Fredrick Brennan: Where is the 8chan Founder Now?

Image Credit: ABC News Australia

HBO’s ‘Q: Into the Storm’ is a six-part documentary series directed and produced by Cullen Hoback. In the show, the director looks at the QAnon conspiracy theory, its sudden and alarming rise, and the people who have been associated with the phenomenon. It primarily features the owners of 8kun (formerly 8chan), a website where the QAnon posts gained traction, and the creator of 8chan, Fredrick Brennan. Fredrick has since left the company and has been vocal about the downsides of 8kun and the ensuing danger, for which he even recently featured in Netflix’s ‘The Antisocial Network: Memes to Mayhem.’

Who is Fredrick Brennan?

Fredrick Brennan is a 30-year-old software developer born in Albany, NY. He suffers from osteogenesis imperfecta, a genetic disease that mainly causes weaker bones. He is most known for founding the controversial 8chan, an imageboard website, in 2013. It gained popularity once users from 4chan (another similar website) migrated to it. This had happened because 4chan had banned any discussion regarding the “Gamergate” controversy, leading users to find another platform to do the same.

8chan had quickly become notorious for the kind of content that it allowed its users to post and discuss. It involved suggestive images of children with direct links to hardcore child pornography. Brennan, though, saw it as the exercising of free speech. He stated that “the very fact that the boards are full of things that your average person (myself included) would find reprehensible” was a testament to the fact that the site encouraged unfiltered conversations.

As a result of people migrating from 4chan, Brennan’s website started to see a huge surge in users, leading to an increase in server costs in 2014. Brennan eventually moved to the Philippines to partner with Jim Watkins, who at the time ran another imageboard website called 2channel. In 2016, owing to increasing stress, Brennan quit his administrator role but continued to work on 2channel.

A couple of years later, Brennan and Hawkins had a difference of opinion regarding the direction of the work that was being carried out, eventually leading to Brennan leaving the company altogether. Over time, 8chan had also become a breeding ground for racism and radicalization, with the perpetrators of three separate mass shooting incidents announcing their plans and posting a manifesto on the website.

8chan was also criticized for its users making light of these tragic incidents. Brennan has since stated that he didn’t envision 8chan as the website it had turned into. What he once saw as a haven for free speech became something more sinister. His belief was that the administrators could have been quicker in removing the posts of Brenton Tarrant, the Christchurch shooter. He wanted the site to be taken down after the 2019 El Paso shootings as well. As Jim Watkins refused to do so, Brennan was prompted to call out Watkins and 8chan on Twitter.

This led to a cyber libel case against Brennan, filed by Watkins. Afterward, an arrest warrant was issued in the Philippines in early 2020, which he has now been fighting from the United States. Brennan has also publicly been against QAnon and has worked towards finding the identity of the people behind it. After all, QAnon is an outrageous far-right conspiracy theory that has since been discredited.

It alleges that the world is being run by a faction of Satan-worshipping pedophiles. A pro-Donald Trump conspiracy, its followers believe that a lot of the major Democratic politicians and famous Hollywood actors are a part of this group and will eventually be arrested by the former president. The followers also believe that the 2020 Presidential election was unfair and that Trump is still the “rightful winner.”

The supporters of this theory were also a part of the US Capitol building riots as well. But it started in 2017 on 4chan, before moving to 8chan and finally, 8kun. An anonymous user with the name “Q Clearance Patriot” started to post claiming to be a government official having a “Q” clearance, alleging to having classified information. This conspiracy theory has gained a large following, including some congressional candidates as well.

Fredrick Brennan is Still a Coder

In early 2020, he was living in California. However, towards the end of that year, he shifted to the East Coast, from where he continues to serve as a coder and creator. His website is now “” Moreover, per the last reports, he has been working towards uncovering the identity of the person or people behind QAnon. He believes that Jim Watkins definitely knows something about that. He once even said that if  Jim is not ‘Q’ himself, he can find out who he is.

He also went on to say that Watkins was the only person that could contact ‘Q’ privately. Brennan had posted on Twitter in late 2020 about 8kun sharing the same IP address as QMap, which is a popular website that collects QAnon posts, alluding to Watkins somehow being connected to the QAnon movement. However, both Jim Watkins and his son, Ron, have denied any involvement whatsoever. Though since then, analyses conducted by two independent forensic linguistics teams have supported Fredrick’s theory while also identifying Paul Furber and Ron as authors of a few Q posts.

Read More: Where Are Jim and Ron Watkins Now?