The House Homeland Security Committee subpoenaed the proprietor of 8chan, Jim Watkins, on Wednesday in an try and pressure the Philippines-based entrepreneur to testify earlier than lawmakers subsequent month. The subpoena follows a collection of white supremacist-inspired assaults the world over this 12 months, a lot of which have been linked to 8chan.
“We have questions on what is being done to counter this trend so we can be sure it is being properly addressed,” Reps. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) and Mike Rogers (R-AL) stated in an announcement. “Receiving testimony from Mr. Watkins is critical to our oversight on this matter.”
The subpoena requests that Watkins testify earlier than the committee on September fifth at 9:30AM. Watkins has not publicly responded as of publication. However, he did publish a video to YouTube on Sunday saying that his group has saved 8chan offline till they communicate with lawmakers. It’s unclear whether or not the lawmakers have requested that it stay inaccessible till that point.
“The website has been offline voluntarily for the last week,” Watkins stated. “It’s really, really sad. Please don’t blame me.”
The subpoena follows a request made by the identical lawmakers final week to have Watkins come earlier than the committee following the El Paso, Texas capturing earlier this month. That assault resulted within the loss of life of over 20 individuals at a neighborhood Walmart and the suspected shooter posted a white nationalist screed to 8chan only some minutes earlier than the capturing occurred. It was the most recent capturing in a string of extremist assaults by which shooters have posted white supremacist-inspired manifestos to the perimeter message board earlier than finishing up an assault. The Christchurch, New Zealand shooter, who killed over 50 individuals at a mosque, was the primary and posted his personal screed on the location, linking to a Facebook dwell stream of the assault as effectively.
“In recent years, violent extremist content has proliferated on both large and small social media platforms,” Johnson and Rogers stated in an announcement. “At least three acts of deadly white supremacist extremist violence have been linked to 8chan in the last six months.”
You can learn the subpoena beneath: