8chan owner says El Paso shooter didn’t post manifesto

8chan owner says El Paso shooter didn’t post manifesto

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8chan owner Jim Watkins

8chan owner Jim Watkins says the alleged shooter didn’t post the manifesto to his site. 


Screenshot by CNET

8chan, an anonymous forum, has been under scrutiny since the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas on Saturday. A hate-filled, anti-immigrant manifesto from the alleged shooter was uploaded to the site prior to the massacre. However, 8chan owner Jim Watkins said Tuesday that the 2,300-word tirade was not posted by the alleged gunman. 

Watkins posted a video on his YouTube channel on Tuesday, saying the manifesto was first published on Instagram and not on his site. He said the document was then uploaded to his site by another user and that law enforcement had been “made aware” of it.

“First of all, the El Paso shooter posted on Instagram, not 8chan,” Watkins said.  “Later, someone uploaded the manifesto. However, that manifesto was not uploaded by the Walmart shooter. I don’t know if he wrote it or not, but it was not uploaded by the murderer that is clear.”

Since the discovery of the manifesto on 8chan, the site has lost technical support from services such as security platform Cloudflare. The site went down early Monday, and a tweet from its official account at the time said it would be down for 24 to 48 hours.

Fredrick Brennan, 8chan’s founder who is no longer associated with the site, told The New York Times on Sunday that the site needs to be shut down. “It’s not doing the world any good,” he told the Times. “It’s a complete negative to everybody except the users that are there. And you know what? It’s a negative to them, too. They just don’t realize it.”

Earlier this year, the gunman who attacked two New Zealand mosques and the gunman who attacked a California synagogue posted their manifestos to 8chan.

The FBI declined to comment on Watkins’ statement. Instagram didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. 

First published, Aug. 6 at 6:59 a.m. PT.
Update, 7:10 a.m. PT: Adds FBI’s response.



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