(Reuters) – On-line message board 8chan’s fortunes worsened on Tuesday, as the location was as soon as once more made homeless by a technical providers supplier and its proprietor was referred to as to testify earlier than the U.S. Congress after 8chan was linked to the weekend mass taking pictures in El Paso, Texas.
The Home of Representatives Homeland Safety Committee demanded that proprietor Jim Watkins, an American residing within the Philippines, testify about 8chan’s efforts to deal with “the proliferation of extremist content material, together with white supremacist content material.”
The committee’s Democratic chairman, Bennie Thompson, and Mike Rogers, the committee’s rating Republican, despatched a letter tmsnrt.rs/2YuWNQ7 to Watkins asking him to look earlier than the committee, noting that the El Paso bloodbath “is a minimum of the third act of supremacist violence linked to your web site this 12 months.”
8chan was offline on Tuesday after Seattle-based Epik turned the newest supplier to chop ties. In a press release, Epik’s chief govt, Rob Monster, cited issues in regards to the web site’s “insufficient enforcement and the elevated chance of violent radicalization.”
Within the closely Hispanic metropolis of El Paso on Saturday, a gunman killed 22 individuals at a Walmart retailer. Authorities have cited a prolonged anti-immigrant manifesto, apparently posted on 8chan by the suspect, as proof the bloodshed was racially motivated.
After the taking pictures, U.S. cyber safety agency CloudFlare withdrew providers from 8chan, prompting it to enroll with Epik on Monday. Epik’s personal net infrastructure supplier, Voxility, dropped it as a buyer in response.
Epik nonetheless offers providers to neo-Nazi web site the Each day Stormer and “free-speech” web site Gab, in addition to InfoWars, an internet site run by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
Monster informed Reuters that the anonymity on 8chan differentiated it from different websites. “No one has a vested curiosity in private accountability because you at all times get a brand new persona,” he mentioned.
Fredrick Brennan, who created 8chan in 2013, has referred to as for the location to be closed down. “If I may return and never create 8chan in any respect, I in all probability would,” he informed Reuters in an interview, likening it to Frankenstein’s monster.
8chan’s Watkins declined to remark, however directed Reuters to a video he posted on YouTube on Tuesday, during which he argued that the location supplied an area without spending a dime speech.
“Consider 8chan as a big neighborhood of 1 million those that are actually searching for a house,” mentioned Watkins, with a shadowy likeness of American founding father Benjamin Franklin behind him.
Watkins claimed the Texas suspected shooter’s manifesto was first uploaded to not 8chan however to Instagram, the photo-sharing app owned by Fb.
A Fb spokeswoman mentioned the corporate has discovered “nothing that helps this idea” in an investigation ongoing since Saturday. Fb disabled the suspected shooter’s Instagram account, which had not been energetic in over a 12 months, she added.
(This story was refiled to right, within the ninth paragraph, the spelling of the primary title of 8chan creator to Fredrick, not Frederick)
Reporting by Elizabeth Culliford and Katie Paul; Modifying by Leslie Adler