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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Content Moderation Through Removal of Service: Content Delivery Networks and Extremist Websites

Less attention has been paid to if and how infrastructure and service providers including CDNs deal with terrorist and violent extremist content (TVEC).

Kiwifarms was an internet forum known for its active targeting and harassment of trans people. In August 2022, the forum set its sights on Canadian Twitch Streamer and trans activist, Clara Sorrenti, also known as Keffals. The forum members called in the police to a fake bomb threat to her home and subsequently tracked her around the world once she fled Canada. If this harassment had occurred on a major social media platform, Sorrenti may have had some recourse to a form of content moderation. However, as Kiwifarms is a standalone website with no content moderation infrastructure or Trust and Safety teams, she had no such recourse. Instead, Sorrenti utilised her online following, starting a ‘Drop Kiwifarms’ movement to get the site kicked off the internet by targeting the companies that allow them to operate. The primary target of this campaign was Cloudflare, the content delivery network (CDN) providing services to Kiwifarms. Cloudflare stopped offering services to Kiwifarms in September 2022.

While considerable attention has been paid by researchers to the effectiveness of content moderation on social media platforms, and messaging applications, less attention has been paid to if and how infrastructure and service providers including CDNs deal with terrorist and violent extremist content (TVEC). CDNs play an important role in deplatforming websites by refusing to provide service. Denial of service by CDNs has resulted in the takedown of a wide range of websites such as The Daily Stormer8chan, and a variety of Taliban-owned websites.

Read more at the Global Network on Extremism and Technology

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Homeland Security Today
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.
Homeland Security Today
Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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