TORONTO– Controversial anonymous forum website 8chan, which was deplatformed in the wake of the El Paso shooting, is preparing to launch again under a new name – 8kun.
On 8chan’s official Twitter account Sunday, a mini-trailer was posted showing the site’s new logo appearing wreathed in flames and emblazoned on a flag in the midst of a storm.
The “8” appears to be made out of a snake that closely resembles that of the historical “Gadsden Flag,” a symbol that has been co-opted by white nationalists and other radical groups in recent years.
Ron Watkins, son of 8chan owner Jim Watkins and an 8chan administrator, tweeted on Sunday that the site was “now in the final stretches before getting things back online.”
On Wednesday, the site posted a tweet asking former 8chan “board owners” to email them “with your shared secret” to migrate their content to the new site.
A “shared secret” is an account-recovery tool that allows locked out site users to use a randomly generated password to regain access to their content.
Social media activist group Sleeping Giants tweeted out a challenge Wednesday to Canadian tech company Tucows, the supposed registrar for 8kun.et, saying: “you appear to be the registrar for 8kun.net, the new site for 8chan, which has been the home screeds from three white supremacist mass shooters. Is this really a site with which you’d like to do business?”
Tucows had previously been reported to have terminated service with 8chan in August by the New York Time’s technology columnist Kevin Roose.
Tucows has not responded to CTV News.ca’s request for comment.
In the summer, 8chan was dropped by network provider Cloudflare after the El Paso gunman posted his “manifesto” to the site prior to committing a mass shooting in August.
Subsequent attempts by 8chan to get back online were thwarted as other companies repeatedly dropped them as a customer, citing the websites propensity to host hate speech and violent, misogynistic content.
Last month, the House Homeland Security Committee subpoenaed Jim Watkins to testify about 8chan’s role in a series of mass shootings – including the Christchurch mosque shooting in New Zealand and the Poway Synagogue shooting in California.
After a closed-door hearing, Watkins released a statement through his attorney laying out 8chan’s organization, structure and its relationship with law enforcement while vowing to implement changes to combat “illegal” hate-speech.