So now CDNs and Cloud providers are operating politically, determing who can and cannot use their services depending on their beliefs; whats next, the ISPs?
Within like 5 years, we went from facebook being a problem because it has power to direct politics through its incredible reach and filtering algorithms.. to suddenly every tech company, through the whole stack, wants a say on the matter?
At least facebook had the “algorithms” defense, that they didn’t intentionally apply their political views into their ecosystems; this is far more direct — CEOs realizing they have a power over an infrastructure to weaponize their beliefs (generally agreeable, or not)
How did we jump from net nuetrality politics to.. this? Just the difference between monetary reasons versus political?
Yeah, this has always been the case. There's literally nothing new here.
Fascinating to hear these expert opinions from people who have obviously never dealt with the hosting industry.
If you think nazis and other undesirables have a right to hosting, then go ahead and start your own nazi hosting company. If cybercriminals can manage this, I'm sure you guys can do it too.
(a) People who publicly support white supremacy should be imprisoned by the government.
(b) Businesses should not make money by hosting or providing services to people who publicly support white supremacy.
It's very easy to think that (b) is true, but (a) is false; this is a popular position among free speech advocates who know the law.
Should I not have the power to shame businesses into excluding individuals and organizations?
Perhaps they're doing something they should be ashamed of.
Am I getting this right?
You're still free to drop a customer for whatever reason. I just want the press to be held accountable for the torts they're committing and the economic harm they are causing.
> press using their influence to pressure those companies into dropping customers
So what does that even look like? Odds are it looks like this:
"Hey, I'm working on a story about 8chan and heard you guys host them. Do you have anything to say about that?"
I guess what you're saying is that the press should just not be allowed to report on this stuff.
>torts they're committing
such as? IANAL, but the first amendment provides strong protections against tortious interference claims.
Specific example: https://mobile.twitter.com/alexstamos/status/115839279568757...
BitMitigate has a case for tortious interference over this tweet, IMO. Alex knew of contracts between BitMitigate and 8chan (or Voxility), used his influence to induce Voxility to make it impossible for BitMitigate to fulfill their 8chan contract (or for the breach of their voxility contract), Alex was not privileged to interfere, and there were economic damages suffered. That's all the elements necessary for a tortious interference with contract claim.
>IANAL, but the first amendment provides strong protections against tortious interference claims.
Indeed it does. Generally, merely sharing truthful information does not provide a basis for tortious interference. The problem I have isn't that these sorts of statements are false, but that they come attached with a threat of an active negative PR campaign. The format of twitter makes this particularly salient, since it makes it easy to get viral traction and hard to communicate extensive information. And the tweet I linked earlier didn't tell Voxility anything it didn't already know, it simply publicized things and used the author's influence coercively.
I'm sorry, but this doesn't feel like an accurate characterisation. Stamos isn't financing or organising an actual PR campaign, he's just publicly telling the truth.
If the truth happens to be outrageous, that's not his fault.
>And the tweet I linked earlier didn't tell Voxility anything it didn't already know
Dunno, Voxility is huge.
>it simply publicized things and used the author's influence coercively.
If the truth is coercive, perhaps that's not on the author?
>If the truth is coercive, perhaps that's not on the author?
You're ignoring the context. Blue check with 50k followers who has testified to congress on tech matters, multiple followup tweets @voxility by others, and intense media scrutiny of 8chan and their business partners following the El Paso shooting. The exact same tweet made as a DM would not have anywhere near the pressure as what they did. The publicity itself is pressure; this is why corporate twitter accounts try to take your tweeted complaints into DMs as soon as possible.
There are certain forums (e.g. child boards on 8ch) wherein groups of people openly advocate for the commission of hate crimes and murder. Most civilized persons would regard this sort of behavior as a manifestation of evil, and no private person or organization should be obligated to facilitate this behavior.
Secondly, please illustrate to me the precise statement I made that was remotely racist or Islamophobic. Personally, I consider the accusation of racism with no evidence of such a claim to be a near perfect expression of evil. While I may think that you're an absolutely detestable person for doing so, I'm not advocating that this site be taken down for your presence here.
In regards to private people or organizations being obligated to facilitate any behavior, you won't hear me making that argument. The argument I'm making is that I think it's an enormous problem that very important mechanisms in society are being targeted by a group of people who are completely irresponsible with their application of claims to objective morality (as you've perfectly demonstrated above), in various attempts to remove access to those mechanisms from the people they don't agree with.
What exactly is supposed to have changed here? Hosting controversial content poses significant operational costs, nobody will do it for free.
The only relationship was free was users -> 8chan website, and 8chan did do it for free..
If you pay enough you’ll have SLAs and your host will be contractually obligated to not cut you off for hosting 8chan.
>The only relationship was free was users -> 8chan website, and 8chan did do it for free..
I’m sorry, but what the fuck are you on about? I get the feeling you don’t even understand the entities involved here.
Users presumably did not pay 8chan
8chan was presumably paying cloudflare
8chan was presumably paying bitmitigate
bitmitigate was presumably paying voxility
The only part of hosting controversial content for free was the user -> 8chan relationship, which they very explicitly did for free.
Everything else was not, and if money was the problem, I don't think sudden and arbitrary cutoff was the natural result. (marking up the price seems to me the reasonable response, which would have naturally gone up the chain, perhaps to the point of 8chan charging its users [or heavier advertising]).
But this wasn't a business decision, so obviously it wouldn't be a business outcome.
Handling inquiries costs money, BitMitigate was generating lots of them. If BitMitigate had been paying enough, Voxility would be contractually obligated to keep them up.
I can’t imagine why the relationship between 8chan and its users would matter at all in this conversation.
I was responding to "Hosting controversial content poses significant operational costs, nobody will do it for free"; no one in the story was hosting controversial content for free, except for 8chan, which was doing exactly that (at no cost to the users posting it).
Other than that relationship, I don't see anyone in this tale that would expect free hosting for controversial content.
>If BitMitigate had been paying enough, Voxility would be contractually obligated to keep them up.
Right; my point is that if this was a normal event, Voxility would have simply increased fees to match the increased costs of hosting. BitMitigate would then increase its fees, and so on. Thats just the dynamics of business.
Suddenly dropping service, and publicly promising to block all content (and I suppose reading between the lines, not rehosting even if BitMitigate ponied up), is hardly the natural monetarily-driven reaction to such an event. The SLA would have prevented this from happening suddenly... but I find it hard to not see this as a fairly unique and directed response... perhaps to a nonunique problem (was Voxility called out when Daily Stormer moved? Was it even really called out in this instance, beyond the tweet referenced in the article?)
BitMitigate was presumably paying Voxility for normal hosting, not for the bulletproof hosting BM was marketing. Those are two quite different services.
It appears that BM may have expected free bulletproof hosting from Voxility. (Or maybe not, perhaps they expected to get kicked out)
If I pay you to wash my car that doesn’t mean I’m paying you to clean my house.
>Right; my point is that if this was a normal event, Voxility would have simply increased fees to match the increased costs of hosting.
Bullshit. They’d have terminated the relationship because the customer was not being upfront with them.
Besides, going “hey pay us more or you’re going offline” has a real bad vibe to it, I doubt many sane companies would want to do that.
This is completely standard practice in the hosting industry. I’ve been kicked out of tens of datacenters (including Voxility!), I know exactly how this works.
You may wish to read your ISP's ToS, because many of them have had AUPs for years that would forbid use of some bits of 8chan.
They don't appear to use these clauses very often, but we don't know because no-one is counting.
But that doesn't mean we expect them to.
Cloud infra companies and CDNs trying to filter their service offering based on its content, without government intervention, based on no "algorithm" or strategy, but instead, without any hiding of it, whatever whim realized by the CEO and his twitter feed; this is new behavior to me (that it could be done is obvious, that it would be done is not).
I mean, its not new new, this is cloudflare's second time at it; the new part is that its not just cloudflare doing it, and we went another layer deeper.
How come you seem to only have picked up on this after it started happening to nazi sites?
If you don't want that to be the case, create a company that supports them. The only ones stopping you are your customers.
Somebody could automate the generation of manifestos, and leak hundreds claiming responsibility after every shooting, arguing for a variety of different positions. Then the public would have less certainly about what shooter's political intent actually was - which could lead to less politically-motivated mass shootings?
I wonder if someone has ever successfully tricked the public into believing a manufactured manifesto was written by a perpetrator, when it was actually written by someone unrelated to the incident.
Sounds like an effective mechanism to potentially remove mass murderer’s ability to effectively communicate their reasons or beliefs. Since effective gun control in the US is impossible, it’s going to be out of the box ideas like this that might end up actually helping (besides god forbid some real focus on mental health in this country).
Buy your own hardware rather than demand other people look after you
There is a difference.