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

Cloudflare has explained why it made a rare exception to its strident free-speech policy in its decision to cut ties with white supremacist cesspit Daily Stormer. As noted by El Reg a few hours earlier, Cloudflare today terminated the hosting and anti-DDoS services it was providing the neo-Nazi website. After GoDaddy and …

  1. John Savard Silver badge

    Not as Unreasonable as It May Seem

    However much I may detest stuff like the Daily Stormer, I think Cloudflare came close to striking the right balance here. DDoS attacks are criminal acts, and advocating ideas that others may find offensive is legal - at least in the United States.

    However, the point of view outlined in the article's headline has a great deal of validity too. Spreading hatred isn't something anyone should want to facilitate. But when you start to draw that kind of line, there is always the temptation to do so a bit more strictly, until only those whose speech is bland and inoffensive can find protection against DDoS attacks. Is that what we want?

    1. AdamWill

      Seems to me...

      ...the problem here is that the real problem is that we have engineered ourselves into this corner in the first place. Yeah, I know that's not directly productive, but the key point is that I'm not sure there *is* a good answer to "how can we reasonably handle this situation in its current form", when the 'situation' is that the internet is clearly a vitally important forum for information interchange, but you *need* the services of one of a handful of random private companies to put something on the internet in such a way that any vaguely capable jackass can't take it down again.

      There's *kind of* a parallel with newspapers and book publishers, I guess, but it's not a very good one at all. In the first place, newspapers obviously have to be *highly* selective in any case - they can't print anywhere *near* all of the content submitted to them (unsolicited articles, comment pieces, letters, whatever). And there's a much broader ecosystem of book publishers, and the cost of setting one up (or a magazine or whatever) really isn't very high at all, so that's a much more robust ecosystem. And Before The Internet you could at least just print out a bunch of pamphlets and go hand them out in the street or whatever; yeah, it's not *as* effective as getting a book or academic paper or newspaper article published, but the gap is a lot less stark than the gap between being On The Internet and not being On The Internet.

      I dunno, doesn't seem like there are any exactly easy answers.

      1. P. Lee Silver badge

        Re: Seems to me...

        I'm curious to find out how effective the darkweb can be against DDOS. I share the concern that we've built an internet where it is really cheap and easy to remove content with which someone doesn't agree.

        We need an internet where we don't need cloudflare to protect content. What can be done against nazis can be done to anyone.

        Better to bring their ideas into the light so people can see their flaws, than push them underground where they can't be seen clearly.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @John Savard - Re: Not as Unreasonable as It May Seem

      Freedom comes with limitations and requires self-restraint in order to fully benefit from it. I can't claim my freedoms are being trampled just because I'm not free to inflict severe harm or death to other human beings. And no, demoting the status of those beings just to feel free to harm them doesn't cut it.

    3. Franklin

      Re: Not as Unreasonable as It May Seem

      Eh, there's plenty of out-and-out criminal content that Cloudflare is more than happy to serve and protect as well. They're notorious for shielding carder sites (they protected rescator.cc, the site where the information from the Home Depot hack some while back was sold) and malware sites, and they're quite content to do so.

      Much as they like to say they're champions of "free speech" and they're interested in protecting odious but legal content and whatever whatever, they do seem to throw their chips behind content that is in no way legal under any circumstances, and the way I see it, that speaks volumes about their character.

  2. Ole Juul

    now fled to the dark web

    Another story here just said they went to Yandex for DNS. I just checked their .onion site and it says it will display the clearnet link there. I see they are using a .ru domain now.

    1. Angry clown

      @Ole Juul - Re: now fled to the dark web

      How much do you want to bet Kremlin will kick them out as soon as they will get the word ?

      1. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

        Re: @Ole Juul - now fled to the dark web

        I think that the Trump brand is toxic, no matter whether you bought it or paid for it. In other words, not long.

        1. P. Lee Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Re: @Ole Juul - now fled to the dark web

          >I think that the Trump brand is toxic

          Random thought or wrong thread?

      2. Geoffrey W Silver badge

        Re: @Ole Juul - now fled to the dark web

        The .ru version of the site is also now down and only available on the wayback machine, where it crows about real friends under a photo of Putin and Trump who apparently called Putin to give them a home. Andrew Anglin is a deluded fool if he truly thinks either of those despots care about him. The day before they were preening about their new domain DailyStormer.wang and how wonderful .wang was. Geuss wanging wasn't as great as they thought. Anglin did say one thing that may be close to true; that this is the best thing that ever happened to them, they are global now and that's true; I suspect a lot more people know of them now than before.

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Re: @Ole Juul - now fled to the dark web

          "I suspect a lot more people know of them now than before."

          This is something I tried to highlight the other day (as a negative result of all this 'positive' action) and got massively d/voted for. Hopefully people are feeling less triggered now and can see the situation for what it is - playing into their hands to garner more widespread support.

          1. Baldrickk Silver badge

            Re: "I suspect a lot more people know of them now than before."

            and a lot more people are going to forget about them than before too.

            1. rmason Silver badge

              Re: "I suspect a lot more people know of them now than before."

              Also, if they have gone over to the "dark web" (silly phrase, sorry) then i'd suspect a great deal of their readership won't be able to access it even with a step by step guide. (a VP-What? What have my onions got to do with it? where's a TOR? etc)

              I don't think it's a massive leap to assume most of the readership won't be the sharpest tools in any particular box.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Ole Juul - now fled to the dark web

        Kremlim kicking out racist homophobic thugs?

        Good luck on that one.

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: @Ole Juul - now fled to the dark web

          I suspect the Russians might have a bit of thing about Nazis. What with unhappy memories and things of their last encounter with that type.

          1. Richocet

            Re: @Ole Juul - now fled to the dark web

            I guess the Russian government can be right wing fascists without having to label themselves Nazis and use the swastika symbol.

        2. Stu Mac

          Re: @Ole Juul - now fled to the dark web

          your life as an idiot! Russia is just a tad down on Nazis and fascism

  3. Unicornpiss Silver badge

    I think..

    ..that if the Daily Stormer had just laid low after this mess, there would be no problem. But since they took the insane, violent tack of actually CONDONING the murder of an innocent victim, someone they never knew, that did nothing to anyone in their group personally other than disagreeing with their ideology, and that they never even met, I have to agree with the site being taken down. I wholeheartedly agree with free speech, but when people are rousing others to hurt and kill, common sense says you have to draw a line somewhere. Just like you allow your children a lot of leeway, but occasionally have to step in and say: "No, that's not going to happen." when they're pulling the cat's tail or setting fire to the drapes.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: I think..

      But since they took the insane, violent tack of actually CONDONING the murder of an innocent victim, someone they never knew, that did nothing to anyone in their group personally other than disagreeing with their ideology, and that they never even met

      This is what makes Nazis Nazis. They decide that an entire group of people are less than human and then go looking for members of that group to harm.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I think..

        This is what makes Nazis Nazis. They decide that an entire group of people are less than human and then go looking for members of that group to harm.

        It's what makes violent psychopaths violent psychopaths. Don't delude yourself into thinking that there aren't people looking for an excuse to exclude and harm "the other" in just about any group, be they the right, left, top, bottom, strange, charmed.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          Re: I think..

          I saw an interview with one of the white supremacists. He was talking about how Trump was not nearly racist enough for his taste, because it was appalling he allowed his daughter to marry "that Jew bastard Kushner".

          I don't think anyone should be surprised people like this are condoning murder on a website.

        2. Kriilin

          Re: I think..

          That was a quarky response!

        3. Paul 195

          Re: I think..

          Well yes, it is what makes violent psychopaths violent psychopaths. And they can indeed be found in every walk of life. But what makes Nazis special is that their entirely ideology is dedicated to the idea that everyone but the Aryan master race is inferior and should, if necessary, be exterminated. That's *not* an idea you find in many other groups, right, left, top, bottom, strange or charmed.

    2. inmypjs Silver badge

      Re: I think..

      "other than disagreeing with their ideology,"

      I think the violent antifa thugs did a bit more than that.

      But seriously wake up. There were about 500 alt-right loons with permission to hold a rally planned long in advance. There were 1000 police and national guards to keep the peace. There were many protesters and violent antifa thugs which the authorities deliberately allowed the rally to be surrounded by while police and national guard were nowhere to be seen. The violence was inevitable and orchestrated deliberately to blame the alt-right and beat up Trump with. The woman's death was just gravy. Are you really dumb enough to be taken in by this bullshit or slimy left enough to go along with it?

      1. Stu Mac

        Re: I think..

        You are certainly onto something there. I'm sure.

        Let's not forget there isn't much actually below Nazism. Communism and Islamism being about the only things I can think of. If not below then certainly down in the same swamp. Both of which Antifa seems to be infiltrated with, making it just as unacceptable for me. A plague on all their houses.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          @Stu Mac

          In what way is communism "below" nazism? All the countries we identify as "communist" are authoritarian first. Stalin didn't kill all those millions of people because that's part of the communist philosophy, it is because he had an iron grip on power and could do whatever he wanted without any consequences.

          Now maybe you can argue that communism requires an authoritarian government to enforce, and you might be right because the rich wouldn't willingly submit to it, but communism itself isn't a violent philosophy. It just appears impractical, at least unless technological advancement went far enough that we achieved a post-scarcity society.

          I'd put Islamism on equal footing with nazism. Both philosophies say "those like us are the only ones who matter" and if nothing stands in their way will terrorize and kill the rest. Is Islamism lower in your book because it is non-Christian, or is beheading somehow worse than gas chambers?

        2. strum Silver badge

          Re: I think..

          This "Antifa" garbage gets my goat. The word is 'anti-fascist' - just like your grandfather, who landed on Omaha beach was anti-fascist. If you're Jewish, you've probably got relations who died in Belsen; they were anti-fascist. George Orwell, something of a hero amongst right-wingers, went to Spain to fight fascists.

          To be against fascism is to be a decent human being. It doesn't warrant this negative nickname.

          1. inmypjs Silver badge

            Re: I think..

            "To be against fascism is to be a decent human being."

            Nope - a decent human being would be anti-facsist.

            Antifa are human beings using fascist techniques like "suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship" while claiming to be anti-fascist which makes them dumb fucks and not at all decent.

            This article is about the fascist censoring of opposing view by and for the approval of those claiming to be anti-fascist - you couldn't make it up.

      2. dmacleo

        Re: I think..

        shhh.can't let the truth get out...

        one bunch of dumbassess held a rally. another bunch of dumbasses showed up with bats/helmets looking to cause an issue as they always do.

        third dumbass drove a car and killed a person that looked to have been non-violent.

        real tragedy is car could not take them ALL out.

        1. DougS Silver badge

          @dmacleo

          I guess I missed the part where the woman who was run over was carrying a bat and and wearing a helmet, "looking to cause an issue". Maybe you need to stop getting your news from Breitbart.

          1. dmacleo

            Re: @dmacleo

            nice assumption idiot.

            I specifically said she looked to be non-violent.

            read jake tappers (cnn) timeline about it and see.

            and there is lot of other video supporting me.

            or don't.

            don't really give a fuck if you care enough to learn.

    3. leenex

      Re: I think..

      Condoning the murder of innocent people is central to being a Nazi. Take that away, and there's not much left.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reasonable

    It's one thing to point out that Voltaire supports your right to listen to Nickelback. It's another thing entirely to suggest that this makes him a Nickelback fan.

  5. chivo243 Silver badge

    isn't there a limitation

    as to how how much you can say before you're inciting criminal behavior and therefore breaking a law?

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: isn't there a limitation

      Yes, but the limit is changing daily and by next week your post will probably be cited as a hate-filled rant against bunny rabbits or something.

      I read an article this morning about how a recent safety campaign in the UK was accused of 'sexualizing' a muslim child because it was pictured wearing a headscarf - you really couldn't make this shit up.

      £2m program has just had to pull loads of material as a result.

      These days cowboys are sometimes portrayed as violent gunslingers - does that mean a picture of a boy in a cowboy hat is offensive as it is suggesting the boy is violent murderer? Of course it doesn't, but that's the logical extension of the thinking in the article I read. It isn't like they dressed the girl up in a bikini and sucking a lollipop ffs.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: isn't there a limitation

        I read an article this morning about how a recent safety campaign in the UK was accused of 'sexualizing' a muslim child because it was pictured wearing a headscarf - you really couldn't make this shit up.

        ...It isn't like they dressed the girl up in a bikini and sucking a lollipop ffs.

        It makes sense if you understand the actual reason why muslim women are supposed to wear headscarves, long dresses, etc. Simply put, the intent is to make women appear less sexually attractive, so mens' desires aren't aroused simply by the sight of them. It is essentially a protective measure for women against sexual assault by aggressive men with less self-control.

        With this rationale in mind, dressing a child in such clothing is sending the message that: "seeing this child uncovered would be sexually arousing".

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

          Re: isn't there a limitation

          Ok, I'll bite, how come I've seen a lot of messages stating that there are lots of Muslim children in the UK who are wearing headscarves - are you suggesting that their parents have sexualised their children?

          If not, then why is it ok for them to dress their children in headscarves, but no-one else can create a picture showing that very same thing?

        2. handleoclast Silver badge

          Re: seeing this child uncovered would be sexually arousing

          Tell me if I've got this wrong, but didn't Mohammed (Pizza Be Upon Him) marry Aisha when she was six?

          Nah, there's no need to correct me. I already know the orthodox Muslim response to that: "Mohammed married Aisha when she was six, but he didn't fuck her until she was nine. And she enjoyed it, according to her memoirs. So he wasn't a paedophile."

        3. inmypjs Silver badge

          Re: isn't there a limitation

          "intent is to make women appear less sexually attractive, so mens' desires aren't aroused simply by the sight of them."

          So Muslims understand their men are all child raping paedophiles - good to know.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: isn't there a limitation

        "I read an article this morning "

        Where? The Daily Mail?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: isn't there a limitation

          Where? The Daily Mail?

          The Metro carries it.

          1. graeme leggett

            Re: isn't there a limitation

            For those not aware. The Metro is published by Daily Mail's owners.

            Obviously like Daily Mail (the newspaper) is entirely different from the MailOnline website, the Metro will have no links with DM....

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: isn't there a limitation

              Yeah, the Metro is to progressives what the Daily Mail is to conservatives. An over the top parody taking itself seriously.

              Still, it seems that the TfL story has a grain of truth at least.

              1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

                Re: isn't there a limitation

                http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/tfl-muslim-girl-hijab-sexualised-transport-london-road-safety-campaign-children-picture-a7892191.html

                It turns to not even be a photo, it's a drawing.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is a difference.

    There's a vast gap between freedom of speech and not being accountable for what you say. Yes, you can utter whatever nonsense that comes into your head, but if that turns out to be aimed at driving idiots to clearly demonstrate that they're idiots you should expect consequences.

    That is as true for encouraging a suicide as stoking up white non-supremacists*

    * No, I don't consider them a superior part of the human race, I think they're the inevitable result of white inbreeding.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There is a difference.

      "stoking up white non-supremacists*

      * No, I don't consider them a superior part of the human race, I think they're the inevitable result of white inbreeding."

      What are 'white non-supremacists'? Is that a new group I have to hate? Those with a Bovidean mind want to know.

  7. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    [Cloudflare] terminated Daily Stormer's account after the web blog's administrators suggested Cloudflare was protecting them because it secretly agreed with the site's neo-Nazi articles.

    There, Cloudflare acted the only way they could ...

    From Ars Technica:

    https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/08/shunned-by-godaddy-and-google-racist-daily-stormer-moves-to-russian-domain/

    They had to move to a Russian domain and are delighted by the Streisand effect the media coverage has produced ...

    Paris, coz she looks Aryan, to me, at least ...

    1. Brangdon

      Cloudflare acted the only way they could

      I don't get it. Why couldn't they just state that what the Daily Stormer says about them isn't true?

      Cloudflare seem to be saying that it is OK to tell lies about other people, but not about themselves. That's not some high moral principle. It's hypocracy.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Cloudflare acted the only way they could

        "Cloudflare seem to be saying that it is OK to tell lies about other people, but not about themselves. That's not some high moral principle. It's hypocracy."

        It seems more like refusing to sell to a customer who is bringing your business into disrepute. If the Daily Stormer had stayed quiet about Cloudflare, I doubt Cloudflare would have taken any action. No hypocrisy, just common business sense.

        1. P. Lee Silver badge

          Re: Cloudflare acted the only way they could

          >It seems more like refusing to sell to a customer who is bringing your business into disrepute.

          Do you really want businesses to be able to discriminate against customers based on "disrepute"? Who decides what "disrepute" is? Does that mean that Christian B&B's can now turn away homosexuals?

          Do we want businesses to take a moral stand, but only when those morals align with our morals?

          Or perhaps this is a business-risk based decision based on expected attacks. In which case, if random pro-lifers make DDOS threats against planned parenthood, would they get booted off too or is this just stepping out of the way so others can punch nazis?

          1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

            Re: Cloudflare acted the only way they could

            "

            Does that mean that Christian B&B's can now turn away homosexuals?

            "

            IMO yes, that should be permitted. And gay-run B&B's should be able to turn away heterosexuals. Only if a business is a public company, is offering a public service or is an arm of the government should it be subject to anti-discrimination laws. And of course you and I are free to choose never to buy anything from companies that have policies with which we strongly disagree.

            Would you be just as upset if a hotel turned away a person because they were a paedophile? Or a neo-nazi?

            1. israel_hands

              Re: Cloudflare acted the only way they could

              I'm fucking sick of seeing this bullshit argument getting trotted out again and again.

              Many minority groups have been wrongfully discriminated against for years. Denying someone a service or product because of the colour of their skin or their sexuality means they get a worse quality of life for something that harms nobody. The only reason you don't have a problem with it is because you're not part of a group that has been systematically discriminated against, or you'd see how utterly unfair such discrimination is. For this reason many societies have implemented laws with the aim of eliminating such discrimination.

              The fact that people who seek to discriminate will then try and claim protection to discriminate by invoking the very laws they seek to avoid is some sort of sick joke and show just what sort of moral cowards they truly are.

              And for fuck's sake, stop trying to establish a moral equivalence between homosexuals and paedophiles or nazis. Being homosexual harms no one. Try and make the same claim about paedos or nazis. And neither paedos nor nazis have been subjected to unfair discrimination. They're utter scum who seek to harm others and should be stopped from doing so.

              The fact that you'd try and claim a hotel turning away a paedo is the same as turning away a gay couple, that you'd immediately throw those two groups together, reveals more about your own thought processes and certainly doesn't help advance your inane argument.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Make the internet 'goverment approved content' only

    The thought police will decide the content allowed, and everything offensive, deviant, and against what is approved shall be removed.

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Make the internet 'goverment approved content' only

      The thought police will decide the content allowed, and everything offensive, deviant, and against what is approved shall be removed.

      Yeah, yeah, whatever. In case you missed it, this is not government censorship, this is a private company choosing to stop helping to host a website, because they find the content of that site offensive.

      Everybody has the right to choose whether they want to support Daily Stormer, and that includes Go Daddy, Google and anybody else. So far, most have chosen not to.

      If Daily Stormer approached my company for hosting, we would refuse. This doesn't suddenly make us part of some global conspiracy, it simply means we have exercised our right to choose what we host.

      1. Killfalcon Silver badge

        Re: Make the internet 'goverment approved content' only

        Pretty much.

        You have a right to a voice, not someone else's amplifier.

      2. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Make the internet 'goverment approved content' only

        "The though-police will decide.."

        "this is not government censorship,"

        Thought-police != government. Logic Fail.

        1. Alister Silver badge

          Re: Make the internet 'goverment approved content' only

          Sir,

          please read the title that was added to the post by the OP

          1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
            Facepalm

            Re: Make the internet 'goverment approved content' only

            "please read the title that was added to the post by the OP"

            DOH!

      3. inmypjs Silver badge

        Re: Make the internet 'goverment approved content' only

        "this is a private company choosing to stop helping to host a website, because they find the content of that site offensive."

        And if they found gay marriage offensive? So many people - so full of shit.

        1. Alister Silver badge

          Re: Make the internet 'goverment approved content' only

          @ inmypjs

          "this is a private company choosing to stop helping to host a website, because they find the content of that site offensive."

          And if they found gay marriage offensive?

          Newsflash! There is no law that says a private company has to host any website, whether it be White Supremacists or LGBTQI.

          There are laws which make it illegal to refuse to host a site because it is LGBTQI, but that only applies if a company were stupid enough to say "we aren't hosting your site 'cos your queer".

          In the absence of government censorship, what is considered socially and morally acceptable or unacceptable is decided by consensus of the majority.

          Thankfully, in the US as well as most of the rest of the world, Nazism and White Supremacy are considered to be socially and morally unacceptable by the majority, whereas gay marriage is not.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Make the internet 'goverment approved content' only

            Clearly you have not been following what happened in these United States after gay marriage was legalised. Remember all the fuss about a family bakery being closed down amid howls of protest and threats? Their crime? To decline to participate in gay marriage ceremony by providing cakes.

            Anti-discrimination legislation was brought to bear upon these people, and they were bankrupted.

            So tell me again about this freedom to provide or decline services to people.

            1. Killfalcon Silver badge

              Re: Make the internet 'goverment approved content' only

              AC: The problem with slippery-slope type arguments is they don't make much sense when there's a couple of centuries of legal practice in place that's built a staircase.

              American Law has a concept of a "Protected Class" - things it's illegal to discriminate on the grounds of, usually because the constitution requires the government to defend the sort of freedom in question (as opposed to /not restrict/ it, which is where the first and second amendments fall, FWIW).

              Sexuality is a protected class, as is race, gender and religion. Being a Nazi isn't.

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Make the internet 'goverment approved content' only

          "And if they found gay marriage offensive? So many people - so full of shit."

          They already found the Daily Storm offensive but took no action until the Daily Storm said that Cloudflare supported their position. "So many people - so full of shit"., never a truer word.

  9. Adam 52 Silver badge

    "And, after today, make no mistake, it will be a little bit harder for us to argue against a government somewhere pressuring us into taking down a site they don't like."

    A little different? Impossible.

    If you read his article, almost the entire content is devoted to this point and the importance of not censoring at the technology level.

    1. Gordon Pryra

      As @Adam 52 says, this has probably killed off Cloudflare, or at least seriously harmed their rep with their customers.

      I understand why they had to do it, but then again, they always knew what the content was, so to take protection away now is obliviously to save face.

      People making money from being "neutral" are often the worst kind of parasite, acting as enablers of the stuff they pretend to not having anything to do with.

      The hypocrisy of claiming they protect free speech (for a cost) but then pulling the rug from under the Nazis when things get hot is a bit sad.

      1. MJB7 Bronze badge

        Re: This has probably killed off Cloudflare

        Nah! Most of Cloudflare's customers are businesses who don't give a damn about free speech, they just don't want to be blackmailed by some DDOS crooks. (And having *their* customers able to load the website quicker is just a bonus.)

      2. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

        As @Adam 52 says, this has probably killed off Cloudflare, or at least seriously harmed their rep with their customers.

        I very much doubt it. Most probably don't and won't care and many will see it as the right thing to have done. I can't imagine many see it as anything which will affect them unless they were planning on espousing views which people would find objectionable.

        That Cloudfare is on a slippery slope is a fear much more than a certainty. One doesn't jump overboard merely because there looks to be an iceberg on the horizon.

        The sky isn't falling.

  10. Martin Summers Silver badge

    I'm not sure how Cloudflare can call terminating their account censorship. They aren't censoring their content they just don't want it on their network and quite reasonably so.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They aren't censoring their content they just don't want it on their network

      Indeed. Cloudfare is a commercial organization, so there's a difference between accepting someone's right to hold an (offensive) opinion, and actually taking their money to promote that opinion. Declining to take money to help someone promote a viewpoint isn't censorship.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      That argument doesn't work when the content is pro-lgbt.

      In essence, though, this doesn't make it easier for other governments to force them to take down things that government sees as evil (gay saudis, for example) because in this case they removed the site because it libelled cloudflare themselves.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        What are people downvoting?

        Sorry but this "not exactly censorship" argument is something that is userd in order to try and excuse silencing gay rights and I'd rather the stormy arsewipes or whatever their name is didn't get to justify it by having the same thing done to them.

        They'd love silencing gay rights to be their final legacy.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think Cloudflare acted well in difficult circumstances.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cloudflare's model relies on collecting information about bad actors on the internet. It's ideal for them to have some heavily DDoS'd sites on their network as this will help do this. I.e. They need to see regular DDoSs to help map and filter out botnets. This is a case where they appear to have put their morals ahead of their business interests, which should be applauded.

  13. Tim Seventh

    Not sure if evil or just plain dumb

    "team behind Daily Stormer made the claim that we were secretly supporters of their ideology."

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

    If true, that literally made Cloudflare flipped the table. Cloudflare acted the best they could to stay neutral in that situation. But for daily stormer, doing that is plain out dumb. They deserves losing the services provided.

  14. Old Englishman

    Incredible levels of bigotry and intolerance here. Shame on you all. These twits are no threat to anyone; but shutting down sites for politics is an evil business. Screaming hate at them while doing so is even worse.

    1. Snorlax
      Flame

      @Old Englishman

      In the USA, the First Amendment to the Constitution gives you the right to say what you want.

      It doesn't, however, give you the right to be shielded from the consequences.

      These nazi shitheads don't deserve the oxygen of publicity. I applaud GoDaddy, Google, DigitalOcean and everybody else who took a principled stand against them.

      "These twits are no threat to anyone"

      You must have missed the bit where an innocent protester, Heather Heyer, was murdered by one of these "twits".

      Shame on you for supporting these arseholes. Now fuck off.

      1. Gordon Pryra

        Re: @Old Englishman

        I think you need to reread his post, he is talking about Cloudfare not the american Nazis.

        All we see in the UK of the American Constitution is that it allows twats in stupid hats to wave Swastikas around and get away with it.

        Hardly "free speech" more like legally allowed fascism, perpetrated by morons who forgot to take the Nazi idea of "bad guys wear the cool uniforms" and replaced it with the dicks in their pointy hats looking like tools.

        1. Old Englishman

          Re: @Old Englishman

          And, as we all know, anybody the political left doesn't like is a "fascist". Pretty awful to consider that some people are basically demanding censorship of everyone right of Trotsky. Oh and creating the tools to ensure no privacy, no right of expression, total state control of everything. Just imagine what the next Mrs Thatcher will do with all that infrastructure of control. Will all the little haters here get arrested? I suspect they will...

          1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: @Old Englishman

            And, as we all know, anybody the political left doesn't like is a "fascist".

            And, just for balance;

            And, as we all know, anybody the political right doesn't like is a "communist".

            Luckily, the majority are not extremists of either side, despite the rabid accusations and the evidence of the voting patterns here. The majority are moderate, whether they lean a bit left or right.

          2. strum Silver badge

            Re: @Old Englishman

            >And, as we all know, anybody the political left doesn't like is a "fascist".

            No - that's only your delusion showing through.

      2. Old Englishman

        Re: @Old Englishman

        <blockquote>

        In the USA, the First Amendment to the Constitution gives you the right to say what you want.

        It doesn't, however, give you the right to be shielded from the consequences.

        </blockquote>

        I believe Nazi Germany operated on the same principle: say anything you like, and be shot if someone with power didn't like you. You happy to get treated like that?

        1. Snorlax

          Re: @Old Englishman

          @Old Englishman:"I believe Nazi Germany operated on the same principle: say anything you like, and be shot if someone with power didn't like you."

          Wow, you're more stupid than I first thought. Of course the treatment of Andrew Anglin and The Daily Stormer is exactly the same as the treatment of the Jews and others by the [original] nazis....

          " You happy to get treated like that?"

          I'm happy to live in a civilised country where The EU Convention on Human Rights applies, and where there are limits on hate speech and incitement to violence.

          I see from your past comments you don't agree with such frivolities as human rights:

          "We need out of the ECHR in particular. And as many of these euro-trash organisations as it takes. In case anybody hadn't noticed, out means out."

    2. samzeman

      "These twits are no threat to anyone"

      Have you been living under a rock? This entire thing is about how the website was hurling slurs at an anti-Nazi that was murdered by a white supremacist. That is fairly threatening to me, honestly.

      "Shutting down sites for politics"

      It wasn't the government taking it down, and it wasn't politics anyway in this case. It was more just lying or false advertising. I'm sure if any controversial website said "We are supported by Cloudflare, and they love us" they'd get taken down.

      Nobody is screaming hate. See all these, nice, calm, full stops. Despite the fact I want to mace Nazis, I also want to convince people I'm justified in shutting down political views that would have me killed.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Whilst I may not agree with the views held by The Daily Stormer, I do hold that I believe in freedom from undue censorship.

    Now that CF has been shown to remove content it is only a matter of time before a more "free speech" DNS provider appears. If this had been a left run site, would we see it the same way?

    There is content out there that may offend, and may not be your views. I recommend not reading it rather than attempting to argue and debate.

    1. DryBones

      Rubbish.

      Daily Stormer claimed CloudFlare agreed with their beliefs, which is why they were shielding them. Thus was the right to refuse service to anyone invoked.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think this whole website debacle is detracting from what people actually want.

    What do we want? Do we want to show these people they are wrong? Do we think that shutting down a website will achieve that? Of course it won't. What we need to do is get to the root of the problem rather than pissing about with one website and just a couple of these idiots. What is the root of that problem? I believe it is a disassociation with society in general caused by bigoted parents and successive governments not listening to their complaints (whether valid or not you still listen and then reason rather than just ignore it hoping it's going to go away), it's easier to radicalise someone that has f*ck all prospects, no money and a perception that everyone else is getting a better deal.

    It would help if you had a president that's on board but clearly he's using the classic "Look, a squirrel" political tactic, while your looking at the squirrel he's avoiding the Russia investigation.

    At the end of the day America as a country is going to have to tackle the problems free speech brings. However no one wants to have that discussion that can make a difference.

  17. lorisarvendu

    And Now This.

    Jesus, they're everywhere! It never stops...

    http://yournewswire.com/charlottesville-hillary-soros/

    The worst is the Tweet that says his car was rammed from behind...while it was obviously his car that did the ramming.

    1. sabroni Silver badge

      You couldn't make it up!

      It's true! The entire demonstration consisted of democrat plants paid by the MSM to discredit the very fine white supremacists.

      Either that or it was a bunch of hateful ignorant racists rampaging violently through a small town.

      Which one do they want you to believe.....?

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wouldn't it be better

    if the site was still available, and we could all see just precisely how twisted and stupid their politics are?

    The supported a mob invasion of a peaceful town and then attacked the victim of a domestic terror attack. Leave it up, let the rest of us see them for what they are.

  19. patrickstar

    So, anyone has a screenshot of where the Daily Stormer staff claims that Cloudflare are a bunch of nazi-supporters? No?

    If such a post actually existed, wouldn't you have expected the Cloudflare CEO to save it for posterity before having his staff pull the plug on the site?

    For some well-balanced criticism of Cloudflare's decision to suddenly start playing politics, you can start with Ryan Lackey and Peter Van Buren:

    https://twitter.com/octal

    https://twitter.com/WeMeantWell

    Neither of which is someone you can accuse of being Neo-Nazi White Supremacists, by the way.

  20. oneeye

    Be Careful What You Ask For!

    Amazing how many Commentards advocate for censorship one moment, and decry it the next. Talk about hypocrisy. Too stupid to see that they are advocating for a police state to come in and run their lives. Botching about Google, Facebook one moment, and cheering them the next. Well, let me tell you all something, most of YOUR hate comments will be censored in the not too distant future, and THEN, ...What will you do? Nothing I tell you, because by then, it will be WAY TOO LATE!

    1. AdamAdamite

      Re: Be Careful What You Ask For!

      Don't have any faith in other people.

      Same thing happened in Greece where they gutted the constitution and the judicial system to arrest democratically elected right wing politicians. Only to be released a full 18 months later with no evidence.

      Funny how the lefts ideals are perfectly in sink with the globalist bankers.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    yet Stormfront is still up?

    one of the original "hives of scum and villany" was still alive a few weeks ago. what do we gotta do to fix that?

  22. Cynic_999 Silver badge

    Business opportunity

    If Cloudflare is going to start refusing protection to sites that it disagrees with, that creates an opportunity for someone to offer a similar protection service to people who have unpopular views.

    I suspect that Cloudflare will now get inundated with demands to refuse protection to a whole heap of other sites that some group or other have decided are offensive. When you make a policy exception for one case, you can no longer argue that you cannot make a policy exception for other cases, and inevitably get drawn into arguments about why you think that such-and-such a site is better than the one you banned.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Business opportunity

      As continuously gets beat like a dead horse, they pulled the coverage because of the public proclamation that they were providing services to Daily Stormer because of a secret agreement with them regarding the content of their site.

      Cloudflare made a statement, in harshest terms possible, that they are not to be associated with the content on the site. This could have long legal ramifications that protect them in the future for the dizzying number of lawsuits I am sure they face on a regular basis by making a clear distinction that they as a provider do not endorse or support the content and that inferring or openly stating that they do is seen as a breach of terms of service. Of course, not being a lawyer, I can't say for sure, only looking at it as a member of a jury might when asked to decide if Cloudflare is neutral on content or not.

      I am sure they will get an enormous amount of requests to stop service to this group or that group, but as this was a particularly egregious case, it will serve as a warning to other content providers to not claim protection by Cloudflare's services is anything more than paying for/signing up for a service.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Smells like hypocrisy to me

    I detest Nazis, racists and ideological nutters, and I would have no problem whatsoever kicking these inadequate people off any infrastructure that I controlled. BUT I don't believe in free speech, as in arbitrary speech - most people don't.

    However, Cloudflare are committed to free speech, but in the first hard case they have they fold to the baying crowd, and provide a mealy-mouthed "explanation".

    Who will be next to be bullied off the interwebs?

  24. Orbsus

    Big Old Nope

    As far as i am concerned the internet should be open to all no matter what they think, its only with the rise of social media that we are getting all this red tape, im a true supporter of " if you cant handle what your reading, close the page and walk away" i dont agree with neo nazi's, and i also cant abide the antifa thugs either but im happy to let them all write whatever they please, just like being allowed to comment right here, with my opinion.

    1. lorisarvendu

      Re: Big Old Nope

      "As far as i am concerned the internet should be open to all no matter what they think, its only with the rise of social media that we are getting all this red tape, im a true supporter of " if you cant handle what your reading, close the page and walk away" i dont agree with neo nazi's, and i also cant abide the antifa thugs either but im happy to let them all write whatever they please, just like being allowed to comment right here, with my opinion."

      The problem comes when people either believe what has been written as truth, or use it as justification for their acts. Not because they're evil and malicious, but because they're ill-informed.

      Think about it, nobody's opinion comes from nowhere. From the past to the present, a person's opinion has been formed from what they are told by another person in authority (be it a teacher, or a politician), or what they have read in a book, or seen on the stage, or in a movie, or on TV, or by conversations with their friends, neighbours and peers.

      Now we have a new information source - the Internet. Your opinion (which you are free to express) seems to be that anyone should be free to write whatever they want on the Internet and that if the person who reads it doesn't like it, they should be allowed to either walk away or stay and either agree or disagree with what is written.

      But this supposes that the person who reads what is written, already has a formed opinion that either agrees or disagrees with what they are reading. But what if the person is not sure what they think about race or gender issues? Or equality? Or rights? If we leave it up to them to make their own choices from what they read, what kind of person do we end up with? The Internet has evolved from being a niche preserve of nerds and geeks to the most ubiquitous and powerful source of information on the planet, but is unique in that it is arguably more influential and far-reaching than TV or politicians, but is almost totally devoid of any checks or balances.

      I don't agree with Donald Trump's policies or attitudes, but he's nailed one thing on the head - Fake News. Only it doesn't quite exist where he thinks it does. It doesn't just come from the right or left wing, or anyone with an agenda. Absolutely everything on the Internet has the potential to be Fake News, and there's nothing to help anyone identify which is and which isn't. How does a person struggling to make sense of the world separate out the honest opinion from the outright lies, when everything they read is followed by an endless stream of comments, 50% of which debunk what they're reading, and 50% support it?

  25. Seth Johnson
    Thumb Down

    Hating Muslims Much?

    The amount of anti-Muslim sentiment on this site is such a shame when the usual level of engagement is so good. Such vitriol and emotion. You're talking about a religion that's brought about a huge amount of 'good' objectively speaking, and yet even talking objectively triggers the hell out of a small handful of regular contributors. Any movement, yes even atheism, consumerism, science has had it's losers and there's no point just believing the media narrative on every issue.

    People, there are 1.6 Billion muslims in the world, the vast majority of which who actively pray, fast, pay charity and do all the other things that their religion requires of them. If you seriously think Islam is the religion of evil and killing then you really have to take a step back and look at which countries are invading which. Islamophobia has been a thriving industry for quite some time now. And yet if Muslims really were the enemy then we'd all already be dead.

    Islamism (whatever hte hell that's supposed to mean) is as bad as communism and as bad as nazi-ism? Seriously? Give me a break.

  26. lhartanian

    Prince loves jihadists, not Nazis

    The personal offense construct is probably satisfying to average idiots, but the fact remains that in 2015, Prince said himself, after Anonymous accused him of protecting ISIS, "A website is speech. It is not a bomb. There is no imminent danger it creates and no provider has an affirmative obligation to monitor and make determinations about the theoretically harmful nature of speech a site may contain’, he said."

    And now, Prince is banning speech, selectively. At some point, the average user has to start asking the question, "How much of the internet that we see, is protected or banned, by corporate and government interests, that are altogether false, amplifying, and manipulative, and how many that claim to protect free speech are indeed, controlling speech?"

  27. patrickstar

    So, noone else is bothered by the fact that it seems CloudFlare's CEO flat out lied about his reason for pulling the plug on Daily Stormer? Or has this mysterious post where Anglin and weev claim he is a closet Nazi somehow surfaced?

    1. patrickstar

      So, it turns out he wasn't exactly completely forthcoming with the reason, per his own words:

      https://www.cnbc.com/2017/09/24/cloudflare-ceo-matthew-prince-explains-why-he-booted-the-daily-stormer.html

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