8chan is offline again due to intervention of hosting provider

Blame the messenger!

The ‘controversial’ internet forum 8chan was forced to go offline for the second time in a short time. Once again a company cut ties with the hotbed for extreme right-wing ideas, which announced, among other things, the attack in El Paso last Saturday.

On Monday, the 8chan managers already removed their site from the web after internet security Cloudflare decided to stop protecting the website. Cloudflare boss Matthew Prince called the website “lawless” and a “cesspool of hatred” because of the racist, anti-Semitic and sexist sympathies of some of the users. The fact that a manifesto of the extreme right-wing terrorist who committed an attack in El Paso appeared on the internet forum was the trick. Without the security of Cloudflare, which serves many millions of websites, 8chan would quickly fall prey to cyber attacks.

Prince predicted that 8chan would soon switch to a competitor of Cloudflare. That same Monday, 8chan indeed announced that it would start using Bitmitigate protection. That company says it has “extremely free conditions of use” because it considers freedom and neutrality of paramount importance. In 2017, it also took over The Daily Stormer after Cloudflare broke ties with this neo-Nazi website. With the protection of Bitmitigate 8chan appeared online again.

Temporary, it turned out. Bitmitigate, in turn, uses servers from a third company: Voxility. That decided to break the ties with Bitmitigate, so that not only 8chan went black again, but also The Daily Stormer. It is unclear whether 8chan has another internet security provider in mind or whether Bitmitigate can use a different server provider. 8chan is in any case still unreachable on Tuesday morning.

In an extensive blog post, Matthew Prince from Cloudflare made it clear that he feels discomfort about the decision to cancel 8chan as a customer. He believes that his company should be extremely careful when it comes to assessing the content of the websites it has as a customer.

“We are successful as a company, which does not give us the political right to decide what is good and bad,” he writes. As far as he is concerned, that role is reserved for regulators with a political mandate. Prince: “We still find it incredibly uncomfortable to play a referee on content and we do not intend to take that role often.”

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