A man takes part in a rally against hate a day after a mass shooting at a Walmart store, in El Paso, Texas, U.S. August 4, 2019. Graffiti reads “El Paso Is Not Alone” REUTERS/Jose Luis Gonzalez
(Reuters) – U.S. cyber security firm Cloudflare on Monday said the company will terminate online message board 8chan as its customer after a shooter used the messaging forum just before killing 20 people at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas on Saturday.
The shooter is believed to have posted a four-page statement on 8chan, and called the Walmart attack “a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas”.
The suspect was officially identified as a 21-year-old white male from Allen, Texas, a Dallas suburb some 650 miles (1,046 km) east of El Paso, which lies along the Rio Grande, across the U.S.-Mexico border from Ciudad Juarez. Citing law enforcement officials, multiple news media reports named the suspect as Patrick Crusius.
The suspect’s post on 8chan expressed support for the gunman who killed 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March.
“We just sent a notice that we are terminating 8chan as a customer effective at midnight tonight Pacific Time,” Cloudflare Chief Executive Officer Matthew Prince said in a blog post.
“Based on evidence we’ve seen, it appears that he (gunman)posted a screed to the site immediately before beginning his terrifying attack on the El Paso Walmart killing 20 people,” Prince said.
The CEO’s blog added that while 8chan did not violate law by not moderating the “hate-filled” content posted by its users, it has “created an environment that revels in violating its spirit”.
Reporting by Sathvik N in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips