Diogenes searched the world for an honest man, and Cloudflare is searching the world for a decider in chief to tell them what to do. But as we know from Cloudflare’s IPO, Cloudflare need only look within because the insiders have structured the company’s governance so there is clear responsibility–and it’s with Cloudflare employees.
The horror stories about Cloudflare are starting to dribble out more frequently after its amended IPO filing with the SEC. According to the Wall Street Journal:
[Cloudflare’s IPO disclosure form, its SEC Form S-1], filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission last month, was amended last week. The company said in the filing that it made the self-disclosure in May to the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which enforces U.S. sanctions, and the self-disclosure is under review by the agency…
[Cloudflare] also disclosed that it may have violated U.S. export control regulations and has submitted self-disclosures to the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security as well as to the Census Bureau regarding potential violations of the Foreign Trade Regulations. Cloudflare said it learned this year that it may have submitted incorrect information to the U.S. government in connection with certain hardware exports, according to the filing.
When you do the timeline of when Cloudflare filed its initial IPO form with the SEC (August 15), the time when Cloudflare says it filed disclosures with the Treasure Department Office of Foreign Assets Control (the May before the IPO filing) and the amended IPO filing (September 10) you have to ask yourself a question. If the Treasury Department filing was important enough to disclose in an amended S-1, who decided to wait to disclose it until the Friday before Cloudflare shares started trading?
And then there’s this story from the BBC:
The anti-child-abuse campaign Battling Against Demeaning & Abusive Selfie Sharing claims to have first made the internet company aware of numerous indecent images, including some showing child sexual abuse, on three of its clients’ websites over a year ago.
The websites in question reportedly state any takedown notice would be ignored.
And one allegedly allows users to search through a catalogue of abusive images.
Following a Twitter campaign, Cloudflare director of trust and safety Justin Paine asked the charity send a detailed report of its complaint.
“We hope that by making noise, we will finally receive a response from Cloudflare. We’re hopeful that they will end their relationship with these sites that profit off the exploitation of non-consenting women and and girls,” charity advocate Emily Wilson told the BBC.
And then there’s hosting the Daily Stormer neo-Nazi site and of course 8Chan. Cloudflare’s insiders decided to terminate those customers–so it’s not that they are seeking a decider to tell them what to do in those cases. They know what to do and they know who will make that decision. They just always seem to be making another decision first–letting bad actors onto their network and profiting from doing so.
The company structured its corporate governance using the discredited dual class voting system that gives insiders (and employees in Cloudflare’s case) 10 times the public’s voting power. There’s no question who the deciders are in a dual class system–like King Louis XIV said, “I am the state”.
For a company that profits from all the bad actors they facilitate, there’s no question who decides. It is clear that the Cloudflare co-founder is on a deflection campaign by answering the question no one asked:
“We don’t think we should be deciding what content should be online,” Michelle Zatlyn says, however she adds that, “somebody should.”
No one is asking Cloudflare to decide what content should be online–that’s a fallacy of composition and typical grandiosity of the Internet’s ruling class. What is at issue is how much of Cloudflare’s profit from bad actors that Wall Street is prepared to accept. Cloudflare is the one who decided to take the public’s money, Cloudflare is the one who decided to take the public regulation that comes with those riches, Cloudflare is the one who allows bad actors to be on their network.
It’s pretty clear who the decider is and Cloudflare has the dual class stock voting structure to prove it. They are in control, they have met the decider and the decider is them.
And they need to get busy because what comes next may introduce them to some deciders they really might not like. They’ve already met some of them by the sound of it.
Cloudflare got itself into this mess and only Cloudflare can get out of it. Or someone will do it for them.