Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Cloudflare tries to conceal its Nazi past

This is funny:
The Daily Stormer removal also became an issue in the piracy liability case adult entertainment publisher ALS Scan had filed previously. After Cloudflare’s CEO was questioned on the matter, it could now be brought up before a jury during the trial as well.

This is something Cloudflare would like to avoid, it appears. A few days ago the company asked the court to exclude any hate group related evidence or arguments from the trial.

“Cloudflare respectfully asks this Court to exclude any evidence or arguments that ALS intends to offer relating to Cloudflare’s services, including termination or non-termination of services, to hate groups,” the company writes.

“This includes but is not limited to services that Cloudflare historically provided to the Daily Stormer website, and Cloudflare’s decision to terminate services to that website following the tragic events that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017.”

ALS previously harped on the fact that the CEO arbitrarily decided to remove one site from the service, while requiring court orders in other instances.
So the jury is likely to hear about how Cloudflare enthusiastically hosted neo-Nazi content for a couple of years, but then arbitrarily blocked the site based on some obscure ideological difference of opinion that is almost impossible to explain.

Since the lawsuit is about Cloudflare's censorship policies, the jury needs to know that it was perfectly fine posting rants about gassing the Jews, but decided to censor based on a remark critical of a Charlottesville protester who was in the news.

I think that it is pretty crazy for companies like Cloudflare to get into the censorship business. They are just information middlemen, like AT&T or Comcast or Google. Google has made this mistake also, and alternates between promoting and censoring neo-Nazi content.

The Daily Stormer managed to get back online. It tries to be offensive. Sometimes to get attention, or to make a point, or to trigger enemies, or to get censored. I can't always tell. Whatever the merits of their site, they should not determine who gets free speech.

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