Press Releases

Following Rose Request, Facebook to Ban Links to Extremist 8chan Content

Citing past terrorist content, Congressman worked with Facebook to ban 8chan and 4chan links on its platform

Washington, September 18, 2019

Following a request from Congressman Max Rose, Chair of the Homeland Security Subcommittee on Intelligence and Counterterrorism, for Facebook to combat the spread of terrorism on its platform, the company announced it is blocking links to pages on 8chan and 4chan that are dedicated to the distribution of extremist content.

“We’ve seen terrorists post 8chan links to Facebook in an effort to bring widespread attention to mass shootings, which is why I’m encouraged to see Facebook’s willingness to work with me and ban those links,” Rose said. “We all need to do more to combat the spread of terrorism and keep our communities safe—Congress, tech companies—everyone.”

In a letter to Facebook, Rose highlighted past instances in which terrorists used 8chan and Facebook to spread violent and hateful content, including:

  • March 15, 2019: the terrorist who killed 51 people and injured 49 others in Christchurch, New Zealand posted his manifesto on 8chan and livestreamed the shooting on Facebook.
  • April 27, 2019: the terrorist who attacked worshipers in a Poway, California synagogue posted an antisemitic and racist letter on 8chan shortly before his crimes.
  • August 3, 2019: a terrorist who killed 22 people and injured 24 others at an El Paso Walmart posted his hate-filled manifesto to 8chan prior to the shooting.

“Sites like 8chan offer a home to violent extremism and play a central role in the growing trend of online self-radicalization,” wrote Rose in a letter to Facebook’s Vice President for Global Policy Management. “Facebook should not be in the business of amplifying these voices. I strongly urge you to immediately ban hyperlinks to 8chan from being posted on Facebook.”

In a response to Rose’s letter, Facebook wrote, “We appreciate your willingness to work with industry to make the web safer. Please know that Facebook is blocking links to places on 8chan and 4chan that are dedicated to the distribution of vile content.”

Rose has been a leader in pushing social media companies to do more to combat the spread of terrorism online. He previously called on the top social media companies to provide information on their annual budgets for counterterrorism related programs, and blasted unsatisfactory responses from the companies. Additionally, Rose called on social media companies to work more closely with law enforcement to prevent the spread of terrorist content on their platforms.

Rose’s letter to Facebook HERE, Facebook’s response HERE.