UPDATED 8/5, 9:30 a.m. ET: Cloudflare, a company which secures websites and other online services against DDoS attacks, has continually come under attack for providing services to 8chan. In response to the El Paso shooting, which was seemingly inspired by the message board, Cloudflare released a statement confirming that it will be ending DDoS protection for 8chan. This means the site is now susceptible to attacks that could take it down.
"We just sent notice we are terminating service for 8chan," Cloudflare CEO and co-founder Matthew Prince tweeted. "There comes a time when enough is enough. But this isn't the end. We need to have a broader conversation about addressing the root causes of hate online."
The full statement makes reference to the Christchurch, New Zealand and Poway, California shootings; the perpetrators of both horrific events posted regularly on the board. "8chan has repeatedly proven itself to be a cesspool of hate."
Prince continued, "Unfortunately, we have seen this situation before and so we have a good sense of what will play out." He explained how Cloudflare previously made headlines when they kicked far-right neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer off its network, causing a "brief interruption in the site's operations." However, the site came back. "Today, the Daily Stormer is still available and still disgusting," Prince wrote.
"I have little doubt we'll see the same happen with 8chan," Prince said. Although a step in the right direction, the site will undoubtedly find a new DDoS protection service through a Cloudflare competitor. "While removing 8chan from our network takes heat off of us, it does nothing to address why hateful sites fester online. It does nothing to address why mass shootings occur."
In response to Cloudflare terminating its service of 8chan, the founder and original owner of the site, Fredrick Brennan, tweeted, "Thank you so much @Cloudflare. Finally this nightmare might have an end. 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. They could have prevented this and chose not to."
Brennan originally cut ties with the site in December 2018, telling the Wall Street Journal he doesn't want to be involved anymore. He has previously been criticized for users posting child pornography on the website.
See original story below.
8chan founder Fredrick Brennan is calling for the shutdown of the website following Saturday's El Paso Walmart shooting, the New York Times reports. Patrick Crusius, the suspected gunman who has already been charged with capital murder, posted a four-page manifesto on the site minutes before carrying out the horrific act which resulted in 20 people being killed and 26 more injured.
8chan has become an unfiltered, unchecked site fueling hate speech, and inspiring violent white supremacist behavior. Crusius claims he was inspired by the Christchurch mosque shootings in New Zealand, which also manifested on 8chan.
"Once again, a terrorist used 8chan to spread his message as he knew people would save it and spread it," Brennan told The Washington Post. "The board is a receptive audience for domestic terrorists." Brennan founded the site in 2011, but left in December for an unknown reason. Now he believes these string of events have left the site's current operators with no choice but to "do the world a favor and shut it off."
8chan is registered to the Nevada-based company N.T. Technology and is currently owned by Jim Watkins, an American living in the Philippines. His son, Ron, now runs the site alongside him.
After gunman John T. Earnest opened fire at the Chabad of Poway synagogue on April 27, killing one and injuring three people, a manifesto titled "An Open Letter" was published on 8chan around the time of the attack. The post was taken down nine minutes later. Ron jokingly addressed how the site would work to monitor these concerning posts that continuously appear on their message board.