This week has been a bit of a rough one for 8chan as hosting and infrastructure providers turn its back on the controversial website.
This follows two shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. The forum is widely known for housing white supremacist, bigoted and racist material. It is believed that the shooter in El Paso, Texas posted a manifesto to 8chan before committing the crime.
But 8chan owner Jim Watkin has refuted this claim in a statement that he posted to YouTube.
“The El Paso shooter posted on Instagram, not 8chan,” claims Watkins, “Later some one uploaded a manifesto however, that manifesto was not uploaded by the Walmart shooter. I don’t know if he wrote it or not but it was not uploaded by the murderer.”
You can watch Watkins’ statement in the video embedded below.
Watkins goes on to say that law enforcement was made aware of this before folks had even heard the news.
With that having been said, The Guardian reports that a spokeswomen for Instagram said that the firm had no evidence to back up Watkins’ claims. What’s more, Instagram says the shooter hadn’t used that account in over a year.
“It is unfortunate that this place of free speech has temporarily been removed,” said Watkins.
The 8chan owner goes on to slam Cloudflare and Voxility for kicking 8chan off of its services claiming that users of the forum were “peaceful people having peaceful discussions”.
In conclusion Watkins says that 8chan is a lawful community abiding by the laws of the US.
But Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince said earlier this week that even if 8chan hasn’t violated the law, the lack of moderation that has allowed hate to fill the forum is problematic.
And that really is the issue here. If you allow folks to make racist remarks without consequences they think that sort of behaviour is okay and that’s the problem everybody has with 8chan.
Yes Watkins, you have provided folks with nothing more than a blank page they can fill with their own content but that doesn’t absolve you of your responsibility to moderate that blank page.
Even if Instagram hosted the shooter’s manifesto, as Watkins claims, Facebook has clear processes in place to deal with this sort of thing to discourage people from being trash. Can you say the same, Watkins?