Seattle-based internet domain registration company Epik announced Tuesday it will not provide services to 8chan, the online message board that has gained notoriety as a haven for white supremacists, including the suspect in Saturday’s mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas.
“Upon careful consideration of the recent operating history of 8chan, and in the wake of tragic news in El Paso and Dayton over the weekend, Epik has elected to not provide content delivery services to 8chan,” the company wrote in a blog post on its website. “This is largely due to the concern of inadequate enforcement and the elevated possibility of violent radicalization on the platform.”
Epik’s announcement marks a reversal, coming one day after 8chan’s owner tweeted that he had begun using BitMitigate, a subsidiary of Epik, to protect 8chan from Distributed Denial of Service, or DDoS, attacks, which seek to knock websites offline by overloading them with traffic and crashing their servers.
Cloudflare, a major industry provider of DDoS protection, announced Sunday that it would no longer provide services to 8chan. The decision came after it was revealed that the El Paso gunman apparently posted a manifesto to 8chan shortly before the attack — the third time since March that an alleged mass shooter has used the platform to spread white supremacist ideology.
Epik’s decision to similarly ditch 8chan is notable because Epik and BitMitigate have both previously made headlines for their willingness to provide services to websites that had been dropped by other industry players due to white supremacist content — in Epik’s case, the social media network Gab, and for BitMitigate, the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer.