4chan has been sold to 2channel’s founder

22 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

4chan Just Sold to the Founder of the Original ‘Chan’.

SAN FRANCISCO: The popular anonymous online forum 4chan announced that it has been bought by the founder of hit Japanese-language message board 2channel. 4chan, the imageboard credited with giving birth to countless internet memes, has been sold to Japanese businessman Hiroyuki Nishimura, the owner of 2channel.

Christopher Poole, who was 15 years old when he created 4chan in his New York City bedroom in 2003, said that Hiroyuki Nishimura has taken his place as the owner. “Hiroyuki is a pioneer in the world of anonymous communities, and can be thought of as the great-grandfather of 4chan,” Poole said in an online post. The site, best known for malicious and offensive jokes as well as its role in the ‘Fappening’, was set up by American Christopher ‘Moot’ Poole in 2003, when he was 15. The site now sees more than 20 million visitors each month, a feat Poole accomplished without help from full-time employees or venture capital, The New York Times reports. Poole, who uses the name “moot” for online posts, created 4chan as an online venue for sharing and anonymously discussing Japanese comics and anime. Revelling in its reputation as the filthy, sweaty engine-room of the internet, 4chan – and especially the /b/ (random) board, the site’s first board – was the originator and hub of a vast amount of internet subculture including “LOLcats” and the practice of “Rickrolling”, in which an unsuspecting user is tricked into clicking on a link which takes them to the YouTube video of Rick Astley’s Never Gonna Give You Up – a practice which re-booted Astley’s career. 4chan is also largely credited with being where the online hacktivist collective Anonymous originated, and it was at the center of the nude celebrity photo leak known as “the fappening” in 2014.

In January 4chan’s founder, Chris Poole – who goes by the username Moot – announced he was stepping down as administrator of the site, and in a news post on Monday he announced the sale of the site to Nishimura. He said that he and Nishimura were “fast friends” who had bonded “over our shared passion for creating and managing online communities”. “He is one of few individuals with a deep understanding of what it means to provide a digital home for tens of millions of people for more than a decade. His creation of 2channel in 1999 sparked an era of anonymous-centric web culture in Japan that led to the creation of Futaba Channel, the site that inspired 4chan. There is nobody more qualified than Hiroyuki to lead 4chan, and I can’t think of a person better suited for the task,” Poole’s statement continued. “4chan sits on the eve of two great milestones – its 2 billionth post and 12th birthday. It also means 4chan’s laissez-fair, let’s-all-cum-on-anime-figurines-and-phone-in-bomb-threats-to-high-schools ethos probably won’t change—in a 2008 profile in Wired, Nishimura appeared as committed as Moot to letting bad shit happen on his website: Nishimura has lost about 50 lawsuits and owes millions of dollars in penalties, which he has no intention of paying. “If the verdict mandates deleting things, I’ll do it,” he says. “I just haven’t complied with demands to pay money.

None of us would be using 4chan today—or potentially any anonymous image board—if it weren’t for him.” Poole had stepped down from actively running the site earlier this year. Would a cell phone carrier feel responsible when somebody receives a threatening phone call?” 4channers seem unusually pleased with the news, and the use of racial slurs against Nishimura is so far minimal: “This is the best thing that could have happened honestly,” commented one user. “At least it’s someone we know has experience.” Another asked “are we honorary japs now?” Nishimura, one of the trailblazers of Internet message board culture who helped the format make the jump from dial-up bulletin board services to the web, was recently named editor-in-chief of Variety’s Japanese edition. And if you’ve ever been rickrolled, you have 4chan to blame. 2channel, an anonymous text-based Internet forum, has been similarly influential in Japan and, in fact, though it may be less of a household name in America, it is actually more popular worldwide according to Alexa, a site that measures web site popularity across the world.

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