June 18, 2019

Banning 8Chan Might Not Be the Answer

“Shortly before walking into a synagogue near San Diego on Saturday and embarking on a shooting spree, the alleged gunman posted a manifesto on the message board 8chan explaining his bigoted ideology and motivations for the attack, which left one person dead and three injured. His post and manifesto were constructed to look just like the post and manifesto the alleged New Zealand shooter put on 8chan before killing 50 at two mosques in Christchurch in March.

“I’ve only been lurking for a year and a half, yet what I’ve learned here is priceless,” the San Diego man wrote on his 8chan post above links to his manifesto and his Facebook page, where he planned to livestream the attack. In the manifesto, he cited the New Zealand shooter as an inspiration, who himself had written that he spent time “lurking” on 8chan as part of his process of radicalization into white supremacy.

After both shootings, other 8chan posters cheered on and praised the attackers. The message board’s integral role in both deadly shootings has led to growing calls to ban the site entirely, and debates over free speech concerns.”

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