tucows 8chan

Toronto internet company Tucows cuts ties with 8chan after El Paso shooting

8chan, an image board believed to be frequented by the perpetrators of at least three separate, racially-motivated terror attacks across the world is in the crosshairs of internet-kind today — along with any company that even so much as refuses to cut service to the website.

At least 22 people were killed and 24 more injured on Saturday after a lone gunman opened fire within a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.

Suspect Patrick Wood Crusius, who has since been arrested and charged with capital murder, is believed to have published an anti-immgrant, white nationalist "manifesto" to 8chan roughly an hour ahead of the attack.

Police in El Paso are treating the document, which was uploaded to the controversial message board around 10:30 a.m. the day of the shooting, as "a nexus to a potential hate crime."

More relevant f0r the purpose of this post, it was not the first such ominous (and ultimately violent) manifesto posted to the anonymous online message board within the past year.

An 87-page-long white nationalist manifesto was posted to 8chan just minutes before the deadly March 15 mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand, and the suspect behind a shooting outside a San Diego synagogue in April is also thought to have posted a "hate-filled open letter" to the site.

As news spreads of the connection between 8chan and Saturday's shooting in El Paso, so too did calls for the site to be shut down.

The U.S. security company Cloudflare was first to announce that they'd be cutting ties with 8chan. Web services company Voxility banned the site from its own server, as well as from the sites of any company leasing web space from them.

Toronto's own Tucows — one of the world's leading domain name wholesalers — told a New York Times reporter on Sunday that it had "no immediate plans" to oust the site, but the situation has since changed.

"8chan is no longer with us and hasn't been since late Sunday night," said a spokesperson for the Liberty Village-based company by phone.

"We were working very closely with law enforcement at the time as to what our options should be... we were limited in what our choices were."

Noting that some 10 per cent of the entire internet uses the Tucows platform, the spokesperson noted that the company doesn't normally shut down sites based on content.

"Giving us the ability to say what is and is not on the internet is very serious," he continued. "We will not take action for content scenarios. We need to be very careful with that."

The rep wouldn't say how, exactly, it happened, but confirmed that as of 1:30 a.m. on Monday, 8chan had "been transferred out to another registrar."

As of Tuesday afternoon, the controversial image-based message board, which bills itself as "the darkest reaches of the internet" remains up and running.

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