August 5, 2019 | 8chan and 4chan Must Remain Online
Too often there is a distortion of the facts surrounding mass-shooting events in the US.
Anonymous bulletin boards are often portrayed in mainstream media as the source of the problem.
It is true the boards are sometimes used as a platform for spreading hate content, but it doesn't justify a forced shut down of 8chan and 4chan.
We cannot go on ignoring the human element of the equation.
These brutal mass-shootings are all acts of disturbed humans who must take responsibility for their actions and be punished accordingly under the law.
We must better attempt to understand the psychology of what brings people to the point they feel mass-murder is their only option to prove a point.
Censorship is never the answer and shutting down platforms will simply drive users farther into the digital underground.
Driving hatred into the underground realms of the internet can only exacerbate the problem and risks accelerating the growth of extremism.
8chan and 4chan should not be targeted as sole examples for the misuse of the platforms by users.
Many other platforms have also proved to have been misused by users and in many cases algorithms have amplified hate content and extreme ideology.
Hate content can quickly and easily spread across the internet and onto different platforms.
We argue that shutting down websites has minimal effect as users simply migrate content and their ideologies to new platforms.
New platforms often pay homage to previous platforms and not only foster a new community, but attract refugee users and is counter-productive.
Being a free speech absolutist does not mean you endorse hate content.
We advocate for the rights of the content to exist and the rights of users to publish the content.
This does not make it an automatic endorsement of the content where those rights are applied.
Written by The Editorial Board.