“I’ve tried to understand so many times why he keeps it going, and I just don’t get it,” Mr. Brennan said. “After Christchurch, after the Tree of Life shooting, and now after this shooting, they think this is all really funny.”
Mr. Watkins did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Over the weekend, 8chan’s critics tried a different tack to get the site shut down, by pressuring the site’s service providers, including its web host, to cut off Mr. Watkins.
One of these providers, Cloudflare, makes software that protects websites, including 8chan, from cyberattacks. In 2017, Cloudflare shut off the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi hate site, after the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va. After that decision, Cloudflare’s chief executive, Matthew Prince, expressed reservations about revoking the site’s protections, characterizing it as a “dangerous” precedent to set.
On Sunday, Mr. Prince said that he had spent hours since the El Paso shooting deliberating what to do about 8chan. He said that disabling the site’s Cloudflare protections could jeopardize law enforcement investigations, by removing a source of data about bad actors.
“If we kicked 8chan off our network, the crowds would cheer, and we’d suddenly not be in the middle of this horrible tragedy,” Mr. Prince said. “But law enforcement would have less visibility into what’s going on.”
Ultimately, Mr. Prince said, “I don’t know what we’re going to do.”
Another company, Tucows, which controls 8chan’s domain name registration, had no plans as of Sunday evening to disable the site’s web address.
“We have no immediate plans other than to keep discussing internally,” said Graeme Bunton, manager of public policy at Tucows.