In brief: 8chan, the notorious message board that has been offline since August, is attempting to return to the internet in a rebranded form. The site will be called 8kun, and its new logo is a snake in the shape of an 8.
8chan went offline on August 5, days after the shooting at an El Paso Walmart in which 22 people were killed. The shooter was an active member of the site and had posted a hate-filled manifesto shortly before the attack took place.
On Sunday, 8chan’s twitter account posted an animated clip showing the site’s new name and logo. In a later tweet, it wrote: “If you were previously a Board Owner on 8chan, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your shared secret if you are interested in migrating your board to 8kun.”
CNET reports that 8kun was registered with domain registrar Tucows on September 7. A spokesperson for the company said it had only heard about the registration though online outlets reporting the news, and that it was “looking into it,” which sounds a bit ominous for the site.
For those wondering, “chan” refers to a child in Japanese, while “kun” usually refers to a young man.
Jim Watkins, the owner of 8chan, had said the site would return after he spoke with the US House Committee on Homeland Security, which he did last month when testifying about 8chan’s role in the mass shootings. In a statement to the committee, he said: “8chan encourages vigorous debate, discussion, and changed opinions as a result of interacting through its image boards. Unlike platforms like Facebook or Twitter, there are no “speech police” to shut down poorly formed opinions, popular conspiracy theories, or hateful monologues.”