Congress asks 8chan’s owner to testify following recent mass shootings

Congressional leaders request that 8chan owner Jim Watkins testify before the National Security Committee of the House of Representatives to inform the body about what the marginal forum is doing to combat the proliferation of extremist content.

"Unfortunately, this is at least the third act of white supremacist extremist violence linked to their website this year," representatives Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) and Mike Rogers (R-AL) wrote. "Americans deserve to know what you do, as owners and operators, to address the proliferation of extremist content in 8chan."

In the last four months, three suspected white supremacist terrorist attacks occurred after the shooters published racist statements describing their motives on the marginal message board, 8chan. Two of those attacks took place in the United States. The initial US attack was a gunfight in a synagogue in Poway, California, and the second one happened over the weekend in El Paso, Texas.

These two shootings were probably inspired by the Christchurch attacker, New Zealand, who first published a white racist and supremacist essay on the message board last April before killing dozens of people in a mosque. The Christchurch shooter broadcast this attack live on Facebook and the reloads of the footage continue to appear on the platform and others like Twitter to this day.

In response to Christchurch, Thompson contacted social media companies to ask them to prioritize the elimination of images and other far-right domestic terrorist content from their platforms.

The committee letter was sent to Watkins by mail, email and Twitter. 8chan and his representatives have not yet responded publicly to the request.

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