For many years, the counterpart to 4chan, 8chan, known as “8ch” or “infinity chan,” was regularly filled with all kinds of awful material, even worse than that which 4chan was known to have. This includes material portraying the abuse of minors as well as regular calls to violence.
Some 4Chan users have pointed out how these two things seemed odd, and that in spite of claims of enforcement actions against them, that such a pattern continued to repeat. This lead some people to suspect that the site may have been a government operation of some kind.
This question has been raised in a very serious way again as following the synagogue shooting in California involving John Earnest, that the FBI has issued a search warrant for 8Chan that was initially sealed but has been unsealed by order of the court:
A search warrant has been issued to 8chan, an alt-right online message board. The warrant is in connection to the Poway synagogue shooting in California.
8chan is an online message board that launched in 2013 and can only be characterized as an even more lawless hub for heinous discourse than 4chan.
Court documents, that went unsealed on June 13, reveal that on April 29, a search warrant was issued to 8chan for the IP and metadata information on Earnest’s posts from the day of the shooting.
The warrant also calls for the information of other 8chan users who commented on Earnest’s posts. The users who replied to the thread that Earnest posted could be “potential witnesses, co-conspirators and/or individuals who are inspired” by his posts about the shooting, according to the warrant.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agent who submitted the warrant also wrote that Earnest himself was “inspired and/or educated” by other individuals posting on the forum.
“I’ve only been lurking for a year and a half, yet what I’ve learned here is priceless. It’s been an honor,” Earnest wrote in a post on 8chan. Earnest is also being accused of setting fire to a mosque in March and defacing the building with a statement of support for the Christchurch shooter.
The Poway synagogue shooting took place not even two months after the March 15 terrorist attack on the Christchurch mosques. In this attack, a 28-year-old man murdered 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, before being apprehended by police. The connecting thread between the two acts of terror is the perpetrators’ patronage of the dark corner of the internet that is 8chan.
Particularly, both posted to 8chan’s /pol/ board. The /pol/ board goes by the moniker of “politically incorrect” and has become a hub for neo-Nazis and those in the alt-right to jokingly discuss their hate.
Prior to the incident, the Christchurch shooter uploaded a manifesto to 8chan. The 74-page manifesto perfectly exemplifies the tone of 8chan and the /pol/ board. The manifesto is replete with memes and inside jokes that cater to the dark humor present on the board.
It distracts people who are not in the know of jargon from 8chan into believing that views being espoused in the writing, while hateful, are just inconsequential ramblings. It’s one prolonged “shitpost,” an absurdist piece of writing seemingly meant to not be taken seriously and derail a conversation.
8chan currently only has one rule when posting: “Do not post, request, or link to any content that is illegal in the United States of America and do not create boards with the sole purpose of posting or spreading such content.” Any form of moderation is near nonexistent.
8chan stands as one of the last bastions of free speech on the internet. That is, free speech in the edgy, right-wing provocateur sense–which puts more weight into anti-censorship than into the wellbeing of those who could potentially get hurt by the actions that hateful rhetoric often leads to.
After the Christchurch shooting, internet service providers in New Zealand blocked websites that hosted the shooter’s video of the incident, including 4chan and 8chan.
Now, as the search warrant issued to 8chan moves forward, it seems even more precedent is being set on regulating the internet’s problem child. With liability for being a co-conspirator on the table for anyone who participates in threads outlining manifestos or detailing plans for possible terrorist attacks, it is clear that the “shitpost” nature of 8chan has to be taken more seriously, as the consequences it leads to are wholly real. (source, source)
However, there was a small catch. On 8Chan, there are user id tags that follow posters when they write. According to the unsealed 8chan court document, people were able to verify and trace back posts made by the FBI agent, where he was caught actively engaged in Earnest threads attempting to incite people to violence and even more blatantly, to promote the line that “Russia did it”, as an archived image of his posts notes, but as the very FBI dossier showed, that the agent was responding (as indicated by the (you) attached in the file) to his own posts, proving that he was at least in part “having a conversation with himself” intended to cause violence by another:
A small error and oversight. But one with major consequences.
Some people has been saving the discussions on the foreign website Archive.today, as apparently references to said case are claimed by some people to have been removed from Archive.org. The post ID was “8f4812”, and can still be found with a search on the website, and one can read the many conversations that this particular operative was having. It was so prolific that the discussions appear to have been going on up even until yesterday, when it appears another operative was outed in a conversation on one of the boards here.
This is a very serious thing because if one reads the 8chan court document, the FBI is accusing people who RESPONDED to THEIR OWN POSTS ATTEMPTING TO PROVOKE PEOPLE as though they were inciting violence and therefore are guilty of federal crimes. This means that the government encouraged crimes and then people who said ANYTHING in response are at risk of being arrested.
It is quite reminiscent of a case in 2016, where during a massive “child porn” bust, it was uncovered that the FBI was running with the authorization of the government approximately two dozen of such websites, making up nearly half of all of the major websites promoting abuse material on the deep web:
The FBI has a controversial new method of fighting child pornography: distributing child pornography. As part of “Operation Pacifier,” the federal law-enforcement agency ran a dark-web child porn clearinghouse called The Playpen for two weeks, delivering malware to any site visitors, in a scheme that was revealed last summer. But it turns out that site may not have been the only dark-web site that the FBI maintained. According to documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the agency was actually authorized to takeover 23 child-pornography websites in addition to The Playpen.
According to a recently unsealed FBI affidavit, the 23 Tor-hidden sites were run on one computer server and the FBI requested authority to seize this server and deploy its “network investigative technique” on these sites. During the 30-day deployment period, any visitor to sites 1-23 would receive the NIT instructions (essentially malware), which were “designed to cause the ‘activating’ computer to deliver certain information to a computer controlled by or known to the government,” as the FBI affidavit explained it. This information included the computer’s actual IP address, host name, operating-system type, and MAC address.
Near the end of the affidavit, the FBI notes that “while Websites 1-23 operate at a government facility,” normal user-request data associated with websites 1-23 will be collected” and “such request data can be paired with data collected by the NIT… to attempt to identify a particular user and to determine that particular user’s actions on Websites 1-23.”
Cybercrime lawyer Fred Jennings told Ars Technica, “That paragraph alone doesn’t quite say the FBI is operating” the websites. “But definitely no other way to read that than websites 1-23 were hosted at a government facility, with the FBI’s knowledge and to the FBI’s informational benefit. It’s clever phrasing on their part.”
An analysis from security researcher Sarah Jamie Lewis found that between April and August 2016, there were 29 Tor-hidden websites devoted to child porn. Lewis told Ars Technica that “it’s a pretty reasonable assumption” that the FBI as running about half of them at some point. “Doing the math, it’s not zero sites, it’s probably not all the sites, but we know that they’re getting authorization for some of them. I think it’s a reasonable assumption—I don’t think the FBI would be doing their job if they weren’t.”
As Reason’s Jacob Sullum noted when the Playpen news came out, “the government’s position is that children are revictimized every time images of their sexual abuse are viewed or shared,” which “is one of the main rationales for punishing mere possession of child pornography,” not just those who make or distribute or profit from it. Under federal law, distributing a sexually explicit image of a child comes with a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years and a possible 20 years.”If such actions merit criminal prosecution because they are inherently harmful,” Sullum points out, “there is no logical reason why the federal agents who ran The Playpen should escape the penalties they want to impose on the people who visited the site.”
The Playpen authorization came from a judge in Virginia, while the mysterious websites 1-23 were authorized by a judge in Maryland. So far, more than 200 charges have stemmed from the FBI’s Playpen foray, mostly for receiving or possession of child porn. But in trying to prosecute theses cases, the FBI has already faced resistance from federal judges holding that the FBI’s operation was unconstitutional and any evidence obtained must be suppressed. “The courts have been divided in their rulings on whether the FBI went too far,” explained Mike Carter at The Seattle Times, “and prosecutors and defense lawyers say the case is almost certainly headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.” (source, source)
It gives one to wonder about the current push for advancing pedophilia in society.
Now this is not meant to say that “4chan” is somehow a wholesome alternative. I have discussed before how the current owner of 4Chan, Hiroyuki Nishimura, is a international businessman with direct ties to the Japanese banking and heavy industry in his nation as well as through their long-established ally in Brazil.
The irony of all of this is the same irony that Ted, Walid, and I have been repeatedly saying about the situation with the “migrant crisis” and the “refugees” as well as with the rise of National Socialism and Communism. It is a known historical fact that both the International Socialists and the National Socialists were government operations that could not have existed without significant funding from the USA, UK, Germany, Japan, and the major Jewish individuals in banking whose influence brought about the creation of Israel. People will speak of “Soviet Communism”, and while some will (albeit with consternation) discuss the Jewish connections to communism, almost nobody will speak of how it was the Americans and Germans who provided the funding and logistics to Lenin and his Politburo that caused the revolution in order to attempt to destabilize Russia as a part of the First World War. Likewise, the abuses of the National Socialists are rightly bemoaned, but almost nobody will speak of how it was the American eugenics movement that worked with bankers of American, German, and Jewish origins alongside major American, German, and Japanese companies that created the Nazi war machine for profit.
National Socialism is itself a government movement, for if World War 2 was not enough, it was the US government who worked with the UK and Germany to rebuild her and then fund National Socialist movements all around the world in the name of a “strategy of tension” that was called Operation Gladio.
None of this information is particularly special. It is all public record and has been discussed by scholars and journalists alike. It is that people are uncomfortable with it because it contradicts certain social teachings which exist for the purpose of indoctrination.
As I noted yesterday, who seriously believes that millions of poor, starving people from the jungles of Africa are “invading” Europe by a journey thousands of miles on foot? What organization could do this legally unless it was being done with the direct blessing of government? The “refugee crisis” is laughable as is the entire socialist movement, left or right, if it were not being used as a cover for eugenics in the future to revive that which brought about the horrors of the 20th century.
The way to win with this is simply not to play in it. One must live one’s life, but one must also avoid being pulled into a cause based on a premise that while possessing truth has an evil end to it, and one must help as many as one can to escape from this lest one become a sacrificial pawn in a game of men with no morals vying for power by whatever means they can imagine.
At least with The Three Stooges, it was comedy and not real, while this is a comedy of errors with serious and deadly real-life and enduring consequences.