8Chan loses key security service after El Paso shooter’s manifesto uncovered


Mass shootings in American often find themselves accompanied by second tragedy in the form of pedantic finger-pointing and baseless blame-games.  These aren’t the sort of events in which we, as outsiders, can even fathom the despair of those within the nucleus of the narrative.

Today is no exception, as the mainstream media attempts to pick apart the lives of these shooters in order to place them on Team A or Team B.  They want to neatly organize these troubled youths, and the first distinction is often what political affiliations they can be branded with.  This sickening devaluation of the events themselves is so selfishly partisan that it turns the stomach of anyone with the sort of cognizance to see the forest from the trees.

Using these mass shooters as a political pawn is not only dangerous, but highly offensive to those who are suffering today, and “guilt by association” does little more than spread the grief around in perpetuity.  There is no healing with this method of blame, you see.

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After this weekend’s deadly shootings, free speech-centric forum 8Chan has come under heavy fire by a key cybersecurity provider after a “manifesto” was discovered on the site that may or may not belong to the shooter from El Paso.

Internet services provider Cloudflare announced on Sunday that it planned to cease doing business with an online forum that a gunman apparently used before killing 20 people in El Paso, Texas, the company said.

Cloudflare’s CEO, Matthew Prince, wrote in a blog post that his company was dropping 8chan after gunmen in Christchurch, New Zealand, and Poway, California, also used the site.

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Cloudflare provides services like protection against common cyberattacks that can cripple websites, and Prince has described himself as a “free-speech absolutist.” The company has only cut service once before — to neo-Nazi site the Daily Stormer after a white supremacist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia.

8Chan was back up and running as of Monday, thanks to a company called BitMitigate who provides similar services to Cloudflare.

Of course, this begs the question:  Does limiting free speech online actually solve anything or make us any safer?

That answer is “no”, despite what we may be hearing in the mainstream media this week.  Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and if we force these hate mongers into the dark, shadowy corners of society there is a chance that we won’t be able to see them coming when lash out again.

 

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