Do you remember the first time you read your very first greentext? It was more than likely extremely messed up, or sometimes thoughtful, but either way you always took it for what it was, regardless of its entirely possible lack of truth. Indeed, I myself sunk many hours into that minimalist website, always hoping to pick up little gems of comedy of each of its respective boards. The task of doing so, however, was gross at times.
4chan was one of those sites that was essentially controlled chaos. Everything was acceptable, and few posts were actually removed. It was true that if you posted CP anywhere on 4chan, everyone else would band together to find you, and see you apprehended. That was just something they did.
Most people seemed to find 4chan as a pit filled with the worst of the worst. Ask any prominent Tumblr user, and I’m sure they’d tell you about all the jokes 4chan played on them, like the many times where a 4chan anon would purposefully cut off part of their posts, hiding them behind ASCII ‘black boxes’ while leaving words like ‘gore’, ‘CP’, ‘Users:’, ‘Tags’, and other similar words. To them, it was serious, but to the onlooker like myself, it was the greatest form of a good laugh. 4chan was a place of laughter, but also, in a semi-ironic way, they helped people. Besides the previously noted ‘tracking down the posters of CP,’ they also grouped together to fund many good charities.
It’s very possible that you’ve heard of Vivian James. Vivian, who has long since brought a sort of ‘face’ to GamerGate, was also the ‘fruit’ of 4chan’s funding the women’s project in gaming development. Indeed, 4chan donated about $13,000 to The Fine Young Capitalists to be able to have the pleasure of forming their own character. 4chan truly left their mark on her, based on the green hair clip that looks exactly like the 4 leaf clover that was 4chan’s icon. Of course, with the name of ‘4chan’ backing a charity, and for women’s rights in video games of all things, it would only lead to more controversy. Those were the days. And by days, I mean last year.
The moot point
Those days are gone; moot (as he spelled it) was looking to sell this wonderland. He had his mods kick it up a notch, and started to end all threads that had anything to do with GamerGate, feminism, or topics similar, turning 4chan’s very popular ‘/v/’ board into a wasteland. Similar things happened on other websites as well such as the Escapist forums and Reddit, thus creating the first of many attempts to silence the masses.
Many theories were produced as to why moot wanted to sell it. From the rabbit hole that is the ‘Zoe Quinn Scandal’ (many believe Zoe and moot dated once), it is said that moot wanted to sell 4chan to Gawker, but I myself question what Gawker would gain out of that save for ownership of a has-been and a few servers. However, with 4chan now in ruins thanks to its own creator, what would the users do now? Where could they go? Enter 8chan.
The Hero Is Already Here
Its creator, known as ‘Hotwheels’, apparently came up with the idea for the site whist on a shrooms trip. 8chan very simply is 4chan but with the allowance of anyone to make a board. All rules still apply, and just like 4chan, you cannot create an account. 8chan was and now is the latest and greatest way to get your daily dose of free speech, whenever you want it.
You could not make your own board on 4chan, and while not too too many boards exist on 8chan either, at least you have the freedom to make one if you want. There’s a very tolerant atheist board and a very active Christian board as well. That’s what respect looks like. Two boards based on very different topics, literally back to back from each other, and there are no fights, only debates.
Moot has long since retired from 4chan, after 11.5 long years of running it. I do not know what he will do now, but like most internet has-beens, he’ll more than likely fade into obscurity with 4chan constantly looming over him, a constant reminder of the shell both the site and himself have become.
So What Now?
So what about 8chan? What will 8chan’s impact be? 4chan certainly left it large shoes to fill, but it’s already hard at work doing so, as they have already made a joke raid to Tumblr. It never even happened but Tumblr users thought it did, so they turned on each other in was maybe the funniest several days on Tumblr. Currently they’re doing a letter writing campaign to a large group of Israeli people. I am not sure why.
4chan never had a gamergate board, nor a board devoted to a few set religions. I will always remember what 4chan was, and will hold its memory and presence deep inside of my heart, especially the second chamber. May it rest in peace.