NEW NORMAL AFTER MASS SHOOTINGS: Internet Censorship of the Right After Being Falsely Blamed for ‘Hate Websites’

The ‘cesspool of hate’ message board 8chan is down after being linked to 3 mass shootings this year

Mourners paying their respects after the mass shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas. Reuters

Jake Kanter
Business Insider

  • The online message board 8chan is down after being linked to the Walmart massacre in El Paso, Texas — the third mass shooting it has been linked to this year.
  • Cloudflare, the security firm that protected 8chan from cyberattacks, terminated support for 8chan at midnight Pacific Time on Sunday. 8chan went down moments later.
  • Fredrick Brennan, who started 8chan in 2013, welcomed Cloudflare’s decision to cut ties with the website.

8chan, the online message board thought to be used by the El Paso, Texas, mass shooter to telegraph his attack, is offline after its security-services provider withdrew support for the website.

Cloudflare, the Silicon Valley company that protected 8chan from cyberattacks, announced it had terminated its relationship with 8chan, describing it as a “cesspool of hate.”

Cloudflare withdrew its services at midnight Pacific Time on Sunday, and moments later 8chan was forced offline. The message board did warn users this would happen, tweeting that it expected some downtime. It said it was working to resolve the matter.

The gunman in the El Paso shooting, which left 20 people dead and dozens injured, is believed to have used 8chan to distribute a manifesto supporting his actions shortly before the attack.

The police are working to determine whether the 21-year-old suspect in custody wrote the document, which conveyed a fear that Hispanic people would take over Texas and turn it into a “Democrat stronghold.” The shooting is being treated as domestic terrorism.

Read moreThe founder of 8chan, the anonymous online messaging board that’s a haven for extremist content, calls for the site to be shut down

The El Paso incident is far from isolated in its links to 8chan. The message board was also used to announce the mosque massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March and a synagogue shooting in Poway, California, in April.

Fredrick Brennan, who started 8chan in 2013, tweeted about the site, saying it had a “morbid record of success for maximum spread of mass shooting manifestos” and that moderation on the site was “lax to non-existent.”

He welcomed Cloudflare’s decision to cut ties with 8chan. “Thank you so much @CloudFlare. Finally this nightmare might have an end,” he said.

“I just want to go back to making my fonts in peace and not have to worry about getting phone calls from CNN/New York Times every time a mass shooting happens.”


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