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The 'cesspool of hate' message board 8chan is down after being linked to 3 mass shootings this year

Jake Kanter , Business Insider US
 Aug 05, 2019, 11:00 AM
EL PASO, TEXAS - AUGUST 04: People react and embra
People react and embrace each other during an interfaith vigil for victims of a mass shooting which left at least 20 people dead, on August 4, 2019 in El Paso, Texas. A 21-year-old male suspect was taken into custody in the city which sits along the U.S.-Mexico border. At least 26 people were wounded. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
  • Online message board 8chan is down after being involved in the Walmart massacre in El Paso, Texas - the third mass shooting it has been linked to this year.
  • Cloudflare, the security firm that protected 8chan from cyberattacks, terminated support for 8chan at midnight Pacific Time. 8chan went down moments later.
  • Fredrick Brennan, who started 8chan in 2013, welcomed Cloudflare's decision to cut ties with the website.
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8chan, the online message board used by the El Paso mass shooter to telegraph his attack, is offline after its security services provider withdrew support for the website.

Cloudflare, the Silicon Valley company that protected 8chan from cyberattacks, announced on Monday that it had terminated its relationship with 8chan, describing it as a "cesspool of hate".

Cloudflare withdrew its services at midnight Pacific Time, and moments later 8chan was forced offline. The message board did warn users this would happen, tweeting that it expected some downtime. It said it is working to resolve the matter.

The 21-year-old suspect behind the El Paso shooting, which left 20 people dead and dozens injured, is said to have used 8chan to distribute a manifesto supporting his actions.

Police are working to determine whether the suspect wrote the document, which conveyed a fear that Hispanic people would take over Texas and turn it into a "Democrat stronghold." The shooting is being treated as a "domestic terrorist" case.

The El Paso incident is far from isolated in its links to 8chan. The message board was also used to announce the mosque massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March, and the synagogue shooting in Poway, California, in April.

Fredrick Brennan, who started 8chan in 2013, tweeted about the site, saying it has a "morbid record of success for maximum spread of mass shooting manifestos" and that moderation on the site is "lax to non-existent".

He welcomed Cloudflare's decision to cut ties with 8chan. "Thank you so much @CloudFlare. Finally this nightmare might have an end.

"I just want to go back to making my fonts in peace and not have to worry about getting phone calls from CNN/New York Times every time a mass shooting happens," he said.

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