How to Force 8Chan, Reddit and Others to Clean Up: We can change safe harbor laws to hold social media platforms accountable.

Posted in: Government & Policy at 08/08/2019 20:36

In the hours after the El Paso shooting last weekend, Fredrick Brennan, the founder of the online message board 8chan — the site that had hosted the racist manifestoes of the men responsible for the El Paso, Christchurch and Poway synagogue shootings — called for the site to be shut down. In an interview with The Times, he said, “It’s a complete negative to everybody except the users that are there. And you know what? It’s a negative to them, too. They just don’t realize it.”

After the El Paso massacre, the 8chan website briefly went offline when Cloudflare, the network provider, banned it. But it was only a matter of time before someone else agreed to support the site: By Tuesday morning, 8chan was back online, spewing a toxic mix of hatred, violence and QAnon conspiracies. Message boards like 8chan aren’t the only place where these things are spread: In March, when there were two mass shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, the shootings were live-streamed on Facebook and then viewed millions of times on YouTube.

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