Saturday May 06, 2017

Cloudflare Accused of Serving up Hate on the Web

Do service providers have an obligation to monitor and police the content of sites on their network? Nope, says Cloudflare. The company is being blamed for supporting white supremacy sites by this writer, who notes that Cloudflare goes as far as to provide clients the personal information of anyone who criticizes their content. I guess they shouldn’t be blamed just for doing business, but is this "snitching" going too far?

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The widespread use of Cloudflare’s services by racist groups is not an accident. Cloudflare has said it is not in the business of censoring websites and will not deny its services to even the most offensive purveyors of hate. "A website is speech. It is not a bomb," Cloudflare’s CEO Matthew Prince wrote in a 2013 blog post defending his company’s stance. "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." Cloudflare also has an added appeal to sites such as The Daily Stormer. It turns over to the hate sites the personal information of people who criticize their content.