Today, Cloudflare reversed its long-held policy to remain content-neutral and booted The Daily Stormer out from behind its DDoS protection service.
“This was my decision. This is not Cloudflare’s general policy now, going forward,” Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince told Gizmodo. “I think we have to have a conversation over what part of the infrastructure stack is right to police content.”
However, having policed the internet, Mr. Prince went on to complain about the hazards of policing the internet.
Prince explained in an internal email to staffers that he doesn’t think CEOs of internet companies should be in the position of policing content on their networks—he told Gizmodo he thinks that’s a job that should ultimately be left up to law enforcement if the content violates the law—but felt pushed to act because the operators of the Daily Stormer are “assholes.”
“We need to have a discussion around this, with clear rules and clear frameworks. My whims and those of Jeff [Bezos] and Larry [Page] and Satya [Nadella] and Mark [Zuckerberg], that shouldn’t be what determines what should be online,” he said. “I think the people who run The Daily Stormer are abhorrent. But again I don’t think my political decisions should determine who should and shouldn’t be on the internet.”
Reading between the lines, I get the sense that he would prefer Big Government step in and simply make it illegal for people with whatever the state decides are “Fringe” political opinions to be banned from the internet.