After a DDoS attack, 8Chan has eventually been taken down because the domain was “seized”, due to it hosting child abuse images – as nauseatingly documented by Dan Olson. (Please call it abuse images, not “pornography”).
This happened due to numerous complaints sent to ‘the “pass-through” content delivery network that had been operating 8chan’s servers’, as Sam Machkovech describes it, called Cloudshare. The complaints highlighted 8Chan’s hosting of abuse images and called for them to cease hosting illegal, horrific content. However, Cloudshare did something really fucking disgusting.
Machkovech writes (my emphasis):
In accordance to Cloudflare’s abuse-report policy, the company responded to complaints by forwarding them back to 8chan’s administrative address—essentially telling an alleged offender who blew a whistle and how they did so. Brennan responded to those complaints by reposting them, complete with the complainants’ full names and e-mail addresses for 8chan and Twitter users to see. As a result, the complainant quoted above, who used his real name and e-mail address when writing to Cloudflare, was subsequently “doxxed” by imageboard users, and his personal and private contact details were posted on 8chan-friendly boards.
Cloudflare gave information, including details of identity, of people concerned about child abuse imagery to the very people hosting that content. This seems akin to telling an apartment block super that you dislike the loud metal from Apartment 34, then the super telling the thuggish gang that lives there you complained and your apartment number.
This is a wonderful example of internet culture catering to abusers and bullies, creating new targets and insulating the continued harassment of marginalised people. See creeps defending catcalling; see Gamergate; see online harassment of women.
The Internet is a pretty shitty space and we need better thinking when it comes to who we’re giving information to and how we think they’ll use it. Seriously, fuck Cloudflare.
EDIT: Wrote Cloudshare instead of Cloudshare, for some fucking reason. HT Comment #1.
EDIT2: Wrote Cloudshare twice in my correction Edit about writing Cloudshare instead of Cloudflare. I can brain.