Here Comes 8chan aka Infinity Chan – A New 4chan is Born

You may have heard of 4chan – it’s generally considered the worst place on the internet. We have always advised parents of teens what-is-8chanthat the site is not a safe or friendly place. Back in 2013 we wrote the following in a post titled “Is 4chan Safe for Teens”:

4chan is an image board social media forum, and home to some of the worst behavior and shocking photos on the internet… it’s almost impossible to browse 4chan without running into content or opinions that most parents would find not only unsafe, but downright shocking.  Fox News describes 4chan users as “a bunch of antisocial, foul-mouthed, clever nerds.”

The founder of 4chan, Chris Poole, is a well-known proponent of free speech, and has avoided almost all censorship on some segments of 4chan, except when things posted on the network are clearly illegal.

In an article about 4chan at Slate this weekend, the author offers the opinion that the folks at the head of 4chan bear responsibility for bad behavior there.

“4chan’s critics should look to the only person who has total control over the site itself: founder and operator Christopher “moot” Poole.”

We disagree. We are very much in favor of free speech, but there’s another issue at work here. The Slate author seems to think that no one is holding Poole responsible, but there is a group that is very much against Poole at the moment – 4chan’s users who are also free speech zealots. Consider the fact that earlier this month, in the wake of the first round of leaks of nude celeb photos, Poole and 4chan changed policies regarding posting of stolen or otherwise misappropriated content.

This group of very vocal users view 4chan’s caving on copyright laws as a betrayal, and has taken action. They have started a new site called 8chan, or Infinity Chan (edit in response to comment below – 8chan has been around since fall 2013, but has recently risen in popularity) that has even more lax rules than 4chan itself does.

For example, on 4chan the following are not permitted, except in the sub-forum /b/:

“You will not post any of the following outside of /b/: Trolls, flames, racism, off-topic replies, uncalled for catchphrases, macro image replies, indecipherable text, anthropomorphic (“furry”) or grotesque (“guro”) images… You will not post or request personal information (“dox”) or calls to invasion (“raids”).”

No such rules exist on 8chan. Anything that is legal in the U.S. is permitted, no matter how distasteful.

We still believe that 4chan, and now 8chan, are not appropriate for teens. We maintain, however, that holding the leaders of these forums responsible for users’ reprehensible behavior is wasted energy. There will always be a forum for unpopular views and content, as confirmed by the fact that 8chan popped up as quickly as it did.

As a parent, it’s up to you to stay on top of what your kids are doing online. Some places are safe and wholesome and some are not. Viewer, and parent, beware.

 

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

One Reply to “Here Comes 8chan aka Infinity Chan – A New 4chan is Born”

  1. Factual correction:
    8chan has existed since autumn 2013, but only recently saw a large upswing in trafic.

    Factual addition:
    8chan allows users to create their own board, which the board administrator can set the rules for. in theory, you could create a safe and family friendly board there, although a large majority of currently existing boards are not.

    Some context on the site culture:
    The main reason for the exodus of users from 4chan to 8chan was due to what users percieved as censorship of discussion of #GamerGate (a call for games journalism ethics, but with deeper political issues to it) and related issues, where moderators would ban users for even posting the words “gamergate”, “4free”, or “journalism ethics”
    With 4chan users being dominantly pro-#GamerGate, and the administrator, moot, attending a conference consisting mainly of people who would become the core of anti-#GamerGate just days prior to the purging of discussion, users figured moot had a political agenda for silencing discussion, didn’t support free speech (moot posted a sticky where he explicitly said 4chan was never about free speech) and left the site in favor of the much more lax 8chan.

Leave a Reply