UPDATE: This article has been ammended. Previously we reported 8chan to have been set up during the GamerGate controvosy. This has now been changed as 8chan was set up in October 2013.
In the wake of all the hate and harassment that’s being going on over the internet in the last few months, artist financial support website Patreon has made some adjustments to its community guidelines to take a stand against bullying, harassment, threats, and hate speech. Not only do the new rules disallow such things as the doxing of Patreon users, but also bans users raising money to fund the likes of pornography and harmful images.
8chan, a messaging board which was a popular meeting ground during the GamerGate controversy after the subject was bannned from 4chan, has been informed that it can no longer use Patreon to fund its hosting bills since the site is frequently home to materials such as illustarted child exploitation, paedophillia encouragement, and self-harm imagery. 8chan must either change, or leave Patreon by the end of the month. In response, the 8chan Patreon page is now requesting funds to help look after Hachi the cat instead.
8chan owner Fredrick Brennan was contacted by Patreon yesterday in a message that Brennan published to his Patreon page.
We understand your dedication to free speech in principle, but 8chan is currently being used for a number of activities that violate our new community guidelines. Because we’ve read your interviews and done significant research on 8chan’s story and philosophy, we are aware that you, yourself, don’t verbally support a lot of the activities on 8chan. It sounds like free speech is a core value for you, and you’re willing to prioritize that principle above all else.
While we understand your commitment to free speech, we will not allow 8chan to continue using Patreon, as several boards facilitate the distribution of harmful content and activity, such as illustrated child exploitation imagery. Other violations include facilitating the promotion and/or encouragement to commit self harm, and facilitating the promotion and/or encouragement of pedophilia practices. While we are aware that illustrated child exploitation imagery is not illegal in the United States, we take a strict stance, regardless of the law, on the usage of Patreon to fund or facilitate its distribution.
Because 8chan, in its current state, violates our community guidelines, we will be removing your page from Patreon at the end of the month, after the next payments cycle. If you feel like our decision was based on false information, if you’d like to change 8Chans content policies, or if you have further questions, please feel free to email us back.
-The Patreon Team”
The whole 8chan Patreon page is now dedicated to ‘Making videos of Hachi the cat’. It still retains all the supporters it had under the 8chan banner, and pulls in over $1,500 per month.
“Cats are great therapy, and every open source developer should have one,” explains Brennan on the page.
“Unfortunately, due to my debilitating disease, I cannot care for a cat by myself and must hire an attendant.
Even simple things like opening tuna cans and changing litter are impossible for me. As a reward, I will upload one video of Hachi every week and also document her progress and adventures in the world!
I hope that you will help me take care of my cat!”
Brennan states that he realises that over a thousand dollars is a lot to look after a cat, and will donate any remaining fund to charity. With the reputation 8chan has, this very probably means that the messaging board’s hosting costs are the ‘charity’ in question. The whole thing is clearly a joke, and how Patreon will proceed to deal with Brennan is as of yet unclear.