Just a reminder: Seldom will I advocate for the world around me to change how things are done. I am an advocate for DIY and self-reliance, forging a path through the bad policy and social custom that hinders your free choices. That makes me an advocate for all manner of alternative methods and technologies. I start with the assumption that things are most likely going to get worse, so you need to stay on top of anything that you rely on for your mission in life.
The Internet infrastructure is going through a realignment right now. You can blame whomever you like, but in broad general terms, things are becoming polarized between two major groups. If I tell you those groups are leftist and right-wing, that would be misleading, though those are convenient labels. Those will at least appear accurate to most people. I’ll let that stand for now, as long as you understand there is a lot more we need to say about that some other time.
The people making all the noise are those we characterize as leftist. The other folks are doing what they have always done, while it is the left side that has risen up to upset the old balance. They claim it’s the right side that has risen up, but that’s a blatant lie, sheer propaganda. I wrote some time ago that the left has been seized by a new urgency to take full control over everything, and that this move is being steered by elite powers who feel it’s time to make their move. The activist left is merely their canon fodder. But this activism has gotten exceedingly aggressive of late, and increasingly crossing the line of what the right-wing side will tolerate.
Thus, the right is rising to meet the threat. A lot of damaged individuals on the fringes of both sides are saying and doing things that cannot possibly make life any better for anyone, and most certainly will not be effective in advancing their presumed cause. But those expressions of madness will most certainly be used to keep folks from noticing what’s really going on. (Yes, it’s intentional.)
While I recognize that the right-wing is one kind of threat to my mission in life, the left is a different threat in its own right. Indeed, the left is a more immediate threat. Their assault on the right hits me, too, simply because I’m using what’s available. For a few things, I’ll fight outright, even to the shedding of blood, if necessary. For now, that’s highly unlikely; it’s the underlying approach that matters. I’m no friend of the right, but the left has already made me their enemy.
But the best tactics remain those of simply side-stepping them. For example, it doesn’t matter what you think of 8chan; it pays to watch how they do or don’t get back online. Right now, 8chan is offline. The politics of how they seek to find a new service provider to get them back online is instructive. It shows how the various service providers that don’t often make the news are maneuvering, and indicates what might motivate them.
The outline: CloudFlare is a really big service provider, offering a very effective protection against the threat of DDoS take-downs. Because it appears the alleged El Paso Walmart shooter engaged in some chatter on 8chan shortly before shooting up the store, CloudFlare felt compelled to cut off service to 8chan. 8chan tried to move to another service in Canada called BitMitigate — still trying to get that DDoS protection. You should note that BitMitigate picked up the Daily Stormer Neonazi site after CloudFlare cut them off a while back.
However, BitMitigate doesn’t actually own all their equipment. One of their providers of leased servers cut them off over the 8chan thing. So there is some scrambling in the background to see if BitMitigate can actually provide the safe haven they have offered to 8chan. The guy who runs 8chan is considering taking the risk of facing the world without that DDoS protection. There is no doubt some folks with leftist sensibilities could raise a DDoS attack, but the resources for that may not be available all the time (another complicated, long story).
My point is that it pays to watch this first battle to see how it turns out. I doubt many of us are in a position to track the seldom publicized big providers behind some of this, with names you’ve never heard, but if the lefties can silence 8chan, it will silence a whole lot of stuff that isn’t a reflection of those few damaged individuals. 8chan includes lefties, too. What’s at stake here is neither left nor right, but actually a freedom to meet and talk online without the kind of controls and monitoring that characterize elitist throttling of normal human behavior.
The issue is not whether some of that stuff should be available online, because there are limits to what anyone can actually do about it. Rather, it’s the issue of being free to do anything that might matter to you, because someone else is determined you shouldn’t be you.
Restated: The 8chan story is not a left-right thing. That’s just propaganda. It’s a freedom versus censorship thing. This is just the latest battle in a very ancient war. What’s new is how it peels back the layers of who can be pushed to take sides in a war with consequences most people don’t grasp. This will hit you one way or another. If you really need the Internet in your mission, as I do, you need to pay attention and be ready to take appropriate action.