In light of the Clinton campaign calling Pepe the Frog "a symbol associated with white supremacy" (which the ADL has now added to its online hate symbols database), The Atlantic interviews Matt Furie, the creator of Pepe: "My feelings are pretty neutral, this isn’t the first time that Pepe has been used in a negative, weird context. I think it’s just a reflection of the world at large. The internet is basically encompassing some kind of mass consciousness, and Pepe, with his face, he’s got these large, expressive eyes with puffy eyelids and big rounded lips, I just think that people reinvent him in all these different ways, it’s kind of a blank slate. It’s just out of my control, what people are doing with it, and my thoughts on it, are more of amusement."
now, you can look back at that and cringe, or (if you were around back then) look back and that and go “man, how the hell is neil cicierega still an internet celebrity?”, tho you could ask the same thing about dril, who back in those days was a newgrounds superstar who i will not reference or link out of courtesy / a sense of shared guilt – christ, some of my old shit is on youtube too, apparently i was an ~indie animator~ worthy of archiving when i was 12 – but imo the interesting thing here is how the transition from paleozoic (specifically, permian) to mesozoic (the current era) internet culture occurred alongside a total shift in aesthetics. if you’re old enough to remember the permian internet, you look back on it and cringe – you can’t help it. why?[more inside]
It’s easy to mistake the beta rebellion for a youthful, but otherwise undifferentiated, variation on the bad old tradition of patriarchy. Yet the phenomenon bears the unmistakable signs of a new, net-bred brand of misogyny. [...] But how, exactly, does "hegemonic masculinity" accurately sum up a scene explicitly identifying as beta male? [violence].[more inside]
2channel (NYT, 2004) is an anonymous, Japanese-language bulletin board which regularly ranks as one of the 50 most visited websites in Japan, and one of the top 500 worldwide. In 2004, the Times described it as a site of casual freedom in an otherwise staid public arena, "the place where gays come out in a society in which they mostly remain in the closet, where users freely broach taboo subjects, or where people go to the heart of the matter and ask, 'What's for dinner?'" and Wired in 2007 called it "an anonymous anarchy" and a "refreshing liberation." From the perspective of 2015, 2ch's history as an anonymous board might seem less novel: a kinetic creative culture, persistent hate speech (and subsequent DDoSes), mainstream media inspiration, threats and hoaxes, animal cruelty and shock content, severe data leaks, and, of course, increasingly urgent legal and moral questions about exactly who is responsible for the anonymous voices on 2ch.net. Today the site is still going strong, but in 2014 the founder and original owner of 2ch (apparently) stepped down. Sound familiar? Well, yesterday 2channel's founder acquired a new, English-language anonymous image board. moot no longer owns 4chan. [more inside]
Ben Garrison is the most trolled cartoonist in the world. His trolls love him so much, they recreated him in their own image. [via]
Christopher Poole, aka moot, the founder of the notorious anonymous imageboard 4chan, is stepping down as administrator of the site after eleven and a half years.
"Revenge is never pretty, but when done meticulously, intelligently, and psychotically, it sure is a thing of beauty." Al Jazeera tells the story of James McGibney, founder of BullyVille and CheaterVille.
In the wake of a questionable article about feminist programming languages, a group of trolls leapt on the idea to create a parodic implementation. GitHub promptly removed the code repository, as did BitBucket, but the latter restored it amid the controversy. More commentary from Slashdot and Twitter.
Chvrches' Lauren Mayberry: 'I will not accept online misogyny' "Being part of a band born on the internet means a daily sift through a barrage of sexually explicit abuse. Why are female musicians expected to put up with this?" [more inside]
So, Boston's KISS 108 FM decided to hold a Taylor Swift Biggest Fan Contest. But they cancelled it. [more inside]
Josh Keaton, the voice of Peter Parker/Spider-Man from 2007-09 for the TV series The Spectacular Spiderman reads a whole bunch of 60s Spider-Man Image Macros (Bleeped Audio) (Know Your Meme - video)
"It feels strange to be active and highly visible on the Web for 15 years but it was only when I joined Facebook that someone from elementary school or high school ever contacted me." In which on Ev Williams's platform, Mr Haughey compares his experiences of Facebook and Twitter. [more inside]
Go to bed, Tao Lin. Cole Styker, author of Epic Win for Anonymous: How 4Chan's Army Conquered the Web interviews and considers Tao Lin and 'trollgaze'. [more inside]
12 years ago, a Japanese doujin artist drew a sketch of five handicapped girls as an extra page, musing that it would make an interesting dating sim game. 5 years ago, a group of 4channers discussed making that game. Today, the free visual novel Katawa Shoujo was released for Windows, Mac and Linux. (previous discussion about demo) [more inside]
It appears a preview of the 1.8 update to Metafilter favorite Minecraft has been "leaked" to 4chan. [more inside]
4chan's texboard /prog/ invents a novel new sorting algorithm(no images, but NSFW with a few reprehensible bits thrown in) called sleep sort and translates it into most most modern programming languages. Hacker News provides analysis and finds itself impressed.
"/b/ has given rise to more ﬂuid practices to signal identity and status in spite of, or perhaps because of, the lack of technological support."
4chan and /b/: An Analysis of Anonymity and Ephemerality in a Large Online Community is a paper by researchers from MIT and the University of Southampton. The paper itself [PDF].
Founded in 2004 as a place to catalog LiveJournal drama rejected from Wikipedia, Encyclopedia Dramatica rapidly became the premier site on the web for all manner of lulz. Intended "in the spirit of Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary," ED grew into a sprawling crowdsourced compendium of memes, subcultures, communities, personalities, and the endless feuds and controversies spawned by 4chan and other anonymous imageboards. While comprehensive, the site developed a reputation for nastiness -- full of "ironic" (?) racism, gratuitous porn, organized attacks on other sites, and disturbingly thorough dossiers on perceived enemies, all dripping with vicious snark (just check out their entry on MetaFilter). But now, after more than six years, it appears the troll has become the trolled. Founder Sherrod "Girlvinyl" DeGrippo, allegedly disillusioned by the site's legal woes and nihilistic trajectory, has permanently shuttered the site and replaced it with OhInternet, a slicker, cleaner, Web 2.0 effort modeled after more respectable internet guides like Know Your Meme (which recently sold to Cheezburger Networks for a cool $N million, discussed here). Backups and mirrors abound, but as for the source? Pool's closed... forever.
Meet Barrett Brown, the heroin-addicted former journalist who's the self-proclaimed face of Anonymous. [previously]
Anonymous speaks: the inside story of the HBGary hack (via). More HBGary coverage: Glenn Greenwald. Salon. NYT. (previously, previously)
Social news site Reddit recently held their "Best of Reddit 2010" awards honoring key players in the site over the last year, including the progenitor of the Rally to Restore Sanity, the clever drive-by cartoonist Sure_Ill_Draw_That, unofficial image host Imgur, and feel-good story of the year "Today you, tomorrow me." But perhaps most interesting was the winner for Best Big Community: FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUU! Originally inspired by 4chan's popular Rage Guy meme, F7U12 (for short) is a clearinghouse for user-made web comics, slice-of-life affairs that tell a story or share a common frustration using a small collection of crudely drawn yet highly evocative facial expressions. Several have become small memes in their own right -- the wily Trolldad, the doormat Okay, the prideful Fuck Yea, the melodramatic Gasp. And one comic, inspired by the warped text randomly generated by reCAPTCHAs (previously), has given us Lord Inglip -- god of a dark religion now rivaling FSM whose cryptic commands marshal loyal armies of gropagas, falcows, Sellicks, and... canary into exploits both monstrous and inconvenient (timeline, wiki). Obey him -- or else! More fun with F7U12: rage face origins, rage faces in real life, Twitter feed, search comics, create your own (alternate).
I did it for the Lulz! but I stayed for the outrage (direct mp3 link) An anthropologist talks about Anonymous. [more inside]
The users of 4chan recently conducted a survey. The results are pretty much what you'd expect. (cloud link, wait for it to load)
Meet the Gifford Children's Choir out of Racine, Wisconsin as they perform Still Alive from Portal. [more inside]
An anonymous hacking outfit called "Gnosis" has infiltrated Gawker Media, hijacking the front page and leaking the company's internal chat logs, source code, and content databases along with the usernames, email addresses, and passwords of over 1.3 million users (including Gawker staff). The attack, which was motivated by what the group describes as the "outright arrogance" with which the company's bloggers taunted anonymous imageboard 4chan (semi-previously), affects every site in the Gawker network, including Gizmodo, Kotaku, Lifehacker, Jezebel, Deadspin, Jalopnik, and io9. While most of the leaked passwords are encrypted, more than 200,000 of the simpler ones in the torrent file have been cracked, and the links between account names and email addresses are in plaintext for all to see. Since the integrity of Gawker's encryption methods remains in doubt, it is recommended that anyone who has ever registered an account on any Gawker property change their passwords immediately, especially if the same log-in information is used for other services.
The radical human rights and subversive hacking group known only as Anonymous has struck again. In a retaliatory campaign dubbed Operation Avenge Assange, the group is conducting distributed denial-of-service attacks against perceived opponents of Wikileaks. PayPal, Mastercard, Visa, the Swedish prosecutor's office, and even Senator Joe Lieberman are among the targeted.
In the face of this onslaught PayPal has partially capitulated: agreeing to release funds from the Wikileaks account. [more inside]
In the face of this onslaught PayPal has partially capitulated: agreeing to release funds from the Wikileaks account. [more inside]
A videotaped performance art piece called "Interior Semiotics" (NWS) has become a meme due to its explicit content. Rhizome explains, and speaks with the artist about her intent with the work, the hipster audience getting so much derision, and what it's like to have her work scrutinized by 4chan. NWS for pretty much all links. [more inside]
Rage Guy started on 4chan as a way of expressing anger at mundane troubles. Hot Topic took the meme, mangled it, and put it on a shirt. But 4chan struck back: they declared that Rage Guy was now Race Guy [warning: irritating ironic racism] and that Hot Topic was supporting racism in youth culture. Today, Hot Topic announced they would be pulling their shirt from stores.
"The whole world turns upside-down in 10 years, but you turn upside-down with it." -- Spider Robinson, 1977.
The Power of the Internet : Flash Mob Gone Wrong... a story about how the cool things we love about the internet, combined, can go horribly, horribly wrong, by Tom Scott. From Ignite. (via (via)) [more inside]
Thousands of broadband customers in the UK have had their personal details uploaded to web, complete with the names of pornographic movies they are alleged to have downloaded. [more inside]
What Relational Aesthetics Can Learn From 4Chan : Art Fag City considers /b/ as collaborative art.
Romance Game Monday: Katawa Shoujo is a free dating game that is in progress, but the first act is available for download on all major OSes and in several languages. Why is this on MetaFilter, when there are other free visual novels? Well, this one is made by a Western team that originated on 4chan's /b/ after Dojinshi artist Raita made a sketch of disabled school girls. [more inside]
The people of 4chan are at it again. They are now trying to hijack the voting for Justin Bieber's next touring destination. Their goal: to send him to North Korea. There are now almost half a million votes to send Bieber to the secretive communist nation.
Here's the perfect gift for the 4 year old in your life: A Pedobear Plush.
/mu/, 4chan's music board, has started a university and listed its proposed faculty list. /tv/, 4chan's film and television board, is working on a comparable program of higher education.
Voting for the Time 100, Time Magazine's list of the world's most influential people in government, science, technology and the arts, has taken a bizarre turn. Rather than the expected dance-off between Stephen Colbert and Korean pop star Rain, the top spot is currently occupied by moot, the owner and operator of 4chan. Hear Time's own take on it, and then, learn who hacked the vote.
We made a mistake. That is the simple, undeniable truth of the matter, however painful it might be. The flaw was not in our Observatories, for those machines were as perfect as we could make, and they showed us only the unfiltered light of truth. The flaw was not in the Predictor, for it is a device of pure, infallible logic, turning raw data into meaningful information without the taint of emotion or bias. No, the flaw was within us, the Orchestrators of this disaster, the sentients who thought themselves beyond such failings. We are responsible.
"He is responsible for the online lives of 5 million monthly ... visitors -- the hackers, slackers and potty-mouthed geeks. They come ... when they should be doing calc homework. Now -- in debt, out of work, another example of the Internet's intangibility -- [he] just needs to figure out how to make that matter." The Washington Post profiles Christopher Poole, founder of 4chan. (Previously, minus the current economic realities)
Sarah Palin's email gets hacked by Anonymous (right, that Anonymous). And given the legal controversy surrounding her email, one wonders if the fact that her yahoo email accounts are now deleted constitutes destruction of evidence or violations of public-records laws. Its hit Wikileaks too, but, I'm not sure they have more then what's already released (rapidshare).
Zeno of Elea, Socrates and Jesus, Weev said, are his all-time favorite trolls. He also identifies with Coyote and Loki, the trickster gods, and especially with Kali, the Hindu goddess of destruction. “Loki was a hacker. The other gods feared him, but they needed his tools.” The New York Times investigates the ever-evolving, LOL-corrupting, epileptic-seizuring, iPod-leaving-on-gravestone-ing phenomenon of major Internet trolling, featuring interviews with Jason Fortuny, Weev, and a gentleman named Christopher Poole (prev). [more inside]
According to LA's Fox 11, Anonymous is epic evil and considered harmful.