Make sure your website works over Tor, dammit

This image macro showed up on my GNU social feed today, and it summarizes my feelings about Cloudflare over the last year or two:

Dear Tor user, we need to make sure you are a human. To keep our customers websites secure, we didn't find a better solution than blocking you by getting you stuck in an endless loop of unsolvable captchas. Oh, and of course, we don't give a shit about your need for privacy and anonymity.

The problem here is that a lot of clueless Web developers become customers of Cloudflare in order to handle distributing their bloated Web stuff, and Cloudflare "helpfully" provides anti-spam and anti-scraping tools. These tools are provided partly via fingerprinting and partly via incredibly annoying CAPTCHAs, which a user must fill out even if they're only browsing a website. This also breaks all kinds of automation on the Web for anyone who isn't Google, Microsoft, Cloudflare or any other Cloudflare-approved actor. One example would be those running YaCy or any other Web archiving/indexing tool.

Another problem with Cloudflare is that they have the position of being the middle-man for a lot of Web traffic, often without Web users being able to tell. This is a huge privacy problem, especially for activists. They also knowingly help various authoritarian groups, for crass profitarian reasons. But, griping about SV companies failing to meet basic standards of decency is a post for another time..

So, I ask the following of you dear reader: if you are deploying a Web thing, do your best to avoid using Cloudflare. If you find that you can't handle the traffic on your own machines or on a modest VPS setup, consider slimming your site down - this page makes do with 114 KiB or so, and it has a big 'ol meme on it. You can do better! Finally, if you must use Cloudflare anyway then make sure your site works with Tor browser at the highest security level.

If after reading this you find a way to be friendlier to those of us who value privacy, then I and many like me will be very grateful!