Where 8channers Went After 8chan

Posted in: Legal & Security at 12/11/2019 18:38

The notorious troll board is back online with a new name—but its racist users didn’t just find new homes. They found new ways to gather.

8chan went offline in August after the mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. An hour before the alleged shooter killed 22 people, he apparently posted a racist, anti-immigrant screed on 8chan and wrote, “Do your part and spread this brothers!” It was the third instance this year that a shooter had posted a manifesto to 8chan, but this time, the anonymous image board—a haven for conspiracy theories and bigotry—faced blowback from its service providers, including Cloudflare, which the site used for security, and Tucows, its domain host. Both dropped 8chan—which is owned by Americans but is based in the Philippines—as a client.

On Nov. 2, 8chan came back online with a new name and new service providers. It’s called 8kun, and it’s run by the same owner, Jim Watkins. But while the users who made 8chan what it was were certainly hampered by the site’s deplatforming, they didn’t disappear when the site went down. They found other ways to congregate.

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