Some people may not like the headline, but at this point it doesn’t really matter since a lot of people likely aren’t going to read this story anyways because most people don’t care about the internet’s equivalent of refuse. Nevertheless, if you are interested in the drama surrounding the Uncle Toms of free speech, look no further than 4chan and their recent woes where they appear to be running out of money faster than a retiring NFL star.
In a post made on Sunday, October 2nd, 2016, lead administrator over 4chan, Hiroyuki Nishimura, made an endearing post that pleaded for users to come up with reasonable solutions to a problem that is facing down 4chan like incurable STDs facing up at Charlie Sheen every time he lifts the toilet lid.
Hiroyuki Nishimura – the owner of 4chan since September, 2015 – doesn’t hold back in his honesty, letting users know that the road ahead for 4chan won’t be easy and there will be some kind of cost-cutting measure put into place one way or another, writing…
“Thank you for thinking about 4chan. We had tried to keep 4chan as is. But I failed. I am sincerely sorry.
“Some notice there are no more middle ads and bottom ads on 4chan. Ads don’t work well. So we reduced advertisement servers cost. 4chan can’t afford infrastructure costs, network fee, servers cost, CDN and etc, now.”
Technically, it wasn’t Hiroyuki’s fault at all. He ended up picking up the slack like a guy dating a hot girl and having to pick up her bratty kids in the process. He just wasn’t ready to deal with the responsibilities that came along with all that hotness.
Originally, things went south back in mid-September 2014 when Christopher “Moot” Poole betrayed his users, betrayed free speech and betrayed the internet. Poole took flight from 4chan faster than a 15-year-old boy ducking out of an alleyway after a failed attempt to help his girlfriend commit a clothes-hanger abortion.
Poole left 4chan in the hands of Social Justice Warriors after banning discussion of #GamerGate. His excuse was that too many people were talking about it across too many boards. Because obviously, a hot topic that affected a lot of people (even to this very day) is going to be talked about a lot.
So what was Poole’s solution? Censorship… mass censorship.
Obviously, anyone who valued free speech or wanted to discuss the corruption that still runs rampant in the gaming industry, was fresh out of luck.
#GamerGate is still censored on 4chan to this day because they valued safe spaces and tone policing on an anonymous imageboard. Embracing the SJW side of censorship caused a mass exodus toward another imageboard that had been running for a while called 8chan, that’s where #GamerGate now resides.
But getting rid of #GamerGate didn’t solve 4chan’s financial problems. Hiroyuki picked up 4chan like an unsuspecting visitor to a Chinese kennel looking for a meal that picks up a dog with aids; he was ordained for doom.
Hiroyuki gives 4chan denizens the option to pick their own poison… from cutting traffic in half by limiting image uploads, to using slower servers to the dreaded option of closing boards. Many users suggested to close the /b/ and /pol/ boards, the former due to being grotesque and the latter to being labeled as racist. As one Anon stated…
“Delete /pol/ hiro. Honestly. The traffic going there will either move to other boards and reduce the cost of having /pol/ in the first place and they must move in line with everyone else on other boards, abiding by the rules of those or get banned accordingly.”
The /pol/ board stands for Politically Incorrect. They talk open politics but majority of it is about unironically fawning over Hitler.
The danger, however, of cutting off a man’s use of detestable words means he must find a new place to use those words, or channel his hatred elsewhere for the lack of being able to use them.
As much as some people may not like /pol/, in a way it’s a containment board.
Nevertheless, deleting boards isn’t the only option. Hiro also proposes something that will not only make users squirm but will absolutely kill 4chan on search engines more than it already is: malicious ads. It’s either that or more 4chan passes.
The current infrastructure isn’t able to maintain the load and it’s not looking good for 4chan. Ultimately, the site will either have to trim the fat, shut down for good, or adopt the kind of ads that will force Chrome and Firefox users to receive a malicious content notice. Either way, it doesn’t look good for the anonymous imageboard’s future.
(Main image courtesy of Know Your Meme)