“The El Paso shooter posted [the manifesto] on Instagram, not 8chan,” said 8chan’s owner Jim Watkins in a Tuesday-published video, following web infrastructure company Cloudflare’s blacklisting of his site. Watkins did not provide evidence to back up his assertion.
In the video, Watkins claims: “First of all, the El Paso shooter posted on Instagram, not 8chan. Later, someone uploaded a manifesto, however, that manifesto was not uploaded by the Walmart shooter. I don’t know if he wrote it, or not, but it was not uploaded by the murderer — that is clear — and law enforcement was made aware of this before most people had even heard the horrific news. ”
Transcript of Jim Watkins’s statement below:
What a sad weekend. I just finished watching the President of the United States give his condolences to the families of the victims of the El Paso Walmart Shooting, and the Dayton Ohio Shooting. It is a tragedy for those families. It is a tragedy for Mexico, and the United States of America. It is indeed such a sad day, and time in the history of the world. The worst sort of monster shoots up random people, that it is the fact that insanity is obviously involved. One of these shooters even shot his own sister. It is terribly sad. We are lucky that at least he was not able to continue shooting, because quick acting law enforcement was able to kill him within a minute of his attack in Dayton.
The president has asked tech companies to work with law enforcement to help solve these problems. My company takes a firm stand in helping law enforcement, and within minutes of these two tragedies, we were working with FBI agents to find out what information we could to help out with their investigations. Our company has always worked with law enforcement to help them with their investigations. We have never protected illegal speech, as it seems that we have been accused of by some less-than-credible journalists. We have responded with vigor and integrity every time that a threat of violence has been posted and information for it has been requested by law enforcement.
I’m aware this is not protected speech, and I employ full-time staff who have a sole responsibility to serve these requests made by law enforcement. In May, my company was mentioned in congressional testimony. We are not such a large company, and the assistant director of the FBI, Michael McGarrity, had not heard of us, so we was unable to respond to questions about us, however, we did immediately compile with all FBI requests and dispositions of them and make that available to him immediately after that request was made, so it needs to be stated that we are in compliance with the law. We have always been aggressively forthcoming to help law enforcement.
There are about one million users of 8chan. 8chan is an empty piece of paper for writing on. It is disturbing to me that it can be so easily shut down.
Over the weekend, the domain name service for 8chan was abruptly terminated by the provider Cloudflare. Some people may applaud that decision. It was made by one of their founders. According to his Twitter profile, he is a recovering lawyer (link to tweet?). They are a private company, and of course have a right to stop doing business with me. Likely, this is because of their intended and soon-to-happen IPO. Calling 8ch.net ‘lawless by design,’ he decided to terminate us. This is, of course, an untrue statement. He did terminate us, though, so it becomes time to find a new home. Think of 8chan as a large community of one million people that are now looking for a home.
First of all, the El Paso shooter posted on Instagram, not 8chan. Later, someone uploaded a manifesto, however, that manifesto was not uploaded by the Walmart shooter. I don’t know if he wrote it, or not, but it was not uploaded by the murderer — that is clear — and law enforcement was made aware of this before most people had even heard the horrific news.
The spirit and letter of the law have always been faithfully fulfilled, and my company has always made certain of that. It is unfortunate that this place of free speech has temporarily been removed. We are working to restore service. Thank you to the incredible people and companies that are helping with this task. It is clearly a political move to remove 8chan from Cloudflare. It has forced a lot of people to find other places to talk. It has dispersed a peacefully assembled group of people talking. This silenced them, effectively. The spirit of what the President of the United States asked tech companies to do has been violated. It is effective to silence these people by removing the pen and ink that they right with.
Let’s look at the deflection that took place here. Public companies [are] casting blame for murder on small private companies, law-abiding companies. With some hard work by my engineers, we were able to move 8chan to a new network. This was a small company. After our move was complete, their upstream provider — a public company — shut off service to them. Their company suffers as well for taking on the responsibility of running a network that my company has touched. It is actually sinister behavior.
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 another. Power consolidation of the media, beginning as radio and TV stations were gobbled up by a few rich companies is now moving at a breakneck pace through the internet. They will effectively silence the masses and leave them with no place to voice their messages.
I want to say, again, that contrary to the unfounded claim by Mr. Prince of Cloudflare, 8chan is a lawful community abiding by the laws of the United States and enforced in the Ninth Circuit Court where he resides and does business. His accusation has caused me tremendous damage. In the meantime, I wish his company the best, and hold no animosity towards him, or his cowardly and not-thought out actions against 8chan.
Hopefully service will be restored shortly. Again, my thoughts and prayers are for the victims of the violence everywhere
Breitbart News will continue to follow this developing story.
Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.