It’s been a tough week for Epik Inc., a web services provider in the Seattle region. First, the company lost access to its servers. Now, its physical mailbox.
Sammamish, Wash.-based MailPost is booting Epik as a customer because of its ties to 8chan, a site implicated in the recent shooting in El Paso, Texas.
Immediately before opening fire in a Walmart and killing 22 people, the suspected shooter posted a racist manifesto to 8chan, a site that often supports vitriolic discussions. 8chan’s network provider, Cloudflare, cut ties with the site, calling it “a cesspool of hate” in a statement. The move took 8chan offline and that’s when it sought out Epik.
Previously: Seattle-area web services provider becomes haven for online extremism following El Paso shooting
On several occasions, Epik has provided safe haven to far-right websites after other web services providers blacklisted them. Using Epik’s services, 8chan was able to briefly get back online before the company whose servers Epik rents pulled the plug. Epik is still scrambling to find alternative servers.
Amid that search, Epik will now need to find a new PO box. MailPost owner Jamey Davis told GeekWire he emailed Epik founder Rob Monster on Tuesday, informing him he was no longer welcome as a customer.
“I just don’t believe in what he stands for,” Davis said. “He’s a big believer in free speech but I think he’s using it in the wrong way. He’s promoting an atmosphere where people can post hate, they can post racism, they can post these manifestos on these shootings … we just want to distance ourselves from it because it’s not something I believe in.”
Davis noted that MailPost has become a hub for local businesses because Sammamish does not have a traditional post office. Epik became a customer in January, though Davis said he has never met Monster face-to-face. Asked whether Davis thought other companies would follow suit and disassociate with Epik, he said, “I hope so.”
Monster did not immediately respond to GeekWire’s request to comment on the MailPost development. On Monday, he noted that Epik did not solicit 8chan’s business and said the company showed up unexpectedly as a customer.
“We have also not made a definitive decision about whether to provide DDoS mitigation or Content Delivery services for them,” Monster said at the time. “We will evaluate this in the coming days.”
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