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Cloudflare has stopped hosting 8chan after a weekend of mass shootings in the US

August 5, 2019
People grieving in El Paso after a mass shooting last weekend
People grieving in El Paso after a mass shooting last weekend
People grieving in El Paso after a mass shooting last weekendAssociated Press

Web infrastructure firm Cloudflare has stopped hosting the infamous discussion website 8chan after it was used to publish and promote a white supremacist manifesto by the gunman who killed 20 people in El Paso in the US last weekend.

The background: 8chan has turned into a “megaphone for mass shooters,” as the New York Times puts it. Perpetrators of two other mass shootings this year, including an attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, used the website to post about their plans in advance. 8chan’s role in helping to radicalize young men and promote white terrorism has become undeniable.

Cloudflare’s decision: Last night, as it came under increasing pressure, the company that hosted 8chan, Cloudflare, withdrew its protection. This will make the website easier for someone to hack into the site or knock it offline  with a DDoS attack. “They have proven themselves to be lawless and that lawlessness has caused multiple tragic deaths,” Cloudflare said in a blog post.

However: It’s likely that 8chan will simply find another provider that is prepared to host it. Any solution that doesn’t look at where that hatred came from, and how it’s being allowed to fester online, simply won’t even begin to address the problem, as Cloudflare’s CEO Matthew Prince admitted to Wired.

This story first appeared in our daily newsletter The Download. Sign up here to get your dose of the latest must-read news from the world of emerging tech.

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