The founder of the 8chan website says it should be shut down after the El Paso gunman posted an anti-immigrant manifesto on its boards before his massacre at a Walmart on Saturday.
Fredrick Brennan told the Washington Post that the site’s owners should “do the world a favor and shut it off.”
His comments come as increasing scrutiny of unregulated bulletin board websites is bubbling, with some zealous censors calling for government intervention on the forums. The boards often feature uninhibited commentary and rumors, as well as insider perspectives and news not covered in the mainstream, but also provide a forum that some mentally ill people can’t handle.
“Once again, a terrorist used 8chan to spread his message as he knew people would save it and spread it,” Brennan said. “The board is a receptive audience for domestic terrorists.”
8Chan allows anonymous postings on its board, and has been linked to shooters in Christchurch, New Zealand and Poway, California, both of whom posted manifestos before committing their mass murders.
The El Paso gunman posted to 8Chan to bemoan the “Hispanic invasion of Texas,” and said he writer was inspired by the Christchurch shootings. It urged: “Do your part and spread this brothers!”
Brennan fstopped working with 8Chans owners in December, according to the Washington Post. No reason was given for his departure from the site he founded in 2011.
8Chan is registered to N.T> Technology in Nevada and is owned by Jim Watkins, an American living in the Philippines. The site is run by his son, Ron, the WaPo said.
Reached by email, Jim Watkins responded to a request for comment with a single sentence: “I hope you are well,” according to the Washington Post.
Watkins said in a video posted to YouTube after March’s Christchuch shootings that the “gruesome act of senseless violence” was “not the fault of NT Technology.” He said his company was cooperating with authorities.