US House panel subpoenas website 8chan owner to testify as part of social media probe


Posted at Aug 15 2019 06:50 AM

Faithful take part in a "Mass for the Peace" a week after a mass shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, US, at the border between Mexico and the US in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, August 10 2019. Jose Luis Gonzalez, Reuters

WASHINGTON - The US House Homeland Security Committee said Wednesday it had subpoenaed online message board 8chan owner Jim Watkins to testify on Sept. 5 as part of its probe into countering extremist content on social media platforms.

Last week, the panel had demanded Watkins, an American living in the Philippines, testify. Representative Bennie Thompson, a Democrat and the panel's chairman, and Mike Rogers, its ranking Republican, said the shooting deaths of 22 people at an El Paso Walmart store was "at least the third act of supremacist violence linked to your website this year."

The pair said, "receiving testimony from Mr. Watkins is critical to our oversight on this matter." 

More details to follow. 

(Reporting by David Shepardson, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien)