It's Time to Crack Down on White Supremacist Havens Like 8chan
Since March of this year, at least three mass shootings were announced on the website 8chan with screeds seemingly designed to spread dangerous ideology. This website, which its founder has even urged be shut down, provides a home for white supremacists to recruit, radicalize and plan. Yet the company that provided 8chan with web hosting and security services, Cloudflare, didn't terminate 8chan's account until earlier this month. 8chan has since been struggling to stay online.
While the result is an improvement, for now, Cloudflare should have terminated the site's account back in March after the shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand, despite feeling "incredibly uncomfortable about playing the role of content arbiter." Internet companies have responsibilities beyond connectivity and must do better at assuming them. Hosting providers and social media platforms should refuse to be megaphones for speech that supports violent extremist ideologies. Platforms should remove all content that clearly incites violence, no matter who posts it, as well as white supremacist and nationalist content. When platforms refuse to remove this content, as 8chan did, hosting companies should refuse to provide them service.