From helicopter repairman to leader of the Internet’s ‘darkest reaches’ The life and times of 8chan owner Jim Watkins

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He has also called 8chan merely a “tool” and said the site has “responded with both vigor and integrity” to remove violent threats. Watkins’s business partner Riedel later disputed the court notice as “incorrect” but did not provide details. Watkins’s online history traces a sporadic path across his message boards. Another Watkins business run from Manila, Loki Technology, owns the popular Japanese message board 5channel. Watkins said his son and other 8chan workers were aiming to bring the site back online as early as this week.

Article Preview By Drew Harwell and Drew Harwell Reporter covering artificial intelligence Email Bio Follow Timothy McLaughlin September 12 at 7:00 AM

He was an unknown former U.S. Army repairman of attack helicopters when he arrived in the Philippines in 2001, where he would run websites featuring Japanese pornography, tend to a pig farm and pursue his interests in yoga and fountain pens.

Jim Watkins also would become the face of one of the Web’s...

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