Before anything else, let me say this: I thought I know the internet well, the surface web at least, but I was wrong. Considering I spend at least 4 hours a day online, how could I have not known about 8chan? Also, the founders/owners have been in our country all this time? That’s messed up.
I’d like to extend my deepest sympathies to everyone who had to go through the pain and sadness of losing loved ones due to acts of violence in this world.
What Is This 8chan You Speak Of?
I am using Cloudflare, hence I regularly visit their blog to check for updates. That’s where I learned about 8chan and how the platform operates. Before the site got taken down, I managed to briefly check on some of the boards. I am aware of 4chan’s existence and this one apparently follows the same template for discussion, except moderation is virtually non-existent.
Cloudflare’s decision to remove 8chan as a customer did not surprise me at all. In fact, I am more dumbfounded that the site managed to stay online for as long as it did.
While it is true that almost anyone can own a website these days, there are strict rules to follow. Deliberately ignoring TOS set by the domain registrar, hosting provider, and now even the CDN service has consequences.
The one from my hosting under General Rules of Conduct includes this:
You will not use this Site or the Services in a manner (as determined by Hostinger in its sole and absolute discretion) that promotes, encourages or engages in terrorism, violence against people, animals, or property.
Although I am blogging anonymously, I am technically not anonymous to the services I’m using to run this blog. Whatever I say here is my responsibility.
This was not the case for anonymous users on 8chan. Sure, the site may have been “just a place to talk”, but words are powerful. And their lawlessness was fueled by anonymity on a platform owned by someone else.
To some people, connections or beliefs, both good and bad, shared with like-minded individuals on the internet is enough to influence how they act in the real world.
Was Deplatforming 8ch.net A Win For The Internet?
If I’m being honest, depends on which side you’re on. Below is a map showing active ZeroNet peers as of this writing. Over 80% of these people are seeding 08chan (which the original 8chan creator(s) denies having any involvement in). Learn more about 08chan on ZeroNet.
I’m not going to post a link to 08chan or how to use ZeroNet. But inferring from the flow of conversation, profanity, and racist comments on there – 8chan users may have found a new home.
No one can say if 8chan will ever be allowed to go online on clearnet again, probably not.