The internet cesspool forum known as 8chan has just faced a huge blow after its internet service producer, Cloudflare, announced they were terminating their dealings with the controversial imageboard site due to its penchant for helping the spread of violence and hatred and culminating in real-world tragedies.
Earlier today, video game publisher THQ Nordic apologised after hosting an AMA on controversial imageboard site 8chan. Philipp Brock, the PR & Marketing Director THQ Nordic took personal responsibility for the AMA on Twitter, citing a lack of due diligence and understanding as the decision behind the AMA.
Cloudflare released a blog post in response to evidence that a manifesto may have been posted to 8chan before a gunman killed 26 people in El Paso, Texas on August 3.
Law enforcement officials believe the shooter may have posted a four-page document on 8chan just 20 minutes before the incident occurred. The document allegedly revealed his ties to white supremacy and expressed support for the Christchurch shooting in 2018.
8chan is an imageboard allowing anonymous accounts to share messages without the content filtering and moderation available on its tamer alternative, 4chan. It’s been associated with extremist, racist and anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and has been the subject of scrutiny after several mass shootings were linked to accounts on the site.
Terminating Service for 8Chan - https://t.co/q1Oa9mdySY
— Cloudflare (@Cloudflare) August 5, 2019
"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," the Crowdflare blog post read.
"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."
Cloudflare acknowledged it was likely 8chan would only be down temporarily and would no doubt find an alternative provider.
"While removing 8chan from our network takes heat off of us, it does nothing to address why hateful sites fester online ... In taking this action we've solved our own problem, but we haven't solved the Internet's," the post continued.
The El Paso shooting marks the 253rd mass shooting in just the 216 days of 2019 within the United States, according to the Gun Violence Archive. The Archive defines "mass shooting" as the killing of 4 or more people at one time, and can therefore include domestic assaults. Just hours after the tragedy, which saw 26 people killed, another mass shooting happened in Ohio killing a further 10 people.
On Sunday night, a gunman killed more than 50 people at a country music festival outside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. On Monday morning, authorities identified the gunman as Stephen Paddock. But in an episode that has become sadly familiar in the immediate aftermath of such tragedies, amateur sleuths on 4chan incorrectly identified the shooter as another man — and this time Google helped signal boost their misinformation.