- 8chan is now being hosted by a web protection company called BitMitigate after being terminated from its original web protection service, Cloudflare, on Sunday night.
- The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi website, was also scooped up by BitMitigate after it was terminated by Cloudflare in 2017.
- On Monday, server infrastructure provider Voxility removed BitMitigate from its network, meaning both 8chan and The Daily Stormer went offline.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Though online message board 8chan was dumped by its web protection service, Cloudflare, on Sunday, it’s found a new home with BitMitigate, the controversial web protection service that also services neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer.
8chan has been connected to at least three mass shootings in 2019, and Saturday’s shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas — which left 22 people dead — was the final straw for Cloudflare’s involvement with 8chan, according to Cloudflare cofounder and CEO Matthew Prince.
“In the case of the El Paso shooting, the suspected terrorist gunman appears to have been inspired by the forum website known as 8chan,” Prince wrote in a public termination notice posted on Cloudflare’s website around 11:00 p.m. PT Sunday.
“8chan has repeatedly proven itself to be a cesspool of hate,” Prince continued.
8chan’s termination was effective at midnight Pacific Time on Sunday.
CNN reports that the suspected shooters behind the El Paso attack, the Christchuch, New Zealand, mosque attack in March 2019, and the Poway, California, synagogue attack in April 2019 are all suspected of posting manifestos on 8chan.
Read more: 8chan, the infamous message board linked to the El Paso shooting, was briefly back up before getting taken down again by another service provider
Ron Watkins, one of 8chan’s site administrators — who runs the site with his father, Jim Watkins — tweeted on Monday after the termination that 8chan would be switching over to another web protection service, BitMitigate.
Cloudflare and BitMitigate are content delivery networks, or CDNs. One purpose of a CDN is to protect websites against attacks like a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack, which can disable a website by flooding and overwhelming it with traffic.
This isn’t the first time BitMitigate has snapped up a client ousted by Cloudflare.
In August 2017, Cloudflare terminated the account The Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi site. Soon after, BitMitigate founder Nick Lim offered to provide The Daily Stormer with its CDN services.
In an interview with Business Insider, Lim said he found it “strange” and “worrying” that a website would get booted by a service provider who didn’t like its content. He figured he was in the position to help the Daily Stormer, both because he was technologically capable with BitMitigate and felt “obligated” to uphold free speech. In a 2017 interview with Pro Publica, Lim also said he thought working with the site would get the word out about what his company does.
Despite the terrorist manifestos that have been posted on 8chan ahead of mass shootings this year, Lim told Business Insider he doesn’t think 8chan, as an open platform, should be denied the ability to stay online.
In February 2019, Epik acquired BitMitigate. Lim, now 22, advises BitMitigate as CEO of VanwaTech, a technology consulting firm. Epik did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
On Monday afternoon, server infrastructure provider Voxility removed BitMitigate from its network, meaning both 8chan and The Daily Stormer went offline, according to Ars Technica. It’s not yet clear where BitMitigate — and, by extension, 8chan and other sites using its services — will be hosted next.
“We decided to take a firm stand against Epik/Bitmitigate after today’s incident, as this is the not the first time we needed to take actions against content hosted by them,” Voxility’s vice president of business development, Maria Sirbu, wrote in a statement to Business Insider. “We are against hate speech and we hope that more and more telco companies take actions in keeping the internet a safer place.”
Join the conversation about this story »