The US cybersecurity firm Cloudflare announced Monday that it is dropping the anonymous, unmoderated message board 8chan amid claims the El Paso shooter had posted a racist screed there.
In a blog post early Monday, Cloudflare’s CEO Matthew Prince announced his decision to terminate the platform as a customer — noting that it “has repeatedly proven itself to be a cesspool of hate.”
“We reluctantly tolerate content that we find reprehensible, but we draw the line at platforms that have demonstrated they directly inspire tragic events and are lawless by design,” Prince said. “8chan has crossed that line. It will therefore no longer be allowed to use our services.”
Investigators have said they are “reasonably certain” that Patrick Crusius, 21, wrote and posted a four-page manifesto called “The Inconvenient Truth” to the platform — in which he proclaims his support for the March shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Then, he allegedly called the Walmart attack — which left 20 people dead — “a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
Postings on 8chan have previously been linked to the Christchurch mosque shootings as well as mass killings in April at a synagogue in Poway, California.
The news comes a day after the site’s founder, Fredrick Brennan, urged the current owners to “do the world a favor and shut it off.”
“Once again, a terrorist used 8chan to spread his message as he knew people would save it and spread it,” Brennan told The Washington Post. “The board is a receptive audience for domestic terrorists.”
Authorities in the Philippines, where 8chan is hosted, said they were investigating the messaging board but said they could not elaborate further.
Cloudflare, which provides security services to help protect cyberattacks, previously dropped one other page — the neo-Nazi site the Daily Stormer in the wake of the Charlottesville white supremacist protest.
“That caused a brief interruption in the site’s operations but they quickly came back online using a Cloudflare competitor,” Prince wrote.
A post to 8chan’s Twitter account indicates that their time offline may also only be temporary.
“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 tweet said.
With Post Wires