Tucows Drops 8chan Domain Registration After El Paso Filming

Topline: Tucows, the internet services company, said it would no longer register the domain of extreme forum 8chan after a gunman posted a hateful manifesto on the site minutes before killing 22 people in El Paso on Saturday. Since the shooting, 8chan founder Fredrick Brennan has said he wants the site shut down.

  • The 21-year-old suspect in the Walmart El Paso shooting on Saturday reportedly posted an anti-immigrant manifesto targeting the Hispanic community on 8chan, minutes before the deadly rampage. Authorities are investigating the post. At least 22 people have now died on Monday.
  • Tucows first said it was not planned to disable site registration. Graeme Bunton, director of public policy for the company, told the New York Times“We have no immediate plans other than to continue to discuss internally.” But society changed your Monday, telling New York Times journalist Kevin Roose that he would no longer provide its services on the bulletin board.
  • This comes as Cloudflare, an internet infrastructure and security company, confirmed on Monday that it was cut ties with 8chan and would no longer provide Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) protection. He said the extremist-linked platform had “repeatedly proven to be a cesspool of hate”. A number of mass shooters posted hate letters on the site before committing murders.
  • Far-right-linked firms Epik and Anonymize are reportedly handling 8chan’s domain registration and protection, respectively. Mashable reported. Both companies are owned by Robert Monster, who is perhaps best known for helping white supremacist social media site Gab get back online after launching GoDaddy. The man suspected of mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue last October had published a hateful rant on the platform moments before killing 11 people.

Key Context: Tucows, a Toronto-based Internet services company, was founded in Michigan in 1993. Elliot Noss has been its CEO since 2001. Its website states that the company “actively participates in Internet governance and Internet policy development to ensure that the focus remains on making the Internet better and more efficient for all users.

8chan, founded in 2013 by Brennan, was touted as a free speech utopia and a response to the 4chan message board, which he felt had become too restrictive. 8chan has hosted extremist manifestos on its platform, including one from the gunman who killed 50 people in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March, and another that targeted a synagogue in California in April. 8chan is now owned by Jim Watkins.

Brennan, 25, said the site he founded but no longer owns “did no good in the world. It’s a complete negative for everyone except the users who are there. And you know what? It is also negative for them. They just don’t realize it.” New York Times reported.

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