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{ haha https://lolwut.info/comp/4chan/4chan-g.html ~drummyfish }

4chan (https://4chan.org/, also 4cuck) is the most famous image board, a website causing controversies by its low censorship and a place of great fun, trolling, toxicity and memes. Posters on the site are anonymous and call each other "Anons". It was started in 2003 by moot (Christopher Poole, born 1988). As most image boards, 4chan has a nice, oldschool minimalist look, even though it contains shitty captchas for posting and the site's code is proprietary (2024 update: JavaScript is needed for non-crippled experience). The site tolerates a great amount of free speech up to the point of being regularly labeled "right-wing extremist site", though it actually censors a lot of stuff and bans for stupid reasons such as harmless pedo jokes are very common (speaking from experience) -- 4chan global rules for example PROHIBIT CRITICISING 4chan (LMAO, rule no. 8), doxxing and calls for raids. Being a "rightist paradise" it is commonly seen as a rival to reddit, aka the pseudoleftist paradise -- both forums hate each other to death. The discussion style is pretty nice, there are many nice stories and memes (e.g. the famous greentexts) coming from 4chan but it can also be a hugely depressing place just due to the shear number of retards with incorrect opinions.

{ Pre 2010 there used to be a cool 4chan wiki called Wikichan, now can be read at the Internet Archive: https://web.archive.org/web/20070218235405/http://wikichan.org/wiki/Main_Page. ~drummyfish }

Just as reddit consists of subcommunities known as subreddits, 4chan consists of different boards (just as other image boards), each with given discussion topic and rules. The most (in)famous boards are likely politically incorrect AKA /pol/, where most of the american school shooters hang around, and random AKA /b/, the most active board, which is just a shitton of meme shitposting, porn, toxicity, fun, trolling and retardedness (lately it turned to almost 100% porn).

For us the most important part of 4chan is the technology board known as /g/ (for technoloGEE). Browsing /g/ can bring all kinds of emotion, it's a place of relative freedom and somewhat beautiful chaos where all people from absolute retards to geniuses argue about important and unimportant things, brands, tech news and memes, and constantly advise each other to kill themselves. Sometimes the place is pretty toxic and not good for mental health, actually it is more of a rule than an exception.

UPDATE: As of 2022 /g/ became literally unreadable, ABANDON SHIP. The board became flooded with capitalists, cryptofascists, proprietary shills, productivity freaks and other uber retards, it's really not worth reading anymore, it is pure, distilled consumerism, religious flame wars and diseases. You can still read good old threads on archives such as https://desuarchive.org/g/page/280004/. ALSO 2024 update: 4chan is also completely unusable now because it's cuckflared and posting requires unsolvable captchas (they are actually unsolvable, you must have PAID account to bypass it, so to post you now de facto have to pay). Lurking on some other more relaxed boards such as /x, /an or /vr may still be cool, but in general accept that the site is dead, find something else.

Despite dwelling slightly underground -- maybe better said being isolated from the normie "safespace" censornet -- 4chan has really been very notably significant for the whole Internet culture, long books could be written about its history, culture, unique, intricate social mechanism of its ways of communication and impact on the rest of the cyberspace; the "4chan experience" is one of the things that can't faithfully be described by words, it has to be lived. Just like reddit mixed some interesting concepts into a unique, yet more powerful combination that's more than a sum of its ingredients, so did 4chan -- yes, other boards are to be credited for this too, but 4chan is the flagship, the center of it all. Especially important seems to be the anonymity aspect, you never know who you are talking to, it's never clear if someone is trolling, serious, shilling, extremely dumb or something in between. There is no karma, no handles, no profile pictures, no upvotes (at best there are numbers of replies), no post history, no account age, you have to rely on judging people by unusual attributes, for example by the style of their talk, their knowledge of the lore and latest memes, by how they format their posts (e.g. the infamously hated empty lines), what images they attach (and what they're file names are), as these are the only clues. A thread on 4chan isn't something with a clear goal, you don't know if someone is asking a question because he wants a genuine answer or because he's just bored and wants to see funny answers, or if he's posting a bait and is trying to trigger others, so each discussion is a bit of a game, you're trying to guess what's going on. A famous post, for example, had itself heard that the poster despises translations of books and always reads any book in its original language despite not understanding a word of it, and that he already read works such as Don Quixote and Les Miserables in their respective languages without knowing what they were about -- this stupidity combined with extreme determination and dedication captures part of what makes 4chan what it is. Also everything is temporary, every thread and image is deleted in a short time, which is an important factor too, everything is constantly in motion, people have to react quickly, there is no turning back, reactions are quick and genuine, if you miss something it's gone. Also the image memes themselves show how art (who cares if low) evolves if completely unrestrained, anyone can try to spawn a new meme or download anyone else's posted meme, repost it or modify it, copyright mostly de facto won't apply as the authors are unknown; bad works are filtered out while good ones remain simply by making others save them and keep reposting them, it's art without authors, separated from the people, evolving completely on its own, purely by its intrinsic attributes, unconstrained evolution at work right before our eyes -- this is a seriously scientifically interesting stuff.

Alternatives to 4chan: just check out other image boards like 8kun, anon.cafe, leftychan.net, wizardchan, soyjak.party, BAI, 1436chan (gopher) etc. Also check out other types of forums than image boards such as saidit.net, voat or encyclopedia dramatica forums. You won't have much success searching for these using Goolag.

{ Also check out https://wiki.soyjaks.party, it's a great place, CC0, tons of 4chan lore, kinda like encyclopedia dramatica 2. ~drummyfish }

See Also

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