8Chan creator admits online form hard to moderate in wake of US mass shootings

Henni Espinosa, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 10 2019 05:42 PM | Updated as of Aug 10 2019 06:01 PM

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EL PASO, Texas - The community of this border city continues to mourn for the lives of 22 people killed in the Aug. 3 shooting at the Walmart store. They are also trying to make sense of why a 21-year-old man from a Dallas suburb would go on a shooting spree.

But one thing certain for now is that the gunman used the internet messaging forum 8chan prior to his crime where he expressed hatred for Hispanic people and laid out a plan for a deadly attack on the Hispanic community.

The site's creator Fredrick Brennan, who migrated to the Philippines in 2014, admitted that he created a "Frankenstein monster" after realizing that the online forum has led to massacres in the US.

Brennan started 8chan in 2013 as a means of free speech. He handed over management to a man named Jim Watkins in 2016.

Brennan said it's been challenging to moderate postings on the forum. He's been calling for the site to be shut down. It's now inaccessible.

“I never really imagined that this would happen -- that shooters would post their manifestos on 8chan. And I put some of the blame on the way they're administering it. They have this saying that was on 8chan before it was closed, you know, 'embrace infamy,' and they had that right on the homepage of 8chan," Brennan said.

Brennan said one of the reasons he resigned was because of the difficulty in moderating the site.

"It's like letting the mental patients run the asylum," he said.

US lawmakers have asked that the current owner of 8chan, Watkins, testify before the House Homeland Security Committee.

According to authorities, Watkins is not located in the Philippines but he posted a message on 8chan's Twitter account claiming to be on his way to America to accept the lawmakers' invitation.

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