Social Question

Demosthenes's avatar

Should sites like 8chan be shut down?

Asked by Demosthenes (14561points) August 5th, 2019

8chan is a message board that has become a haven for extremism and the posting of extremist manifestos.

Do sites like this bear responsibility for mass killings? Should sites like these be shut down or is it pointless since another site will surely take its place?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

22 Answers

gorillapaws's avatar

No. Free speech is sacred.

That said, it’s not unconstitutional for the FBI to investigate people who are discussing/planning acts of domestic terrorism.

elbanditoroso's avatar

8Chan can be up all it wants.

But there is no obligation for an ISP (internet provider) or a spam defender (Cloudflare) to provide 8Chan any services.

Cloudflare finally decided that they were part of the problem and pulled 8Chan’s internet service. Cloudflare is not obligated to sell to anyone it doesn’t want to do business with.

So 8chan can do anything it wants if it finds a new ISP.

flutherother's avatar

I don’t think so. You would have to shut down large sections of the internet as well as the President’s twitter feed. It’s not really practical and could be unconstitutional.

zenvelo's avatar

Nope, don’t shut them down. Just make the websites and the ISPs financially liable.

I would repeal certain aspects of the Communications Decency Act. 8chan and the ISP who carried the site should bear fiscal jeopardy for allowing terrorist manifestos to be published.

Zaku's avatar

@zenvelo Holding liable or shutting down places people can post things seems pointless and backwards to me.

The posting didn’t kill anyone. Tons of stuff is posted with no one being killed. It’s an outlet and a possible place to interact with upset people in non-violent ways.

Moreover, why do you think the site allowing people to post whatever would be considered responsible for the violence?

Trying to deny access to posting upsetting ideas is not going to help anything.

It seems to me that from one relevant perspective, probably most or maybe nearly all mass murderers act out violently because they feel their feelings and ideas receive little or no attention. If anything, I’d expect that the fewer outlets for expression there are, the more violence such people would express physically.

Demosthenes's avatar

@Zaku If anything, I’d expect that the fewer outlets for expression there are, the more violence such people would express physically.

Perhaps, but then were there more outlets for expression in the past when there were fewer mass shootings or are there simply more people with intentions of mass violence now?

Zaku's avatar

@Demosthenes I doubt anyone knows the full answer to what all the causes and effects involved in the increase of mass violence are. But I’m sure access to outlets for expression is only one part of it, though I think a very important one.

Online forums are of course only one part of the whole issue of outlets for expression and related issues, and this one and others showing up on 8chan (an obscure place which not all that much of society knew existed) I think points to the hugely larger and I think also probably much more causative problem that our whole society shuts down and denies the kinds of feelings and ideas that these people began with, before they got so toxic and violent.

That is, I think it starts with huge patterns of how we treat our children, students, and people who struggle or don’t fit in or who are more upset, and who have violent ideas, than we know how to deal with in healthy ways.

As for why the mass violence has increased, again I don’t know exactly but my sense is there are several causes including increasingly less integrity in leadership throughout society, known examples of previous acts of mass violence, more fear and stress in our society, and more controlled social spaces and situations, and other things.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

It’s like shuting down schools because the ability to read and write is misused. Maybe we should limit the power of the word to those who are veted to be responsible for the the power of the word? That might limit those who are black hatted hackers if you need a licence to write and learn code?

johnpowell's avatar

Is kiddie porn considered free speech? Because 8chan had a fair amount of that. Still think they should have left it alone?

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

With great power comes great responsibility.

Mimishu1995's avatar

Horrible people will remain horrible, no matter how many sites we shut down. Shut down a site and they will find another place to talk about horrible things. Nowadays with the Internet it’s easier for those sick freaks to share their sick interest. It doesn’t mean the Internet increases killing numbers, just just brings more people to the surface.

This is like the trend of blaming video games for violence we saw years ago. Just because a game is violent doesn’t mean it’s the cause of violence. You can shut down 8chan if you want, but it won’t solve anything in the long run.

Caravanfan's avatar

What @gorillapaws said. Exactly.

mazingerz88's avatar

Sites like this one can also embolden and push people into doing things they wouldn’t have done otherwise. I think.

If several mass shooters all scream they got their ideas and plans from this site what then? The right to free speech of other members still sacred?

gorillapaws's avatar

@mazingerz88 It’s the perfect place for undercover agents to find leads on potential shooters. They do the same thing with kiddy porn sites, posing as pedophiles to catch the creeps.

mazingerz88's avatar

These unhappy and disillusioned young men are lost in the woods and they choose to get indoctrinated in heavily hosed with testosterone hate filled chambers than seek help. Wonder what their friends and family are doing…

KNOWITALL's avatar

Doesnt make sense to me. Many of these shooters posted on social media, too.

Shoot we had a question here about murder, anyone turn him in? I think not.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Nobody here egged him on to do it though, it was the opposite. Big difference there.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Are Would that have mattered to the dead guy? Nope.

Zaku's avatar

@KNOWITALL Yes, because the dead guy in that case didn’t get attacked at all, because we engaged the venting person, who then relented.

American society, it seems to me, has become notably worse in its nastiness and the level of fear, desperation, xenophobia, despair, and financial plight, over the recent years and decades since the last times people were suicidal (the Depression in the 1930’s). I’m not all that surprised that some men have acted out in violence, especially as mass violence has become more and more an idea of something that is done in our culture.

For example, our society has a lot of really poor parenting and “tough love” messages, and attempts to shovel responsibility and obligations onto people to be “successful” by learning from often-terrible schools, combined with messages that they probably need to go to college to get a degree just to be able to have a chance at getting a job, which will probably put them in debt and require them to work at the same time (or if not, they’re told they’re so lucky) and then even if they get a job, they may not be able to afford their expenses (and if they don’t, they’re told it’s their own fault and they should be better or smarter or earn more), and the ideal and standard of success is compared to TV/movie fantasies where “normal”-people characters show new expensive cars/houses/clothes/gadgets and are beautiful and healthy and professionally groomed and made-up – i.e. near-impossible standards, and shame and blame if you don’t achieve those.

And you’re supposed to be grateful and obedient and give most of your time and energy to your employers, even if the job you managed to get is awful. And if you’re a man, you’re not supposed to show weakness or upset, and you’re also not supposed to be angry or violent.

Oh, and I left out all the social stresses.

And I didn’t even mention the many political and socio-political and/or religious and/or racial issues, which seem to very commonly be what many of the attacks have featured.

Anyway, I’m not surprised many people build up crazy levels of stress and crack, and that men in particular have suppressed anger and that it sometimes explodes in violent suicidal attacks, especially when that’s become an idea of one of the options people have.

If someone feels alone, abandoned, trapped, shamed, powerless, emasculated, threatened, invalidated, not heard, etc., I can see how that can lead to suicidal berserk attacks.

I think it’s similar to what happens when some people run from the cops, but instead of the “flight” response it’s the “fight” response, and much more severe and suicidal.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Zaku But that guy here fits the stereotype. Young-ish, white, male, former career was violent, trained in weaponry, alcoholic tendencies, etc…

We have no way of knowing whether he listened or not, could be a floater in one of his canal’s right now for all we know.

What do we do for these people to change their deadly trajectory?

What makes an angry white guy turn into a mass shooting white guy?

Zaku's avatar

@KNOWITALL I think we do have rather good evidence of what didn’t happen because we have a pretty good community relationship and experience with that jelly, both in that thread and outside it. And the answer to what makes the difference is visible in that thread.

And that’s what I’ve been saying in my posts above. Giving listening and treating people like respected humans makes an immense difference, and withholding respect and human communication does the opposite.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Zaku You can’t know that as fact, but ok.

I do believe communication is the key, but not everyone is self-aware enough to know they need help. I think our jelly did.

Answer this question




to answer.
Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther