4chan: A History


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DC Anon:

The chan boards started in Japan as image boards for anime fans. When a user named moot was banned from the english forum called Something Awful, he started his own imageboard chan in english for his friends that he named 4chan. There are many different boards on 4chan, but you're thinking of the "infamous" /b/ board which is random and without a topic. It's offensive, funny, and creative. Other boards include paranormal discussions, cooking recipes, and porn. 4chan grew to be much larger than moot ever thought and it has become one of the most visited sites online with millions of unique hits every month.

4chan is just one site in this new "internet culture" that "anonymous" (people who are a part of this culture) visit. Many of us visit different sites, so we all share the same memes, understand the same internet history, and generally have a lot in common. Some of these sites include slashdot, Something Awful, the gamer forums, Gaia Online, all of the other spin off chan image boards, funny or die, The Pirate Bay, and College humor just to name a few. Some of the popular memes and internet jokes originated on 4chan, some of the other sites, but when one emerges it tends to rapidly spread to all of these as people move back and forth.

The "hacking" aspect of Anonymous comes from the tech interest many internet users have. They frequently discuss new ways to create and code websites, new tech equipment, and computer programs. Yes, sometimes people from one website would troll and "hack" other for pranks, also called internet "griefing". The "hacker" moniker actually became popular in the summer of 2005 after that Fox News affiliate did that really stupid broadcast calling Anonymous "hackers on steroids" which immediately became another popular meme.

There weren't any chain letters or anything. Funny things on the internet just get spread around through "viral" methods. It's like a funny video on youtube. Someone sees it, posts it around, then more people post it, then suddenly every seems to know about it in a short amount of time.