- Administrators at 8kun, the anarchic message board formerly known as 8chan, have been experimenting with blockchain and p2p technologies in an effort to build a website resistant to deplatforming and censorship.
- They found an ideologically aligned open-source blockchain to piggyback on, but the developers don’t seem keen on protecting 8kun from activist attacks.
- Ron Watkins, the principal 8kun dev, plans to launch the mysterious Project Odin in an attempt to bolster the publicly accessible and hidden versions of his site.
8chan, the anarchic internet forum that went dark in August, came back online this weekend as 8kun. This time, thanks to a decentralized web hosting network, it intends to stay online, no matter who its content offends.
Following back-to-back shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, hosting service Cloudflare severed ties with 8chan, blaming its raucous community of anonymous posters for inciting the violence.
“8chan has repeatedly proven itself to be a cesspool of hate,” said Cloudflare’s CEO Matthew Prince on the day it terminated service. Other major hosting providers, including Tencent and AliBaba in China, followed. For these corporate giants, 8chan amounted to little more than a pungent mix of pornography, extremism, and race-baiting, and hence not a brand with which they wanted to be associated.
Yet while its many detractors saw 8chan as a vortex of fringe politics and looney-tune conspiracy theories, others defended it as a beacon of free speech in an age of political correctness and corporate media consolidation. Alongside the terrorist manifestos, there were WikiLeaks-style document dumps.
And the founders didn’t give up.
“We are at the forefront of the deplatforming war and developing tools and techniques that other websites can use when they too get deplatformed,” Ron Watkins,