[Update 5/21/2019:] Some users are reporting that 8chan is no longer blocked by their ISPs in the Philippines. No details were made available as to why the block was removed.
[Original article:] Reports are circulating that the Philippines government is looking to take action against 8chan and other free speech boards following the Christchurch, New Zealand shooting back in mid-March.
According to New Zealand outlet Scoop, the Philippines is looking to take action against 8chan because it was where the shooter allegedly frequented and where his manifesto could be found.
Faysaleyyah Abdullah from the Philippines National Defense Department told the outlet…
“We continue to monitor these websites [4chan and 8chan] but as to whether those websites are actually taken down, that is why we want to enhance legislation – it is currently being reviewed.
“But whether it has any results on the use of social media remains to be seen.”
Tim Soutphommasane, a former Australian Race Discrimination Commissioner stated that social media services need to look into modifying algorithms to take down “hate speech”, saying…
“The open question is: Social media organisations have developed highly sophisticated algorithms that are deployed for many purposes. Surely it’s within their power to devise algorithms for the purpose of taking down hate speech?”
The article also explains that Soutphommasane noted that there’s already someone in place to take down what the government might label as “harmful content”, with the article stating…
“He said an e-safety commissioner could now issue take-down notices on harmful content, and they were watching New Zealand’s attempts to coordinate global action with interest.”
You might be wondering where this push for censorship is coming from regarding 8chan? Well, it actually started back in March when it was the target of hit-pieces by mainstream media. For instance on March 22nd, 2019 The Washington Post published an article stating that sites like 8chan are “a terrorist recruiting site”, painting the imageboard as a recruitment center for terrorists.
This was followed up by other reports from places like Popular.info, which chronicles how 8chan got its start under Fredrick “Hotwheels” Brennan and then eventually got picked up by Jim Watkins, a U.S. Army veteran who runs NT Technologies and also owns a pig farm in the Philippines.
Popular.info’s predilection towards painting the site in a negative light isn’t withheld or masked in any way. In fact, their main issue is that Watkins manages to keep 8chan alive and running in ways that “Hotwheels” couldn’t thanks to hosting it through is own network firm. They explain…
“Watkins circumvents the difficulty of hosting a toxic site like 8chan by handling it himself through a company he owns: NT Technologies.”
The article also notes that Watkins also hosts various other websites on his network, some of which are popular on Amazon, which in turn they allege make considerable amounts of money.
It’s basically a guilt by association tactic that the article uses to frame Watkins as a bad guy for owning 8chan because the Christchurch shooter sometimes used 8chan, and therefore Amazon shouldn’t be supporting any website associated with Watkins. It’s a de-platforming technique that these kind of activists use, which has actually resulted in Amazon pulling some of their products in the recent past.
“According to the policies it puts up on its own website, Amazon prohibits the sale of items that “promote or contain materials or activity that is hateful, harassing, harmful, invasive of another’s privacy, abusive, or discriminatory (including on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation, or age).” This would seem to rule out Breitbart and 8chan. But when asked about the apparent contradiction, the company did not respond to a request for comment.”
In this case, they were hoping to get Amazon to pull support from Watkins, but that didn’t quite seem to happen as they had planned. Barring that, they they still seem to want 8chan de-platformed in its entirety. This seems to be coming to fruition.
Philippine ISPs have seemingly taken some initiative to block users from accessing sites like 8chan.
Some internet users from the Philippines notified us that they can no longer access 8chan in any capacity.
— Mad Lucied, Embodiments of Mokkori Core Values (@magi_slayer) May 16, 2019
Can confirm pic.twitter.com/AcIGG1HY8S
— IrrationalSpark (@Spark145_) May 16, 2019
For clarification, the Philippines have not joined the pact with other countries yet.
Moreover, we saw a similar form of censorship enacted by ISPs in New Zealand and Australia following the Christchurch shooting, where 8chan, Bitchute, Dissenter, and other sites were blocked from being accessed. Another user from Australia also informed us that they’re still unable to access archive.fo since it’s blocked in their region.
This escalation of censorship is actually what the Christchurch shooter wanted because he believed himself to be an Accelerationist, at which point he wanted to encourage governments and tech oligopolies to lock down freedoms and enact stricter censorship and gun control policies in order to provoke people into a civil war. It seems like the media, government, and big tech are playing right into his hands.
(Thanks for the news tip Mad Lucied)