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    這家網站已成為殺手交流的空間,卻難以關閉

    Alyssa Newcomb 2019年08月11日

    8月3日在埃爾帕索至少射殺22人的兇手曾在該網站上發布宣言。

    充滿仇恨言論的在線論壇8chan很受白人民族主義者的歡迎,也是最近幾次大規模槍擊案兇手交流想法的必到之地。

    8月3日在埃爾帕索至少射殺22人的兇手曾經在該網站上發布宣言。今年4月加州波威市猶太教堂槍擊案中打死一人的兇手也是如此。在新西蘭基督城清真寺行兇的槍手今年3月也是在8chan發布的宣言,還提供了Facebook直播鏈接供人觀看和效仿。這次槍擊造成51人喪生。

    種種惡劣記錄已經促使許多對抗仇恨團體的組織要求關閉8chan。埃爾帕索兇案發生后,就連該網站的創始人弗雷德里克·布倫南也在幾次采訪中表示希望關掉8chan。布倫南現在和該網站已經沒有任何關系。

    實際上,像其他所有網站一樣,8chan并不能控制自己是否存在于互聯網上。它的在線運營要靠互聯網基礎設施公司,還要靠安全服務來抵御有可能使其宕機的拒絕服務攻擊(DoS)。

    但許多公司都不愿意對仇恨和陰謀論網站采取行動,原因是擔心干擾言論自由,或者由某些人決定哪些內容值得放在互聯網上讓他們感到不安。

    追蹤仇恨團體的非營利組織Southern Poverty Law Center的臨時研究負責人基岡·漢克斯支持關閉8chan。他說,公司有責任和8chan及其他充當極端活動溫床的網站斷絕業務往來。

    漢克斯對《財富》雜志表示:“任何幫助此類內容擴散的主流公司都完全有責任表明立場并將其排除在它們的體系之外。我們都看到了縱容會帶來怎樣的慘劇。”

    8chan的安全服務提供商是Cloudflare。該公司的首席執行官馬修·普林斯在8月4日晚稱,將停止向8chan提供服務。

    “理由很簡單——他們已經證明自己目無法紀,而且這種對法律的漠視已經造成多人喪生的悲劇。”普林斯在一篇博客中表示,“即使8chan拒絕克制他們充滿仇恨的網絡社區的行徑可能沒有違反法律,他們也已經創造了一個以違反法律精神為樂的狂熱環境。”

    沒有Cloudflare的服務,8chan就很容易受到分布式拒絕服務(DDoS)攻擊,這種方法通過人為制造的流量使網站過載。據布倫南介紹,8chan在Cloudflare終止服務后已經下線,但據說是主動關閉。

    他給媒體的公告如下:

    8chan的管理者主動關閉了這個網站。他們在8chan的域名系統(DNS)中加入了一條零值A記錄。但看起來它將很快再次上線,https://t.co/toxC0z07rz指向45.88.201.123,這個地址的所有者是“Anonymize Inc”。

    — 弗雷德里克·布倫南 (@HW_BEAT_THAT),2019年8月5日

    這應該不是外界第一次就與之有業務關系的網站對互聯網基礎設施公司發出公開呼吁。

    互聯網域名注冊商GoDaddy.com此前曾經將新納粹網站Daily Stormer從自己的服務名單中剔除,原因是后者的創始人通過這個網站攻擊2017年在夏洛茨維爾被白人至上主義者殺害的反法西斯抗議者希瑟·海耶爾。Daily Stormer隨后想通過谷歌的域名注冊服務Google Domains迅速上線,但遭到了拒絕,其他幾家域名注冊商也讓它吃了閉門羹。

    網上發布的記錄顯示,Daily Stormer目前通過私人域名服務商Dynadot進行了注冊。

    去年,蘋果的播客商店將右翼陰謀論煽動者阿萊克斯·瓊斯的InfoWars頻道下架,推特和YouTube最終也將其封號。MailChimp停止為其提供電子郵件服務,使瓊斯無法向粉絲群發陰謀論郵件。不過,瓊斯仍然擁有InfoWars網站,后者通過Epik.com進行了注冊。

    InfoWars也使用Cloudflare提供的安全服務。去年,Cloudflare拒絕說明自己是否決定繼續向InfoWars提供服務,但在2017年的一篇博客中,Cloudflare提出了內容監管問題,也指出了幾家大公司控制互聯網域名的危險性。

    普林斯在該篇博客中說:“我們打算進行長時間的內部探討,以決定我們是否需要取消不因政治壓力而切斷客戶關系的原則。能夠說自己從未做過什么事……從未犯過錯很厲害,而和政府進行辯論要更難一些,它會向我們施壓,要求我們拿掉他們不喜歡的網站。”

    8月5日,8chan的一位管理者說該網站將重新上線,并與設在華盛頓的安全服務提供商BitMitigate合作,后者的網站自稱具有“經過驗證的對自由的承諾”。2017年Daily Stormer失去Cloudflare的支持后,BitMitigate的一位代表曾經為其提供幫助。我們尚未與該代表取得聯系。

    8月5日下午,Daily Stormer處于下線狀態。

    Southern Poverty Law Center的漢克斯說幾乎可以肯定8chan將回歸,原因是此類網站在被某家服務提供商拒絕后,總會有公司愿意保護它,或者對仇恨網站表示歡迎。

    漢克斯說:“正因為如此,他們說自己被這些平臺拋棄,被逐出了互聯網都是空話。因為情況并非如此。”(財富中文網)

    譯者:Charlie

    審校:夏林

    8chan, the hate-filled online forum that is popular white nationalists, has been the go-to place for several recent mass killers to share their ideas.

    The man who murdered at least 22 people in El Paso on August 3 posted a manifesto on the site. So did the man who opened fire in a Poway, Calif. synagogue in April, killing one person. The Christchurch mosque shooter posted his manifesto on 8chan in March, along with a link to a Facebook Live broadcast so people could watch and copy the footage of him killing 51 people.

    The ugly track record has prompted many organizations that combat hate groups to call to shut down 8chan. Even the service’s founder, Fredrick Brennan, who is no longer affiliated with the site, has said in several interviews after the El Paso massacre that he wants the site to be closed.

    In fact, like every other website, 8chan doesn’t control its own existence on the Internet. It relies on Internet infrastructure companies to operate online and on security services to fend off denial of service attacks to could knock it offline.

    But many companies hesitate to take action against sites that harbor hate and conspiracy theories, citing free speech concerns and discomfort with anyone deciding what is worthy to be on the Internet.

    Keegan Hankes, interim research director at the Southern Poverty Law Center, a nonprofit that tracks hate groups, is in the camp that favors action. Companies have a responsibility to stop doing business with 8chan and other sites that are hotbeds for extremist activity, he said.

    “Any of the mainstream companies helping this content proliferate have full responsibility to take a stance on that and get it off their systems,” Hankes told Fortune. “We’ve seen what the tragic consequences can be.”

    Matthew Prince, CEO of Cloudflare, a security provider used by 8chan, announced on night of August 4 that he would terminate 8chan as a client.

    “The rationale is simple: they have proven themselves to be lawless and that lawlessness has caused multiple tragic deaths,” Prince said in a blog post. “Even if 8chan may not have violated the letter of the law in refusing to moderate their hate-filled community, they have created an environment that revels in violating its spirit.”

    Without a service like Cloudflare, 8chan is vulnerable to a DDoS attack, in which hackers try to overload the site with artificial traffic. 8chan went offline after Cloudflare terminated its support, according to Brennan, but it was said to be voluntary.

    Note to people in the media:

    8chan’s administrators have voluntarily taken it down. They’ve inserted what’s called a null A record into their DNS. It looks like it’s going to come back soon, https://t.co/toxC0z07rz points to 45.88.201.123, an IP owned by “Anonymize Inc”

    — Fredrick Brennan (@HW_BEAT_THAT) August 5, 2019

    It’s hardly the first time Internet infrastructure companies have been called out publicly about the sites with which they do business.

    Domain hosting site GoDaddy.com kicked the neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer off its service after that site’s founder used it to attack Heather Heyer, the protestor who was killed by a white supremacist in Charlottesville in 2017. Daily Stormer tried to quickly get set up with Google Domains, which rejected the application, as did several other similar services.

    Daily Stormer is currently registered at privately-held Dynadot, according to records posted online.

    Last year, InfoWars provocateur Alex Jones was booted from Apple’s podcast store, and eventually off of Twitter and YouTube. MailChimp cut off his email service, preventing him from mass emailing conspiracy theories to his followers. However, Jones still has his InfoWars website, which is registered with Epik.com.

    InfoWars also uses Cloudflare for security. Last year, Cloudflare declined to comment about its decision to continue providing services to InfoWars, but the company had published a blog post in 2017 in which it raised questions about regulating content and the danger of a few large companies controlling the Internet’s plumbing.

    “We’re going to have a long debate internally about whether we need to remove the bullet about not terminating a customer due to political pressure,” Prince said in the post. “It’s powerful to be able to say you’ve never done something...make no mistake, it will be a little bit harder for us to argue against a government somewhere pressuring us into taking down a site they don’t like.”

    On August 5, an 8chan administrator said the site will return online by working with BitMitigate, a Washington-based security provider whose website says it has a “proven commitment to liberty.” A representative for BitMitigate, which previously helped Daily Stormer when it lost Cloudflare’s support in 2017, could not immediately be reached for comment.

    Daily Stormer was offline on August 5 afternoon.

    Hankes, from the Southern Poverty Law Center, said 8chan will almost certainly be back because there will always be companies that are willing to protect or welcome a hate site after its been evicted by another provider.

    “That is why these arguments ring hollow when these people say they are being thrown off these platforms and driven off the internet,” said Hankes. “They’re not.”

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