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Cloudflare terminates 8chan support following El Paso shooting

Written by Mon 5 Aug 2019

The forum is popular with neo-Nazi’s who celebrate mass shootings and spread far-right “manifestos”

Cloudflare has cut support for 8chan following the white-nationalist shooting in El Paso, Texas over the weekend.

Cloudflare is a San Francisco-based company that provides security and performance services, including DDoS mitigation, to over 16 million websites worldwide.

On Sunday, the company notified 8chan’s owners that its services will be suspended at midnight Pacific Time (08:00 BST) Monday, exposing the site to DDoS attacks that could take it offline entirely.

The 21-year-old suspect in this weekend’s deadly shooting in Texas is understood to have used the far-right forum to share his manifesto. The site was also used by the suspect in March’s shooting in Christchruch, New Zealand and the suspect in April’s synagogue shooting in Poway, California.

8chan’s administrator revealed the site has since acquired the services of US-based cloud security firm, BitMitigate. On its website, BitMitigate says they provide “Bulletproof DDoS protection with a proven commitment to liberty.”

Following Saturday’s tragic shootings, Cloudflare chief executive Matthew Prince had initially defended his company’s support of 8chan, arguing it was company policy to remain neutral over the content it protects.

But on Sunday evening Prince penned a blog post criticising 8chan and revealed Cloudflare had decided to terminate support for the website.

“They have proven themselves to be lawless and that lawlessness has caused multiple tragic deaths,” Mr Prince wrote.

“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.”

Cloudflare previously terminated support for neo-Nazi site The Daily Stormer in 2017.

Similar to 8chan’s switch to BitMitigate, the Daily Stormer quickly moved to a Cloudflare competitor to prevent disruption.

“While removing 8chan from our network takes heat off of us, it does nothing to address why hateful sites fester online. It does nothing to address why mass shootings occur. It does nothing to address why portions of the population feel so disenchanted they turn to hate,” Prince said.

“In taking this action we’ve solved our own problem, but we haven’t solved the Internet’s.”

Written by Mon 5 Aug 2019


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