While it's code was taken from Futaba Channel, it's culture and original community came from Something Awful's ADTRW forums. It eventually eclipsed it's mother site, building and popularlizing internet memes that influence modern internet culture like the Greeks to Western Civilization.
It is well known for it's incessant raids and for giving birth to Anonymous.
If I had known it one day become a dominant source of Internet culture with fivehundred million pageviews per month and an Alexa Traffic Rank in the global top 1,000 websites, I might have written more of this down at the time.
More info: 4chan History
4chan was founded in 2003 by a 15 year old kid named moot.
4chan was started in 2003. moot purchased the server space with his mother's credit card when he was fifteen, intending the site to be an American version of Futaba Channel. It got popular purely by accident and when costs began to spiral out of control Menchi and other world2channers told him the site was doomed to failure.
Multiple groups and immigrants from sites like Something Awful were attracted to it's simplicity and anonymity. The site's success stemmed from the advantages of the anonymous imageboard, and it's development of a culture independent from any other.
- 4chan is anonymous.
- Unlike most other English forums, 4chan does not use cumbersome user account, lowering the barrier to entry. The anonymity allows users to post their truthful opinions without fear of recourse. Additionally, since all users are anonymous in name, people are judged by their words, rather than their reputation.
- Users can also choose to become psuedoanonymous with tripcodes in case there is a need to establish identity.
- 4chan has no memory.
- Because all threads will be destined for deletion, great pictures are immediately saved, and later reposted by users of the site. The less interesting pictures are left alone and soon forgotten. This creates a "survival of the fittest" environment that demands and eventually creates viral memes.
/b/ is the random board of 4chan, where any sort of faggotry goes on. It it's first and foremost board, dwarfing all the other ones in size. Currently, /b/ has amassed over 284130732 posts whereas many of the others have yet to break a million. (On an unrelated note, GETs are a popular pastime, such as getting the numbers 1111111, 10000000, 12345678, etc.) The content on /b/, as with all of the major chan boards, is periodically deleted automatically to save database strain.
Also, on /b/, there are NO RULES, LOL. Except no child porn and /i/nvasion. This consequently means mods can slap you with the banhammer for no good reason.
4chan is by far the largest force, and as the spawn point of all the other *chans, so therefore it has a good history. Most 4chan raids are zerg rush attacks on a target, like AsianBabeCams or Drawball. Sometimes, as during the Subeta or Gamestop calls, 4chan is a massive epic force; Personal Army. The problem with getting 4chan's help is twofold: First you need their interest. Everyone hated Gamestop and Subeta pissed them off, and the hivemind randomly chose Hal Turner and his ilk. However, most regular raids will be saged for "raidfags" which some people hate. The second problem is the banhammer; a larger and more legally scrutinized site, the 4chan staff can't just leave raids going, and so they ban hard. Major raids with great interest will overwhelm the mods, and often you might just escape their attention.
Getting 4chan involved in a raid is either going to completely fuck it up (if they listen to you at all) or turn it into something hueg, though the majority of the time, if its not their idea they'll not be interested; for example, during MySpays when there were too many passwords and not enough people to fuck them up, the packs were posted on 4chan, and the threads were saged. On the other hand with stuff like Project Chanology they seem more than happy to help. They're incredibly fickle and usually disinterested, but on the rare occasion help from 4chan arrives, expect either a large amount of newfags fucking shit up or a giant shitstorm of destruction.
- A great example of proper 4chan involvement were the Gamestop.
- An example of 4chan inaction is MySpays The reason for this: /b/tards consist of a mix of several groups of internet users. There may be a few talented /i/nsurgents who visit the board, but the rest of the users are basically civilians who lack either the technical skills and know-how for internet raids, the motivation to actually do something, or most often both. A group of raiders from 4chan is usually composed of a few proper /i/nsurgents leading an attack and (trying) to manage things, a few others following behind and doing the "grunt work", and the rest just blindly doing whatever the fuck they feel like until they get bored and leave. Think of it as a levee en masse; you have the potential to employ all of *chan's resources by getting everyone there involved, akin to large scale military conscription, but unless it's important you're not going to get anywhere.
- 4chan Boards
- 4chan History
- 4chan History Timeline
- 4chan GET Encyclopedia
- 4chan mod memes