4chan and the case for online anonymity

You may not know 4chan. It’s an online message board. Users don’t so much push the boundaries of acceptability as do the web version of running around naked, waving porn mags and shouting racist jokes. That said, what it does is important in a number of ways. Anonymity is – for me at least – an important part of internet subculture. Here Christopher “moot” Poole explains his side of things. He explains some of the memes that have sprung from 4chan and also shows how the “Anonymous” community, for all its flaws, has actually effected change. Yes there’s often a lot of vulgarity, but… so what? There’s a good chunk of free speech about to go down the pan if this sort of site is threatened. As Evelyn Beatrice Hall (not Voltaire) said: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

ps – when he talks about /b/, that’s the name 4chan give to the random category, so basically that’s where the boobs and willies (and worse) are. Point is, you don’t *have* to go to /b/ to enjoy the site’s benefits. There’s a rather nice board that’s all about recipes too. 4chan

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