Last year, after the shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, the new social-media platform Gab was attacked in the press and bullied off the internet. Earlier this year, following the Christ Church mosque attack, New Zealand briefly totally blocked access to several websites.
Yesterday, two men allegedly killed 30 people at a store in Dayton Ohio, and a mall in El Paso Texas.
Today 8chan has been totally shut down.
If you don’t know what 8chan is, well it’s like 4chan but without the sense of decency. If you don’t know what 4chan is, it’s like reddit went off its medication.
Both places could be, can be, kinda gross. But they could – can – also be amazing. Insightful. Useful. Free speech is like that. Sometimes beautiful, sometimes ugly. If you cut off the ugly parts it’s not “free speech” anymore. This is something we all know, but the media is trying to force us to forget.
The boot-licking justification of this move was, of course, spear-headed by The Guardian: 8chan: the far-right website linked to the rise in hate crimes
The hand-wringers and pearl-clutchers in the media are happy to pretend this is about “hate” and “safety”, which is obviously not true.
Take the thrust of the Guardian article:
8chan…why is a website linked to such a high death count allowed to exist on the open internet?
Wouldn’t this question be better asked of www.cia.gov?
Or maybe one of these…
Hell, going by this absurd definition of “death count” – meaning, apparently, “someone who allegedly posted there, allegedly committed a crime” – then all Facebook and twitter have staggering “death counts”.
Known war criminals use twitter every single day. The alleged Christ Church shooting was live-streamed on Facebook (but it was 8chan that got blocked).
The Guardian itself published an opinion piece, a week ago, written by Alastair Campbell. A man with a body count 50,000x higher than the Texas shooting. That’s an El Paso every day for 137 years.
This isn’t about hate, they’re fine with hate. This isn’t about blood, they love blood.
8chan was no more hateful or bloody than any website on that list, so what was the real problem with it?
It was anonymous, fringe and uncontrollable.
It was free. Now it’s not. Any one of us could be next.