Epic Win for Anonymous: How 4chan's Army Conquered the Web
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
4chan is the "Anti-Facebook," a site that radically encourages anonymity. It spawned the hacktivist group Anonymous, which famously defended WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange by bringing down MasterCard's and Visa's Web sites.
Created by a 15-year-old wunderkind in 2003, it is the creative force behind "the Web's most infectious memes and catchphrases" (Wired). Today it has over 12 million monthly users, with enormous social influence to match.
Epic Win is the first book to tell 4chan's story. Longtime blogger and 4chan expert Cole Stryker writes with a voice that is engrossingly informative and approachable. Whether examining the 4chan- provoked Jessi Slaughter saga and how cyber-bullying is part of our new reality, or explaining how Sarah Palin's email account was leaked, Epic Win for Anonymous proves 4chan's transformative cultural impact, and how it has influenced--and will continue to influence-- society at large.
Now, imagine a world full of millions of would-be Andy Kaufmans and Steve Albinis loosely working together. Only these trolls are all faceless, with no reputations to protect and nothing on the line. That’s the environment in which I’m about to expose my identity. Here goes nothing. Are You There /b/? It’s Me, Cole My publisher recently posted a page about my book with a cover mockup on the site, so I’m able to give 4chan a teaser. I type out a simple message. Oh hai /b/, What do we think of this? I type out the CAPTCHA (an authentication process instituted by moot to limit SPAM that made /b/ practically unreadable for a while in 2010) and exhale.
Birth Internet memes are born when the original source material is initially uploaded anywhere on the Internet. Fertile meme territory can be found all over the web, especially on community sites that encourage content uploading like YouTube, Deviant-Art, or Facebook, but also on remote locations like personal webpages. It could be a video of a guy riding a dirt bike into a railing, a hilariously comprehensive treatise on an obscure cartoon, a clever Photoshopped image, or video of a tween girl having a public emotional breakdown.
Sci/ Science & Math People arguing about science. Trolls trying to rile up math nerds. Kids looking to get quick answers for their homework. Armchair physicists pondering the nature of time and space. /soc/ moot posted the following message to 4chan in January 2011: 1. Created to get “rate me,” meetup, report in, cam, etc. threads out of /b/. 2. No whining (aka “BAWWW”) threads. 3. Post only pictures of yourself-not others. This isn’t a cam-whore dump board. 4. Per the above rule, nudity is allowed so long as it is of yourself.
Never before has the ratio of senders of memes to receivers of memes been so high. Millions of memes are constantly fighting for your attention, for a chance to replicate. Meme populations grow and shrink in the “meme pool,” as public awareness expands and contracts. The structure of the web has been built around ensuring that the strongest memes made up of the most compelling, “sticky” content rise to the top. We see this principle in action in content aggregators like Reddit and Digg, which often collectively scrape content from, you guessed it, 4chan.
Wired. Last modified November 2006. http://www. wired. com/wired/archive/14. 11/meganiche. html? pg=2&topic=meganiche. Slyck. “Gene Simmons Directly Threatens Anonymous With Legal Action, Jail Time. ” Last modified October 17, 2010. http://www. slyck. com/story2088_Gene_Simmons_Directly_Threatens_Anonymous_With_Legal_Action_Jail_Time. Smith, Hortense. “New Viral Video Hero Comes With Complications. ” Jezebel. Last modified August 1, 2010. http://jezebel. com/5601835/the-new-viral-video-hero-comes-with-complications.