8chan owner slams ‘sinister’ shutdown attempts
MANILA: Moves to shut down the chat forum 8chan are "sinister" and "cowardly", its owner said yesterday after he was called to appear before US Congress to explain the online hate messages linked to deadly US killings.
In a video uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday, Philippines-based American expatriate Jim Watkins said the deadly weekend attacks in the US cities of El Paso and Dayton were a tragedy.
But he insisted 8chan had not broken any laws and devoted most of his 71/2-minute video to criticising subsequent moves to shut down his forum.
"It is actually sinister behaviour. Ours is one of the last independent companies that offers a place you may write down your thoughts, free from having to worry about whether they are offensive to one group or another," he said.
Mr Watkins portrayed efforts against 8chan as part of the "power consolidation" of the Internet by a few strong and rich companies.
"It will effectively silence the masses and leave them with no place to voice their messages," he said.
8chan has been home to posts from right-wing extremists, misogynists and conspiracy theorists. - AFP