4chan is an English-language imageboard website. Users generally post anonymously, with the most recent posts appearing above the rest. 4chan is split into various boards with their own specific content and guidelines. Registration is not required, nor is it possible (except for staff).
Launched on October 1, 2003, its boards were originally used for posting pictures and discussing manga and anime, as the site was modeled on Japanese imageboards, particularly 2chan. The site quickly became popular and expanded, though much of 4chan’s content still features otaku, anime, and other Japanese cultural influences.
The site has been linked to Internet subcultures and activism, most notably Anonymous, the alt-right and Project Chanology. 4chan users have been responsible for the formation or popularization of Internet memes such as lolcats, Rickrolling, “Chocolate Rain”, Pedobear and many others. The site’s “Random” board, also known as “/b/”, was one of the site’s first forums, and is the one that receives the most traffic. As its name suggests, the Random board has minimal rules on posted content. Gawker once jokingly claimed that “reading /b/ will melt your brain”. The site’s anonymous community and culture have often provoked media attention. For media planners, this enterprise is “further proof that creativity is everywhere and new media is less accessible” to advertisement agencies.
4chan users have been instrumental in pranks such as hijacking Internet destinations to cause images of Rick Astley to appear in place of their content, coordinating attacks against other websites and Internet users, and posting threats of violence in order to elicit individual and public reactions. The Guardian once summarized the 4chan community as “lunatic, juvenile […] brilliant, ridiculous and alarming.”
first intro’d via Gabriella et al
adding page this day
Dougald Hine (@dougald) tweeted at 4:35 AM – 18 Feb 2017 :
If you want to understand backstory of 4Chan, memes, Anonymous & alt-right, this is very useful from @DaleBeran – https://t.co/iXjrFbdUd4 (http://twitter.com/dougald/status/832916499660693504?s=17)
If no definition existed for Anonymous, why were millions of people identifying as one of the group?
The real world, by contrast, above their mother’s basements, was a place they did not succeed, perhaps a place they did not fundamentally understand
Soon 4chan and other like minded men who felt wronged by women, took up the rallying cry. The effort somehow moved from lurid interest in a particular woman’s sex life to a critique of video games. Gamergaters believed that “SJWs” (Social Justice Warriors) were adding unwanted elements into their video games, namely things which promoted gender equality.
Again, here we can understand this group as people who have failed at the real world and have checked out of it and into the fantasy worlds of internet forums and videos games. These are men without jobs, without prospects, and by extension (so they declaimed) without girlfriends. Their only recourse, the only place they feel effective, is the safe, perfectly cultivated worlds of the games they enter. By consequence of their defeat, the distant, abstract concept of women in the flesh makes them feel humiliated and rejected. Yet, in the one space they feel they can escape the realities of this, the world of the video game, here (to them, it seems) women want to assert their presence and power.
ie: Milo Yiannopoulos, the “Technology Editor” at Breitbart News, whose scheduled lecture this month at Berkeley spawned massive riots and protests. Yiannopoulos rose to prominence via Gamergate. He is not a “technology” editor because he compares the chip architectures of competing graphics cards. Rather the “tech” here is code for the fact that his audience is the vast population of sad young men who have retreated to internet communities. Likewise the mainstream press sometimes describes him as troll as a way of capturing his vague association with 4chan. This term, too, is inaccurate. He is 4chan at its most earnest, after all these men have finally discovered their issue — the thing that unites them — their failure and powerlessness literally embodied (to them) by women.
Yiannopoulos’ rambling “arguments” against feminism, are not arguments at all, as much as pep talks, ways of making these dis-empowered men feel empowered by discarding the symbol of their failure — women. As an openly gay man, he argues that men no longer need be interested in women, that they can and should walk away from the female sex en masse.
The rise of feminism has fatally coincided with the rise of video games, internet porn, and, sometime in the near future, sex robots. With all these options available, and the growing perils of real-world relationships, men are simply walking away.
Here Yiannopoulos has inverted what has actually happened to make his audience feel good. Men who have retreated to video games and internet porn can now characterize their helpless flight as an empowered conscious choice to reject women for something else. In other words, it justifies a lifestyle which in their hearts they previously regarded helplessly as a mark of shame.
Anon was going to get “SJW”s (ie. empowered women) out of their safe spaces — video games — the place from which they retreated from women by indulging in fantasies in which they were in control (that is to say, ones which demeaned women).
It was almost as if all these disaffected young men were waiting for a figure to come along who, having achieved nothing in his life, pretended as though he had achieved everything, who by using the tools of fantasy, could transmute their loserdom (in 4chan parlance, their “fail”), into “win”.
It’s because, like so many young writers, journalists, and artists that are now despised by 4chan, I’m an inch away from their demographic.
Dougald Hine (@dougald) tweeted at 5:10 AM – 18 Feb 2017 :
@alastairmci @ErskineChris @benvickers_ This is well worth your time, thought of each of you while reading it – https://t.co/iXjrFbdUd4 (http://twitter.com/dougald/status/832925345053556736?s=17)
Dougald Hine (@dougald) tweeted at 5:40 AM – 18 Feb 2017 :
@nickstew_art @alastairmci @ErskineChris @benvickers_ The stuff about the nearness & difference b/w artists and 4channers is nicely put. (http://twitter.com/dougald/status/832932765674962944?s=17)
then Gabriella is asked to weigh in
I hope @BiellaColeman engages with this. As well as some political demographers who know who actually voted Trump. https://t.co/278Rr5pbDt
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/emptywheel/status/833287369340104704
Original Tweet: https://twitter.com/BiellaColeman/status/833312072771440640
The piece is riddled with mistakes: collapses 4chan & Anonymous & author does not address ground zero of chan support, 8chan