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'Cesspool of Hate' Offline After El Paso Shooting

Even 8chan's creator says, 'Shut the site down' after suspect apparently posted manifesto there
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2019 6:21 AM CDT
Updated Aug 5, 2019 6:51 AM CDT
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A makeshift memorial for the victims of Saturday's mass shooting at a shopping complex in El Paso, Texas, is seen on Sunday.   (AP Photo/Andres Leighton)

(Newser) – A "lawless" online message board is now offline after the suspected gunman in Saturday's shooting in El Paso, Texas, apparently posted what CNN Business calls a "hate-filled screed" there before the massacre. The reason that security services provider Cloudflare yanked support for 8chan: "They have proven themselves to be lawless and that lawlessness has caused multiple tragic deaths," Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince wrote in a blog post, noting support for 8chan was over as of midnight PDT on Sunday, and that the El Paso suspect "appears to have been inspired" by 8chan. "8chan has repeatedly proven itself to be a cesspool of hate." The New York Times calls 8chan "a megaphone for mass shooters, and a recruiting platform for violent white nationalists," while Ars Technica notes the site has been tied to mass shootings three times this year alone.

Even 8chan founder Fredrick Brennan now decries the site he helped create after finding 4chan too restrictive. "Shut the site down," he now tells the Times, which notes 8chan is "nearly completely unmoderated." "It's not doing the world any good," adds Brennan, who no longer has anything to do with the site. CNN notes 8chan could simply start up again using a provider other than Cloudflare—and indeed, per the message board's Twitter account, that's what it appears to be hoping for, noting, "There might be some downtime in the next 24-48 hours while we find a solution." Cloudflare faced a similar situation in 2017, when it booted neo-Nazi website the Daily Stormer—only for that site to find another home with a Cloudflare rival. "Today, the Daily Stormer is still available and still disgusting," Prince writes. "They are no longer Cloudflare's problem, but they remain the Internet's problem." (Read more El Paso shooting stories.)

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