Cloudflare terminates service to Daily Stormer
The company's CEO took personal action, but thinks no one should have that power
Cloudflare has prevented neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer from using its service.
Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince wrote an internal email, seen by Gizmodo, to members of staff in the company where he said: "My rationale for making this decision was simple: the people behind the Daily Stormer are a**holes and I'd had enough."
He went on to say that it was an arbitrary decision: "I woke up this morning in a bad mood and decided to kick them off the internet ... Literally, I woke up in a bad mood and decided someone shouldn't be allowed on the internet."
Prince also said that no one should have this kind of power but it's a decision he could make since he is CEO of a major internet infrastructure company and called this "dangerous".
He told Gizmodo: "We need to have a discussion around this, with clear rules and clear frameworks. My whims and those of Jeff [Bezos] and Larry [Page] and Satya [Nadella] and Mark [Zuckerberg], that shouldn't be what determines what should be online.
"I think the people who run The Daily Stormer are abhorrent. But again I don't think my political decisions should determine who should and shouldn't be on the internet."
Prince then wrote a blog post explaining his decision and worries, saying the tipping point was when "the team behind Daily Stormer made the claim that we were secretly supporters of their ideology". He said for many years he followed the law and remained content neutral, but couldn't remain so after these claims emerged.
Highlighting concerns over net neutrality, Prince added: "Without a clear framework as a guide for content regulation, a small number of companies will largely determine what can and cannot be online."
He underlined how one of Cloudflare's policies is to remain content neutral, and the team will have a "long debate internally" on whether to remove this following his actions.
GoDaddy dropped the neo-Nazi hate blog The Daily Stormer earlier this week following the public outcry over an article on the site which slandered Heather Heyer, who was killed opposing far-right protesters in Charlottesville on 13 August. Since then, other web companies including Zoho and Google have taken a stance against the, blog meaning it has had to look elsewhere to find a host.
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Zach Marzouk is a staff writer for IT Pro, Cloud Pro, and Channel Pro where he writes news articles and in-depth feature pieces primarily focused on Asia Pacific and the US. Aside from covering topics like security, privacy, worker rights, and startups, he also contributes to the IT Pro podcast and IT Pro 20/20.
After studying an undergraduate degree in Arabic and Spanish at the University of Leeds, Zach completed a journalism internship at The Argentina Independent in Buenos Aires where he wrote about the country’s history, politics, and technology.
He then joined IT Pro in 2017 where he was introduced to the world of B2B technology as a junior staff writer, before he returned to Argentina in 2018, working in communications and as a copywriter. In 2021, he made his way back to IT Pro as a staff writer during the pandemic.
Contact him at email@example.com or find Zach’s thoughts (and more) on Twitter @ZachMarzouk
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