Washington-based internet services company Epik reversed course Tuesday, saying it would not provide internet services to the controversial online forum 8chan after it had initially offered to do so.
8chan, however, was back online Tuesday using a service called ZeroNet, which is a peer-to-peer, torrent based service that is nearly impossible to moderate.
Responding in the comments to the company’s online statement announcing it would not work with 8chan, Epik CEO Rob Monster said “this was Monday morning lynch mob social justice on steroids.”
8chan, specifically the /pol/ message board where users often encourage acts of violence, is popular among white supremacists, Neo-nazis, and violent misogynists.
The El Paso shooter posted a racist, anti-immigrant manifesto on the forum before carrying out his attack. The shooters in Christchurch, New Zealand, and Poway, California, also posted hate-filled manifestos on 8chan.
In the company’s statement, titled “Epik Draws Line on Acceptable Use,” the CEO said the company ultimately reversed course due to what it said is a “concern of inadequate enforcement and the elevated possibility of violent radicalization on the platform.”
But Epik was also in a bind. Companies it leases servers from terminated contracts on Monday after Epik took on 8chan.
Guns & America is a public media reporting project on the role of guns in American life.