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Website tied to mass killers

Would closing it do any good?
2019-08-05 8-Chan-logo.jpg
Posted at 6:47 PM, Aug 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-05 21:47:56-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - A site on the internet is catching some blame for encouraging -- the El Paso shooter -- to attack.

The site called 8Chan has become a center for all sorts of extreme ideas -- including hate and violence. But is there anything that can be done about it?

Twenty minutes before the killings at the El Paso Walmart, four pages of hate appeared on the internet. The writer complained about a Hispanic invasion, and discussed the weapons he planned to use.

It was on a website called 8Chan where people discuss everything from sex to politics to racism and hate----extreme stuff that can get them bounced from tamer sites like Facebook.

You will not see them on our television station either; they're simply too raw.

Chris Bonhorst says, "So It's a place where they can go to get around people have the same mental mindset. So that's some of them, another set of them are also very privacy focused. And freedom of speech focused. So these are sites that are not moderated in any way by anybody."

Bonhorst directs the Academic IT program at Pima Community College. PCC has a cyber warfare range to teach students to defend against the dark sides of the internet.

Shooters accused in other mass shootings posted their hateful statements on 8Chan. Now the company that hosted 8Chan on the web kicked 8Chan off it's systems.

8Chan users moved to other sites right away. There are plenty of 8Chan clones ready to be new homes for hate speech.

Chris Bonhorst says that makes things harder for law enforcement watching sites to see who might turn hateful talk into action.

"Now, when they get broken up, It might take them a little while to find where they've been moved to, they may have more places to monitor now."

Bonhorst says there are ways to block hate sites at least temporarily but the solution's more human than technical, to listen to people and what they say to know when they could stop talking and start killing.