Over the weekend, the United States suffered its 249 and 250 mass shootings of the year. Saturday (August 3) in El Paso, Texas, a lone white gunman killed 20 people injuring dozens. It was later revealed by authorities the suspect detailed his plan ahead of time on the website 8chan. It is now offline after Cloudflare pulled its support for it.
In a blog post, Cloudflare CEO, Matthew Prince clarified why he decided to stop providing support to the internet message board.
“We just sent notice that we are terminating 8chan as a customer effective at midnight tonight Pacific Time. The rationale is simple: they have proven themselves to be lawless and that lawlessness has caused multiple tragic deaths. Even if 8chan may not have violated the letter of the law in refusing to moderate their hate-filled community, they have created an environment that revels in violating its spirit.”
“We continue to feel incredibly uncomfortable about playing the role of content arbiter and do not plan to exercise it often.”
The company’s decision is a complete about-face from its original stance. On Sunday, Cloudfare told CNN that it had no plans to stop providing service to 8chan. Even the site’s creator Fredrick Brennan is also calling for his brainchild to be permanently shut down. Three mass shootings — including mosque killings in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the synagogue shooting in Poway, California — were announced on the website. The final straw was El Paso for Brennan who in an interview stated the site needs to go.
“Shut the site down. It’s not doing the world any good. It’s a complete negative to everybody except the users that are there. And you know what? It’s a negative to them, too. They just don’t realize it.”
Despite it being shut down, for now, there is still a chance 8chan can find new life with a different internet service provider. On the company’s official Twitter account it stated: “there might be some downtime in the next 24-48 hours while we find a solution.”
Whichever company does decide to work with 8chan should be reminded that it will be help pushing white nationalism and racism.
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