Cloudflare launched nearly twelve years ago. Over that time, our set of services has become much more complicated. With that complexity we have developed policies around how we handle abuse of different features Cloudflare provides

Just as the telephone company doesn’t terminate your line if you say awful, racist, bigoted things, we have concluded in consultation with politicians, policy makers, and experts that turning off security services because we think what you publish is despicable is the wrong policy. To be clear, just because we did it in a limited set of cases before doesn’t mean we were right when we did. Or that we will ever do it again.

@jokeyrhyme@lemmy.ml
creator
link
fedilink
35M

Seems like Cloudflare have come up with other ways to avoid blocking content they disagree with:

For instance, when a site that opposed LGBTQ+ rights signed up for a paid version of DDoS mitigation service we worked with our Proudflare employee resource group to identify an organization that supported LGBTQ+ rights and donate 100 percent of the fees for our services to them. We don’t and won’t talk about these efforts publicly because we don’t do them for marketing purposes; we do them because they are aligned with what we believe is morally correct.

Yeah, one wonders if that LGBTQ+ rights supporting org is on CloudFlare. And if it is, if CloudFlare helpfully blocks them in Russia, as per:

We will restrict content in geographies where we have received legal orders to do so. For instance, if a court in a country prohibits access to certain content, then, following that court’s order, we generally will restrict access to that content in that country.

Obnoxious white-washing, is what this article is.

@jokeyrhyme@lemmy.ml
creator
link
fedilink
3
edit-2
5M

In theory, a government is democratically-elected, and courts are democratically-controlled, so isn’t a corporation obeying laws and courts exactly what we want here?

I’m not sure we can expect them to go above and beyond what is legal, no matter how much we might wish them to do so, they simply wouldn’t exist for very long otherwise

We hated them (and they hated it, too) when they extra-judiciously blocked traffic they didn’t agree with in the past, so surely requiring laws/courts to do so in future is better?

@rysiek@szmer.info
link
fedilink
2
edit-2
5M

In theory, a government is democratically-elected, and courts are democratically-controlled, so isn’t a corporation obeying laws and courts exactly what we want here?

It’s more complicated than that. Corporations like CloudFlare wield immense power, and that power needs to be checked. Often it needs to be checked by governments. But not all governments are created equal — regimes exist, and even democratically elected governments do a stupid every now and then (consider Internet filtering laws in the UK).

When a government is pushing a large corporation like CloudFlare to do something reasonable (say, privacy protections forced on Google), they fight tooth and nail. When a government is asking them to do something shady (like, blocking an LGBTQ rights website), they eagerly implement it and happily hide behind “we’re just following orders”. They should not get a free pass on that.

I’m not sure we can expect them to go above and beyond what is legal, no matter how much we might wish them to do so, they simply wouldn’t exist for very long otherwise

We can’t, but they don’t get a free pass for hosting anti-LGBTQ sites; donating the money earned this way to a pro-LGBTQ org (and even bragging-not-bragging about it in this very post!) is pinkwashing.

Especially that (if they are both behind CloudFlare) there is a good chance that the anti-LGBTQ website in question is available globally, and the pro-LGBTQ website is blocked in Russia and a lot of other places. So there is a good argument to be made that CoudFlare, effectively, is complacent in pushing the anti-LGBTQ bullshit globally.

We hated them (and they hated it, too) when they extra-judiciously blocked traffic they didn’t agree with in the past, so surely requiring laws/courts to do so in future is better?

Is this an easy position to be in for CloudFlare? No, of course not. But the thing is, CloudFlare put themselves in that position, and are making money hand over fist. They brag about handling traffic to 20% of all websites! So they don’t get to play the “everybody hates us and it’s unfaaaair” card.

They can very easily choose to stop handling a fifth of all web traffic in the world, and all of this becomes less of a problem immediately.

Good points (I find saving comments like this better to see them afterwards)

Subscribe to see more stories about technology on your homepage


  • 0 users online
  • 15 users / day
  • 37 users / week
  • 82 users / month
  • 380 users / 6 months
  • 14 subscribers
  • 1.12K Posts
  • 3.77K Comments
  • Modlog