8chan shut down by Cloudflare after being linked to El Paso and Ohio shootings

Far-right internet forum 8chan has been cut off by its provider Cloudflare after being linked to mass shootings in the US.

Cloudflare said it had terminated the website as a customer and called the forum a “cesspool of hate”.

It comes in the wake of the massacres in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.

The suspected gunman in the Texas shooting allegedly used the site to post a racist manifesto before launching his attack.

The website had also previously been used by the suspects in the attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March and on a synagogue in California in April, Cloudfare’s Chief Executive said.

Thirty nine people were gunned down in two separate attacks in less than 24 hours over the weekend, as two gunmen stormed public places shooting.

In El Paso, 20 people were killed and 26 more were injured after a shooting in Walmart while parents were carrying out back-to-school shopping and in Ohio nine people were killed in a bar.

The suspect accused of carrying out the shooting in El Paso, Patrick Crusius, 21, has since been charged with capital murder.

It was investigated as a hate crime after the manifesto emerged online.

Making the announcement, Cloudflare chief executive Matthew Prince said the company could no longer offer web-based support and cybersecurity protection to the site.

Mr Prince claimed the suspect in the El Paso attack had posted to 8chan before commencing the attack.

“8chan has repeatedly proven itself to be a cesspool of hate,” he said.

“They have proven themselves to be lawless and that lawlessness has caused multiple tragic deaths.

“Even if 8chan may not have violated the letter of the law in refusing to moderate their hate-filled community, they have created an environment that revels in violating its spirit.”

Referring to other times it had been used for similar attacks, Mr Prince added: “In pursuit of our goal of helping build a better internet, we’ve considered it important to provide our security services broadly to make sure as many users as possible are secure, and thereby making cyberattacks less attractive – regardless of the content of those websites.

“Many of our customers run platforms of their own on top of our network. If our policies are more conservative than theirs, it effectively undercuts their ability to run their services and set their own policies.

“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. 8chan has crossed that line. It will therefore no longer be allowed to use our services.”

8chan was created in 2013 as an alternative to the 4chan forum which had become popular with gamers. It was launched in response to perceived increased moderation on 4chan and promised less intervention or removal of content.

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