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Censorship rarely, if ever, solves anything. These companies are not crime-fighting services and will have no impact on criminal activity.

It doesn't solve it but it definitely helps in some cases: http://comp.social.gatech.edu/papers/cscw18-chand-hate.pdf

Because it doesn't have a 100% success rate doesn't mean it shouldn't be considered, otherwise we could use the same logic to dismiss basically any rule, law or regulation ever made.

Echo chambers are never a good thing, echo chambers built around hateful extremist ideologies are a lot worse. By forcing these people to get out of them some good can be achieved. Of course some of them will manage to regroup elsewhere but statistically a significant proportion will return to a more healthy lifestyle.

That report only says that Reddit banned some subreddits and so mitigated some speech, on reddit.com.

But Reddit is not the entire internet, and that ban perhaps directly fed into 8chan's rise. People do not disappear because a forum went offline, and tools to communicate are only getting better, faster and more resilient.

When users have to migrate, plenty don't bother to. Not every extremist visits sites specifically for extremist content. Many people pick up extremist ideas just because they're popular where they were already browsing, and the reverse can be true. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/bjbp9d/do-social-media-ba... and https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/04/technology/alex-jones-inf... have examples of various media personalities (Milo, Alex Jones) that became much less popular once they were de-platformed from their main point of presence. Their fans and popularity could have followed them ... but mostly didn't.

Isn't that again just focusing on singular points instead of the whole picture? Who is popular now that Milo and Alex are less so? Has that been measured?

It seems highly dubious that all that attention completely disappeared instead of following other channels, which may be even more extreme. I can't find any study of this.

There's 0 negativity in this post and literally describes how a majority of 8chan's Pol board got a wave of user's same when people were getting banned on 4chan's /pol/ they just got routed to a different site.

These individuals dont disappear and it really doesnt take long to route to a new site. Fixing the udnerlying problem is a better idea than covering it with a band aid

Too bad this isn't censorship. This is a private company deciding it is unprofitable to do business with somebody.

If you don't like the word censorship, then replace it with "deplatforming" instead.

So to rephrase the original statement, deplatforming rarely solves anything.

It solves one thing though. It protects the business with the platform from getting their brand tarnished by whoever they kicked off. That alone is enough reason to allow a private business to kick somebody off their platform.

Surely you'd have an issue if the government showed up at a businesses office with guns and forced the owner (at gunpoint!) to allow a nazi hate site to continue to exist on their platform, eh? Cause that is what you are arguing for.

> Surely you'd have an issue if the government showed up at a businesses office with guns and forced the owner (at gunpoint!) to allow a nazi hate site to continue to exist on their platform.

Not the point, but even still what people are arguing against is mobs of internet users pressuring companies into political decisions.

Literally (as in figuratively) the people asking for banning the site are the one holding the owner at gunpoint asking for the termination of a business relationship.

Nobody is arguing that. The companies have a right to do what they want. We’re saying it will solve nothing.

The PR benefits you're claiming only exist because it placates the very same people that make such an outrage and call for corporate action in the first place.

There's evidence that deplatformining decreases extremists' reach and may curtail recruitment opportunities. It is an active area of research, but there is nothing to justify the position that "deplatforming rarely solves anything".

If we were to go the other direction, we can see how having a greater platform would be worse. E.g. if there were a blatantly neo-Nazi cable TV channel in everyone's home, we would expect many more people to end up watching neo-Nazi content and some of them to become radicalized. Propaganda requires a platform to be effective. It is thus not exactly surprising that you can make propaganda less effective by eliminating the reach of the platform.

If racists like those on 8chan can be pushed into the deepest corners of the dark web, where you have to use Tor to get to them or whatever, that's a win. Lots of people aren't going to bother, and thus will never run across them, and never have the opportunity to be radicalized by their propaganda/content.

My underlying point is that there is no singular "platform".

Technology is not standing still. Tor isn't necessary. We're seeing the rise of distributed, federated, encrypted, and anonymous networks that take little more than an app install or website link. They are only getting more hardened against these mitigation techniques and the approach of "just shut it down" will soon become an infeasible solution.

I think 8ch is something you already had to actively seek out. I've never come across a link to 8ch in the wild. I've only seen it in discussions of fringe extremist communities on the internet.

My concern with big companies deplatforming political extremists that weren't in the public eye is that it almost validates their "they don't want us saying XYZ because it's true" points. Not that their political shit has any basis in reality, but when impressionable people see that they actually are being squeezed out of the internet, it leads many of them to conclude that their other points are valid.

Right now, loads of extremists are taking to Discord and other private chats to discuss their points and recruit people. Inside those tight-knit private groups, there's no possibility of a random passerby to stop in and offer a dissenting view. They see their discussions as the absolute reality of the world. Pushing them deeper into those groups feels far more dangerous to me.

The fact that is not illegal does not make it not censorship. Some censorship is right and justified.

It is certainly not censorship at all. Calling it censorship muddies the waters and plays right into the hands of the people who want to push hate speech.

From Wikipedia:

Censorship is the suppression of speech, public communication, or other information, on the basis that such material is considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or "inconvenient".[2][3][4] Censorship can be conducted by a government,[5] private institutions, and corporations.

In this case as far as I can tell the server provider (not CF) was repulsed by the site content. I support that choice and the company ability to make it. Still it is censorship.

There is bad censorship and good censorship.

In fact, people were already talking about which sites to migrate to when 8ch was about to be shut down. It's very similar to the Southpark episode about Walmart. If you shut the platform down, another one will get big. It becomes a game of whack-a-mole and harder for the authorities to monitor. End users can migrate quickly., as there are no accounts and no authentication process.

All of that said, CF can choose to not do business with anyone, especially if that entity is causing legal grief for them and/or abusing the AUP [1] See section 2.7. Rather than censorship, I would call it PITA avoidance. I would not want to be the CDN for any of the chan sites.

[1] - https://www.cloudflare.com/terms/

What is a crime fighting service?

More specifically, what is a crime prevention service?

The police and various other government agencies working to keep citizens safe, and are blessed with the means, motivation and authority to do so.

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