PNP verifying if controversial 8chan is run from PH

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 6) — The Philippine police are verifying if 8chan, an online messaging board that has been used by anonymous accounts to share extremist messages, is operated in the country.

PNP Chief Police General Oscar Albayalde on Tuesday said he has ordered the Anti-Cybercrime Division to monitor 8chan, following reports its owner Jim Watkins and top administrator Ron Watkins are residing in the Philippines.

He said a closure order is possible, depending on what the anti-cybercrime operatives find against the father and son duo.

"Depende kung hanggang saan at ano ang ginagamit niyang server o provider... Kung ano ang ma-dig natin doon, lalo na kung local, we have to conduct verification and intelligence build up," he said in a media briefing.

[Translation: It depends on what server or provider they are using. We have to conduct verification and intelligence build up based on the findings, especially if it is operated locally.]

8chan is in hot water after 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, the suspected gunman in the the El Paso shooting in Texas on August 3, posted an 87-page white nationalist manifesto prior to his attack that killed 22 people and injured 24 others.

Related: 8chan struggling to stay online after its alleged use by El Paso shooting suspect

The online messaging board, launched in 2013, is notorious for serving as a home to racist and misogynist content. It is also rife with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories.

The El Paso mass shooting is at least the third atrocity linked to 8chan this year. As of Monday afternoon, 8chan was largely offline after internet infrastructure company Cloudflare stopped providing support for it.

Meanwhile, Albayalde is confident mass shootings will not be an occurence in the Philippines because of the country's gun laws.

"Sa atin, we have a very strict firearms law. Hopefully hindi naman mangyari yun. Sa atin kaya siguro wala pang ganyan kasi may neuro psychiatrict test to undergo," he said.

[Translation: We have a very strict firearms law, so hopefully it doesn't happen to us. It also helps that a neuro psychiatric test is part of getting a firearms permit.]