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4chan (YO-tsu-ba) is a now-defunct English language version of the infamous Japanese Futaba Channel. On 4chan, many pictures from around the world, mostly from anime and manga are posted and critiqued. There are also discussion forums in the style of 2ch. Most notably, due to bandwidth concern and growing international leeching, Japanese computer users cannot access the site without permission.

At its peak, 4chan's reach was well within the 20,000 most popular websites on the internet according to alexa. Rankings therefore rate well within the top .1 percent of all sites.

On June 20, 2004, at 11:35 PM, 4chan officially closed down after several attacks, lack of funding caused by a Paypal lockout, and lack of motivation from the founder.

Table of contents
1 Image boards
2 Famous memes/characters
3 Demise of 4chan
4 Stats of 4chan's final six months
5 Aftermath
6 External links

Image boards

The 4chan website consists of several image boards which each carry a short code consisting of one or more letters as well as a descriptive name. Image boards currently present on 4chan include:

The "Random", "Photo" and "Sexy Beautiful Women" boards are broader in scope then the more restrictively themed boards such as "Lolicon", "Yaoi" and "Yuri". "Photo" is reserved for photographs rather than CG imagery or edited photographs. "Sexy Beautiful Women" contains both nudity and nonnude photographs, often from photo books and thus typically of Asian women, although all ethnicities are allowed as long as the rules are taken into account.

In particular "Random", which allows some degree of commentary akin to light trolling, is treated with some derision as its chatter is often inane, and unlike other boards less tightly moderated. The category is also uncomfortably vague for some as it may contain internet shock site imagery quite randomly amongst otherwise tame and funny images, especially since the siphon board for the arguely most extreme art (/g/ for "Guro-" or "Grotesque") was trimmed off.

The "Cute Male" board was spawned as a preemptive solution to both content too softcore for the Yaoi board and the (arguably sexist) outcry against male characters in the Cute forum.

Many fans are vocal in keeping posted pictures apporpriate to boards, especially to even traffic content and avoid incuring anger among forums (Lolicon vs Cute, whose content spills over occasionally, debates are the most common.) A now tongue-in-cheek commentary to misposting a picture inapropriately is gb2/[boardcode].

Famous memes/characters

Like most message boards, it has its own range of in-jokes, although many image-based gags are permutations from 2chan such as WAHA Suzuran and the OS girls. Most others are based on existing characters from anime and manga. One common image meme is to post a picture with a character holding up a sign, a television screen, or some other blanked out area. It is then photoshopped accordingly.

Demise of 4chan

June 20, 2004, 4chan was shut down. The site was drawing a massive amount of bandwidth, which the owner could not pay for himself, and the site suffered a lack of monetary contribution, partly out of moderator apathy, especially on the part of Moot, and partly because PayPal suspended the donation account. There was an apparent TOS violation, and around 2000USD was locked. According to certain parties, Everfalling, now a moderator on 5chan, was the culprit. The final nail in the coffin was a flood assault by the Gay Nigger Association of America across the entire site.

Stats of 4chan's final six months

Successful server requests: 631,705,147 Requests

Successful requests in last 7 days: 27,337,963 Requests

Successful requests for pages: 57,772,752 Requests for pages

Successful requests for pages in last 7 days: 2,723,440 Requests for pages

Distinct hosts served: 1,076,836 Hosts (note: only for img.4chan)

Distinct hosts served in last 7 days: 70,949 Hosts (note: only for img.4chan)

Total data transferred: 13.191 TB (note: because the cgi.4chan domain is newer, it slightly threw off this number)

Total data transferred in last 7 days 536.813 GB: (note: off due to GNAA flood, usually ~600GB+)


Although the main site has been shut down, an IRC channel, #4chan on irc.pyoko.org, is still in operation. Many former users of 4chan fled to 5chan, a site set up after a disagreement with the operator of 4chan. The migration caused a great deal of friction, as the two communites were actually quite different. Many 4chan members have immigrated to Idlechan, at http://www.iichan.net, a 4chan clone that was designed to emulate the atmosphere of 4chan. It shares its moderation style and ethos.

On 7/14/04, moot posted the following in the forums of Something Awful:

"Two funny things. When I originally ran ads for a short while, one of the prospective buyers was none other than TheRowan, owner and webmaster of HentaiKey. What is HentaiKey you say? HentaiKey is a company that sells crappy anime porno at equally crappy prices. Oh, also they host anime/hentai sites and sell the emails used on signup for profit. One of example of such a site is the aforementioned, 5chan.

Now here is the interesting thing. Disappointed that 5chan was getting virtually no traffic and signups compared to 4chan, TheRowan decided to take action. What would any simple minded person do to shut down an opposing website? Cut the funds of course! On June 15th, 2004, TheRowan successfully contacted, and convinced PayPal to shut down 4chan's donation account (which was in no way physically tied to the domain originally), for violation of their AUP/TOS. By locking me out of EVERY SINGLE DONATION I had recieved, he effectively killed the site, as I could not pay the now $500+ bandwidth bills."

External links