The Terrifying Power of Internet Censors

After the white-nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., last month where a man drove a car into a crowd, killing a counter-demonstrator, the American neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer published a long, hate-riddled post mocking the victim.

Outcry over the article led its domain registrar, GoDaddy, to end The Daily Stormer’s service. The site then registered with Google, which also quickly canceled its hosting. But it wasn’t until Cloudflare, a website security and performance service, dropped the site as a client that The Daily Stormer truly lost its ability to stay online.

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Cloudflare CEO calls for a system to regulate hateful internet content
Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince has called for the implementation of a framework to govern how the internet’s gatekeepers deal with cases like The Daily Stormer. This comes after a number of tech companies have revoked support for the neo-Nazi website for its close association with the violent far-right demonstrations in Charlottesville.

Seven-year-old Cloudflare took the step of cutting support for The Daily Stormer website on Thursday, which is notable as it’s the first time it has ever removed a customer from its service.

Far from energized by the decision, which saw Cloudflare follow in the footsteps of Google, Facebook, Apple, PayPal, GoDaddy, Spotify and others that took action, Prince voiced concern with a lack of a system to manage censorship decisions with consistency and objectivity.

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