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#1 Edited by mdnthrvst (268 posts) -

Now before you make some pithy remark about me being a troll, or baiting a flame war, or anything else, please, read my post. I am completely, unironically serious, and I'd just like to strike up a serious conversation.

I've seen an attitude trotted out many times that 4chan is a nexus of absolute evil, the very worst and sickest place the Internet has to offer. That isn't true anymore, and I have been there since 2008. I would know.

4chan isn't gross or depraved, it's harsh and cynical, and mostly Anonymous. Yes, there are porn boards, but mods enforce an SFW vs NSFW board division harshly, and you won't see any of it if you stick to the safe places. What you will find in the SFW boards are passionate, skeptical, wildly hilarious communities who create some of the funniest images in the world. With this original, remix-oriented content, we sustain 9GAG on our very own while our Dear and Beloved Administrator loses money on his site.

The reason it earned its atrocious reputation, which, for a while, was truly fair and earned, was the Random board, /b/. The thing is, every blowhard and dumbass with a computer heard about /b/, and for years it has been flooded with mainstream, bandwagoning idiots, who do nothing but ramble about pot and tits. It may once have been vile and depraved, but now it's just vile and idiotic. In other words, its very fame and reputation consumed its soul, and it currently exists on the same cultural level as YouTube comments. Distasteful, but no one really *cares*.

So the reason 4chan was always reviled has eaten itself alive. But there exists a second 4chan, or rather, thousands of them. There are about sixty other boards, each with their own culture and dozens of subcultures of repeating threads, and not a single one of these is ever host to child porn, gore, murder, or whatever other silly exaggerations people have dreamt up. And if illegal material *is* posted, the offenders' IP addresses are reported to the Feds and they're summarily banned. We don't tolerate this.

I've forged lasting friendships from the My Little Pony board, the Music board, the TWO Video Game boards, the Literature board, and the Paranormal board. The outdated, second-hand attacks that keep getting parroted by the internet-at-large are disheartening, because I know for myself just how deeply the bonds a thread can run, such as in The Elder Scrolls General, or My Little Pony Fanfiction General, or any number of thousands of similar communities, that contribute to a true sense of friendship and cameraderie.

This is the same with Reddit, this is the same with NeoGAF, this is the same with Something Awful, our cantankerous and silly old uncle. We are harsher than these sites because we react violently to ego - you have no identity, so your contributions stand on their own merits, not your post count, your Join Date, your Karma, or anything but *you*. That's not to say 4chan's policy of absolute self-effacement is the best or only good answer. Those other websites I mentioned are certainly more polite than 4chan, which is valuable and necessary.

Just watch one of the many public lectures by our founder moot at TED, Web 2.0, and other conferences. Clean-shaven, articulate, intelligent, and one of the most respected advocates for online privacy in the modern Internet.

#2 Posted by BiffMcBlumpkin (3720 posts) -

@mdnthrvst said:

I've forged lasting friendships from the My Little Pony board

The bumper sticker of a serial rapist.

#3 Posted by Seedofpower (3941 posts) -

@BiffMcBlumpkin said:

@mdnthrvst said:

I've forged lasting friendships from the My Little Pony board

The bumper sticker of a serial rapist.

I'm so happy you are back. hahaha

#4 Posted by Doctorchimp (4078 posts) -

Nobody cares about your stupid special interest boards man...jesus that's all we are here.

b however is a fucking cesspool with monsters, and when people say 4chan is a piece of shit that rolls around in a shady looking van giving out candies to children, they are talking about b...

No one gives a shit about anything else...so get off your soapbox like you were being personally attacked or something. Also fuck 4chan.

#5 Posted by DoctorWelch (2774 posts) -

Who are you really trying to convince, us, or you?

#6 Edited by dungbootle (2458 posts) -

I used to frequent 4chan as a wayward teenager (first /b/, then /v/, /a/, and /m/). I stopped going there regularly before I was done with high school. Coming from someone who has been a regular there for any number of years, it's easy to say that their userbase has spawned some great projects alongside their bad reputation. I just stopped going there because I felt the level of maturity was completely stagnant, and the userbase would never move past lonely/bitter high school/college kids (creative and passionate as they may be).

Not that that isn't also Giant Bomb, but at least everyone here isn't a total asshole. While things have presumably changed since I've left, I don't expect that it really is all that different.

#7 Posted by LordXavierBritish (6320 posts) -

I don't even know what to do with this.

#8 Posted by Akyho (1678 posts) -

You may be right, however 4chan has a reputation it gained itself. The only way for it to lose it is to gain a new reputation.

Also...I dont care and most people kinda dont care.

#9 Posted by Mofaz (45 posts) -

Quit defending your awful corner of the internet.

#10 Posted by Knave (548 posts) -

I don't think anyone was talking about the entirety of 4chan. One shitty part of a website is enough for most people to stay away from the entire site. Making a topic on a Video Game forum about it won't change that.

#11 Edited by BlastProcessing (922 posts) -

4chan is a goddamn cesspit. That's it's exact purpose, for people to post fucked up shit whilst anonymous. It's not supposed to be some clean Haven, it's existence is to be filthy and absolutely vile. You have been there since 2008, you don't know the real 4chan.

@mdnthrvst said:

I've forged lasting friendships from the My Little Pony board

This proves you're not credible.

#12 Posted by Jace (1094 posts) -

@mdnthrvst said:

I've forged lasting friendships from the My Little Pony board

GG.

#13 Posted by Mixwizzard (83 posts) -

@mdnthrvst: Thanks for this post OP, always felt like there were negative sterotypes about 4chan thanks to all the dudebro amateur Anons who thinks its all about being a dick with no consequences. Just stay incognito and don't act like an ass and you'll be fine out there.

#14 Posted by Dallas_Raines (2191 posts) -

I used to be a semi-regular on /v/, but one too many visits to /b/ scared me straight.

#15 Posted by PrivateIronTFU (3874 posts) -

I've only been to that website one time, and it was enough for me to conclude that you're all terrible, terrible, terrible, sad, lonely people.

#16 Posted by Fuzzles (10 posts) -

The few times I decide to venture into that site, I'm always accosted with images of horribly mutilated people, crushed people, people being murdered and dead people. That happens often, people requesting gore threads, death threads, GIF's of people getting their heads cut off. The place is beyond trash and I don't go there anymore hoping for funny pictures.

#17 Edited by mdnthrvst (268 posts) -

@PrivateIronTFU said:

I've only been to that website one time, and it was enough for me to conclude that you're all terrible, terrible, terrible, sad, lonely people.

How comprehensive of you. Truly a credible and valued perspective to consider.

@Knave: If people conflate the behavior of a shitty cesspit circa 2008 (the mythical 'old /b/') and earlier with the decent and fine folk I choose to spend my time with, I'm going to be upset.

I can tell you a thousand Redditors were incensed when Gawker flippantly described them as the 'metastasized Xbox Live userbase.' Everyone loves and respects Reddit.

And I also find it hilarious, seeing non-Pony fans generalize *our* community as the one full of intolerant stuck-ups. You don't like the show, fine, but I do. And that's pretty much it. No rape, fetishes, or, as we call it, 'spaghetti' to be found. 'Love and Tolerance' and all that Brony shit was born on *4chan.*

@Fuzzles said:

The few times I decide to venture into that site, I'm always accosted with images of horribly mutilated people, crushed people, people being murdered and dead people. That happens often, people requesting gore threads, death threads, GIF's of people getting their heads cut off. The place is beyond trash and I don't go there anymore hoping for funny pictures.

Why'd you go to /b/? I would fine that awful too. I just never, ever see any of it, because I stick to better boards. 4chan's true enthusiast communites hate that place as much as everyone, but we've had the misfortune to be lumped together with them since time immemorial. It's infuriating.

#18 Posted by Jrad (624 posts) -

I spent a lot of time on 4chan between 2006 and 2009 (when I was in middle school) and I'd have to agree with your analysis. It's not half as messed up as other sites. Some of the opinions I see on 4chan are significantly less retarded than the views espoused by a couple of Giant Bomb members. Calling it the cesspool of the internet is going too far. Even /b/, one of the only boards I regularly frequented, is barely any worse than other internet forums. I've seen worse things on /r/WTF than /b/ (excluding child porn, which is always swiftly deleted anyway.)

I just grew out of it. A lot of the comments are shit, and the people are shitty — but tons of amusing stuff comes out of there. It's not as bad as people think, you're right, but I don't think there's any point trying to convince people of this. If they're even slightly interested, they'll gravitate toward the site by their own volition. If its brand of juvenile humor isn't to their fancy, they'll leave. It's how the internet works.

#19 Posted by kindgineer (2773 posts) -

So, what you're trying to tell me is that the reputation 4chan has gained for itself should be ignored and no one should take responsibility for the shit that they allow? Policing "SFW" and "NSFW" is hardly enough to convince me that the place isn't a cesspool gathering for immature ( while also somewhat creative ) individuals. We are not all perfect in the world, but when we are lone, we can be ignored. 4chan is a gathering for all these lonely, depressed, and angst filled individuals - and when you put them altogether - they are most definitely a portal of ignorance that one should avoid.

I despise 4chan for reasons well justified. It was disgusting when I visited it a couple of times in high-school, just as disgusting when I was exposed to it in college, and still to this day as bad as it was in the beginning. To tell me the place has "good eggs" isn't enough for the huge amount of crap that filters through. Giant-bomb doesn't have a "perfect" community by any stretch of the imagination, but the morals expressed here that are enforced are far more intelligent then the non-sense that is defended over there.

#20 Posted by BiffMcBlumpkin (3720 posts) -

@mdnthrvst said:

And I also find it hilarious, seeing non-Pony fans generalize *our* community as the one full of intolerant stuck-ups.

Yahahaha.

The "non-pony fan community".

#21 Edited by mdnthrvst (268 posts) -

@BiffMcBlumpkin: What? I never said non-fans formed a community. That's crazy. Non-fans are just anyone who isn't part of *ours*.

@ck1nd: But that's the thing. You don't just visit *4chan*, you visit /b/, or /v/, or /lit/, or /mu/, and all of these boards are PROFOUNDLY divergent in tone. I'm truly sorry if your opinions were solely formed by /b/, which, still, is VERY terrible, and deserves all the scorn and derision heaped on 4chan as a whole.

But 4chan isn't /b/. That's the fight that moot makes, vainly, every day he speaks publicly.

#22 Posted by BiffMcBlumpkin (3720 posts) -

I assume those aren't asterisks around your "ours" but are in fact two tiny assholes.

#23 Posted by mdnthrvst (268 posts) -

@BiffMcBlumpkin said:

I assume those aren't asterisks around your "ours" but are in fact two tiny assholes.

>I'd just like to strike up a serious conversation

Thanks for showing your true colors sooner rather than later. No, really, it's quite helpful.

#24 Posted by takayamasama (442 posts) -

This thread is gonna go nowhere pretty

#25 Posted by familyphotoshoot (654 posts) -

You probably should not have mentioned My Little Pony if you wanted to be taken even remotely seriously.

#26 Posted by BlastProcessing (922 posts) -

@mdnthrvst said:

@PrivateIronTFU said:

I've only been to that website one time, and it was enough for me to conclude that you're all terrible, terrible, terrible, sad, lonely people.

How comprehensive of you. Truly a credible and valued perspective to consider.

@Knave: If people conflate the behavior of a shitty cesspit circa 2008 (the mythical 'old /b/') and earlier with the decent and fine folk I choose to spend my time with, I'm going to be upset.

I can tell you a thousand Redditors were incensed when Gawker flippantly described them as the 'metastasized Xbox Live userbase.' Everyone loves and respects Reddit.

And I also find it hilarious, seeing non-Pony fans generalize *our* community as the one full of intolerant stuck-ups. You don't like the show, fine, but I do. And that's pretty much it. No rape, fetishes, or, as we call it, 'spaghetti' to be found. 'Love and Tolerance' and all that Brony shit was born on *4chan.*

You should be upset with yourself for giving a single shit about 4chans reputation. Who cares, keep quiet and continue browsing. If you can't take the heat its been getting since its inception, then stop frequenting it.

No sane person loves and respects reddit, it's a shithole. Bringing up reddit renders any argument invalid, cause you're coming off as reddit raging and nothing less.

Stop with your brony shit, you're a bunch of sick deluded people who ruin everything.

#27 Posted by BiffMcBlumpkin (3720 posts) -

@mdnthrvst said:

@BiffMcBlumpkin said:

I assume those aren't asterisks around your "ours" but are in fact two tiny assholes.

>I'd just like to strike up a serious conversation

Thanks for showing your true colors sooner rather than later. No, really, it's quite helpful.

Well then fuck you and the pony you rode in on!

#28 Posted by Animasta (14715 posts) -

4chan isn't very good.

I am a frequent lurker on the /u/ boards because they are the best place to find the newest yuri but that place is shitty too.

#29 Posted by Akyho (1678 posts) -

@BiffMcBlumpkin said:

Well then fuck you and the pony you rode in on!

No no no, say it more like George Takei!

#30 Posted by Bigandtasty (3203 posts) -

Occasional lurker here, though I haven't touched it since 2010 or so. I agree that most of the SFW boards aren't that bad, but a lot of the stupid comments that were born from /b/ do make their way to all boards.

#31 Posted by chrismafuchris (1088 posts) -

I go on /mu/ like every day, but it's starting to get incredibly boring. The problem is I don't know where else to go

#32 Posted by PrivateIronTFU (3874 posts) -

@mdnthrvst said:

@PrivateIronTFU said:

I've only been to that website one time, and it was enough for me to conclude that you're all terrible, terrible, terrible, sad, lonely people.

How comprehensive of you. Truly a credible and valued perspective to consider.

You're defending 4chan. Isn't my perspective automatically more credible and valued than yours?

#33 Posted by CornBREDX (5646 posts) -

The only good thing about this thread is Biff

#34 Edited by mdnthrvst (268 posts) -

@PrivateIronTFU: Why IS my perspective automatically invalid? That's a very interesting presumption, even moreso considering that the very point of this thread is to challenge it.

What I'm basically been trying to say is, 4chan is not equivalent to its massive, evil enfant terrible. That disgusting center can be avoided, and the rest of the place is immeasurably rewarding. I'm not a weirdo or a sicko for having been there all this time, because I learned to avoid those bad parts, the ones that everyone judge the entire, gigantic site by.

@rebgav: Can no one consider points on their own merit? I've tried to be as eloquent and rational as possible. Just because the 4chan stereotype isn't 'eloquence and rationality', doesn't mean it can't be discussed in such terms.

#35 Posted by the_OFFICIAL_jAPanese_teaBAG (4308 posts) -
@BiffMcBlumpkin said:

@mdnthrvst said:

@BiffMcBlumpkin said:

I assume those aren't asterisks around your "ours" but are in fact two tiny assholes.

>I'd just like to strike up a serious conversation

Thanks for showing your true colors sooner rather than later. No, really, it's quite helpful.

Well then fuck you and the pony you rode in on!

Honestly, Biff just put this thread into a bodybag.  Just stop trying.  
#36 Posted by DukesT3 (1934 posts) -

4chan used to be worse.

#37 Posted by GunslingerPanda (4839 posts) -

4chan is fine. Shit, /v/ and /vg/ make these forums look like /b/.

#38 Posted by LiquidPrince (16032 posts) -

I've never been on 4Chan, I wouldn't know. I just hear the stories.

#39 Posted by facepoppies (30 posts) -

I like to go to /v/. I've been going there for several years.

I don't go there to talk about video games, because it is a really bad place to talk about video games. If you say you like a game, people will swear at you and try really hard to shame you into suddenly not liking that game, no matter what it is. Or they'll accuse you of being a viral marketer, covertly shopping your product amongst the highly sought-after "gigantic douchebag" demographic.

I go there because it's fun. Yeah, that's right! It's a fun place to go! People holler and swear and say horrible things to each other for the dumbest reasons you can think of. You can just let loose, blow off steam, laugh at funny reaction pictures, laugh at funny threads about stupid things happening in the industry.

And the fact that it's anonymous means that nobody is really taking anybody else seriously. And there aren't circle jerk karma threads like those that make reddit such a crappy place. No "look at this Portal cake my gf made me!" topics. I think both the internet and the gaming community are better off for having a place like that to visit.

#40 Edited by mdnthrvst (268 posts) -

@rebgav: I wouldn't call my friends assholes and weirdos. Well, some of them are, but there are thousands of threads and thousands of communities within 4chan, and of course the porn ones are going to be porny. You can't characterize a conglomerate by the behavior of a few specific factions.

@facepoppies: The thing about /v/ is, all the serious topics of current games moved over to /vg/, Video Game Generals. The Dark Souls thread is wholly Anonymous and completely on-topic, though likely because Dark Souls is so dense that it warrants deep discussion. /v/ is a shadow of its former self, but about your point on not taking things seriously -

that's a two-sided coin. On the one hand, there are no entitled blowhards who can presume a measure of respect and attention based on their history. When you DO get into a serious discussion, it's a near-magical feeling, everyone talking about the thing they enjoy, not because they want to make themselves look smart, because they have no true self, but simply because they enjoy a given thing.

On the other hand, you're right. Threads can be shitty.

But, they're never boring.

#41 Posted by BiffMcBlumpkin (3720 posts) -

@mdnthrvst said:

there are thousands of threads and thousands of communities within 4chan, and of course the porn ones are going to be porny.

My little porny.

#42 Posted by shermanatorek (114 posts) -

@LooseChange: Really!? How is that possible?

#43 Edited by mdnthrvst (268 posts) -

@shermanatorek: Mods have stepped up their game, for one. Janitors - non-ban-enabled post deleters - have been hired en masse recently. Off-topic stuff or stuff against the rules disappears much more quickly than it used to.

But of course, all that's a realization that requires hands-on knowledge over a period of time, and those with a broad, generic prejudice formed a long time ago would have no way of knowing it.

#44 Posted by Knave (548 posts) -

@mdnthrvst: Why is /a/ so shit though?

#45 Posted by mdnthrvst (268 posts) -

@Knave: I don't watch /a/, but probably the same reason that anime at large is so shit. It's addicted to moe, and interesting, risky, out-there stuff isn't being produced.

Since /a/ is necessarily 'current', they can't spend all their time reliving Monster or Cowboy Bebop or Evangelion, so moe rules the roost. As do the people who sincerely enjoy it, who aren't really the people you want.

#46 Posted by Jace (1094 posts) -

@BiffMcBlumpkin said:

@mdnthrvst said:

And I also find it hilarious, seeing non-Pony fans generalize *our* community as the one full of intolerant stuck-ups.

Yahahaha.

The "non-pony fan community".

I fucking laughed. So hard. BiffMcBlumpkin, I owe you a drink.

#47 Edited by Knave (548 posts) -

@mdnthrvst: That's the thing though, even the moe threads get shat on. /a/ consits of Waifu, sauce, itt overrated shit, shitting on most popular anime of the season, why is she so perfect...threads. There's barely any discussion that gets going on about latest episodes or a show in general. It's pretty amusing to read through, but the board is utter shit.

#48 Posted by FirePrince (1763 posts) -

@BiffMcBlumpkin said:

@mdnthrvst said:

I've forged lasting friendships from the My Little Pony board

The bumper sticker of a serial rapist.

I laughed.

#49 Posted by huntad (1956 posts) -

I don't really mind 4Chan. I think they're a community just like ours. I don't see the difference. Except this guy's trying to reach out and some people are being fucking dicks.

#50 Posted by Bocam (3787 posts) -

2ch makes 4chan look like paradise

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