8chan returns with a new name and a reminder not to do illegal stuff
It'll definitely go better this time around. Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto By Amanda Yeo2019-11-04 08:16:06 UTC Controversial imageboard 8chan has been revived under a new name, 8kun — with the front page of the site now bearing a warning...
Controversial imageboard 8chan has been revived under a new name, 8kun — with the front page of the site now bearing a warning that "Any content that violates the laws of the United States of America will be deleted and the poster will be banned."
Launched in 2013 by Fredrick Brennan as an alternative to 4chan, 8chan had been linked to harassment campaigns, racism, misogyny, neo-Nazism, pedophilia and mass shootings. It was also a hub for believers of far-right conspiracy theory QAnon, which claims that a secret cabal of "Satan-worshiping pedophiles" rules the world and that only Donald Trump can stop them.
8chan is now run by Jim Watkins alongside his son Ron, after Brennan cut ties with the site in 2018. The founder has since expressed a desire that the imageboard be shut down.
Indeed, 8chan was taken off the publicly accessible internet in August, after the alleged Christchurch, Poway, and El Paso shooters used the site to spread their manifesto or livestream. Several companies pulled their support or services from 8chan in the aftermath, including web security company Cloudflare and domain registrar Tucows.
Despite this the imageboard has now returned to the clearnet, run by Watkins under a new name.
8chan's Twitter hinted at the return and rebranding on October 7, and two days later asked board owners to get in contact about migrating their boards from 8chan to 8kun. Since then 8kun has made a couple of spluttering attempts to get online, before finally succeeding on Saturday.
The site is just stumbling to its feet, with the front page's "latest headlines" still listing stories from July. 8kun claimed on Twitter there are now over 200 boards waiting to be transferred over from 8chan, though "a few top 25 boards are still missing". This appears to include /pol/, the board where several alleged mass shooters posted their manifestos.
Watkins was subpoenaed earlier this year by the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security to answer questions about whether 8chan contributed to the radicalisation of users.
In a statement released by his lawyer at the time, Watkins said that “If 8chan comes back online, it will be done when 8chan develops additional tools to counter illegal content under United States law.” As an example, Watkins mentioned that staff would put relevant boards in read-only mode "during a state of emergency."