8chan owner called before US Congress - Strategy

07 Août, 2019, 23:24 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Jim Watkins

The House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee demanded that owner Jim Watkins, an American living in the Philippines, testify about 8chan's efforts to address 'the proliferation of extremist content, including white supremacist content'.

Watkins claimed the Texas suspected shooter's manifesto was first uploaded not to 8chan but to Instagram, the photo-sharing app owned by Facebook. A Facebook spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that the company "found nothing" supporting Watkins' Instagram theory. Facebook further said that the shooter's Instagram account was disabled after the shooting but it hadn't been active in over a year.

The committee's Democratic chairman, Bennie Thompson, and Mike Rogers, the committee's ranking Republican, sent a letter to Watkins asking him to appear before the committee, noting that the El Paso massacre 'is at least the third act of supremacist violence linked to your website this year'. Epik's own web infrastructure provider, Voxility, dropped it as a customer in response. These comments describe 8chan as a "cesspool of hate", call for it to be shut down, and suggest that it leads to radicalization of its users.

Cloudflare, a major industry provider of DDoS protection, announced Sunday that it would no longer provide services to 8chan.

Set up by then U.S. teen Fredrick Brennan in 2013, 8chan was rejected by different hosts and hounded by viral attacks until Watkins offered it a home in 2015.

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In the rest of the video, Watkins lists his many grievances against those who view 8chan as the breeding ground for radicalism.

"My company takes a firm stand with helping law enforcement and within minutes of these two tragedies, we were working with FBI agents to find out what information we could to help in their investigations".

In the video - which is nearly eight minutes long and has a bust of Benjamin Franklin wearing sunglasses in the corner while a trumpet plays Taps - Watkins lashes out at the media, law enforcement, the USA government and other companies over his site remaining dark.

"We have never protected illegal speech as it seems we are accused of by some less than credible journalists", says Watkins, adding that he and his employees have always cooperated with law enforcement requests. "Ours is one of the last independent companies that offer a place you may write down your thoughts free from having to worry about whether they are offensive to one group or another", the American said.

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