8chan creator to cooperate with PNP anti-cybercrime probe

Zhander Cayabyab, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 09 2019 02:54 PM | Updated as of Aug 09 2019 03:03 PM

Online message board 8chan creator Fredrick Brennan gestures while sitting with a pet dog during an interview in Manila, Philippines, August 6, 2019. Peter Blaza, Reuters

MANILA - The creator of 8chan, a message board used to announce a mass shooting in the US, will cooperate with an investigation into whether or not the platform is being run from the Philippines and broke local laws, police said Friday.

8chan founder Fredrick Brennan, who moved to the Philippines in 2014 for more affordable medical care, appeared with his lawyer at office of the Philippine National Police Anti-Cybercrime Group on Friday morning, said spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac. 

"Mr. Brennan expressed his willingness to cooperate in the PNP probe. Investigation is still ongoing and updates will be made once we get substantial results," Banac said in a statement. 

Brennan last year turned over 8chan to its new owner, Jim Watkins, a US Army veteran in his 50s, who according to Splinter News has been in the Philippines since 2004 and operates a pig farm outside the capital. 

US cyber security firm Cloudflare terminated 8chan as a customer, after a gunman whom authorities believe had posted on the website about a "Hispanic invasion" killed 22 people on Saturday at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas.

The site was also used by a shooter who in March attacked 2 mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 51 people and providing inspiration for a shooting of a man at a synagogue in Poway, California a month later. 

Brennan told Agence France-Presse in an interview in Manila this week that he sometimes regretted setting up the unmoderated message board in 2013.

"Is it a cesspool for hate? The site is really big but yes, there is definitely a cohort on the site that's extremely hateful and that is very happy whenever these shootings happen," he said. 

"I should have shut it down when I had the chance." 

With reports from Reuters, Agence France-Presse