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'Cesspool of Hate' 8chan Is Basically Back

It's now 8kun, and activists are working to get it shut down again
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 4, 2019 3:03 PM CST
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Stock photo.   (Getty Images / LagartoFilm)

(Newser) – The "cesspool of hate" online forum 8chan was shut down almost three months ago after three mass shooters including the El Paso suspect posted their plans there before carrying them out, but now it's back—basically. As CBS News reports, 8kun surfaced Saturday via Russia-based online service providers (8chan's previous service provider had yanked support for the site), and it's "nearly identical" to the former message board, an "even more fringe" site similar to 4chan that Gizmodo calls "a haven for far-right extremists, conspiracy theorists, and internet filth." But many—including Frederick Brennan, who originally founded 8chan, later sold it, and ultimately ended up denouncing it—are working to get 8kun, which has been called a breeding ground for racism and white supremacism as well as violent extremism, shut down.

They're doing so by contacting companies hosting or providing services to the site and asking them to stop, which is how critics got 8chan shut down in August. This time around, they've succeeded in getting Russian firms Selectel and then VDSina to stop hosting the site, but within an hour of those sites blocking it, 8kun was already back online. The site administrator has also said cyberattacks are impacting the site's performance. The site is also running a version on the dark web, though CBS notes that version's functions are limited. Per Engadget, this time around the site does not include /pol/, the extremist board where shooters were known to post manifestos, and it also features "a more prominent disclaimer that 8kun will remove any content deemed illegal in the US." But it's not clear whether /pol/ will eventually migrate over. (Read more hate speech stories.)

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