Cloudflare, a major content delivery network that has a variety of white supremacist websites as clients, has said it will change its policies to allow people to more safely lodge complaints about the material on the hate sites.
Cloudflare’s announcement comes on the heels of a ProPublica article detailing the company’s dealings with sites such as The Daily Stormer, a virulently racist neo-Nazi operation whose owner has promised to strike back at critics. The article revealed that Cloudflare’s standard arrangement with clients included passing along personal information of people who had complained to the company about The Daily Stormer and other sites.
In an interview, Cloudflare’s CEO, Matthew Prince, said the company would soon permit people in certain instances to complain anonymously and would be more selective in its decisions to share with its clients the personal information — names and email addresses, for instance — of people who reported objections.
“We have to have ways for people to report that abuse and not have people feel they are being bullied or threatened,” he said.
Cloudflare, based in San Francisco, operates more than 100 data centers spread across the world, serving as a sort of middleman for websites — speeding up delivery of a site’s content and protecting it from several kinds of attacks. Cloudflare says that some 10 percent of web requests flow through its network.
In the interview this week, Prince said Cloudflare would continue to have the racist sites as paying customers. Prince said Cloudflare does not regulate content and will not bar a customer unless they are determined to be a technical threat — like a site serving malware — or if his company is served with a court order.