How do the darkest reaches of the net lead to a shooting attack?

'Uniquely Lawless': Security firm drops 8chan website following El Paso shooting.

NPR , | updated: 16:31

Aftermath of mass shooting at Walmart in El Paso, Texas
Aftermath of mass shooting at Walmart in El Paso, Texas

A web security company is dropping its protections for 8chan, a controversial online message board where people have posted hateful screeds before carrying out violent and deadly attacks.

The forum describes itself as "the darkest reaches of the Internet."

Minutes before the shooting that claimed the lives of at least 22 people in El Paso, Texas, the suspected gunman is believed to have posted a lengthy and hateful diatribe to 8chan. The post described an "invasion" of Hispanics at the southern U.S. border and an effort to "reclaim" the United States.

The forum has been linked to at least two other deadly shootings — attacks on Muslims at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March and, a month later, on Jewish people at a synagogue in Poway, California.

In a statement posted early Monday morning, Web security company Cloudflare called 8chan "a cesspool of hate" and announced it would stop shielding the site from cyberattacks. "At some level firing 8chan as a customer is easy," CEO Matthew Prince said. "They are uniquely lawless and that lawlessness has contributed to multiple horrific tragedies. Enough is enough."