What does the internet look like if everyone can share everything anonymously and almost without rules? For an answer to that question you have to go to the forum 4chan. It is a breeding ground for creativity. It is also the place where porn, hate and racism can be freely expressed. But what exactly is 4chan? And how exactly does it work?
- What is 4chan?
- How does 4chan work?
- Who uses 4chan?
- Is 4chan safe?
What exactly is 4chan?
According to the creator Christopher Poole, 4Chan is a picture board (called boards) or forum where people leave pictures and comments. Others roam the site without participating in discussions. Users do not have to create an account to post something, which makes the barrier to post very low. Users can therefore say all kinds of things without being held accountable for it. Rules about the content of messages hardly exist. So a lot of porn , pedophilia, violence (gore), hatred and racism are posted. Something we would like to protect our customers from . The site is regularly in the news, because of radical ideas and extremist messages. The forum has 20 million unique visitors per month and 540 million page views per month.
4chan is a forum without names (or accounts), with a few rules and few consequences, allowing people to express their opinion unfiltered and share (horrific) images.
How does 4chan work?
The forum has multiple boards on various topics, from fitness to gardening or 18+ equipment. There can be up to 10 pages of posts on each board. Will a newer and more popular post be created? Then the oldest message will be banned from the website for good. 4chan has no archive, so that commented post is lost unless someone decides to repost it. The most popular discussions and images remain and the worse ones are eliminated. This system keeps the nicest or funniest pictures at the top. That means that people like this the most. For this reason, internet trends or funny pictures often originate on 4chan.
First impressions seem harmless.
What 4chan owes its infamous name to is the board /b/ which stands for “random” (random, or better: anything and everything). This board has no rules and anything can be posted. 30% of all traffic goes to this board. You will find almost everything here that you do not want to encounter. Drugs, horror, beheadings, violence, porn, hate messages and racism.
Who uses 4chan?
According to 4chan’s own statistics, its users are mostly young, educated men with a greater interest in Japanese culture, video game technology, and comic book characters. It is not entirely clear from which countries the users come due to the anonymous aspect of the forum. When you surf the site, you notice that most of them have a good command of the English language. The forum offers these people a place to share unpopular opinions in the hope of finding like-minded people. For example, did you know that the hacker/activist group Anonymous originated on 4chan?
Is 4chan safe?
Whether 4chan is safe, of course, depends on who you ask the question. The forum is not safe for people under the age of 18. The site itself also indicates this: when you go to a board, the visitors must agree to the risks. As an adult, you may wonder if you want to expose yourself to the raw and unfiltered images, opinions and misinformation. At Kliksafe, we don’t think 4chan is safe. The forum 4chan is in the category 18+ content in the Kliksafe filter. This means that we filter this by default for each customer.
Is it anonymous?
The creator of the site advocates an anonymous culture on the platform, to make a stand against social media that want you to reveal your identity online. All messages posted are therefore anonymous, under the alias: Anonymous. That means that you post completely anonymously. Other users may not be able to see your IP address, but it will be saved. For example, the maker of 4chan has cooperated with authorities when someone has misbehaved.
4chan is a simple site with a complex user base. The anonymous culture offers some freedom and creativity. The forum is both offensive and fascinating, but as far as we’re concerned, it’s best not to burn your fingers.