8chan owner James Arthur “Jim” Watkins on October 30 filed a cyber libel complaint against its founder Fredrick Brennan for tweeting that Watkins is “going senile” on September when he appeared before the United States Congress to give his testimony about 8chan.
8chan is an online messaging board that has been used by anonymous right-wing extremists, misogynists, and conspiracy theorists. Brennan left the website in 2016 after the site strayed away from his initial vision of free speech and completely cut ties with it in 2018.
The website has been linked to atrocities like the shooting in El Paso, Texas, which killed 22 and injured 24 others.
“My theory that Jim Watkins himself is going senile and actually believes in Q is no longer a theory,” Brennan’s tweet read.
Meanwhile, in Watkins’ 12-page complaint obtained by CNN Philippines, he said: “[Brennan’s] Twitter posts are not only an innocent commenter, with knee-jerk reactions and comments just to catch in on the controversy. His statements were posted out of pure hate and lust for vengeance to ride on and exacerbate the issue so as to darken [my] reputation and competence.”
He also stressed that free speech had its limits in the Philippines.
“The exercise of the right of free expression and free speech like any other right enshrined in our Constitution comes with an equal burden of responsible exercise of that right. after all, the recognition of a right is not a free license for the one claiming it to run roughshod over the rights of others,” Watkins said.
Both Watkins and Brennan are U.S. nationals residing in the Philippines. Unlike in the U.S., defamation is a criminal offense in the Philippines and could land anyone convicted of it in jail. (Ritchel Mediola/AJPress)