A website hosting provider known for providing a home for extremist sites announced Tuesday it was halting its services for 8chan amid scrutiny of the anonymous posting platform following last week’s mass shooting in El Paso, Texas.
Epik CEO Rob Monster, whose company hosts Internet destinations like the white supremacist website The Daily Stormer, said in a statement that the decision was made over the site's inability to adequately monitor and enforce its rules.
“In cases whereby Epik identifies a particular publisher as being under-equipped to properly enforce its own Terms of Service, Epik reserves the right to deny service,” Monster said.
“Upon careful consideration of the recent operating history of 8Chan, and in the wake of tragic news in El Paso and Dayton over the weekend, Epik has elected to not provide content delivery services to 8Chan. This is largely due to the concern of inadequate enforcement and the elevated possibility of violent radicalization on the platform.”
8chan is facing mounting public scrutiny after it was revealed the 21-year-old suspect in the Texas shooting allegedly posted an anti-immigrant manifesto to the platform 20 minutes before the attack, which left 22 people dead and injured dozens more.
Services that enable the controversial messaging board to remain online are facing precedented pressure to deplatform the site.
The website was effectively kicked off the provider Cloudflare after the El Paso shooting Saturday, though it was later picked up by Bitmitigate, a competitor owned by Epik. That service will no longer be made available to 8chan, according to Tuesday’s statement.
President TrumpDonald TrumpMan sentenced to nearly four years for running scam Trump, Biden PACs Meadows says Trump's blood oxygen level was dangerously low when he had COVID-19 Trump endorses David Perdue in Georgia's governor race MORE pointed to online radicalization as a key factor in the El Paso shooting.
The manifesto being investigated in connection to the alleged shooter described the attack as a “response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.” The document resembled other anti-immigrant screeds that were spread online before mass shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, and Poway, Calif., earlier this year.
“We must recognize that the internet has provided a dangerous avenue to radicalize disturbed minds and perform demented acts,” Trump said in remarks on Monday morning. “We must shine light on the dark recesses of the Internet and stop mass murders before they start."