The House Home­land Secu­ri­ty Com­mit­tee sub­poe­naed the own­er of 8chan, Jim Watkins, on Wednes­day in an attempt to force the Philip­pines-based entre­pre­neur to tes­ti­fy before law­mak­ers next month. The sub­poe­na fol­lows a series of white suprema­cist-inspired attacks across the world this year, many of which were linked to 8chan.

“We have ques­tions on what is being done to counter this trend so we can be sure it is being prop­er­ly addressed,” Reps. Ben­nie G. Thomp­son (D‑MS) and Mike Rogers (R‑AL) said in a state­ment. “Receiv­ing tes­ti­mo­ny from Mr. Watkins is crit­i­cal to our over­sight on this mat­ter.”

“We have ques­tions on what is being done”

The sub­poe­na requests that Watkins tes­ti­fy before the com­mit­tee on Sep­tem­ber 5th at 9:30AM. Watkins has not pub­licly respond­ed as of pub­li­ca­tion. How­ev­er, he did post a video to YouTube on Sun­day say­ing that his team has kept 8chan offline until they speak with law­mak­ers. It’s unclear whether the law­mak­ers have request­ed that it remain inac­ces­si­ble until that time.

“The web­site has been offline vol­un­tar­i­ly for the last week,” Watkins said. “It’s real­ly, real­ly sad. Please don’t blame me.”

The sub­poe­na fol­lows a request made by the same law­mak­ers last week to have Watkins come before the com­mit­tee fol­low­ing the El Paso, Texas shoot­ing ear­li­er this month. That attack result­ed in the death of over 20 peo­ple at a local Wal­mart and the sus­pect­ed shoot­er post­ed a white nation­al­ist screed to 8chan only a few min­utes before the shoot­ing occurred. It was the lat­est shoot­ing in a string of extrem­ist attacks in which shoot­ers have post­ed white suprema­cist-inspired man­i­festos to the fringe mes­sage board before car­ry­ing out an attack. The Christchurch, New Zealand shoot­er, who killed over 50 peo­ple at a mosque, was the first and post­ed his own screed on the site, link­ing to a Face­book live stream of the attack as well.

“In recent years, vio­lent extrem­ist con­tent has pro­lif­er­at­ed on both large and small social media plat­forms,” John­son and Rogers said in a state­ment. “At least three acts of dead­ly white suprema­cist extrem­ist vio­lence have been linked to 8chan in the last six months.”

You can read the sub­poe­na below:

Sub­poe­na to 8chan Founder Jim Watkins by Rus­sell Bran­dom on Scribd

Pho­to by Gabriel­la Demczuk/Getty Images

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