A Big and Necessary Step: Cloudflare Terminates Service for 8Chan

Internet • Views: 20,961

Let me open by saying I’m still very skeptical about their rationale for taking so long to do this: Terminating Service for 8Chan.

8chan is among the more than 19 million Internet properties that use Cloudflare’s service. We just sent notice that we are terminating 8chan as a customer effective at midnight tonight Pacific Time. The rationale is simple: they have proven themselves to be lawless and that lawlessness has caused multiple tragic deaths. Even if 8chan may not have violated the letter of the law in refusing to moderate their hate-filled community, they have created an environment that revels in violating its spirit.

We do not take this decision lightly. Cloudflare is a network provider. In pursuit of our goal of helping build a better internet, we’ve considered it important to provide our security services broadly to make sure as many users as possible are secure, and thereby making cyberattacks less attractive — regardless of the content of those websites. Many of our customers run platforms of their own on top of our network. If our policies are more conservative than theirs it effectively undercuts their ability to run their services and set their own policies. We reluctantly tolerate content that we find reprehensible, but we draw the line at platforms that have demonstrated they directly inspire tragic events and are lawless by design. 8chan has crossed that line. It will therefore no longer be allowed to use our services.

One of the most important reasons hate sites like 8chan have grown and flourished is because of the tacit support they’ve gotten from companies like Cloudflare.

And I’m less than impressed that it takes a mass murder anyone could have seen coming to get them to act. But this is where we’re at. Huge tech companies that dominate the internet refuse to take any responsibility for what they’re enabling, until they’re forced into it.

Bottom line, though — this is only temporary, because 8chan still has DNS hosting services, and there are lots of alternatives to Cloudflare that will let them get back online, probably within days if they work at it, which they will because enabling hatred is apparently profitable.

So this is not over.

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