8chan owner blasts 'sinister' shutdown attempts

8chan, which promotes itself as a site devoted to the "darkest reaches of the internet", has been home to posts from r
8chan, which promotes itself as a site devoted to the "darkest reaches of the internet", has been home to posts from right-wing extremists, misogynists and conspiracy theorists

Moves to shut down the chat forum 8chan are "sinister" and "cowardly", its owner said Wednesday after he was called to appear before US Congress to explain the hate content linked to deadly US shootings.

In a video uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday, Philippine-based Jim Watkins said the deadly weekend attacks in the American cities of El Paso and Dayton were a tragedy.

But he insisted 8chan had not broken any laws, and devoted most of his seven-and-a-half-minute video to criticising the subsequent moves to shut down his forum.

"It is actually sinister behaviour. Ours is one of the last independent companies that offer a place you may write down your thoughts free from having to worry about whether they are offensive to one group or another," the American said.

Watkins portrayed efforts against 8chan as part of the "power consolidation" of the internet by a few strong and rich companies.

"It will effectively silence the masses, and leave them with no place to voice their messages," Watkins said.

8chan, which promotes itself as a site devoted to the "darkest reaches of the internet", has been home to posts from right-wing extremists, misogynists and conspiracy theorists.

A manifesto denouncing a "Hispanic invasion", said to have been written by the young white male American suspect in the El Paso attack, was posted on 8chan shortly before he gunned down 22 people and wounded more than 20 others.

On Tuesday the House homeland security committee invited Watkins to testify on what he is doing to address the "proliferation of extremist content, including white supremacist content, on your website".

El Paso was the "third act of white supremacist extremist violence" linked to 8chan, committee chairman Bennie Thompson said in his letter to Watkins.

Set up by then US teen Fredrick Brennan in 2013, 8chan was rejected by different hosts and hounded by viral attacks until Watkin
Set up by then US teen Fredrick Brennan in 2013, 8chan was rejected by different hosts and hounded by viral attacks until Watkins offered it a home in 2015

Thompson also cited screeds by suspects in the California synagogue attack that killed a worshipper in April and the murder of 51 Muslims at New Zealand mosques in March.

Regrets

8chan's official Twitter account on Wednesday tweeted a message by Watkins assuring the US Congress he was "on his way back to America as we speak," adding: "Rest assured I am not an extremist."

The forum was forced offline shortly after the El Paso attack when digital infrastructure firm Cloudflare terminated its services with the site.

In a blog post announcing the move, Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince described 8chan as "a cesspool of hate".

Watkins said the accusations had caused him "immense damage" and hit back at Prince.

"I wish his company the best and hold no animosity towards him or his cowardly and not-thought-out-actions against 8chan," Watkins said.

He said 8chan remained offline while he struggled to find another provider but hoped to get the community of one million users up and running again soon.

Set up by then US teen Fredrick Brennan in 2013, 8chan was rejected by different hosts and hounded by viral attacks until Watkins offered it a home in 2015.

But speaking to AFP in the Philippines on Tuesday, Brennan said he wished he had shut down the site when he had the chance and regretted handing over the forum to his ex-partner.

"I think this will be the final nail in the coffin for 8chan," he said of the El Paso shooting, accusing the forum of harbouring "domestic terrorists".


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Aug 07, 2019
People can say things that criticize or condemn Democratic Rackets swindles and connivery over the phone. Are they going to call for all phone service to be ended? Will any condemn emails or conventional mail, People can express discontent with Democratic Rackets cons there, as well. Will they outlaw even talking on the street or in homes? The Democratic Rackets display a desire to eliminate the Second Amendment and allow only hired guns for the "government" to have guns. It can be asked how soon they will demand that the First Amendment be removed and only those in "government" and "entertainment" to be allowed to speak? A point to consider. When you start a country, you make it a country of all who are citizens. You accept the presence of all citizens and work for their best interests. You can show consideration for others, but not by taking from citizens. When you give freedom, you give it to everyone.

Aug 07, 2019
A point about what the Democratic Rackets and their lap dog, the "press", call "hate speech".
The fact is, the Democratic Rackets have made whites the target of what psychologists call "mental abuse" for decades now! The Democratic Rackets is just a sleazy, power mongering fraud intended only to make the rich richer. A tactic is peddling hatred toward whites.
Democratic Rackets blamed whites for all the misery in the world. They describe whites as committing all wrongs and non whites as incapable of any wrongdoing. They demand that whites take responsibility for blacks' faults and failings. And they constantly replay the issue of slavery.
It is not to be accepted to harm or kill anyone or engage in destruction, but, if a woman kills a man who has treated her with mental abuse, the law will rightly punish her but also show accommodation.
Incidentally, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said marginalized groups essentially should have the right to riot.

Aug 07, 2019
Anyone ranting about the democrats stopping them from being hateful is 100% in need of some therapy and probably some jail time. Nobody is stopping anyone from doing anything, they just want you to treat other people like a human being. Since you can't do that, the same standards are applied to you and suddenly you can't handle it.

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