked schizophrene loses control, in the ensuing stampede a morbidly obese woman dies of heart attack".


Fwiw, i've read people say that that was fake to garner publicity. Part of the "spread the message to 10000 people even if it makes you look bad to most of them, if it means reaching the 10 among them who'd sympathize with it" thing.

Also, as a german again: There's no useful difference between action and talk, especially in peace times. The holocaust was at its root caused by words after all.


I think the 60 minutes interview with him did a much better job of disseminating his rhetoric. It probably had 10 million viewers on airing, and several million more after. This was of course a direct result of the antifa movement's attempt to protest / silence them in Charlottesville. I believe this is a textbook definition of irony. I guess my biggest protest against silencing groups like this is more times than not, it does the opposite.

>There's no useful difference between action and talk, especially in peace times.

We'll have to agree to disagree. Wanting to murder someone and actually murdering them has an ocean of difference.


> We'll have to agree to disagree. Wanting to murder someone and actually murdering them has an ocean of difference.

If unopposed both lead to the same result.


This doesn't seem to be the CEO being held accountable, seems to be another group who wants to razzle-dazzle the court by taking his words out of context.


I'm not sure how it's out of context. Once you're on record as saying you decided to police content in one case, it becomes a lot harder to use "we don't police content" as a defense in another case.


Except that's not Cloudflare's defense. Cloudflare's defense was "we're just a cache, not a provider, so we can't shutdown these sites, as they don't need us to work". And now ALS is grabbing the CEO's statement that they have booted the Daily Stormer off the Internet and going "aha, so you can shutdown sites". Which is a misleading interpretation - they still can't, they just know that in this case the Daily Stormer will be DDoS'ed to hell if they remove their protection.


The other side is not asking Cloudflare to shutdown the sites, just to terminate their accounts and not provide service to them.

https://torrentfreak.com/cloudflare-faces-lawsuit-for-assist...


Right, but Cloudflare's position is that they're not providers, they're just an intermediate, and therefore they forward DMCA takedown requests to the actual hosting provider. Not being able to shutdown the sites is a fact that helps establish their position as mere intermediates.


It's actually quite easy to defend, using another HN trope that somehow never appears in these threats: "Read 'Whataboutism' on Wikipedia".


Pointing out an apparent contradiction in policy - claiming one thing but doing another - isn't whataboutism.

Whataboutism would be, for example, CF attempting to defend retaining dodgy/illegal sites by attacking ALS for its dodgy/illegal origins.


>It's easy to say that we should take every opportunity we can to fight Nazis.

That seems to be the meme of the decade. Do you think all republicans are Nazis too? You're living in a bubble. Think for yourself.


Booting Daily Stormer has definitely caused problems in their case, but let's be real here: 1) DS hasn't in fact been kicked off the Internet. 2) There's a huge difference between being a _possible_ copyright infringer and a _declared_ Nazi. 3) DS hasn't engaged in the kind of identity-cloaking whack-a-mole so beloved of copyright infringers.

I'm sure any competent lawyer could add another 20 points off the top of their head. In short, yeah it complicates the case, but the fat lady hasn't even cleared her throat.


DS has in fact been kicked off the Internet although not by Cloudflare (replaced with BitMitigate[1]) but by registrars/registries. They are currently on their nth domain name and these keep getting yanked.

What I wonder about is why they're not using a .us domain. Its operators should be bound by the US first amendment since they derive their monopoly from the USG. Maybe it's an elaborate troll. Especially since they're now on .cat.

Either way, the abandonment of free speech on the Internet by the companies which benefited the most from it is very worrisome.

[1] https://bitmitigate.com/a-commitment-to-liberty.html


This is probably why...

"In 2005, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration ruled that registrants of .us domains may not secure private domain name registration via anonymizing proxies, and that their contact information must be made public." - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/.us

This is the same reason their .is domain was yanked.

https://grapevine.is/news/2017/09/29/dailystormer-likely-los...

This might also be interesting for some people: a full timeline of news and bannings of the daily stormer: https://time.graphics/line/3812


Why does that matter? It's no secret who runs the site.


Founder is trying to avoid being served papers in a lawsuit- if he gives up his actual current residency he makes it easier to get served:

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/08/lawsuit-against-...


Weev (Stormer's CTO, I guess) claims that SPLC is trying not to serve Anglin once he retained Marc Randazza to avoid having to bring a lawsuit they're likely to lose.

http://weev.net/splc-i-will-personally-serve-andrew-anglin-f...


Weev is in this thread, actually. Search for CTO and you'll find his profile.


If you were them, would you want to make your physical address public?


But the abandonment of free speech by _private_ company, while worrisome, is very understandable. Internet and the SV made everyone more utilitarist. A lot of CEO (or website owner) think that way: it may not be very legal, but since it reduce cost and make more people happy than it make people unhappy, it should be fine. But from an utilitarist point of view, intolerance have a huge cost and create more unhappy people (not talking about violence, just people being the target of this intolerance) than happy people. Therefore, intolerant behavior should be stopped if there is some possibility.

Now, of course this was a mistake, but this mistake is understandable.

(I'm more of a negative utilitarist myself, but this work the same way)


Consider this: spam is speech too. No-one's seriously suggesting Twitter and Facebook shouldn't clamp down on that.


problem is, having unimpeded speech online requires being harbored by private companies, as there really isn't much in terms of government-managed domains, government-managed DDoS protection, etc


> Maybe it's an elaborate troll.

Of course it is. The entire point is provocation. How many people heard of Daily Stormer for the first time as a result of this whole drawn-out incident? Rather more than knew about it in the first place, I'd wager, judging by Google Trends and overall coverage.

Look at Stormfront, a more obscure (but probably worse) website: their domain got locked, but they seem to have it back now. Interestingly, it appears to be a registrar that issued a statement denouncing Daily Stormer.


The sad part is that one is illegal and one isn't. It's a bigger problem for Cloudflare to act as the moral police by kicking off Nazis without them doing anything illegal. Copyright infringement is a more clear cut case. If there's a court order it makes sense to take the site off, and otherwise a blanket refusal.


> There's a huge difference between being a _possible_ copyright infringer and a _declared_ Nazi.

There is indeed. One is illegal.


Possibly infringing, is not illegal, infringing is.


Correct. Nazism is illegal in some jurisdictions.


Hmm, what about _declared_ terrorists and _actual_ killers which post videos of them throwing gays off the top of buildings? Cloudflare was providing service to those people.


> 1) DS hasn't in fact been kicked off the Internet

It has however been kicked off Cloudfare and that's what the plaintiff wants to happen in their case also.


I think the main impact is that I had never heard of that website before cloudlfare took that decision. Massive publicity.


This isn't that haunting. It's just another iteration of well-funded standard lawyer games. CEO foresaw this kind of stuff before he undertook the action.

If you're looking for a sympathetic plaintiff, Nazis aren't a good place to hang your hat.


> If you're looking for a sympathetic plaintiff, Nazis aren't a good place to hang your hat.

Perhaps not a popular choice, but the constitution and bill of rights did not have an "unless you're a nazi" clause.


Don't know why you're downvoted. But you're right, the First Amendment protects all speech even vile and hateful speech.

If people don't like that type of speech, then just pay it no mind. It doesn't really affect you unless you go looking for it.


I agree, but you're still gonna have better odds with someone the judge doesn't feel like shit for siding with.

A good example of this concept is Rosa Parks. She was not the first person arrested on the bus seat charge by any means, but the NAACP had been hunting for a likable lead plaintiff simply because convincing judges/public relations are a lot easier with somebody people should like. So while I personally agree with free speech, judges are generally not going to want to hang their logic's hat on defending Nazis. Empowering Nazis doesn't feel like good policy.

The justice system is a messy place and lacks the exactitude of computer code. Maybe it shouldn't be that way, but it is.

FWIW, sources are personal experience: Law school, clerked for two federal judges, run a legal tech nonprofit.

Interesting additional reading on this subject is Karl Llewellyn's "Dueling Canons" article. Basically, it argues that judges decide what they wanna do, THEN figure out their logic to get there. http://prawfsblawg.blogs.com/prawfsblawg/files/llewellyn_on_...


Rosa Park incident was not random find. She was activist who sit down with intention to cause what followed. The point was not to find nice judge, but to demonstrate unfairness. This struck with me after I read in depth article about the event, because the story made much more sense afterwards.


I'm not American, so I'm not going to quote the constitution, I'll say I'm comfortable not giving rights to Nazis and no there are no slippery slopes.


there are no slippery slopes

Of course there are. Progressives are constantly widening the definition of "Nazi" so that it now includes people like Charles Murray and Ben Shapiro. Combine that with their moral imperative to punch Nazis, and it quickly gets unpleasant.


Then don't call them rights, call them privileges.


As an American, I support everyone's right to free speech, regardless of content.

I feel badly for other countries that don't have such freedoms.


This is one of those unintended consequences that highlight the value of good legal representation.

CEO shuts down website lickity split, but then claims in court he can't stop a piracy site.

I've had this happen before at work where legal has told me "if you ask that question it will come back to bite us since if something bad comes up, it will show we knew nefarious behavior was happening. Better to not ask at all."


Where were these "free speech" activists when ISIS recruiters' online accounts were shut down? It's different when the lives endangered by violence-inciting speech include your own.

Germany learned a lesson on violent speech after the Holocaust, but many in the US keep their heads in the sand despite the violent oppression of blacks and gays in recent history. I blame it on the religion of Libertarianism, which promotes the nonsensical belief that the invisible hand is benevolent.


> “By his own admissions, Mr. Prince’s decision to terminate certain users’ accounts was ‘arbitrary,’ the result of him waking up ‘in a bad mood,’ and a decision he made unilaterally as ‘CEO of a major Internet infrastructure corporation’

I'm actually amazed that's from the press release they put out.


I'm actually amazed that's from the press release they put out.

It's not, though. It's from an internal email that was leaked.



Props to Cloudflare for evicting DS and dealing with subsequent bullshit. Some people might think it's a bad move, I'll just say I'm glad you guys acted.


I really like the fact he said I'm being a dick and it's a dick move but it still was at the end of the day a dick move.

Cred for saying it, it's better than most companies but still he kowtowed on such a important decision, freedom of speech and will the Valley uphold it and failed. Little sympathy really should be given. Just cred for calling it.


“I woke up this morning in a bad mood and decided to kick them off the Internet,”

He should be FIRED by the board. Decisions on what speech to ban should be decided by an ethics committee not by a guy that awoke up on the wrong side of the bed. Because such decisions have consequences, major ones.

edit: "Ban" was supposed to be keep off their network...and I understand the difference between state and private actions. State can't but private companies can.


He's not banning the speech lol he's not the government.


Good thing you lol-d at least. Now the lawsuit isn't it because they chose what to keep in their network ad what to boot? In other words, they editorialized.

he's not the government. I know, I guess he can legally ban the, say, the Democratic point of view out of his network. But it a wise move?




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