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US House Homeland Security Committee issues subpoena to 8chan owner

Bipartisan leaders from the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee issued a subpoena Aug. 14 to Jim Watkins, owner of 8chan, an online message board that has been linked to extremist-inspired attacks in recent months.

The committee would like Watkins to testify in relation to its ongoing oversight work on countering extremist content on social media platforms.

"At least three acts of deadly white supremacist extremist violence have been linked to 8chan in the last six months," said House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Ala., the committee's top Republican, in a joint Aug. 14 statement. "We have questions on what is being done to counter this trend so we can be sure it is being properly addressed. Receiving testimony from Mr. Watkins is critical to our oversight on this matter."

The same committee held a hearing in June that looked at efforts from social media companies to counter online terror content and misinformation. Policy officials from Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google LLC all testified at that hearing about their various practices to keep terrorist content off their platforms.