Wednesday, 18 September, 2019

Cloudflare To End Support For 8chan Services After El Paso’s Shooting

Police at El Paso shooting Enlarge Image EPA
Patty Aguilar | 05 August, 2019, 14:06

Prior to the Christchurch massacre, the alleged shooter posted a manifesto to 8chan while a "hate-filled "open letter" was published on the website allegedly by the man accused of killing one woman in a shooting at a California synagogue, he said.

Cloudflare, a San Francisco-based company that was providing internet infrastructure services to 8chan and helping keep the site online, announced Sunday night that it would stop providing support for the website.

It is also represents a complete reversal of Cloudflare's position from less than 24 hours earlier, when the cofounder and chief executive Matthew Prince defended his company's relationship with 8chan as a "moral obligation" in an extensive interview with the Guardian.

The founder of the site 8chan, where a shooter may have posted a racist, anti-immigrant screed before killing 20 people at a Walmart in El Paso, called for the messaging board to be shut down on Sunday.

Last year, the Electronic Frontier Foundation's (EFF's) warned about the dangers of excessive online content moderation in the wake of the New Zealand mass shooting.

Prince argued that it does not matter whether or not 8chan violated any laws by allowing radical ideas to thrive on its platform; it was enough that they "have created an environment that revels in violating its spirit".

Cloudflare, the Silicon Valley company that protected 8chan from cyberattacks, announced on Monday that it had terminated its relationship with 8chan, describing it as a "cesspool of hate".

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

He added: "I have little doubt we'll see the same happen with 8chan". It does nothing to address why portions of the population feel so disenchanted they turn to hate.

"In taking this action", Prince wrote, "we've solved our own problem, but we haven't solved the internet's". The site has since flopped on and off the dark web and switched top-level domains and URLs like it's going out of fashion. It will nearly certainly not even remove 8chan from the Internet. After the announcement, he said on Twitter "They could have prevented this and chose not to. finally this nightmare may have an end".

8chan is now owned and run by Jim Watkins, a former USA army veteran, believed to be living in the Philippines. "But their administration is making it much more monstrous than it has to be".

It can be thought of as a kind of bouncer or security guard for websites that get a large amount of traffic, or may be a likely target of cyberattacks.

Internet services provider Cloudflare said it has stopped hosting a controversial website that is connected to at least three mass shootings.

For more stories, go to www.businessinsider.co.za.

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