The founder of the message board 8chan, Fredrick Brennan, now faces arrest for “cyber libel” in the Philippines.
While Brennan left the message board back in 2015, it was kept up and running by Jim Watkins from the Philippines – who at this moment, is pressing charges against Brennan.
Brennan, who was living in the Philippines, founded 8chan in an effort to allow people to speak out about a wide range of topics. As long as it was legally permissible, any speech was valid on the platform.
Watkins, the current site runner, has ended up suing Brennan as he was offended by the critical remarks and tweets posted against him.
Read the criminal complaint here.
Watkins provided evidence of what he said was an attempt by Brennan to destroy his platform.
“To have that destroyed may be eminently of more damage to him personally than the destruction of his physical wealth or health,” the complaint said.
The criminal complaint alleges that Fredrick Brennan used the El Paso shooting spree to attack Jim Watkins’ reputation and defame his character. The complaint argues that Jim Watkins was “humiliated and anguished” after Brennan “maligned his good name to the community.”
According to a number of tweets cited in the filing, Brennan has repeatedly referred to Watkins as “senile,” and at one point even shed some light on his own motivation against 8chan, effectively calling it a personal vendetta.
In a YouTube video posted on October 14, 2019 Fredrick Brennan revealed how he was trying to get Jim Watkins’ Philippines citizenship petition rejected and prevent him from becoming naturalized in the country.
Brennan’s words maligned the site, which was shut down in 2019 after companies declined to extend their services to the platform after much media outrage against it.
The site was then renamed to 8kun and was revived in November of 2019, after much difficulty.
Over time, Brennan referred to Watkins and other site moderators as “senile” and “incompetent”, making him liable for “cyber libel.”
In the Philippines, charges of cyber libel can lead to imprisonment.
As of now, Brennan is in the United States and it is unclear whether he plans on returning to the Philippines, now that there is a warrant issued for his arrest.