8kun, previously called 8chan, Infinitechan, or Infinitychan (stylized as ∞chan), is an imageboard website that comprises user-created message boards. An owner moderates each panel with minimal interaction from the site administration. After going offline in August 2019, the site rebranded itself as 8kun and was relaunched in November 2019.
In October 2013, 8Chan was created by computer programmer Fredrick Brennan. After observing what he perceived to be rapidly escalating surveillance and a loss of free speech on the Internet, Brennan made the website. Brennan, who considered the imageboard 4chan to have grown into authoritarianism, described 8chan as a “free-speech-friendly” alternative and has stated that he originally conceptualized the site while experiencing a psychedelic mushrooms trip.
The site is infamous for its association with white supremacism, neo-Nazism, the alt-right, racism and antisemitism, hate crimes, and multiple mass shootings. The place was also notorious for hosting child pornography. As a result of which it was filtered out from Google Search. Several of the site’s boards played an active role in the Gamergate controversy, encouraging Gamergate affiliates to frequent 8chan after 4chan banned the topic. 8chan is the home of the discredited far-right QAnon conspiracy theory.
Ron Watkins projected as 8Chan founder.
Contrary to popular belief, Ron Watkins is not the founder of 8Chan. It was created by Fredrick Brennan, a computer programmer, to promote free speech on the Internet. The site is now infamous for links to taboo topics. For examples topics such as white supremacism, neo-Nazism, the alt-right, racism and antisemitism, hate crimes, and multiple mass shootings. The site was also infamous for hosting child pornography, as a result of which it was filtered out from Google Search. It has recently been making headlines for being the host website for the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Fredrick Brennan, the founder of 8chan
Fredrick Robert Brennan (born February 21, 1994) is an American software developer and type designer who founded the imageboard website 8chan in 2013 before repudiating it in 2019. Following 8chan’s surge in popularity in 2014, mainly due to many Gamergate proponents migrating to the site from 4chan, Brennan moved to the Philippines to work for Jim Watkins. The latter provided hosting services to 8chan and later became the site’s owner.
Life post 8Chan
Brennan resigned his role as 8chan’s site administrator in 2016. According to a report by Wired magazine, he went on record to clarify that his resignation was due to stress. In contrast, others have attributed his departure to Brennan’s growing disgust with the site and its contents. Brennan continued to work for Watkins but stopped working on 8Chan. He went on to continue instead to work on the 2channel project. Jim Watkins’ son, Ron Watkins, took up the site administrator role following Brennan’s resignation. In December 2018, Brennan stopped working for Watkins and cut ties with the Watkins family, as Jim Watkins had allegedly shown up at his home and scolded him for the asking to take time off.