Ronald Watkins’ father, Jim Watkins, who owns the site, on Tuesday addressed 8chan’s recent troubles in a YouTube video. Speaking in front of an image of Benjamin Franklin, with taps playing in the background, Watkins denies that the El Paso shooter uploaded his manifesto to 8chan and says it was posted by another person.
He goes on to complain that 8chan is being treated unfairly. “It is actually sinister behavior,” Watkins says of being kicked offline, a decision he attributes to Cloudfare’s upcoming IPO. “Ours is one of the last independent companies that offer a place you may write down your thoughts free from having to worry about whether they are offensive to one group or the other.” He ends by calling Cloudflare’s actions “cowardly” and “not thought out.” (After some preliminary emails, Watkins declined to be interviewed by WIRED.)
FREDRICK BRENNAN FOUNDED and, until 2016, served as the administrator of 8chan, which has provided an anonymous digital safe haven for the type of discussions that made many of its users unwelcome elsewhere on the web: abhorrent racism, violent misogyny, and rampant anti-Semitism.The Weird, Dark History of 8chan and Its Founder Fredrick Brennan | WIRED