8chan's creator talks role of site in stoking hate online, El Paso shooting

Fred Brennan says the site he no longer runs became a haven for hate linked to deadly shootings. 8chan's current owners say they have responded "with vigor" to threats of violence.
9:00 | 08/07/19

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Transcript for 8chan's creator talks role of site in stoking hate online, El Paso shooting
Reporter: This is the moment a young white man, fuel the by racist hatred opens fire in an El Paso, Texas Walmart. He'll leave 22 people dead. Go, go, come on! Reporter: And his attack given a singular label. In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy. This is a transnational, global terror network and more insidious than it ever was. Reporter: Online forums are acting as havens and breeding grounds to spread ideology, recruit the followers and plan It's starting to move them towards violence. Reporter: Tonight, the creator of the online forum takes us inside where white extremesy resides and why more white men are drawn to this hateful extremism. Three of this year's attacks have something in common, from the mosque shooting in new Zealand to the synagogue shooting in poway, California and now El Paso, all three posting their kill plans on 8chan. There is a subset of user whose definitely, 100% are white supremacists. Reporter: He's 25 and suffers from brittle bone disease. A lot of people brushed it off until we started to see charlottesville. Reporter: He says he created 8chan in 2013, to compete with the online message board 4chan. He said he hoped his would be a platform for unrestricted speech. 8chan allows users to post comments anonymously without the need for a user name. When you have no attachment, even on the site, you don't really feel like it's wrong to say whatever you want. Reporter: He rigned as 8chan's administrator in 2016 after a dispute with his business partner, Jim Watkins, seen here in this YouTube video, responding to the El Paso shooting. It is indeed such a sad day and time in the history of the world. The worst sort of monster shoots up random people. Reporter: Watkins now owns 8chan out right. He's a former army veteran and web entrepreneur who lives in the Philippines. Brennan says Watkins has done nothing to curb the ever-growing dark side of 8chan. Jim Watkins is so uncaring and cold that he is literally having big tech companies change their terms of service just because he's such a, to put it nicely, . Reporter: Over the weekend, cloudflare, the internet service provider for 8chan term innovated its service with the site calling it a cesspool of hate, which has caused multiple tragic deaths. 8chan is lawless. Reporter: In his YouTube post, Watkins denies that he's done nothing to end the hatred. My company takes a firm stand in helping law enforcement. And within minutes of these two tragedies, we working with FBI agents to find out what information we could to help in their investigations. Our company has always worked with law enforcement to help them with their investigations. We have never protected illegal speech. My thoughts and prayers are for the victims of violence everywhere. Reporter: Watkins didn't respond to "Nightline's" request for an interview. And today the homeland security committee asked Watkins to testify before congress. Also today, the intelligence group site says 8chan has already resurfaced on the It's important to disrupt these sites. But they go on to another one or create their own. Reporter: Christian knows all too well the many ways in which hate thrives. For eight years of my life I found identity, community and purpose in America's first neo-nazi skinhead group. Reporter: We first met Christian last year. Why did you hate? I'd gone from powerless to this perception of power. And the only way I knew how to keep it at that point was to maintain a respect by hurting other people. Reporter: Christian became a self-proclaimed white supremacist, starting a white power rock band seen in this HBO documentary, skinheads usa. Soldiers of the race war. What are some of the lyrics you wish you never had written. The holocaust is a lie, 6 million Jews could never die. Things I look back and frankly I wonder who and where that person was. Because I don't know that Reporter: But dylann roof did. He found Christian's music online just months before he killed nine black parishioners at an ame church. Words I had written almost 30 years ago that still had an impact today, still had consequences. Reporter: Today Christian works to disengage youth from extremist ideologies. We understand people aren't born to hate, they learn it. Reporter: And for those looking to learn hate, the internet provides a destructive Allowing marginalized young people who may not have connections in real life to have narratives for connection and purpose online. Reporter: Or in some cases inspiring each other. Today, site called attention to this threatening comment from a user on an alleged far right chat group to kill powerful people, kill important people, kill the political opposition. Yesterday, in his most forceful denunciation of racism to date, the president condemned the actions of white supremacists. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America. Reporter: But Christian says it's the president himself who needs to lead by example. We need to understand that what is put out into the world, words about invasion. We're talking about animals or s-hole countries, those types of words land on people who take action. I have to caution here that the words that the most powerful man in our country and maybe in the world is using are causing people to die. Americans are being killed because of those words. Reporter: The FBI's joint terrorism task force is charged with investigating domestic terrorism, but sometimes that task is complicated by our constitutional right to free speech. And this is an area that oftentimes will limit their ability to open an investigation or to collect information directly during the investigation. Reporter: Complicating matters, the U.S. Government doesn't have a domestic terrorism statute. Typically, law enforcement would investigate and charge an individual using gun laws. They would also look to utilize assault or any other type of criminal activity charges that are on the books in the state or federal system. When it happens to your community and you have babies and children that have been shot and killed, when you're witnessing these things happening in your community as a parent, there's no way I can sleep at night if I don't feel like I'm doing everything I can to create a different environment. Reporter: A life-long El Paso resident, Anna, says racially-fueled late was simmering in this border town long before the gunman showed up He's not the first white man to come in from out of town with guns, to harass and torture our community and inflict violence against people in this community. We've had people threaten to bomb the building. We haven't even opened yet. Reporter: Anna volunteers with casa caramelita, a center opening soon to help migrants who cross Mexico to seek asylum. As her city mourns, Anna says her work now is more important than ever. I can't not think about what I'm leaving for my children and what type of community that I'm building for them. And the world that they're going to have to exist in after I'm gone.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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