Difference between revisions of "Timeline of 8chan"
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* [[Timeline of CloudFlare]]
* [[Timeline of CloudFlare]]
Latest revision as of 07:53, 30 November 2019
This is a timeline of 8chan, a message board dedicated to extreme free speech and anonymity. Users create and moderate their own boards which span many topics, from anime to politics. Almost all users are anonymous, with no log-ins or screen names, no identification of users and no ownership of posts. Although there are hundreds of topic areas, the platform has become notorious as a gathering place for people spreading hate or extremism. Owned by American internet entrepreneur Jim Watkins, 8chan is registered as a property of N.T. Technology in Nevada.
|Time period||Development summary|
|2013||8chan is founded by Fredrick Brennan as a more anarchic and open alternative to increasingly moderated 4chan.|
|2014||The site grows spectacularly as massive exodus from 4chan results from the Gamergate controversy.|
|2015||Brennan loses control of 8chan, which is now run by U.S. Army veteran Jim Watkins.|
|2016||Brennan stops working for 8chan.|
|2018||Brennan loses contact with Watkins.|
|2019||8chan's infamy grows after posts are made by suspects of terrorist attacks in New Zealand and the United States. In August, Cloudflare shuts 8chan down and users start to migrate to other websites.|
|Year||Month and date||Event type||Details|
|1994||Prelude||Prelude||American software developer Frederick Brennan is born.|
|1999||May 30||Prelude||Japanese textboard 2channel is launched by Hiroyuki Nishimura. The site would become very successful, gaining significant influence in Japanese society. It is used by many Japanese who share information, and chat with people over several topics, with many posting anonymously, due to the ease of the posting system.|
|2001||August 30||Prelude||Futaba Channel (also sometimes called 2chan) launches in Japan as an imageboard dealing with otaku and underground culture. 2chan is a spin-off of 2channel.|
|2003||October 1||Prelude||English-language imageboard website 4chan is launched by fifteen-year-old Christopher Poole, who describes the site as "a simple image-based bulletin board where anyone can post comments and share images anonymously." The website is intended to be an American counterpart to the popular Japanese Futaba Channel ("2chan") imageboard, and a place to discuss manga and anime.|
|2004||Team||Jim Watkins establishes in the Philippines, in the wake of the dot-com bubble.|
|2013||October||Founding||8chan (Originally infinity chan) is created by computer programmer Fredrick Brennan, as a “Free Speech Friendly 4chan Alternative.”  Unlike 4chan, anyone can make a board on 8chan. The site allows freedom of speech and user moderation, along with other features.|
|2014||February||8chan joins Twitter.|
|2014||March||8chan's FAQ states only one rule that is to be globally enforced: "Do not post, request, or link to any content illegal in the United States of America. Do not create boards with the sole purpose of posting or spreading such content."|
|2014||September||Background||4chan founder Christopher Poole announces removal of all Gamergate threads, many of whom include death threats aimed at a female game developer and “doxed” women—posting personal information without permission—in the gamer community. Those alienated by the decision would flock to 8chan whose populatiry would explode with its fewer restrictions on posting.|
|2014||September||Userbase||8chan goes from around 100 posts per hour to over 4,000 posts per hour. This is the result of a massive exodus of 4chan-banned people, who starts shaping the character of 8chan into a more controversial site.|
|2014||September||Partnership|| 8chan partners with 2chan and moves servers from French datacenter |
|2014||?||Team||Brennan and Watkins start working together.|
|2014||October||Team||Fredrick Brennan moves to the Philippines, where the 2ch owner lives.|
|2015||January||Controversy|| 8chan changes its domain |
|2015||January||Controversy||8chan is used as a base for swatting exploits in Portland, Seattle, and Burnaby, British Columbia, most of them tied to the victims' criticism of the Gamergate controversy, as trolls attempt to get police swat teams sent to the homes of critics of Gamergate in an escalation of intimidatory tactics.|
|2015||August||Reaction||8chan is blacklisted from Google Search for what Google describes as content constituting "suspected child abuse content".|
|2015||September 21||Background||4chan founder Christopher Poole formally announces having sold 4chan 2channel founder Hiroyuki Nishimura.|
|2016||Early year||Controversy||Microsoft releases its artificial intelligence chatterbot Tay on Twitter. Being able to learn from the world via the accounts that tweeted at it, Tay would turn offensive and racist in less that 24 hors, after 8chan, along with 4chan users, are mobilized to send offensive messages to the AI bot, which would be shut down.|
|2016||April 19||Reaction||Ethan Chiel writes for news and opinion website Splinter News: “It (8chan) became the new digital home for some of the most offensive people on the internet, people who really believe in white supremacy and the inferiority of women.”|
|2016||June 22||Controversy||The image of Hillary Clinton is posted on 8chan, with a background of money and a six-pointed star, seen by some as resembling the Star of David, containing the message "Most corrupt candidate ever". A week later, United States presidential candidate Donald Trump would post the same image on Tweeter.|
|2016||October||Controversy||8chan users compile lists of journalists, then tweet out photos of the journalists with red Xs over their faces. Around this time, during the 2016 presidential election, many alt right activists target journalists, especially Jewish journalists, with anti-Semitic harassment.|
|2016||?||Team||Fredrick Brennan stops working for 8chan.|
|2017||September 10||Reaction||The Daily Dot publishes article entitled What is 8chan, the internet’s most dangerous message board?.|
|2018||September||Controversy||High-ranking Louisiana State Police officers are found sharing a document entitled “full list of antifa.docx”, which appeared on 8Chan three days before a similarly named file made its way through the LSP email system. The LSP would be later scrutinized for using a hoax list of personal information about supposed antifa members compiled by 8chan users to keep tabs on Americans opposed to Donald Trump.|
|2019||February 26||Controversy||Video game publisher THQ Nordic GmbH apologizes after hosting "Ask Me Anything" on 8Chan on the same day.|
|2019||March 14||Controversy||American investigative journalist David Cay Johnston reveals having received two pages of Trump’s 2005 tax forms in the mail, unsolicited. The documents show that Trump “earned $153 million and paid $36.5 million in income taxes in 2005, paying a roughly 25 percent effective tax rate thanks to a tax he has since sought to eliminate.” The White House confirms the veracity of the documents and publicly releases Trump’s 2005 tax details before Johnston explained the findings. Trump supporters later post his home phone number and address on 8chan, launching a harassment campaign against the reporter.|
|2019||March 15||Controversy||Christchurch mosque shootings. 28-year-old Australian Brenton Tarrant shoots and kills 51 people and wounds dozens of others in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. Only minutes before the attack, Tarrant shared links to the live stream video on 8chan and on Facebook. Some members of 8chan re-shared it and applauded the violent murders.|
|2019||March 20||Censorship||Australian telecom companies Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone deny millions of Australians access to the websites 4chan, 8chan, Zero Hedge, and Liveleak as a reaction to the Christchurch mosque shootings.|
|2019||March 24||Controversy||Escondido mosque fire. A graffiti on the building says "For Brenton Tarrant -t /pol/" (references to the Australia-born perpetrator of the shootings and attacks and to 8chan's /pol/ board to which both men belonged).|
|2019||April||Controversy||Poway synagogue shooting. Suspected perpetrator John Earnest posts a manifesto to 8chan before the attack, referring admiringly to Brenton Tarrant and to Robert Bowers, the mass shooter at a Pittsburgh synagogue.|
|2019||April||Study||The Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism and the Network Contagion Research Institute conduct a study of 8chan and the social networking site Gab, analyzing on-line behavior in connection with killing sprees of Brenton Tarrant, who used 8chan, and Robert Bowers, who posted on Gab. The investigation reveals that murderous, even genocidal, language was pervasive on 8chan, “suggesting the next Bowers or the next Tarrant could emerge at any moment.”|
|2019||May 20||Controversy||An anti-Jewish thread is posted on 8chan, titled "I'm done. I'm angry. Gas all kikes."|
|2019||June||Controversy||8chan users target and threaten Jewish candidate for Seattle City Council Ari Hoffman.|
|2019||August 4||Censorship||Being the website where the suspected El Paso gunman posted a hate-filled screed, 8chan is down temporarily. Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince states in blog post "8chan has repeatedly proven itself to be a cesspool of hate".|
|2019||August 5||Notable comment||Fredrick Brennan calls for 8chan to be shut down, stating that the site is not doing the world any good. On Twitter, Brennan writes "The only ones who will suffer from 8chan going down are mass shooters who planned to use it as a platform and Jim Watkins."|
|2019||August 5||Shut down||Canadian internet services company Tucows stops hosting 8chan domain registration.|
|2019||August 5||Shut down||Cloudflare terminates its service to 8chan citing its connection to various shootings across the United States. The Cloudflare Blog states "8chan is among the more than 19 million Internet properties that use Cloudflare's service. We just sent notice that we are terminating 8chan as a customer effective at midnight tonight Pacific Time. The rationale is simple: they have proven themselves to be lawless and that lawlessness has caused multiple tragic deaths. Even if 8chan may not have violated the letter of the law in refusing to moderate their hate-filled community, they have created an environment that revels in violating its spirit." After being offline for a few hours, 8chan starts running on Cloudflare competitor BitMitigate, a service hosted from a cloud platform company called Voxility, which would subsequently remove BitMitigate from its network.|
|2019||August 6||Shut down||Rob Monster, founder and chief executive officer of domain registrar and hosting provider Epik, posts a statement explaining that it has decided to not provide hosting-related services to 8chan. The announcement marks a reversal, as on the previous day Jim Watkins tweeted that he had begun using BitMitigate, which is subsidiary of Epik, to protect 8chan from Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. Epik, which resells services from Voxility and other companies, had been booted by the latter, with the result of sites such as 8chan being trickled down.|
|2019||August 6||Legal||Authorities in the Philippines launch probe into 8chan in order to investigate the owners of the website to determine whether they were negligent in dealing with far-right users of the platform who have created an atmosphere that encourages mass shootings.|
|2019||August 6||Legal||The United States House Committee on Homeland Security calls Jim Watkins to testify to the Congress about the website's efforts to tackle "the proliferation of extremist content, including white supremacist content".|
|2019||August 7||Legal||As of date, 8chan is the 4,526th most visited site in the world.|
Meta information on the timeline
How the timeline was built
The initial version of the timeline was written by User:Sebastian.
Funding information for this timeline is available.
Feedback and comments
Feedback for the timeline can be provided at the following places:
What the timeline is still missing
Timeline update strategy
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For Brenton Tarrant -t /pol/ he wrote in the manifesto
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