SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/CNN) — San Francisco-based web infrastructure and website security company Cloudflare, Inc. announced it was terminating its relationship with online message board 8chan, the site on which the El Paso gunman apparently posted before he attacked.
Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince wrote a lengthy blog post Sunday evening announcing the move and the company’s rationale behind it.
“The rationale is simple: they have proven themselves to be lawless and that lawlessness has caused multiple tragic deaths. 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,” Prince wrote.
We just sent notice we are terminating service for 8chan. There comes a time when enough is enough. But this isn't the end. We need to have a broader conversation about addressing the root causes of hate online. https://t.co/ZsctDpswM5
— Matthew Prince 🌥 (@eastdakota) August 5, 2019
According to CNN, the company had said it has been in contact with law enforcement about Saturday’s mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, where the suspect is believed to have posted a manifesto on 8chan minutes before the attack. People accused of a synagogue shooting in Poway, California, and shootings at two mosques in New Zealand also reportedly announced their plans on 8chan.
The company has cut ties with similar sites in the past. In 2017, Cloudflare also kicked The Daily Stormer, an American Neo-Nazi and white supremacy forum site, off of its network. Prince said the site was “disgusting.”
But Prince went on to say that just because sites like 8chan and The Daily Stormer are no longer on Cloudflare’s network doesn’t mean the problem of mass shootings is solved.
“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. In taking this action we’ve solved our own problem, but we haven’t solved the Internet’s,” he said.
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