Cloudflare, a server that hosts millions of websites around the world, announced Monday that it would cut hosting and 8chan forum protection services. The move came after the mass shooting that took place at a mall in El Paso, Texas, United States, last Saturday (3). The perpetrator of the attack, which left 20 dead and 26 injured, published a racist manifesto on the site minutes before the shooting began and is being investigated for hate crime.
8chan owners have already been notified of the suspension. We have just sent you a notice that we are closing 8chan as a midnight Pacific client today, Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince said in a statement.
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Cloudflare is a company that hosts millions of websites around the world and offers protection services. Photo: Playback / Cloudflare
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Prince explained the reason for the measure: They gave us enough evidence that they did not follow the law, and this lack of rules led to tragic deaths. Even though 8chan did not break the law by not moderating their community, they created an environment that reveals the violation of their spirit.
With the suspension, the site is vulnerable to distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that overwhelm servers so that page resources are unavailable to users.
In this regard, Cloudflare CEO stated that the withdrawal of protection services has come with some concern, as the company aims to ensure the safety of online platforms. By taking this action, we solved our own problem, but we did not solve the Internet problem, Prince said. Removing 8chan doesn't solve the reasons why audio sites proliferate online. It does not explain why mass shootings occur.
The El Paso Massacre is not the first attack linked to 8chan posts. A very similar episode happened before the terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, which left 50 dead in March this year. In his post, the author of the Texas shootout, dentified by authorities such as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, referred to the previous attack, implying that he was inspired by the unmoderated discussions that glorified the massacre.
"Unfortunately, what we are doing today is not correcting online hatred," complains Prince. "Almost certainly not even remove 8chan from the Internet. But the right thing to do," he adds.
So far, 8chan has not commented on the case.
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