Cloudflare Cuts Service For ‘Cesspool Of Hate’ 8Chan After El Paso Shooting

‘8chan has repeatedly proven itself to be a cesspool of hate,’ Cloudflare CEO Mathew Prince said in a blog post on Monday announcing the termination of service for customer 8Chan.


Dubbing its former client “a cesspool of hate,” cloud networking and security specialist Cloudflare terminated its business with 8chan on Monday, with CEO Mathew Prince saying the anonymous online forum was used by the gunman who killed 20 people in El Paso, Texas. 8chan has been down since early Monday morning after Cloudflare abruptly cuts its services.

“8chan has repeatedly proven itself to be a cesspool of hate,” said Prince in a blog post on Monday. The CEO said the alleged gunman, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, appears to have been inspired by the forum website and posted content to the site immediately before his attack on the El Paso Walmart on Aug. 3, 2019.

“Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. Nearly the same thing happened on 8chan before the terror attack in Christchurch, New Zealand. The El Paso shooter specifically referenced the Christchurch incident and appears to have been inspired by the largely unmoderated discussions on 8chan which glorified the previous massacre.”

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Prince, who recently spoke to CRN regarding the company’s widespread service outage in July, said 8chan is among the more than 19 million Internet properties that use Cloudfare’s service. He said the rationale behind terminating 8chan’s service was simple: “they have proven themselves to be lawless and that lawlessness has caused multiple tragic deaths.”

“We reluctantly tolerate content that we find reprehensible, but we draw the line at platforms that have demonstrated they directly inspire tragic events and are lawless by design. 8chan has crossed that line,” said Prince.

According to 8chan’s official Twitter account, “there might be some downtime in the next 24-49 hours while we find a solution.”

Some of you might’ve read the @Cloudflare news already. They're dropping 8chan.
There might be some downtime in the next 24-48 hours while we find a solution (that includes our email so timely compliance with law enforcement requests may be affected).

— 8chan ( (@infinitechan) August 5, 2019

Approximately 10 percent of the Fortune 1,000 are Cloudflare customers as well as nearly 20 percent of the top 10,000 Internet properties.

This isn’t the first time Cloudflare has cut ties with a customer due to the client’s content. Two years ago, the company terminated its services for the neo-Nazi website, Daily Stormer, due to similar reasons. However, Prince said after cutting ties, the Daily Stormer experienced only a brief interruption in the site’s operations but then quickly came back online using a Cloudflare competitor.

“While removing 8chan from our network takes heat off of us, it does nothing to address why hateful sites fester online. It does nothing to address why mass shooting occur,” said Prince. “In taking this action we’ve solved our own problem, but we haven’t solved the Internet’s.”

Prince said his company feels “incredibly uncomfortable” about playing the role of content arbiter and does “not plan to excise it often.”

Founded in 2009, Cloudflare raised $150 million in funding earlier this year. The funding is being used to support its growth, extend its product ranges and continue international expansion.

Last month, the San Francisco-based company made headlines due to a major outage that affected all Cloudflare services globally.

Regarding cutting its service to 8chan, Prince said the action won’t fix hate speech online. “It will almost certainly not even remove 8chan from the Internet. But it is the right thing to do,” he said.