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8kun comes online, announces plans to prevent deplatforming and attacks

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8kun, the spiritual successor to 8chan, is alive after months of turmoil for the imageboard site.

Fans of the original site will see that it looks familiar to their old home.

“Welcome to 8kun. Speak freely – legally,” the imageboard site leads with.

The site is currently slow to load and could be for a few days while developers work to get it stable, Ron Watkins, son of owner Jim Watkins, said today:

“We have made sweeping network architectural changes and there might still be bugs and kinks to work out. Probably we wont be very stable in the first couple days as we adjust to traffic and attacks. We are on it though, and will do our best to keep things online.”

Fans of the site will likely want to wait until it’s stable to use as the added traffic rush will add to the performance issues.

8kun flickered online on October 17 for around 20 minutes before being taken offline again when UK provider Zare pulled support. “The problem is, these private companies don’t want to support us,” Jim Watkins said at the time. “This is what happens when you try to support the First Amendment and the freedom of speech in America.”

8kun has been subjected to a campaign from the media and even from the founder of 8chan – Fredrick Brennan – who has been contacting service providers encouraging them not to work with 8kun.

Developers of the site are expecting further deplatforming campaigns, as well cyberattacks, in the wake of their return.

“The past few months, our team has put a lot of time into revising policies, building stronger networking systems, new security protocols, creating anti-deplatforming tools, and reviewing criticism. We have put in many hours constructively addressing received criticism and building defenses against black hat attack vectors. Hopefully what we have done is enough to show that we are sincere and doing our best, in good faith, to provide a mature free speech platform for all who need it.”

But the chances of 8kun disappearing completely are slimmer than ever. While the platform has been able to get assistance from Russian service providers, 8kun also now exists as a new service that’s accessible via the Tor network. 

The new site at http://jthnx5wyvjvzsxtu.onion requires the use of the Tor browser to access and this dark web version of the site won’t sync with the internet site. It’s a separate service that’s to provide a backup/alternative to the main site, in case the site faces deplatforming campaigns and cyber-attacks.

But 8kun isn’t stopping there. A new project that aims to decentralize 8kun is currently in the works, allowing users to host their own instance of 8kun. More information about that will be coming soon according to Ron Watkins.

“I’ve got this awful sneaking suspicion more people are going to come to 8kun than ever came to 8chan,” Jim Watkins said recently.

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