When Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince decided to take steps that knocked a neo-Nazi website off the internet in 2017, he was painted as an online censor. Even he referred to his own actions as “dangerous” in a blog post.
Now the same thing that gives Cloudflare the clout to decide who can stay on the internet—its services for businesses that help speed up the delivery of websites while protecting them from cyberattacks—is allowing it to consider an initial public offering this year that could reportedly value the company at more than $3.5 billion. In a recent interview with The Information at Cloudflare’s San Francisco office, Mr. Prince said he continues to harbor reservations about acting as an arbiter for acceptable online speech.