Lawless imageboard 8chan is without a host after the alleged perpetrator of the El Paso Walmart shooting posted his manifesto on the site hours before he killed 20 people and injured 26 more.
8chan had been hosted by content delivery network Cloudfare which routes a website’s traffic through its proxy servers located around the world.
“While removing 8chan from our network takes heat off of us, it does nothing to address why hateful sites fester online,” said Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince.
“It does nothing to address why mass shootings occur. It does nothing to address why portions of the population feel so disenchanted they turn to hate.
“Unfortunately the action we take today won’t fix hate online. It will almost certainly not even remove 8chan from the Internet.”
But the likes of 8chan actively avoid taking responsibility for the content shared by its users.
8chan said on Twitter that it was already working on a solution to the outage caused by Cloudflare.
Some of you might’ve read the @Cloudflare news already. They're dropping 8chan. https://t.co/FQJrv9wzvn— 8chan (8ch.net) (@infinitechan) August 5, 2019
There might be some downtime in the next 24-48 hours while we find a solution (that includes our email so timely compliance with law enforcement requests may be affected).
The shooting in El Paso, Texas, is the third mass-shooting announced on 8chan since March when a shooter posted his manifesto – and links to livestreams – on 8chan before opening fire on worshippers in two mosques in Christchurch.
In April, that massacre was referenced in an 8chan post from a person who, minutes later, fired shots into a synagogue in California.
8chan creator Frederick Brennan told the New York Times he wanted to see the website removed for good.
“Shut the site down,” Brennan said.
“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.”
Once a regular user of another image-based board, 4chan, Brennan wanted to create a completely unmoderated social platform.
But the website has regularly been the centre of controversy and was removed from Google Search because of suspicions that it hosted child pornography.
Since 2015 8chan has been owned by a pig farmer in the Philippines named Jim Watkins.
Brennan, who has been a long-time advocate for the ‘free speech’ ideal in which he created 8chan, is baffled that the site has remained online for so long.
“I’ve tried to understand so many times why he keeps it going, and I just don’t get it,” Brennan said.
“After Christchurch, after the Tree of Life shooting, and now after this shooting, they think this is all really funny.”