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Why Cloudflare Terminated Daily Stormer

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Matthew Prince, CEO of Cloudflare:

Earlier today, Cloudflare terminated the account of the Daily Stormer. We’ve stopped proxying their traffic and stopped answering DNS requests for their sites. We’ve taken measures to ensure that they cannot sign up for Cloudflare’s services ever again.

Our terms of service reserve the right for us to terminate users of our network at our sole discretion. The tipping point for us making this decision was that the team behind Daily Stormer made the claim that we were secretly supporters of their ideology.

Our team has been thorough and have had thoughtful discussions for years about what the right policy was on censoring. Like a lot of people, we’ve felt angry at these hateful people for a long time but we have followed the law and remained content neutral as a network. We could not remain neutral after these claims of secret support by Cloudflare.

Now, having made that decision, let me explain why it’s so dangerous.

I’m a staunch First Amendment supporter. I believe these Nazi motherfuckers have a right to publish their garbage propaganda. But they don’t have a right to Cloudflare services. Prince’s thoughtful explanation makes clear that this was a last resort, and hopefully one-time exception, to their policy of not censoring sites over political content.

The internet really changes the way this works, though. In the print days, there was no equivalent of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack. There are only a handful of very large companies that can defend against a DDoS attack, and Cloudflare is one of them. Now that Cloudflare has dropped them, their web site is unreachable.

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jkevmoses
1 day ago
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The quote:

"And, after today, make no mistake, it will be a little bit harder for us to argue against a government somewhere pressuring us into taking down a site they don't like."

is the scary part of the statement made. I'm not saying it is the beginning of the slippery slope but it is giving a victory to the heckler's veto.
McKinney, Texas
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martinbaum
1 day ago
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The reminds me tangentially of how we learned years later that at the height of the GWB administration only one telco hadn't just handed over the keys to their data centers when requested by the Feds. Good for CloudFlare for thinking about this hard. I suspect he's pretty singular in that regard.
duerig
1 day ago
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I've seen several links to this letter and the story now, but this is the first time I've actually clicked through and read it. I really like the CloudFlare CEO's formulation of the issue. It isn't about free speech, either here or when Facebook's censor army is at work or when any other private company chooses what messages it wants to broadcast over its networks. They are private companies and as such they are not obligated to be common carriers if they don't want to be. It is about due process. So the secret rules behind Facebook's censor army or the ones that lead to people being arbitrarily banned from twitter are not problems because they 'violate free speech'. They are problems because they violate due process. And due process needs to continue to operate even when heinous people and vile acts are involved. It especially needs to operate when vile acts are involved because the potential punishments are severe and we must ensure that those punished are culpable.

CloudFlare seems to have done the right thing. They did not give in to calls for vigilante justice. They only terminated their relationship when the party in question misrepresented that relationship. Whatever hate speech is, that needs to be defined by us collectively as part of our democratic process and enforced by the same due process mechanisms we use for other crimes. It must not be left to arbitrary secret guidelines chosen by private companies.

Only 45 Percent of Trump Voters Believe Don Jr. Met With the Russians, After Junior Admitted It

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John Aravosis:

Public Policy Polling has a new poll out that’s depressing as hell, and a sign of just how fact-deprived Trump voters truly are.

Among other findings, only 45% of Trump voters think Donald Trump Jr. met with Russians last year to discuss their offer to help his father win the election. And 32% say it didn’t happen at all.

This is after Donald Trump Jr. already admitted publicly that he met with the Russians, and Donald Trump Sr. tweeted the fact that his son met with the Russians. After all that, only 45% believe it.

He not only admitted it, he publicly released the emails documenting it.

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jkevmoses
32 days ago
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That post was not good. Misleading. If any actual investigation is done it is clear voter ignorance is common in America in general not just on one side. Articles/books by Ilya Somin are a good source not the linked drivel. Portraying one side as less sophisticated than the other is a poor way to make a point. There are plenty of other ways that should be used to disagree with and contradict Trump. The post linked should not be used.
Also, what a tiresome argument about the popular vote. NOBODY runs for the popular vote because it doesn't matter.
McKinney, Texas
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jhamill
32 days ago
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This is the effect of calling everything Fake News. If everything is fake then only what you say is real is real, and even then, it's not really real.
California

[Ilya Somin] Public ignorance, brown cows, and the origins of chocolate milk [updated with some additional information]

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A brown cow.

A new survey indicating that 7 percent of Americans believe that chocolate milk comes from brown cows has gotten a lot of media attention, including from NBC, Huffington Post, Food & Wine, and the Washington Post’s Wonkblog. As an example of public ignorance, this is not a particularly worrisome figure. As Caitlin Dewey notes in her Wonkblog article about the survey, “the most surprising thing about this figure may actually be that it isn’t higher.”

Seven percent is actually a pretty low number, and it’s not clear that it really matters whether people know where chocolate milk comes from or not. Some of the seven percent is likely caused by respondents being confused about the survey rather than genuinely ignorant (though some also probably got the correct answer by guessing). Even well-designed surveys have measurement errors that affect a small percentage of respondents.

Sadly, there are numerous far worse examples of public ignorance out there, including many about far more consequential issues. The 7 percent figure pales in comparison with the 25 percent who don’t know the earth orbits the sun, the 66 percent who can’t name the three branches of government, and – my personal favorite – the 80 percent who support mandatory labeling of food containing DNA. I cover these examples and many others like them in my book on political ignorance .

Most of this ignorance is not the result of stupidity or lack of information. It is in fact largely rational behavior. We all have limited time, energy, and attention, and so can learn only a small fraction of all the information out there. It makes sense for us to focus on that which is likely to be useful or interesting. For many people, large swathes of basic political and scientific facts don’t qualify.

In and of itself, ignorance is not a problem. It is often rational and is an unavoidable part of the human condition. But ignorance becomes dangerous when individually rational ignorance leads to harmful collective outcomes. Sadly, that is often the case with political ignorance, and ignorance about scientific issues relevant to government policy. From the standpoint of the individual voter, it makes sense to devote little effort to acquiring information about government and public policy, because the chance that her vote will make a difference is infinitesimally small. But such behavior can lead to terrible outcomes when an entire electorate is ignorant in this way.

We shouldn’t worry much about the fact that a small minority of Americans think chocolate milk comes from brown cows. But we should take the problem of widespread political ignorance far more seriously.

UPDATE: The photo originally posted with this article actually depicts a brown bull, rather than a cow. I was misled by the lack of horns. But it turns out not all bulls have horns. I have now replaced it with a picture of an actual brown cow.

I don’t claim to have much knowledge of cows or bulls or much skill in telling them apart, and the photo snafu certainly proves that I am no expert on those subjects! Regardless, the main point of the post stands. Public ignorance about the origins of chocolate milk is not a big deal. But some other kinds of ignorance are.

UPDATE #2: It may be worth noting that 48 percent of respondents to the survey admitted they simply don’t know where chocolate milk comes from, a much larger figure than the 7 percent who said it comes from brown cows. Still, I think there is little cause for concern about this result, because it’s not clear why it matters whether people know how chocolate milk is produced. Most people don’t know much about the production process for the vast majority of the products they consume. It’s not a significant problem unless it leads them to support harmful or counterproductive public policies or ignore some significant safety risk.

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jkevmoses
63 days ago
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It is beyond funny someone calling out ignorance in others has a gaffe like not knowing what sex the bovine in the picture at the top of the article represents. I got a good laugh!
McKinney, Texas
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Outsourcing Your Online Presence

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Joe Cieplinski:

Look, I get that I’m the nut who doesn’t want to use Facebook. I’m not even saying don’t post your stuff to Facebook. But if Facebook is the only place you are posting something, know that you are shutting out people like me for no good reason. Go ahead and post to Facebook, but post it somewhere else, too. Especially if you’re running a business.

The number of restaurants, bars, and other local establishments that, thanks to crappy web sites they can’t update, post their daily specials, hours, and important announcements only via Facebook is growing. That’s maddening. Want to know if we’re open this holiday weekend? Go to Facebook.

Go to hell.

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jkevmoses
77 days ago
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Similar to the quote of a criminal that when asked "Why do you rob banks? answered with "Because that's where the money is". Facebook is used because that's where the people are. It may or may not be a good service but that is where a lot of people are so it makes sense for businesses to post information on Facebook. They are obviously getting enough business to not care about if Facebook is a great user experience. It's must be a good business experience or they would do something different.
McKinney, Texas
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onepointzero
77 days ago
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It would be less of an issue if Facebook didn't harass non logged-in users to login/signup via repetitive, content-covering, in-your-face modals when looking at public business pages. This agressive attitude has the opposite effect on me. It makes me not want to create an account even more.
Brussels, Belgium

NewsBlur now supports the new JSON Feed spec

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Introduced and announced only last week by open web pioneers Manton Reece and Brent Simmons, JSON Feed is a new RSS-like spec that lets websites publish their stories in a much easier and human readable format.

From the JSON Feed spec authors:

We — Manton Reece and Brent Simmons — have noticed that JSON has become the developers’ choice for APIs, and that developers will often go out of their way to avoid XML. JSON is simpler to read and write, and it’s less prone to bugs.

Starting today, NewsBlur now officially supports the new JSON Feed spec. And there’s nothing extra you have to do. This means if a website syndicates their stories with the easy-to-write and easy-to-read JSON format, you can read it on NewsBlur. It should make no difference to you, since you’re reading the end product. But to website developers everywhere, supporting JSON Feeds is so much easier than supporting XML-based RSS/Atom.

Daring Fireball, as pictured above, supports the new JSON Feed. To you, the reader, it should look no different than any other RSS feed. But to the developer, publishing this as a JSON Feed instead of XML is an order of magnitude easier and quicker.

This spec is a terrific effort by open web advocates to make it easier to keep the web open and free by lowering the cost to writing and publishing.

Try it for yourself, just subscribe to this feed: https://daringfireball.net/feeds/json. Even viewing it in a web browser is more pleasant than its XML counterpart.

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jkevmoses
87 days ago
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This is why I pay money and support this feed reader. Great job! Thanks.
McKinney, Texas
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seriousben
86 days ago
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The JSON feed spec looks promising. Looking forward to implement it.
Canada
ameel
87 days ago
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Yay!
Melbourne, Australia
chrisrosa
88 days ago
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good stuff from @newsblur #jsonfeed #rss
San Francisco, CA
wmorrell
88 days ago
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The commit to add support is so short; 56 lines to map json to the NewsBlur field names, a few more spots sprinkled with checks for 'json' with 'rss', 'xml', etc
deezil
88 days ago
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@DigDoug Well here ya go!
Louisville, Kentucky

‘Win-Win’

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Josh Dawsey, reporting for Politico, “Behind Comey’s Firing: An Enraged Trump, Fuming About Russia”:

But the fallout seemed to take the White House by surprise. Trump made a round of calls around 5 p.m., asking for support from senators. White House officials believed it would be a “win-win” because Republicans and Democrats alike had had problems with the FBI director, one person briefed on the administration’s deliberations said.

Instead, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) told him he was making a big mistake — and Trump seemed “taken aback,” according to a person familiar with the call.

By Tuesday evening, the president was watching the coverage of his decision and frustrated no one was on TV defending him, a White House official said. He wanted surrogates out there beating the drum.

So he fires Comey, calls Chuck Schumer expecting a pat on the back, Schumer instead tells him he’s making a big mistake, and Trump gets off the phone and mocks Schumer in a tweet. It’s almost comical that he expected this to be popular with Democrats.

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jkevmoses
100 days ago
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Comical? Because the Democrats flip flopped on Comey more than a short stack at Waffle House?
Fire him! No wait! Trump did fire him? We can't agree with Trump. It's now a grave threat to the constitution. You know when the Democrats start talking about the constitution they are in full demagogue mode!
McKinney, Texas
omurphyevans
100 days ago
How do you block people on Newsblur?
elmizzt
100 days ago
lmao^
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