ONE DOZEN by "The Team" - 10/01/15 @ 1:30AM EDT
Thanks yet again to our dear friend Mac!
Today I'm pleased to announce that Hiroyuki Nishimura, best known as the founder of 2channel, has taken my place as the owner of 4chan.
Hiroyuki is a pioneer in the world of anonymous communities, and can be thought of as the great-grandfather of 4chan. His creation of 2channel in 1999 sparked an era of anonymous-centric web culture in Japan that led to the creation of Futaba Channel, the site that inspired 4chan. None of us would be using 4chan today—or potentially any anonymous image board—if it weren't for him.
I met Hiroyuki in 2011 and we became fast friends, bonding over our shared passion for creating and managing online communities. He is one of few individuals with a deep understanding of what it means to provide a digital home for tens of millions of people for more than a decade. There is nobody more qualified than Hiroyuki to lead 4chan, and I can't think of a person better suited for the task.
4chan sits on the eve of two great milestones—its 2 billionth post and 12th birthday. It has been a great privilege to serve as 4chan's founder and steward for almost twelve years, and I can't wait to see what lays in store under Hiroyuki's experienced leadership.
Today I'm pleased to announce that Hiroyuki Nishimura, best known as the founder of 2channel, has taken my place as the owner of 4chan.
Hiroyuki is a pioneer in the world of anonymous communities, and can be thought of as the great-grandfather of 4chan. His creation of 2channel in 1999 sparked an era of anonymous-centric web culture in Japan that led to the creation of Futaba Channel, the site that inspired 4chan. None of us would be using 4chan today—or potentially any anonymous image board—if it weren't for him.
I met Hiroyuki in 2011 and we became fast friends, bonding over our shared passion for creating and managing online communities. He is one of few individuals with a deep understanding of what it means to provide a digital home for tens of millions of people for more than a decade. There is nobody more qualified than Hiroyuki to lead 4chan, and I can't think of a person better suited for the task.
4chan sits on the eve of two great milestones—its 2 billionth post and 12th birthday. It has been a great privilege to serve as 4chan's founder and steward for almost twelve years, and I can't wait to see what lays in store under Hiroyuki's experienced leadership.
I founded 4chan eleven and a half years ago at the age of 15, and after more than a decade of service, I've decided it's time for me to move on.
4chan has faced numerous challenges over the years, including how to continuously satisfy a community of millions, and ensure the site has the human, technical, and financial resources to continue operating. But the biggest hurdle it's had to overcome is myself. As 4chan's sole administrator, decision maker, and keeper of most of its institutional knowledge, I've come to represent an uncomfortably large single point of failure.
I've spent the past two years working behind the scenes to address these challenges, and to provide 4chan with the foundation it needs to survive me by bolstering its finances, strengthening its infrastructure, and expanding and empowering its team of volunteers. And for the most part, I've succeeded. The site isn't in danger of going under financially any time soon, and it's as fast and stable as ever thanks to continued development and recent server upgrades. Team 4chan is also at its largest, and while I've still been calling the shots, I've delegated many of my responsibilities to a handful of trusted volunteers, most of whom have served the site for years.
That foundation will now be put to the ultimate test, as today I'm retiring as 4chan's administrator. From a user's perspective, nothing should change. A few senior volunteers—including 4chan's lead developer, managing moderator, and server administrator—have stepped up to ensure a smooth transition over the coming weeks.
I'll need time away to decompress and reflect, but I look forward to one day returning to 4chan as its Admin Emeritus or just another Anonymous, and also writing more about my experience running 4chan on my personal blog. The journey has been marked by highs and lows, surprises and disappointments, but ultimately immense satisfaction. I'm humbled to have had the privilege of both founding and presiding over what is easily one of the greatest communities to ever grace the Web. It was truly an honor to serve as 4chan's founding administrator, and I look forward to seeing what the next decade holds for the site.
On to the next chapter,
mootnote: I plan to dedicate this Friday afternoon (ET) to host a livestreamed Q&A session, where I'll hold court with the community one last time. Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube page, and keep an eye out for a global message the day of. As always, I welcome and read all of my e-mails, and you may contact me personally at email@example.com and on Twitter at @moot.
Update: You can find the audio from my farewell Q&A session—which lasted 8 full hours—on YouTube here.
Eleven and a half years of 4chan, in numbers:
|2,838||Terabytes per month|
As I said when I announced our 10th anniversary panel, I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate 10 years of 4chan than to spend it with more than 1,000 of my closest friends. A big thanks to everyone who attended the panel in person, to Anime Weekend Atlanta for hosting us, and to all of you who joined us via livestream.
The streamed video is available here, and a higher quality video is forthcoming (give us a few weeks).
See you all in 2023!
Moderation has always been a hot-button issue on 4chan. "What's considered 'on-topic'?", "How strictly should the rules be enforced?", et cetera have all been debated for years, but while the questions have remained the same, the 4chan of today is not the 4chan of yesterday.
Last month, 4chan was accessed by 22.5 million unique visitors. For comparison, during that same period five years ago, the site was accessed by 3.2 million unique visitors. Rules 1 and 2 be damned, 4chan has grown dramatically over the years.
Despite a seven-fold increase in visitors, what hasn't changed much is the site itself. Aside from the front page redesign some six and a half years ago (a scandal in its day) and the introduction of the catalog and inline extension, from a user's perspective, the form and function of 4chan has largely remained the same. This has been deliberate. While we've made numerous behind-the-scenes improvements to support the site's growth, we've always sought preserve the core 4chan user experience, which is why almost every new user-facing feature has been made optional.
Another thing that hasn't changed much is the number of boards we host. Today we host about 60 boards, whereas in 2008 we hosted just over 40. Why the disparity? I could (and probably will) write an entire news post about this, but for the most part, we've tried to serve a diverse set of interests with as few boards as possible. This is done in the interest of establishing a critical mass to ensure round-the-clock activity, and to avoid unnecessarily fragmenting the community.
So here we are, trying to cram significantly more people into a marginally expanded site, with what is essentially the same software and roughly the same number of volunteers. It's not surprising that this overcrowding has led to quarrels amongst users and disagreements with the staff. We're simply struggling to accommodate more users than ever, who want to discuss more topics, coupled with strong opinions regarding what does and doesn't belong.
The purpose of 4chan's Rules page is to answer that question—what does and doesn't belong. If you look through the rules (as I'm sure you all have), I think you'll find them to be well-intentioned and straightforward. The majority seek to clarify what constitutes "on-topic" posting, and their purpose is not to stifle discussion, but to facilitate it. They're also written to be clearly understood by both the users and moderators, to ensure both compliance and consistency in their enforcement.
Why is "on-topic" discussion so important anyway? It's important to remember that on 4chan every time a new thread is created, one thread is removed. Put another way, for every 10 "culture" threads that are posted, 10 potentially board-appropriate threads are automatically pruned.
There's that word—culture. "Board culture" is a relatively new term to 4chan, and a particularly divisive one. On one hand, every board undoubtedly has its own unique culture—it's why we're proud to call ourselves /v/irgins and /k/ommandos. On the other hand, "culture" is often used to justify posts that have little to do with the topic of a board. Under the guise of "board culture," countless off-topic threads are created every day, pushing on-topic discussion off the board. What is considered acceptable board culture is often a grey area, since the term is usually suited to an individual's personal taste, or that of a vocal minority. As one Anon so aptly put it, "One man's 'culture' is another man's 'shitpost.'"
Which brings us to that other word—shitpost. The term "shitpost" has consumed the zeitgeist of 4chan in recent months, and it's a challenge to spend more than a few minutes browsing without stumbling into threads where accusations of shitposting fly left and right. Shitposting, like board culture, is hard to pin down, but I'd define it as simply "knowingly contributing low quality, off-topic, or ill intentioned posts."
4chan's gift of anonymity offers us something not often found on today's Web—the opportunity to speak our mind and share ideas and be judged for the content of what we write rather than who we are. For a long time, this resulted in an environment unlike any other, one that fostered and rewarded creativity and experimentation. However these days, many posters use this precious gift as a license to say and do whatever they'd like, often to the detriment of the board. Using 4chan should be enjoyable—but your enjoyment of the site shouldn't come at the expense of your fellow 4channers.
Our small team of volunteers is tasked with an impossible feat: maintaining order and sifting through a never-ending supply of reports and posts, all whilst doing their best to please millions of people. But we try our best, and to that end we've made a number of changes and improvements these past few months. Below is a recap of some of these changes, as well as changes we'll be making going forward. Let's start with some of the previous changes:
We've added multiple features to improve content discovery. People tend to perceive a board's "quality" based on how quickly they're able to find content relevant to their interests, while avoiding content that isn't. We introduced the catalog (and recently added [Search] to the board indexes) to help users quickly survey a board and navigate to threads that interest them. We also added infinite scroll to board indexes (click [All] in the page switcher) to encourage users browse past the first few pages, and have continued to improve our inline extension and its features (notably the thread watcher and filters). If you haven't already checked out the inline extension, you can do so by clicking [Settings] in the upper or lower-right corner of your screen.
Our moderation tools were overhauled. The report queue and appeals interface were rewritten from scratch, resulting in more efficient processing of reports and appeals. The perception that moderation has increased in the past few months is due to moderators and janitors having access to these superior tools, and not any policy changes. Appeals are now processed within hours as opposed to days or weeks, and many of the ban templates have been reduced to 1-3 day board-specific bans. In addition, our moderator and janitor activity log viewer was rewritten to increase oversight. We also audited and removed a number of old spam filters, IP range bans, and country blocks.
Going forward, the following will change:
sage is now invisible. sage is not a downvote, and this misconception has persisted for far too long. sage replies will continue to function as they have in the past, but will no longer be displayed in the e-mail field.
I'll be doing livestreamed audio PMQ/Q&A sessions from now on, as opposed to written ones. The audio format enables me to give longer answers to meatier questions, which had been a criticism of the written format. You can listen to the first one here. And be sure to subscribe to our official YouTube channel so you can catch future PMQs and our 10th Anniversary Panel livestream on September 28th.
/q/ will be retired and replaced. The imageboard will be replaced with a suggestion box, where you'll be able to contribute feedback, report moderation concerns, and file bug reports. Answers will be searchable and linkable from the boards. As always, questions/comments/concerns can be sent to me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Post timers are now applied separately to intra- and inter-thread replies. For worksafe boards, intra-thread post timers have been increased to encourage more thoughtful, less chatroom-y replies, whereas inter-thread timers are presently unchanged. On the not-worksafe boards, most of the timers remain the same. The sage timer has been lowered to match that of a normal reply.
Last but not least, we're making bans more transparent. The public ban log displays a sample of recent bans, which we hope will give users insight into what content is being removed, and why.
With 4chan's 10th anniversary just two weeks away, I'm reminded of a similar news post I wrote in 2008. It touches on many of the same issues I've discussed here, and ends with the following note:
"Enough about all that though—back to the big picture. What I want users to take from this gigantic pile of words is that I'm still here and excited as ever to be working on 4chan. We have a lot in store for the site in the coming months. As I've said in the past, stagnation is not acceptable, and 4chan will continue to make strides forward in development. For a site that's essentially just "pictures and text", 4chan has become so much more, and I'm proud of what we as a community have accomplished in what will soon be five years. Thank you for continuing to be a part of it."
I feel the same way today as I did five years ago—excited for the future, and proud of how far we've come. Thanks as always for continuing to be a part of something great.
My, how time flies. It feels like just yesterday that I was sitting at a microphone, surrounded by a thousand of my meme-spouting compatriots.
Despite hosting three extremely succesful panels at Otakon 2005, 2006, and 2007, I never expected I'd host another. For one thing, we weren't invited back in 2008—not to mention I haven't attended a con in almost five years.
But a recent dinner with some of 4chan's original moderators had us reminiscing about how much fun it was to throw those old panels, and we figured hell—what better a way to celebrate 4chan's 10th birthday than with 1,900 of our closest friends? Thus, we're pleased to announce:
4chan: The Official 10th Anniversary Panel
Anime Weekend Atlanta 2013, September 28th, 10:00PM ET – Main Events
The panel will be hosted by myself and shut, and feature a number of familiar faces. If you never had the [mis]fortune of attending one of our Otakon panels, you can find them on YouTube. AWA has generously given us use of Main Events on Saturday night at 10:00PM, and we plan to put it to good use—quarantining the 4channers in attendance. In all honesty, we have only the vaguest sense of what we'll be doing, but I hope you'll join us for what's likely to be our last rodeo. If previous years are any indication, it should be blast. And at the very least, we can shoot for the Guinness World Record of "most fedoras in one room."
So for those of you who can join us, I hope you will. And for those who can't, I hope you'll join us via stream (more info to follow).
See you there!
Note: Since this announcement comes on somewhat short notice, we'd appreciate your help spreading the word. Have a friend attending AWA or in the Atlanta area? Tell them to come! If you plan to attend the con and haven't already registered, be sure to do so as soon as possible since pre-registration ends tonight. You can register here using coupon code "topkek" for a $2 discount. Also ZUN will be there. How can you not come?
mootnote: I stumbled into these old con buttons and downtime pages, triggering quite a trip down memory lane. The original artwork the 4chan community produced back in the day is truly incredible. If you haven't already checked out the 4chan Flash Archive, I highly suggest you do—4chan City, Sage Man, and LongCat's Song are personal favorites.
Last month we began accepting janitor applications for the first time in more than a year. We were overwhelmed by the response and received almost 10,000 applications in just 24 hours.
Now that we've had time to sort through them, we'll be adding janitors in batches over the coming weeks. High traffic boards and boards that need extra moderator attention are our priority, and we hope to have the rest covered shortly after.
In addition to new janitors, we've made two noteworthy changes to our moderation system. The first change is the introduction of a temporary posting block that is applied when a janitor submits a ban request. When a ban request is submitted by a janitor, the user will be blocked from posting for 15 minutes while a moderator reviews the request. If the request is approved, then a regular ban is added (as is the case now), and if the request is denied, the block is removed immediately. This change is being introduced to address the biggest challenge janitors have faced over the years, which is an inability to stop ban evaders, spammers, et cetera from posting while they wait for a moderator to become active and approve their request.
The second change is that we've made bans re-appealable. Historically, once a ban appeal was submitted and denied, there was no way to re-appeal it. You may now appeal your ban up to 5 times, with a short waiting period between each appeal. This should give users with long and permanent bans whose appeals had previously been denied an opportunity to have their ban lifted.
Aside from that, here are a few more changes from the past month and a half:
4chan's inline extension gained a number of new features, including image hover previews, inline quoting, keyboard shortcuts, and more. Check it out by clicking [Settings] in the upper right-hand corner of any imageboard page. Have a feature request or bug report? Let us know on GitHub.
The 4chan API now supports indexes as endpoints. You can find updated documentation here. Fun fact: We're currently processing 50 million API requests per day.
A few of our servers have been upgraded, adding faster disks and more memory. The site should be functioning as fast as ever.
The default post limits on the NSFW boards were increased to match the worksafe boards, at 300 bumps and 150 image replies.
With the release of iOS 6, you can now start threads and upload images from mobile Safari on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.
That's all for now! Expect another update concerning janitors once we've added the first few batches.
Last week we introduced 4chan Pass as a way of supporting the site in exchange for a convenient feature. Since then, I've received a handful of questions and feedback that I'd like to address.
4chan Pass Q&A
Why not accept traditional donations?
I covered this in my original announcement, but I'll take another stab at it.
I am not a fan of ongoing donations. I don't believe it's a model that can sustain large websites (with notable exceptions such as Wikipedia, which also relies on millions in donated hardware and bandwidth, and contributions that are tax-deductible), and frankly, I just don't like them. It's always been my desire to provide 4chan for free to as many people as possible, for as long as possible—something that gets harder and harder as the years go by and the site's traffic increases—and view the introduction of 4chan Passes as a means to maintain that goal. I'm proud that we haven't accepted a penny in donations for more than seven years, and view a paid product or service such as a 4chan Pass as an acceptable alternative that provides users with a way of giving back while receiving something of value in return.
I don't feel safe giving 4chan my credit card information.
All transactions are processed securely by our payment provider—your card information never passes through nor is it stored on our servers. Your information is sent directly from your browser to their servers for processing. You can learn more about their security here.
Will you accept PayPal or alternative payment methods in the future?
At this time, it's unlikely we'll offer PayPal, Google Checkout, Bitcoin, or other payment methods. If you'd like to purchase a Pass and it's not possible for you to use a debit or credit card, try purchasing a gift card or check if your bank/payment method of choice allows you to generate a "virtual" credit card number.
Will Passes be offered for terms shorter than one year?
4chan Passes will only be offered in one year increments for a cost of $20 USD, which works out to $1.67 per month, or less than the average 20oz bottle of soda.
Why can a Pass only be used from one location at a time?
Passes may only be used by one IP address at a time due concerns over abuse. You may use a Pass with multiple devices so long as they access 4chan from the same IP address. You can change the IP associated with your Pass once every 30 minutes (lowered from 6 hours!), and this will happen automatically when posting from a device that has already been authorized and cookied. Unless your IP changes more than once every 30 minutes, you shouldn't notice this at all.
I've been banned in the past/am banned often—will my Pass be revoked?
In most cases, no. Passes must be revoked manually, and will only be revoked under limited circumstances. Regular bans and auto-bans will not revoke your Pass, however you may not use your Pass while banned.
What about the potential for spam and abuse?
Passes that are used to spam or post illegal content will be revoked, and the payment will not be refunded. In addition, Pass users are still subject to the standard post timers and spam filters.
I can't post because my ISP, IP range, or country is blocked. Can I use a Pass?
Yes. Using a 4chan Pass will allow you to bypass blanket ISP and country blocks, but not individual IP bans.
Can I purchase a Pass as a gift for someone else?
Yes. Shortly after introducing 4chan Passes, we added the ability to purchase them as a gift. Simply click "Purchase this Pass as a gift for someone else" on the payment form, enter the gift recipient's e-mail address, and we'll mail them the Pass details and a confirmation to you.
Is it possible to donate to 4chan without purchasing a Pass?
No. Again, Passes were introduced as an alternative to accepting donations. If you'd like to support the site, consider purchasing a Pass.
Is it possible to pay more than $20 for a Pass?
Nope! But if you're interested in contributing more, feel free to purchase Passes as gifts for friends or strangers, or purchase more than one for yourself.
Why is CAPTCHA still necessary?
4chan requires CAPTCHA because spam continues to be an enormous problem for us. Every day, thousands upon thousands of spam posts are automatically filtered before reaching the image boards, and still hundreds slip through. CAPTCHA is extremely effective at blocking automated spam, and spam that slips through is often submitted manually by spammers, or by people paid to solve CAPTCHAs.
In addition to commercial spam, we've also had problems with user flooding, advertising, viruses, worms, and more. Prior to the implementation of CAPTCHA, entire boards were wiped due to spam on a regular basis—all 10-15 pages. CAPTCHA may be inconvenient, but without it, there wouldn't be a 4chan.
If you were on the fence about purchasing a Pass, I hope these answers helped some. If you have a question that wasn't answered here, please feel free to e-mail email@example.com. Thanks as always for your support.
Expect a news post next week with an update on janitor applications, and a handful of other moderation and site improvements.
PS: Only three days to go until 4chan's 9th birthday!
After publishing my news update commemorating 4chan's billionth post, I received an outpouring of support from people unaware I had borne the financial burden of keeping the site afloat over the years. Many asked how they could donate, and were disappointed to learn 4chan does not accept donations. With the re-introduction of banner ads to our not-worksafe boards this weekend (which were removed almost a year ago), I believe now is as good a time as any to address these questions.
Historically, 4chan has sustained itself in two ways—advertising and donations.
Since its earliest days, 4chan has run banner ads to help recoup its formidable hosting costs. Many of you have seen J-List's ads on our worksafe boards, which have been running for the better part of the past nine years. Despite our long-standing relationship with J-List, their ads alone cannot support the cost of the site.
I have always done my best to hold 4chan's advertising to a high standard. Most advertisers who approach us wish to run ads that are irrelevant, pornographic, or have sound, movement, Flash, pop-ups, et cetera. I personally don't block ads and thus browse the site with every ad I'd ask you to. The upside is that with the exception of the adult ads we ran during the economic crisis of 2008, 4chan's advertising has always been unobtrusive, tasteful, and relevant. The downside is that for the past year the site has failed to break even, and I've been covering the loss out of my own pocket.
Many of you have suggested we turn to donations, as we did several years ago. In 2005 we ran a donation drive to raise money to purchase servers, colocate them, and host the site for one year. Ultimately, we fell short of the $20,000 fundraising target, but I still fulfilled my promise—I purchased three servers, colocated them, and have now hosted the site for more than 7 years without asking for or accepting a single penny from the community.
Since then, I've made it clear that I do not intend accept donations again. Why? I don't believe in large websites supporting themselves through ongoing donations (a la Wikipedia), both ideologically and practically. I hate the thought of asking users to donate money and receive nothing of value other than "the site doesn't die." Our previous donation drive was more comparable to a modern day crowd-funding project. I asked the community to contribute $20,000 to accomplish three discrete goals, stated a timeframe, and made good on my promise. An explicit contract existed between myself and the contributors, and there was no question about what was being offered in exchange for contributing towards the goal. Ongoing donations are different because there is no stated, discrete goal. You've supported the site by contributing, but now what? What does that get you—what do you receive in exchange?
Recently it was suggested on /q/ that we allow users to pay to bypass entering a verification when posting, as an alternative to accepting donations. Many people wrote me on /q/ and via e-mail in support of the idea, and after careful consideration, I've decided to implement it. Paying for a product or service is fundamentally different from a donation, while still accomplishing the same goal, and I view this as an acceptable compromise between the two models described above.
Starting today we'll be offering 4chan Passes as way of supporting the site. You'll find more details at the linked page, but essentially a Pass will allow you to bypass entering a CAPTCHA when posting on the image boards. You'll still be subject to the post timers and nobody else will know you're using a Pass—your posts will appear exactly the same. But for the many who wished to donate but were unable, I'm pleased to offer this as an alternative whereby you're able to support the site and receive a convenient feature in return.
In two weeks 4chan will turn 9 years old—something that is almost unfathomable to me. It has always been my goal to provide the community with the best site possible, for as long as I'm able to. We've had our ups and downs, but between the recent HTML5 refactor, mobile site, overhaul of our moderation system, public API, native extension, and new janitors, I'm as excited as ever to explore what the future holds in store.
If you believe in this mission, I hope you'll consider supporting 4chan by unblocking ads and purchasing a 4chan Pass.
In May we launched a radical refactor of our frontend code, migrating 8 year old spaghetti HTML to code that validates HTML5/CSS3. The change was made to improve the rendering speed of large threads and consistency across browsers, and enable extension developers to more easily develop for the site. Along with the new code, we unveiled a responsive design with a mobile optimized view for phones, and also integrated a number of features from our Chrome extension directly into the site—specifically quick reply, quote previews, backlinking, and inline image expansion. These features alone make the site much more enjoyable to use, but there are many other great features that weren't included in our first pass.
Today represents another radical change to our codebase, with the release of a full featured inline extension. It's also the first major change to the user-facing portion of the site since December 2007, when we overhauled the front page and imageboard themes. Almost every feature from our offical extension and other popular third-party extensions has been implemented natively into the site, and a handful have been enabled by default. Furthermore, the project is being posted publically to GitHub and we're inviting the developer community to give us feedback and help make bug fixes and feature suggestions. The code is also being released under an open source, 3-clause BSD license—a first for us.
My second announcement is another first—the release of a read-only JSON API. "4chan" and "API" are certainly two words I never thought I'd find in the same sentence, but alas, here we are. Beginning today, every thread will be rendered in JSON and accessible via http(s)://api.4chan.org/board/res/threadnumber.json
The decision to release an API was partially out of necessity, but also because I'm curious to see how people will use it. The total number of official and third-party extension users numbers in the hundreds of thousands (roughly 1.5% of all visitors), and our native extension will reach all 22 million of 4chan's monthly visitors. This potentially has huge performance implications, and it's much more efficent to fetch JSON objects rather than scrape a full HTML page. The difference in filesize and performance is dramatic, with the a JSON representation of a thread being only 10-50% the size of the original HTML. A very crude documentation of the API can be found on GitHub.
Thanks again to our awesome volunteers, and most importantly, you the community for making this all possible. I haven't been this excited in years.
Note: For those of you already using the official or third-party extensions, you'll need to disable your extension via your brower's Extensions/Add-ons menu, or disable the inline extension features by clicking [Settings] in the upper right-hand corner of the page, and selecting "Disable the extension".
In my last news post, I touched on an ongoing issue concerning a lack of consistent moderation.
Over the years 4chan has grown considerably, but the team has not. More than 20 million people will visit 4chan in a given month, and of those visitors, 2 million will submit almost 25 million posts. In contrast, there are less than 50 volunteer moderators and janitors.
Why the large gap? For one, it's hard to recruit from an anonymous community, since it can be difficult to identify the best contributors when you don't know who they are. Second, it's just not feasible to have hundreds or thousands of moderators and janitors due to the amount of time it takes to recruit, train, communicate with, and monitor their activities. To that end, instead of scaling the team over the years, we've focused on making moderation more efficient.
Today I'm pleased to announce a big improvement we've made to our ban system. In the past, bans have been submitted individually by moderators, leading to widely inconsistent ban reasons and punishments. Although we do have guidelines in place, they don't cover every circumstance where a user might be banned, and require slow, tedious entry. Ideally, all of this should be automated—and now it is. Every global and board specific rule has been imported into a drop-down list in the ban panel, and moderators must now select from a set of pre-populated ban reasons and lengths, all of which are codified in the Rules.
By standardizing ban reasons and lengths and making sure they correspond to the posted rules, we hope to make life better for everyone on the site. Moderators can perform their tasks more efficiently, banned users will have more insight into why they were banned, and everyone will benefit from rule-infringing content and offenders being removed from the site more quickly.
In addition to rolling out the revised ban system, we'll soon start accepting janitor applications. For those who are not aware, a janitor is a user who has the ability to view the reports queue, delete posts from their assigned board(s), and submit ban requests to moderators. We limit janitors to one or two boards in an attempt to select people who are knowledgeable and frequent visitors to the boards they're assigned. Ideally these people are some of the best contributors on a particular board and wish to make it a better place through both quality contribution and the ability to remove rule-infringing content. If you haven't read the application page yet and are interested in applying, I'd encourage you do so.
We will begin accepting janitor applications on September 9th, and will only accept them for 24 hours. The application consists of a few pieces of information about yourself such as which boards you browse and what hours you're available to help out, and three long-form questions. All applications are blind screened by the team—we don't see your name, e-mail address, or other personal information during review. Because we received over 9,000 applications last time around, the entire process is expected to take weeks, and we ask that users do not contact us to inquire about the status of their application. Those who are selected to advance through the process will be notified by e-mail.
Last month, we re-launched /q/ - 4chan Discussion. It's been great to have a place to interact with the community one-on-one again, and I've thoroughly enjoyed reading through the feedback. We've yet to hold our first Q&A session, but I plan to set aside a few hours on a weekend later this month to hang out, answer questions, and respond to your feedback. The thread will stay stickied for a week, so even if you miss out on participating in the discussion, you'll be able to read through it later.
All in all, I hope these changes will address some of the community's concerns about moderation. It's important to remember that the moderators and janitors are people like you—people who actively use and care about 4chan. They've contributed an untold number of hours in an attempt to keep the site free of garbage, and do an excellent job given the challenges they face—reacting swifly and consistently, pleasing a rather vocal and unforgiving audience, and being severely outumbered by the userbase and constant stream of new posts.
Thanks to them for their hard work, and thanks to you for your patience.
Update: To clarify, moderators can still enter a custom reason or modify a ban template (reason, length, scope, etc), but are being encouraged to use the standardized ones when possible. If anything, the templates contain more lenient ban lengths and scopes than have been traditionally used. Again, the purpose of this change is to be more consistent—not more overbearing.
With the exception of my note On Extensions, I haven't published a substantial news post since July 2008. It's certainly been an interesting and eventful four years, and I've written and re-written a number of updates that for one reason or another never saw the light of day (or glow of basement).
Let's begin where we left off.
In August 2008 we moved our servers from Texas to California, which involved me renting an SUV and speeding across the desert with 4chan hurriedly loaded into my trunk. I made the trip with a friend and we managed a respectable 24 hours and 10 minutes from Dallas to Los Angeles. The move upgraded our maximum bandwidth throughput from 100Mbps to 1Gbps (later 10Gbps), and resulted in a noticeably faster site.
As it turns out, fast has a downside. Back in early 2008 I quoted our old server administrator saying "4chan consumes all bandwidth," and that once again proved to be the case. The resulting surge in bandwidth consumption more than doubled our operating costs, and with the wonderfully timed financial meltdown of 2008, 4chan came as close as it's ever been to going under. This resulted in the widely circulated $20,000 debt figure reported in a Washington Post profile published in February 2009.
I still have the drafts of news posts I wrote while laying awake in bed at 5:00 in the morning. Whatever I would have published, it wasn't a pretty picture.
In 2008, 4chan was accessed by 30 million unique visitors, and served 2.4 billion pageviews.
Yet somehow we made it into 2009, and things began to look up. Long plagued by an inability to attract mainstream advertising, I partnered with an individual who took over representing 4chan's ad inventory, and for the first time in years the site began to break even.
April brought an amusing twist to an otherwise uneventful year, with the gaming of the 2009 TIME 100 poll. This article goes into what happened in greater detail, but I was proud to represent the 4chan community in the magazine and at the gala. It even spawned an meme.
Towards the end of the year I purchased the first of what would eventually replace the site's aging Dell severs, which were procured following our "DONATE OR DIE 2005" donation drive. I also unplugged the servers from the Internet for fun—sorry!
In 2009, 4chan was accessed by 60 million unique visitors, and served 4.4 billion pageviews.
Another big change came in the spring of 2010. In May I decided to take a leave of absence from school and start a new project, Canvas. I began working on Canvas to answer the question "What would forums look like if they were invented today?" The form, function, and aesthetic of the modern message board hasn't changed much since the days of Usenet and dial-up BBSes, and I wanted to take a crack at doing something new and different. What we ultimately launched is a community site with the concept of remix culture at its core, something I came to love after years of poking around 4chan MS Paint threads, and /b/ when it was still a fountain of original content.
Many people have asked why I decided to start Canvas as a separate project instead of modernizing 4chan. The answer is simple: I, like you, enjoy 4chan the way it is. I thought it inappropriate and incompatible to change 4chan solely because I wanted to work on something new, and so Canvas spun off while 4chan remained the same.
In 2010, 4chan was accessed by 130 million unique visitors, and served 7.5 billion pageviews.
In January 2011, I fucked up. Frustrated with /r9k/ and /new/, I removed them from the site. It took this exchange (continued here) months later with the founder of Encyclopedia Dramatica for me to realize how wrong I was. Shortly after, I re-added them and apologized to the community.
In October I cosplayed Sigourney Weaver at the Web 2.0 Summit and gave a short talk on online identity and video interview explaining some of the history of 4chan. If you're at all curious about my opinion on the modern web and 4chan, those might be a good place to start.
November was a rough month. No stranger to distributed denial of service attacks, we were hit by one of the largest we've seen to date. This prompted the transition to using CloudFlare. I've already explained a bit about what CloudFlare does and does not do, but to recap, CloudFlare helps 4chan primarily in two ways: it caches and serves our images via a CDN that is distributed around the world, making the site load faster and reducing strain on our servers, and helps defend us against the aforementioned DDoS attacks.
The transition was relatively painless, although we did experience a number of hiccups as we brought the site back online. Many of you encountered "Website Currently Unavailable" errors during this time, and have periodically since then. I want to be clear that almost every time you see these errors, the problem is on our end—not theirs. Since 4chan is run on a shoestring budget and with the help of few volunteers other than myself, things can and do go wrong. Believe me, I am just as lost as you are when the site is down, and always do my best to get it back up and running as soon as possible.
In 2011, 4chan was accessed by 190 million unique visitors, and served 7 billion pageviews.
2012 got off to a good start. In May we re-wrote the image boards to be valid HTML5/CSS3—the first major change to the HTML in almost nine years. This was done to improve client-side performance and allow for the easy creation of user scripts and extensions, and enabled us to serve a pretty nifty mobile site too. We also added support for secure browsing via SSL, SPDY, and have made a number of improvements on the backend to make the site run faster than ever.
On the heels of those improvements, last week 4chan crossed 1 billion total posts. Never in a million years would I have predicted reaching this milestone.
This year, 4chan has been accessed by 134 million unique visitors, and served 4.5 billion pageviews.
Since 2008, it has been visited by more than 500 million people.
Which brings us to the present. Where do we go from here?
The most pressing issue facing the community is a lack of consistent moderation and communication from myself and the team. Sound familiar? That's because it was the same story four years ago. Before reading on, I highly encourage you read the linked news post.
If you've been paying attention to the statistics woven into this post, you'll have noticed the site has grown considerably over the years. That growth has strained us in every way imaginable, and it shows. Four years ago, I proposed doing a sort of "Prime Minister's Questions," where users would have the opportunity to submit questions to be answered by myself and the moderators. Unfortunately it never came to pass, but the idea always stuck with me. After all, any thread I post in as "moot" tends to immediately devolve into an impromptu Q&A session.
Today I'm pleased to announce /q/ - 4chan Discussion. Our earliest users will remember the "/q/ - Questions" image board from back in 2004, and the "/sug/ - Suggestions" discussion board from 2005-2006. Both served as a place where users could discuss the site amongst themselves and with the team, and in that spirit, I plan to host regularly scheduled Q&A sessions (think PMQs) and use /q/ as a venue to interact with and collect feedback from the community.
In addition to launching /q/, we'll be re-opening janitor applications in the coming weeks. For those who don't know, janitors are users who can access the reports queue and delete posts from their assigned board(s). They cannot ban users and are not full moderators. We debuted the janitor program some years ago to give dedicated members of the community the ability to clean up the boards they care about and visit frequently.
I hope this news post is the first of many to come. While they can be daunting to write, you all deserve to be updated more than once every four years, and there are a few more things I look forward to announcing in the months ahead.
Before I end, I want to explain why I still do this.
I founded 4chan in 2003, when I was 15 years old. As of today, I've been running the site for almost 9 years, which represents more than one-third of my entire life. I have used 4chan daily since its inception and cannot imagine a life without it. As I said earlier—when 4chan goes down, I'm just as lost as the rest of you.
I think of 4chan as a hobby and not a business. To that end, I don't operate it in a way that any sane business person would. I am proud of the fact that I've been able to provide the site free of charge, with minimal advertising and without annoying donation campaigns for almost seven years now. As I've said in the past, we do a lot with very little, and despite being constantly resource constrained, the site has flourished. None of this would have ever been possible without the thousands of hours of time generously given by our dedicated volunteers, and support of our loyal community.
I have met countless people and made great friends through 4chan—Hell, I've even dated a few. For as bad a rap as 4channers can get from the outside world, my experience has been the exact opposite. While posting on the boards can sometimes be a crapshoot, every single person I've met on the street, at a meetup, conference, or for bubble tea has been awesome.
This community has accomplished remarkable things. You have all impacted the Internet, mainstream culture, and history in a profound way. It has truly been a privilege and great honor to be a partcipant and witness to it all.
I can honestly say I wouldn't trade these past eight and a half years for anything in the world. And for that, you all have my thanks.
Note: This post originally appeared on its own at http(s)://www.4chan.org/news/extensions, but has since been merged into our regular News archive.
Today a few changes are being made to the popular 4chan X browser extension at my request.
What changes were made?
The most popular feature of every 4chan extension is automatic thread updating. Traditionally, 4chan X's default update interval has been 30 seconds, while allowing users to set this value as low as 1 second. Threads auto-updated at the set interval regardless of whether or not the tab had focus, and if the update had yielded any new posts.
In 4chan X v2.34.0—released July 6th, 2012—the behavior for thread updating was modified. The changes are as follows:
Why were these changes made?
It's important to understand what happens every time a thread is automatically refreshed by an extension. When the timer hits 0, a request is made to 4chan's server. In years past, extensions would re-download the entire page, parse it for new posts, and then display those new posts. In December, 4chan X was updated to first check a thread's Last-Modified and If-Modified-Since headers before fetching the page, which saves us bandwidth and server strain, but does not eliminate the issue entirely. The issue we're grappling with right now is that with the influx of people using 4chan extensions and userscripts, our servers are being slaughtered with page requests, and although less bandwidth is being transferred, it is still tying up connections and worker processes.
Let's put things in perspective. According to Google Analytics, in the past 30 days (June 4 - July 4, 2012) 4chan has been visited by approximately 22 million unique visitors, and served 620 million page views to those visitors.
If anything, this number is low because many 4channers use extensions like AdBlock and NoScript to block Google Analytics' tag. Because CloudFlare proxies all of 4chan's page requests, we can get a more accurate number from them.
In the past 30 days, CloudFlare has proxied 1,331,004,996 page views from 4chan. This represents every HTML request that has passed through their servers to ours. In addition to that, CloudFlare has proxied and served 1,350 TB of content, which combined with our backend transfer of ~300 TB, means we've served 1.65 petabytes, or 1,650,000 GB of data in the past 30 days.
Notice that I say proxied and not cached. CloudFlare does not cache HTML—every connection/request for HTML is passed on to our servers, and our server must send a response.
In an average day, 1.4 million people will visit 4chan, and there will be more than 1 million posts submitted. At any given moment in time, there are between 25,000 and 35,000 browsing the site. Approximately 50,000 people have downloaded 4chan X. Let's figure there are about 500 to 1,000 people browsing 4chan with 4chan X (or any other extension—a conservative estimate) at any given moment, with thread updating enabled (the default). Let's say half of them have modified their update interval to be a bit lower, between 1 and 15 seconds. And let's say most of them have at least 2 or 3 tabs open.
I hope you understand where we're going with this. Every minute, these extensions and their auto updaters account for thousands upon thousands of connections and page requests to our servers.
This is extremely wasteful of our limited resources given that the majority of threads do not need to be updated more frequently than 5-15 seconds, nor do backgrounded threads.
As an aside, I want to quickly clarify what CloudFlare does and doesn't do. CloudFlare sits between you and our servers, and essentially proxies every request to 4chan. What does this do? For one thing, it allows us to serve you cached resources such as images from a datacenter much closer to your home. CloudFlare also provides added security against denial of service (DDoS) attacks, and is sometimes able to serve cached pages should one of our servers go down.
Using CloudFlare still requires we host the site though, using our own servers, which becomes the "backend." We're responsible for running the application, storing images and static resources, serving images that have not been cached yet or expired from cache, serving all HTML, maintaining the database, etc. We pay for these servers, rackspace, power, and bandwidth. We pay for CloudFlare too. While they offer free and $20 "Pro" plans for most of their customers, large businesses and enterprise customers are a different ballgame. It isn't cheap—far from it.
In recent months, given the increase in popularity of extensions and re-introduction of certain features like "image preloading," we've seen our backend bandwidth double. This means the bill has doubled too. We've also seen our image server's RAID array go from being relatively idle to getting absolutely slammed. Why? Because despite having a bunch of fast drives in RAID 10 and 64 GB of RAM, our image server simply cannot keep up. CloudFlare does not keep every resource cached indefinitely (there is a time-to-live, or TTL), so both new images and many old images result in cache misses that require their servers fetch the resource from our backend. Again, with the re-introduction of image preloading and well, summer, this has put an increased strain on our servers, our very limited resources, and my wallet.
And so I've asked that extension developers make small changes in light of these challenges.
Where do we go from here?
I think the fact that 4chan has a thriving third-party extension and userscript community is awesome. We launched our official extension more than 6 years ago, and the ecosystem has grown from 1 to 100's of add-ons.
I believe that the vast majority of these developers mean well, but I also believe that many do not understand the ramifications that seemingly small changes have on 4chan as a whole. 4chan is a website that operates at large scale on a shoe-string budget. Most people simply don't have experience operating, nor scaling a very large website, and as a result don't see things the same way I do.
What I'm asking from extension developers and users alike is simple: be reasonable. To be frank, threads do not need updating every second. 99% of threads do not even warrant being updated at 5 seconds, but I'll respect that many would consider any longer to be "too long."
The changes that I've requested are reasonable considering our position. The entire userbase should not need to suffer slow pages, downtime, and the risk that I'll go broke from rapidly increasing operating costs because a select few users feel the need to refresh every thread in every tab once per second, or open every image in a thread regardless of whether or not they mean to look at them.
tl;dr for extension and userscript developers: Please be reasonable about defaults and always use headers like Last-Modified and If-Modified-Since when possible.
tl;dr for 4channers who use extensions and userscripts: Please be reasonable about your update intervals, and use of bandwidth intensive features like preloading, auto-GIF, expand-all, etc. And try to appreciate our position here—we do the best we can given our limited resources. I've always tried to provide users with the best possible user experience, for free, and will continue to do so.
And that's that. It's been a while since I've written something as long as this. In light of the fact that I haven't updated the News page in 4 years, and 4chan's upcoming 1 billionth post, I plan to write something more comprehensive in the coming weeks.
Which makes me realize, the site is going on 9 years old, which represents more than one-third of my entire life.
It's been a hell of a ride—that's for sure.
As always, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Back in late May, I was asked by TIME's Lev Grossman about "when [I] realized that the whole 4chan phenomenon was getting out of control." My response, taken from his blog entry, "Now in Paper-Vision: The 4chan Guy":
I guess when the GETs stopped having meaning. Every million posts is a 'GET'. So people will try to attain that post number, to 'get' the GET, as it were. 1M GET and 2M GET were these big deals. People would camp out and wait around—they would make a note in their head, "OK, I think the GET's going to go down tomorrow." But that's when [4chan's] post rate was maybe 10,000 posts per day. Now the post rate is something like 150 to 200,000 posts on the '/b/ - Random' board alone. And so GETs happen every few weeks. They've lost their meaning. Nobody even remembers. Usually they would spawn a meme, just because they were that post number.
Why do I feel this quote is noteworthy? In my eyes, the erosion of the long-standing tradition of "GETs" epitomizes some of the issues we're now dealing with.
Simply put, we've got too many people trying to participate in too many discussions at once. 4chan, especially /b/, is a place with little homogeny and nary a consensus. As 4chan's traffic has grown exponentially over the years, our software, and its functionality, has not. In a way, we're still using the same web site we were almost five years ago. Attempting to cram several million of you into one single image board has produced some pretty amazing things over time, but also... "cancer."
So what are we going to do about it? The following are a few of the solutions I currently have in mind:
Split up the board: Following 2chan's lead with Nijiura, /b/ would be seperated in to several boards. 2chan presently has six Nijiura boards. Providing two versions of /b/—one with named posting enabled, and one with forced anonymity, is also an idea. One major concern with this proposal is that it would further spread out our already overtaxed moderation staff. Obviously, we can add more moderators, but that's always proved far easier said than done.
More visible moderation: During what many consider to be /b/'s "glory" days, it was not uncommon to see a trail of "(USER WAS BANNED FOR THIS POST)" strewn across the board. There was once a time when "MODS" didn't equal "FAGS", but rather, "GODS". I hereby announce my intention to return to these times. I've long held that "Random" should be left more or less entirely to its own devices, but frankly, you sometimes often need us here to keep the crap at bay.
A "sage"-like function that actually works: sage has been misunderstood for ages—its primary function is not thread voting. Implementing a form of user moderation that actually impacts the content of the board, separate from the current reports system, ranks high on the list of possibilities.
Work will begin on implementing these changes as soon as possible. As I've said before: "Try to remain patient; good things take time."
Recently, I've received quite a few inquiries regarding our plans for Otakon this year. As you may or may not already know, we've previously thrown three hugely successful events at Otakon in 2005, 2006, and 2007. Over the years, I've greatly enjoyed the opportunity to host these panels, however, it seems that our streak has finally come to an end.
It is with regret that I must inform you we will not be holding a 4chan panel at Otakon 2008. Numerous e-mails to the staff, including the con-chair, Sean "Hellbuny" Chiochankitmun, who graciously worked with us this past year, have gone unanswered. Frankly [for better or for worse], the odds of the site having any sort of presence at Otakon this year are slim to none. Should Otakon choose to address this matter and reverse their decision, we would be more than happy to attend. After all, we did manage to scramble and make it to their convention last year with just a little over one week's notice!
I'll keep everybody posted, but I don't expect a resolution at this point. My apologies to all those who are disappointed by this news. Unfortunately, the decision is out of my hands.
mootnote: Back in April I had the privilege of attending ROFLCon, held at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The conference was a blast and I heartily recommend it to anyone for next year, providing it is held. I represented 4chan on the "Internet Cult Leaders" panel, alongside Randall Munroe (xkcd), and Ryan North (Dinosaur Comics, Project Wonderful). It's now looking like this might be the closest thing we'll get to a panel in 2008. Oh well—enjoy!
Update: Sean sent me an e-mail shortly after this news post went up. He briefly clarified Otakorp's position on having 4chan present at Otakon 2008, but in the end, the situation has not changed. This thread over at the Otakon Web Boards sheds some light on the matter.
I've had the following subject on my mind for quite some time now, and recent events have pushed me towards writing about it sooner rather than later. The theme of this news post is "communication" (or a lack thereof).
One of my biggest regrets stemming from running 4chan these past few years has been allowing my level of interaction with the userbase to decline to the point where it stands today. I'm still here, every day—reading e-mails, browsing the boards, removing rule-infringing content, and of course, summoning the banhammer. As are the moderators. But you, the end user, don't know that. 4chan is by design not the most transparent of websites. If our team isn't continually engaging the community and relating what's going on behind the scenes, you simply don't know. And that's a problem.
Some of this has been intentional. I've always strongly believed that moderation should remain in the background and seldom seen, as its purpose is not to influence discussion outright, but rather to ensure it remains focused and uninterrupted. Blatant moderation can be detrimental to the conversation at hand, however, it also provides a sometimes necessary "we're watching" factor. In addition, I've increasingly refrained from posting under my "moot" moniker, because it often comes at the expense of a thread, which tend to derail almost immediately after I respond.
The growing disconnect between the administration and 4chan's community has led to a large amount of misinformation being circulated throughout the boards. The common assertions that there aren't ever any active moderators, that I'm never around, and "hate" 4chan, or /b/ more specifically, are entirely false, and have become rather frustrating to see repeated so frequently. The continued presence of these misconceptions on the site is however, my fault, considering I've allowed entire generations of 4channers to go without seeing myself or the moderators interact with the community. News posts have dwindled from weekly updates to semiannual affairs. The DevBlog was introduced over two years ago to provide a place for us to post frequent, informal updates, but if you take a look at it, you'll quickly find that things didn't really work out as planned. Granted, I've used tools such as the global message, blotter, and stickies to communicate instead, but who here remembers the days of our IRC town hall meetings, /q/ - Questions, or the /sug/ discussion board? I'd be surprised if at this point there are many users left who actually remember these relics from a time when the staff seemed collectively more helpful and approachable—heck, even likable!
I've identified what I feel is a large and growing issue, so the question is, how are we going to address it? What I propose, is a system similar to Britain's "Prime Minister's Questions". The idea is that much like PMQs, users will be given the opportunity to submit questions weekly or bi-weekly, to be responded to on the DevBlog. With this system, you'll have the chance to have your questions answered directly, publicly for all to see, straight from the horse's mouth. Other ideas I've been toying around with include embedding a meebo widget or chat room onto a contact page, to give users instant access to the staff and myself (providing we're online and logged in), and using a SHOUTcast relay or streaming video service to host live, annual broadcasts pertaining to the site. Look for more info regarding these additions in the coming days weeks.
Past all of this, there are two other major concerns on my mind right now: janitors and the state of /b/.
We have still yet to roll out additional janitors. Sorting through almost two thousand applications is taking much longer than expected, and I sincerely apologize to both the applicants and community for the delay. As I stated back in February and April, it is our goal to have more janitors and moderators present to help improve the quality of discussion, as well as increase response rate and coverage. I understand that certain boards have been going downhill recently, while others desperately need a clean up. I am aware of it and am working towards accomplishing this goal as swiftly as possible.
Second, there is /b/. I will be dedicating an entire news post to this soon, but to quickly touch on things: Random (and 4chan in general), has its fair share of problems. Unfortunately, they're not the types with overnight solutions. These problems run much too deep to be dealt a quick fix. I've been mulling over this past week in detail and believe I'll have arrived at some sort of conclusion soon. Make no mistake, I am not rushing to a solution. Try to remain patient; good things take time. To dispel any rumors right off the bat: /b/ is not going anywhere. It will not be shut down.
Moving forward once more, I intend to begin making up for lost time immediately. Life has been extremely hectic for me these past two months, and I haven't been able to dedicate nearly as much time to the site as I would have liked. Over the summer I hope to commit the majority of my free time to 4chan and related work. With any luck, we'll start making progress shortly.
As always, feel free to weigh in on what I've written via e-mail. My standard e-mail disclaimer: I can guarantee I'll read your message, but do not expect a response.
In closing, take care, enjoy the summer, and stay tuned!
Addendum: I've given more thought to my e-mail situation, and I'm pretty much on the verge of declaring e-mail bankruptcy. If you've sent me a message prior to this news post and haven't received a response yet, don't expect one. From this point forward, however, I'll be making more of an effort to respond to e-mail in a timely fashion—that is, providing the e-mail warrants a response to begin with. Let's see how long I last.
mootnote: On a somewhat related note, here is a surprisingly relevant xkcd comic.
Time to break down some recent happenings:
In my last news post, I touched on the fact that 4chan was almost ranked as the 5th largest community on the 'Net. It took a month, but yesterday, we moved past the VN Boards and secured spot number five, with over 117.6M posts and counting! Next up on the list is FaceTheJury, which if we maintain our current post rate, will be dethroned in just about thirteen weeks.
This past April Fool's Day, five gigantic websites ran pranks based on 4chan memes—YouTube, GameFAQs, LiveJournal, deviantART, and isoHunt. If examples such as these don't testify to 4chan's enormous (and often undetected) cultural impact on the Web, then I don't know what does. Rupert Murdoch, eat your heart out.
One month ago we introduced two new themes for the image boards: Yotsuba & Yotsuba Blue. After over four years of browsing 4chan with the same old themes, I decided that we could use a couple of additional, optional style sheets. The additions will serve to help unify the look and feel of the site between the new front page design, and the image boards, as well as provide an enhanced user experience. Thus far, I've received nothing but praise for them, and personally, I'm very pleased with how they turned out. Many thanks to coda for whipping these up, and the rest of the team for providing feedback.
Progress on the janitor recruitment front is coming along, albeit slowly. The process is rather involving, and I've recently had little time to commit to it. Rest assured, rolling out new janitors still remains a high priority, and I expect it to be completed some time in May.
Next update, I'll weigh in on the performance of the trial boards, and hopefully announce some of our future plans.
The most obvious change over these past few weeks has been the addition of new trial boards. Nine in total were added, which include: Fashion, Health & Fitness, Hardcore, Transportation, Sports, Toys, Travel, Japan/General & ROBOT9000. We've received a lot of requests for new boards over the course of this past year, and were unfortunately unable to honor them all. That said, I believe these additions represent a healthy range of new topics, and wish them the best.
I'd like to take a moment and reiterate that these boards have been added on a trial basis. We encourage users to visit them and if interested, contribute! The factors that determine whether or not a trial board will remain aren't exactly set in stone, but popularity is definitely one of them. The more active participants and comments a trial board receives, the less likely it is to be removed.
Aside from adding new sections, we've tweaked a number of limits across the image boards. The global maximum file size, reply, and image reply limits have all been raised. The worksafe boards have also had their pruning method changed from time based to popularity based, in order to facilitate more long term discussion.
I've received a lot of great e-mails since my last update on February 12th. My thanks goes to those who took the time to write me a message—it is appreciated. One question shared by many was: "How do I volunteer to become a janitor or moderator?". This has already been answered in the FAQ, but I'll repeat it here. First of all, applications are only accepted occasionally. If there is no posted recruitment taking place, you cannot apply. Second, applications are handled online only, and not via e-mail. Last, we don't take any requests to become a moderator. Admission is granted by invite only. These policies have been in place for quite some time, and it is unlikely that they will change any time soon.
On the bright side, we'll be accepting janitor applications in just a few days time. If you're interested in applying for a janitor position, visit this page. It contains all of the necessary info, and come March 6th, will contain the application form itself. Be sure to mark your calendar!
One last thing: Did anybody else notice that 4chan recently passed the 100M post mark? One hundred million. One tenth of one billion. According to this, 4chan is almost the 5th largest bulletin board on the Web. Many might not realize it, but at any given point in time, tens of thousands of users from across the globe are browsing this site. It's incredible, if you ask me.
That's it for now. Enjoy the new additions!
Note: Some users have reported being unable to access boards.4chan.org. We're not quite sure what the problem is, but don't think DNS is [solely] to blame. Still, if you're having trouble accessing /b/ & /r9k/, try flushing your computer's DNS cache and renewing its IP address. More information regarding this matter will be posted to the 4chan Status page as it becomes available.
mootnote: If you haven't read my previous news post yet, be sure to check it out.
It's been over a year since I've written anything substantial for the front page. Life has taken its toll on my free time, and while I still somehow manage to find time to work on 4chan each day, that time is spent working on knocking things off of our neverending to-do list, and not writing news posts. The very thought of writing these next few paragraphs is daunting, for we have much to discuss.
First and foremost, the most shocking change over this past year has been the overhaul of www.4chan.org. In December, we launched the third revision of the main site, which was initially met with some dissent. While I understand the change was unwelcome to some, it was a necessary step forward for the site. To sum up my feelings on it: there is now something, where there was previously nothing. The old front page contained little to no useful information; it was cryptic and outdated. To the casual observer, 4chan was a peach colored page containing links that had something to do with cats and cake. Since the news has not been regularly updated, pictures tended to sit on the main page for months at a time, which quickly became a waste of bandwidth, and useful space. And now that's all changed—instead of nothing, there is now something. We offer dynamic content consisting of recent images, popular threads, and the latest posts. Apart from the cries of "Web 2.0!", I have yet to read a compelling argument against the new design, and thus, it will remain. 4chan's front page is now both intuitive and useful, something that it has lacked for years.
Speaking of "years", 4chan is now going on its fifth birthday. Five years ago, I couldn't have imagined the world as it is today, much less 4chan. Who'd have thought we'd make it this far? I certainly didn't. The internet has become ubiquitous, and hundreds of English image boards now exist, with millions of users across the globe visiting them daily. And that all started here, with 4chan. In January alone, we served almost 2,700,000 users from over two hundred different countries. Our Alexa ranking has continued to climb, with us now being placed within the top 500 sites on the entire internet. The word is out. Almost everybody subscribing to any sort of geek culture has heard of or used 4chan by now—and to think, just under four and a half years ago, we were but a drop in the ocean. Now, the concept of "Anonymous" is taking the world by storm.
With such explosive growth, we've gone through so many growing pains. Forget "DONATE OR DIE", who remembers the YowCow days? Money, servers, moderators and janitors—4chan seems to blow through it all. But still, here we stand, alive as ever.
Looking forward has always been important to me. 4chan today is not as it was four years ago, and it will not exist in the future as it does today. Times change, and so have we. There has been a lot of rumbling on /b/ [and the rest of the site] for the past few months, heck—years, about the quality of posts on the board(s). As we all know, there is no barrier to posting on 4chan. We don't have mandatory user registration, and God willing, never will. I've said in the past that "any retard with half a brain and a keyboard can post on 4chan", and that level of accessibility has produced mixed results.
The site is great because anybody can jump in and start using it, which has generated some amazing content, but also, a perpetual stream of garbage. Honestly, I don't know what the solution is. I'd like to keep the site as open to all users as possible (yes, that includes new ones too), while still enforcing a minimum quality standard. This can't be resolved via posting limitations and moderation alone; there is a very large component of it that needs to come from the userbase itself. For as many changes as I've made to /b/, hit and miss as they might have been, I still firmly believe that the real power to change lies within the users themselves. The 4chan staff doesn't generate the content on this site—you do. We provide the framework, and the community provides the rest.
Still, there are things that Team 4chan could be doing that we aren't, be it due to a lack of resources, or just plain apathy. Moderating is often a demanding, unrewarding, and thankless task. Trolls constantly hound the moderators for doing too much, or too little. It seems almost impossible to strike that perfect balance that our users seek, and it's something that's eluded us for some time now. Part of the problem is that there are so many of you, and too few of us. Having thirty people policing almost three million creates some pretty unfavorable odds. We've given users the ability to help moderate the site themselves, with the report button. While this feature has played a crucial role in increasing our response time to problem posts, it's been a nightmare dealing with the sheer number of threads that require review. The internal tools we have at our disposal are showing their age, and major changes are coming in the future to help curb the various issues we're facing. Over the next few months, we hope to expand the janitor staff considerably, while also picking up some fresh moderators along the way. The goal is to keep the site relevant to the interests of our loyal userbase. I don't think countless pages of one-word responses and regurgitated memes are relevant to anything, even on /b/. Keep in mind, our intent is not to suppress the voices of the users, but rather to foster the type of quality discussion that has been lacking for quite some time.
coda and I have spent the past week rolling out changes across the servers to increase performance. We have more ambitious future plans, but for now, our current tweaks should suffice. Hopefully, users will notice drastically improved response times and snappier page loads. We've gone from pushing approximately 350mbps to almost 500mbps in just a few days time. User experience has always been extremely important to us, and I hope 4channers will appreciate these improvements. In addition to the new quickness, we've increased the page limit on a number of boards from 6 to 11. Up until now, we haven't had the resources available to make this change. Again owing to a lack of resources, we haven't added very many boards over the past year. Soon, I intend to introduce a number of new boards to decrease the number of voids left in our current offering. Some of the ideas we're currently tossing around include: Toys, Health & Fitness, Travel, and two old friends—Sports and Trains!
Long ago, our old server admin, DJ Lucid, once quipped to me: "4chan consumes all bandwidth". I remember scoffing at his prediction that we'd be using up a full 100mbps link within a matter of months, but he was right. As the site has grown, so have the demands on its bank account. 4chan requires a boatload of cash to run, because, quite frankly, we're huge! We've long since shed the notion of recouping costs through donations, and instead turned to ad revenue for covering operating expenditures. Our entry into the wild and not-so-wonderful world of advertising has been mixed. We've added more ad positions to the site over the years to offset rising overhead and been bounced around between so many ad networks and account managers that I'd be hard pressed to list them all. But we've succeeded—4chan is still here, after all.
Users may have noticed that our long standing relationship with J-List came to an end recently, with their familiar leaderboard and vertical banners being removed a few days ago. The separation was mutual, and we wish Peter the best of luck with his business. We look forward to forming relationships with new companies to fill our ad inventory with brands and products relevant to our users. Ads are important to 4chan, but the users will always be placed first. I understand that the average college student browsing /a/ is not interested in punching the monkey to win a free <insert-gimmick-product-here>, just as those who browse /ck/ aren't interested in refinancing their home. Unfortunately, untargetted ads are the price we've paid for using what I refer to as "big-box ad networks" over the years. I am making a concentrated effort to transition our inventory to direct ad sales, whereby we can more easily select sites that we know our users will be interested in doing business with. We ask that you bear with us here, and support our move. Ads will return shortly, as we begin to populate the positions with new advertisers. Please consider supporting the site by unblocking ads and visiting our sponsors, because they play a large role in keeping this behemoth afloat.
Enough about all that though—back to the big picture. What I want users to take from this gigantic pile of words is that I'm still here and excited as ever to be working on 4chan. We have a lot in store for the site in the coming months. As I've said in the past, stagnation is not acceptable, and 4chan will continue to make strides forward in development. For a site that's essentially just "pictures and text", 4chan has become so much more, and I'm proud of what we as a community have accomplished in what will soon be five years. Thank you for continuing to be a part of it.
As always, I can be reached at email@example.com. Questions/comments/concerns/suggestions are always welcome. If you've made it this far, I sincerely thank you for taking the time to read this.
As you may or may not have noticed, the global message and blotter have been updated to announce 4chan: The Otakon 2007 Panel. We're returning to Otakon (July 20 - 22, 2007 / Baltimore, MD) for our third year in a row, and the convention is now only one day away! The panel is scheduled for Saturday, from 10:30PM until 12:00AM, in "Panels 4". Like our previous panels, it's open to all ages.
A few important notes: We've been given "Panels 4", this year's largest gathering space. I'm told it can hold anywhere between 850 and 1,000 people, which will hopefully [but probably not] be enough. Show up early if you want better odds at being seated in the audience. In both years we've hosted an event at Otakon, people have been turned away from the line and at the door due to the room reaching capacity. If this happens to you, try returning at midnight and join us for AFTERMATH, which will be held after the panel outside of the convention center. One of the largest challenges we faced last year was line containment. While waiting in line, keep to yourself as much as possible and avoid blocking the hallway. In the ballroom we want our audience to be energetic, but safe as well. So long as everybody uses some common sense, we don't anticipate there will be any problems this year. Remember: Otakon staffers can and will remove you from the convention if they believe your actions to be a threat to others' safety.
mootnote: My apologies for announcing the panel so late this year, but the offer came without warning only a week ago. If you're attending Otakon this year, COME TO OUR PANEL! As per usual, we'll have commemorative buttons on hand to give away to those who show up. Last year was a blast, and we hope to build on that great experience for 2007. See you there!
First of all, "Happy New Year!" from all of us here at 4chan. We hope that 2007 brings good fortune to our users and this website. The following is going to serve as both an update to where we left off in November, and an introduction to a few changes we're going to be rolling out shortly.
Regarding our switch over to AdBrite ads in December—things have been going pretty well. We need a few things to change though. Way too many people are blocking these ads, and too few are supporting our sponsors. If you see an ad relevant to your interests, click on it and visit the site! Our click-thru rate (CTR) is so low that, unless things start turning around, we'll be required to terminate our ad campaign with AdBrite. If this happens, our financial situation is going to go downhill, fast. Because of this, we once again urge that all users unblock ads from AdBrite.com, and 4chan.org. In addition, we ask that users start supporting our sponsors, by clicking advertisements relevant to their interests. Over these past three years, we've *always* put a strong emphasis on choosing ads that we believe our users would respond well to, and these ads are no exception.
While this next change may seem like a departure from that motive, it is a necessary addition that we feel will greatly benefit 4chan. Soon, we're going to be introducing an "active interstitial" advertisement to the imageboards. An example of the advertisement can be viewed here. The ad will only display once per day, per user, and only when an image thumbnail is clicked. You will not receive this ad on page indexes, nor images accessed via direct link (ie. by clicking the filename linked above the thumbnail). Image archival programs will not lose their functionality. Also, if you absolutely abhor these ads, or otherwise do not wish to support 4chan, you don't need to see them! Merely click the filename link as opposed to the thumbnail. Honestly, I think that sites like IGN have ruined the idea of a tolerable interstitial for all of us, but we've gone to great lengths to make these ads as painless and unobtrusive as possible. To reiterate: you will only see this ad once per day, and only when you click on an image thumbnail. If this change weren't absolutely necessary, we wouldn't be doing it. Unfortunately, it is. We trust that the community will be supportive of our decision.
In other news, we've applied some tweaks to our servers, so things should be a bit more responsive. We're still maxing out our 100mbps link though; at this point there isn't much left we can do to speed things up without additional bandwidth. Thankfully, we're already hard at work upgrading our current infrastructure and internet connection. Providing we keep receiving continued support from the community, you can expect good things from us in the near future.
Last, you may have noticed the trial boards are no longer italicized. With the exception of the "/sp/ - Sports" board, all boards have made it through their trial phase and are now to be considered permanent additions. Be sure to read the updates rules so you don't accidentally break them!
mootnote: DamageInc's extension has been updated to account for these new changes. If you use the 4chan Firefox Extension, be sure to grab the latest version!
Edit: Here is an update!
To address some of the complaints I've been receiving: Yes we are working on fixing the extension! It seems like a lot of people skimmed over the v.0.4.4.4 changelog which reads "-Temporarily disabled inline image expansion."
To those deriding us for "begging" users to unblock the ads: I don't believe we've begged for anything. It's been stated that unblocking the ads and supporting the sponsors directly benefits 4chan and in turn, the user. That's a fact. Unfortunately, the internet doesn't run on rainbows and candy canes. People seem to be forgetting that we haven't asked for a penny in over one year. Good vibes and happy thoughts aren't what is keeping this site alive—money is.
Until 4chan achieves a steady flow of advertising revenue, we can't expand the site or add features. Stagnation is unacceptable to me and so is the dwindling quality of service that usually follows. For February we're planning some major backend changes that should restore the sites usability to where it was around a year ago. I hinted at this in my original posting but it would appear that people were so overcome with internet rage that they this missed this bit: "Thankfully, we're already hard at work upgrading our current infrastructure and internet connection. Providing we keep receiving continued support from the community, you can expect good things from us in the near future."
Note that: [As per usual] not a single person has e-mailed me regarding these changes. Complaining on the imageboards will more likely get you banned than result in a change. I've already said all I can on the front page; as always questions/comments/concerns can be e-mailed to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally: Despite what you may be thinking right now, it's really not that bad. Remember that in order to deliver this website to the user free of charge, we must run advertising. Just because it's free for you doesn't mean it's free for us. I hope that most of the community will be able to move past their initial distaste for the active interstitial (as I have), and understand that merely the toleration of a second of advertising once per day is all that we are asking for... But maybe I'm just a hopeful guy!
Edit 2: Updated at 3:20AM on 01/10/07.
If you are seeing the interstitial ad more than once per day: Make sure that your browser and/or firewall are accepting third party cookies. Be sure to whitelist AdBrite.com and 4chan.org! On some browsers, the default security settings block these cookies (ie. Safari), which causes the ad to display more than once.
To those waiting on the extension update: I just finished beta-testing the new release. We've got a few minor kinks to work out, but it should be made available within the next 24-48 hours.
If you've e-mailed me recently: I replied to most of the messages that I've received over the past 24 hours. A lot of them bounced though. If you're on Hotmail, or use the Spamhaus SBL, you probably didn't receive my response. Complain to your mail provider and Spamhaus about this! Spamhaus has a horrid reputation concerning their failure to remove illegitimate blocks. We've contacted them about it but they've yet to lift ours. If you plan on sending me e-mail, be sure to add me to your whitelist!
PS: Read the old news post if you haven't already. It's pretty informative!
Over the past few months 4chan has become noticeably less responsive (read: slower). In the next few paragraphs I'm going to try to explain why this is happening, and how we're planning on fixing it. First, let's start off with a neat graph:
Alexa Internet's traffic ranking statistics and our monthly hosting bill have been used to plot 4chan's usage (population) versus capacity (resources) over the past three years. You'll notice that, for the most part, both have scaled together accordingly, despite some minor bumps along the way. Recently, however, a growing disconnect has formed between the two. What does this mean? It's pretty simple: 4chan needs more "resources" to support its growing "population". For us, resources translates into bandwidth, and subsequently—money; which in 4chan's history, has been pretty hard to come by.
Donations, merchandising, and premium services are out (for now at least). Donations are unreliable and frankly, unacceptable. Literally, we can't accept them. There isn't a single online payment gateway around that is willing to touch 4chan with a ten foot pole; we've checked! If you've investigated and found otherwise, feel free to e-mail me your findings. Moving on to merchandising; it's way too much of a time sink and initial investment to deal with right now. Merchandising is by no means a "quick fix" for monetary woes. While I believe that some day we'll offer physical goods, today is not that day. When we do merchandising, we're going to do it right, meaning: giving our users access to quality items at affordable prices, instead of using it as a last ditch attempt at making some dough. As for premium services, personally I'm not a fan of the idea. I'd like to maintain the status quo for as long as possible. So with donations, merchandise, and premium services all out of the question, we're on to our last option... advertising.
You may have noticed that we do in fact, already run advertisements. Or maybe you haven't. We've always put a strong emphasis on preserving our so-called "user experience", to the point where we've shortchanged ourselves a number of times in terms of lucrative advertising deals so as to not detract from it. In our continued effort to offer this website to you free of charge, changes are going to be made. Soon, we're going to be introducing two new banner ads on the imageboards. A sample mockup can be viewed here. The proposed placements are directly below the current 468x60 rotating banner ad, and at the bottom of the page, above the page switcher/deletion box/navigation bar. Through these ads, we're looking to generate an extra $200-$400 per month which will be used to purchase more bandwidth, and eventually, another server.
With additional bandwidth capacity, 4chan should become apparently faster, as it was back in February. Things tend to get pretty slow when you're maxing out your connection 24/7, as we are now; something we're taking steps to avoid in the future. All it's going to take from the users to achieve this is the toleration and support of our new advertisers. We hope that this change will be warmly received, since the future of this website depends on it.
Aside from the aforementioned, not much is new. We're hard at work improving the website from behind the scenes, and are currently preparing for a surprise site addition by Christmas. Look for an update on that in the coming weeks. As always, I can be contacted at email@example.com with questions/comments/concerns/and suggestions. Until then, toodles!~
DAVEnote: [03:51:04] <ALTERNATIVE> thats a good article
[03:51:19] <ALTERNATIVE> except toodles what is up with toodles
Otakon (August 4 - 6, 2006 / Baltimore, MD) is now only two weeks away! That being said, I'd like to officially announce 4chan: The Otakon 2006 Panel. The panel will take place on Saturday, from 11:30PM until 12:30AM, and is open to all ages (PG-13).
A few quickies: You may remember last year's panel room was far too small to accommodate all those who showed up. This year, with the help of Lou Arruda, we've managed to secure "Panels 3", which seats approximately 680 people—almost triple the capacity from last year. As always, we'll have buttons on hand for distribution to those who attend the panel, and those who catch us walking around the convention. A bulk of the 4chan staff will be in attendance, so if you see a team member, be sure to greet them and demand a button. Panel goers will receive a special commemorative button with a design similar to last year's.
More information will be released as it becomes available. Pay extra attention to the blotter and global message for updates. We hope to see you all there!
mootnote: COME TO OUR PANEL. If you browse and remotely enjoy this site I expect you to be in attendance. We're hard at work planning our 2006 encore, which should make it our best panel yet. Don't miss out! As per usual, any questions/comments/concerns/suggestions can be e-mailed to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
"[The] rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated." —Mark Twain
Six months ago we parted ways with a proclaimation that "Things are looking up." Today I'm pleased to report that, to the best of my knowledge, this has been the case. Despite a lack of news updates (I've opted to use the DevBlog, blotter, and global message instead), we've gotten a lot accomplished over these past few months.
Three issues took center stage during our last fundraiser: the purchase and subsequent colocation of new servers, and an expectation that the site begin making "progress" once more. So where do we stand? Well, the servers have been purchased and colocated; in addition we've taken many strides in site development. Mission accomplished, I suppose.
...Honestly I am at a loss for words right now so I'll end this here. It has been a while since I've had to write a proper news post, and it would seem that I've lost the touch. Check back next week or so for another update which should shed light on our future merchandising and fundraising ambitions. Until then—take care!
One more thing. A few staffers, including myself, will be in attendance at Anime Central this coming May. Currently no meet is planned; but we may throw something together at the last minute, so keep an eye out. As always I'll be carrying buttons, so if you see me, be sure to ask for one.
dougnote: If you work for ACen and are in the position of granting favors, please contact me. Thanks!
Edit: Thanks a bunch to all those who emailed me! If you weren't already considering attending ACen, I'd highly recommend you do. Great con with a great staff—what more could you ask for?
I've put off writing this newspost for so long because I haven't been able to precisely articulate what I've wanted to say. I truly hope the following suffices.
If you haven't already noticed, the site is still up and running. For the dense among us, this means that the site is not yet dead! Thank you to those who have contributed what they could to 4chan; as always, we appreciate any and all contributions made to the site. Without this most recent and especially generous outpouring of support, monetary and otherwise, the site would have been long gone by now. I'd like to extend my thanks, and that of the Team, to those who have taken it upon themselves to in essence, give back to the community.
As for where we currently stand: Things are looking up. While we did not reach our stated goal, we did surpass all realistic expectations. It's hard to raise money—we realize this, which is why we chose to undertake such an ambitious donation drive in the first place. We are confident that with the amount of funds collected to date, the site will remain hosted (as it is currently) for at least another six months. Colocating our new servers still remains a priority, and we have been working hard to hammer out a new hosting deal to get our servers shipped out as soon as possible. Currently, we are in negotiations with a well-known company which has firm ties in the anime community, and I'm both confident and hopeful that something will be worked out within the next month or so.
Looking towards the future, we have plenty of nifty (and hopefully anticipated) additions planned for you guys. Don't think that just because the front page is being updated less frequently that we have stagnated in development. The first of these planned additions, is the 4chan DevBlog. The 4chan Blog will contain updates that do not warrant full blown newsposts or board notices. I intend to employ its use in keeping users informed of recent "behind the scenes" happenings, and apprised of new proposals, ideas, and plans. I also plan on using it to respond to the many criticisms which we receive pertaining to how the site is being run, and how it "should" be run. Our DevBlog has the potential to be a very powerful tool for those who would wish to challenge past decisions, and those who would like to have their voice heard and responded to outside of /sug/. I understand this may not be the most impressive of additions; however, I assure you, it is the first of many to come. Be sure to check up on the blog in the coming days for its inaugural update(s)!
That should about wrap things up. If you feel that I've forgotten to include any pertinent issues in this update, try e-mailing me or posting about it on /sug/ (yes, I actually read /sug/, but recently it has yet to produce much of value). For those of you who managed to read through all of this, you have my thanks.
mootnote: Businesses and individuals alike, please note that we now have our full ratecard viewable on the advertise page! Be sure to check this out, as advertisements will begin to play an increasingly important role in determining the future of this website. Do us a favor, and get the word out.
Time for a redundant newspost. There are three major points to be made:
Servers: I went ahead and purchased three new servers. They are Dell PowerEdge SC1425s with the following specifications: Dual 3.0GHz Intel Xeon processors, 4GB DDR2 SDRAM, two 250GB SATA150 Seagate harddrives, with dual GigE ethernet connections. I'd like to reiterate what I said in the last newspost—that this migration should be likened to "night and day". In addition to running on enormously powerful hardware, we'd also have half a cabinet of rackspace, with a full 100mbps unmetered line at our disposal. The reason for all of these upgrades? Speed, stability, and much more room to expand. Like it or not, 4chan will keep expanding. You guys are determining the rate of growth, not us.
Donations: Donations have ceased. To date, approximately 400 donations have been accepted, and while we appreciate and need every single one of them, we are still $9,000 short of what we need. To make that clear: We need this money. Without it, we cannot afford to colocate the aforementioned servers, in effect, mooting their purpose. To complicate matters further, we will no longer be accepting online donations after September 30th, approximately two weeks from now. This is the "last chance" to donate. A snail mail address has been posted on the donation page for those unable to donate online. Again, this is it.
Meeting: We have scheduled a rather last minute, emergency meeting, to be be held at 10:00PM EST, Thursday, September 15th (tonight). Drawing from our past experiences with these meetings, I have no doubt that this will play a critical role in determining the direction in which this site will follow. If you wish to submit questions, comments, complaints, etc., do so by popping onto IRC at the following: #4chan @ Rizon IRC (irc.rizon.net).
On a lighter note, a few staff members will be attending Anime Weekend Atlanta, and with them they will bring some new goodies to hand out. An impromptu meet may or may not be arranged as well, so be sure to check the bulletin board during the con, or the front page a few days beforehand for more information. Also, I'd like to note that we will be hosting a panel this November at AnimeUSA—be sure to check it out if you're in the area.LAST CALL FOR DONATIONS
Time for an update.
Currently we've received donations from 196 people, totaling almost $5000USD. While this is nothing to scoff at, you'd figure a site with ~50,000 users a day would have a bigger showing of support. What matters in the short term is that we have the next month covered, however, we'd still like to raise the goal amount by the end of the week. Some people seem to be a bit confused about what the goal of this "DONATE OR DIE 2005" week is all about. I'll try to sum it up in an English I hope most will understand:
Owned vs. leased: Leased servers are not cost effective. A sizeable portion of the donations are to be set aside for the purchase of new servers. Purchasing servers as opposed to leasing them allows us more flexibility in terms of available hardware and bandwidth, which translates into what we can or cannot do with the website. Again, what we have in mind for the server and bandwidth upgrade is akin to night and day. More details will be posted if and when we actually purchase these servers. The "if" part is dependent on whether or not we reach our goal. Read on...
Now vs. later. The advantage of getting this over with now is the immediate satisfaction of site needs. Our current setup struggles to run the site as is, and the situation is not improving, as the site grows every day. Any competent webmaster (don't worry, I don't consider myself one) will tell you that donations cannot be relied upon for the long term running of a website, and I agree. As time progresses, it is harder for us to collect donations due to processing difficulties and general disinterest amongst users. The solution to bypassing these issues is to attempt to collect all of the money needed in one fell swoop—which is exactly what we are doing. With money issues done away with, the site would be smooth-sailing for at least one year.
Life after? What happens if we don't reach the target? Well I'd rather not ponder that, since as I've said before, we are committed to achieving our goal. However, in the event that we do not collect $20,000 in donations, the site will continue to run as long as is possible to do so. Yet again, I must stress that we would rather eliminate money issues entirely, by collecting all that is needed to sustain the site on new hardware and bandwidth for at least one year. Given this opportunity, we can come up with and give thought to new means of collecting money, such as the often suggested merchandising option.
User input! As always, we value user input and try our best to accommodate as many users as humanly possible. For this reason, we are planning on hosting yet another meeting via IRC some time in the near future. Expect an update on this within the next few days. Meetings in the past have been vital to the site's development, and I expect this meeting to be no different. We urge users to try their best to show up and be heard.
Well, that is it for now. I hope I've covered most of the many questions that have been asked over these past two days regarding "DONATE OR DIE 2005". If you look to the upper right, you'll see that we have added a new longcat donation meter. As more donations come in, longcat rises to infinity... In closing:
Show your support, donate. Check out longcat in the meantime as well. Thank you to all of those who have already done their part, and donated.
4chan is dead. Well no, not really, but it's pretty close! We have received a small amount of donations over the past year, however, it hasn't come close to offsetting our current costs of operation. Our last donation drive went from a complete success to a total failure after PayPal locked the donation account and seized the money. There is some good news though:
You can donate to 4chan directly now, online, using your credit or debit card. IT IS EASY, FAST, AND SECURE.
Our goal is ambitious—we are trying to raise around $20,000 to cover the purchase of three new servers, to be colocated on a 100mbit line. This may seem a bit daunting, but read on to see what it gets you.
First of all, how will this change things? Honestly, the servers we are interested in purchasing are five times more powerful than the stuff we are currently hosted on. Furthermore, we would have a full 100mbit (30TB/mo.) unmetered line at our disposal, as opposed to our currently strained 60mbit. Not only will the website be blazingly fast, it will be stable, and potentially larger. As always, we are dedicated to growing out the site further, and developing what we already have. Unfortunately, without some major cashflow, this isn't going to happen any time soon, if at all. Did I mention that we would probably have enough to cover an entire year of hosting?
Donating is easy as pie. Since we are now signed up with a real credit card processor, we can take payments directly, as opposed to going through a middleman. The donation page explains it all in more detail, but I will note that there is an option for PayPal users!
So basically it comes down to this. Let the site die once more (a shame, especially after our one year of solid uptime), or pony up a bit of cash, and bail 4chan out. Running this website should not be putting me into debt, which it currently is. It is up to you, the users, to provide for the site now. Without further ado, I proclaim this week to be...DONATE OR DIE 2005
tl;dr: I am lining my pockets with gold in order to travel back to
Mexico and finish what I started.
mootnote: IT BEGINS. YET AGAIN.
Today 4chan celebrates approximately one year of uptime. Quite the feat considering our prior track record. To commemorate this event, I'd like to post a cool picture somebody drew for me:
In other news, Otakon, and thus, the 4chan panel, are fast approaching. The 4chan panel is scheduled for Sunday, 12:30AM until 1:30AM. While some may consider this late Saturday night (I myself do), technically, it is Sunday morning. Please attend so we don't look like losers with no fans! Buttons bearing the 4chan logo may or may not be distributed during the panel, we'll have to see if they get made in time.
Recently a news post was put up without knowledge or approval from the site owner, me. While a few points it touched on are truthful, the overwhelming gist, is not.
4chan is in need of money, but then again, when isn't it? The site as of now has funds to remain up through the month of July, however, beyond that, it is a mystery. I am currently trying to accept donations and bring more advertisers on board to extend this date through the end of the year. We I can assure all of you, the users, that this time is no different. Running things down to the wire is commonplace for this site, and we are working hard to put an end to this.
There will be an open call for donations and advertisers within the next few days. To stay alive for more longer this month, we will need a lot of support. The site is growing rapidly, and soon leasing will need to be replaced with a real collocation plan. This of course, costs a lot—upwards of $1000 a month. Think that is a lot? Yeah, but when you think about it, the site is gigantic and it really shouldn't be a problem. Then again, how many times have we said that by now...
I'll be posting an update within the next forty-eight (48) hours. It will basically reiterate this post but add more details as to what our current situation is, what we are doing about it, and some cool new things we have planned for the site.
To sum it up, 4chan IS NOT DEAD, IT IS AS ALIVE AS IT WAS LAST WEEK (not very? durr hurr). THERE ARE NO PLANS TO CEASE OPERATIONS AS OF NOW. THE PRIOR UPDATE WAS MERELY AN UNINFORMED POST THAT HAD NOT BEEN CONFIRMED. I apologize for all of the trouble this may have caused.
In closing, I'd like to add we will tentatively be holding a meeting on Tuesday, July 5th, at 10:00PM EST. Check back within the next 48 hours for a new and more complete update. Don't miss this meeting, I assure you all that it is very important to attend these.
Signing off from mootxico,
tl;dr: 4chan lives. Majnen gets lynched. moot knocks back a Corona while dining out in Mexico. Typical 4chan...
I'll try to make this as short and to the point as possible.
We have purchased a new server which should be online within the next week or so. This brings 4chan's bandwidth capacity to a full 60mbps. We expect this to be maxed out within the coming months. When this occurs, we will yet again need more donations if you want the server to run at a "speedy, error free" pace. Otherwise, with the current revenue standings, we are good for at least a few months. There are no complete stats compiled at this time—this is due to our on and off admin, DJ Lucid, abandoning us sporadically. We will be bringing a new admin onboard to make the new server transition as smooth as possible. Hopefully he can get stats compiled as well.
Otakon has confirmed us for a panel this summer. If you don't know what Otakon is, it's the largest anime/Japanese culture convention located on the east cost. Anime Expo has not been confirmed at this time, but it is a possibility. Anime USA has actually invited us to return for a second year, so rest assured we will have a presence there as well, thanks to Man of Wax. We will be releasing further details as the panels near.
Lastly, we would like to announce that we have a new board in the works which is long awaited for many users—look for it soon! In addition, /gif/ and /hr/ will return once the new server is online.
We wrapped up our meeting a few hours ago and in my opinion it was an overall success. Over five hundred users joined us on IRC to listen, provide feedback, and ask questions. Here are a few things we discussed during the meeting:
Boards. Three new trial boards have been added. They are /gif/ - Animated GIF, /hr/ - High Resolution, /wg/ - Wallpapers/General. In addition, all but one previous trial board will be taken off of probationary status. "/x/ - General Photo" has been removed.
Money. 4chan still requires money to operate—lots of it. Costs have risen and we will need $600 a month from here on out, which sets the goal at $7200. This is extremely attainable and I will share why. During the week leading up to its fourth death, 4chan received about 70,000 unique IP hits. For all intents and purposes, we will make "unique IP hits" synonymous to "users". This past week, 4chan has received over 170,000* user hits. For argument's sake, these are people—people who use the site and have the ability to donate. Do the math and it's a bit less than five cents per person. Unfortunately, these past months we have had trouble getting ten people to donate, much less 170,000!
Donating and also taking out ads ensures that this site stays alive. While 4chan currently is and will always remain a free service, we are not the Salvation Army. It is not feasible to run a site into debt in every incarnation because users will not help out and "pony up". We have kept good on our word these past five months and have improved and expanded the site immensely, and now we feel that it is your time to help out.
Donations are being accepted through the usual means. Man of Wax can accept money orders and personal checks via snail mail. To learn more about donating this way, email him here.
Note: We will be posting full site statistics within the next few days as well as donation drive progress.
Q&A. Like all of our past meetings, we held an open Q&A session. We will have logs available shortly.
That's about it. In closing I'd just like to thank of all those who attended and made the meeting a success. We appreciate your stopping by and hope to see such support in the continued future. Remember: Donating is the only thing that will keep this site alive in the coming months. If you care about what you see—DONATE!
*This statistic is inaccurate. The complete logs have not been fully processed, and we expect this number to be higher!
We will be conducting a very important meeting via IRC on Friday, February 25th, at approximately 10:30PM EST (GMT -5). It is both requested and suggested that as many users attend as possible. In the past we have hosted two similar IRC discussions on rather short notice and without ample planning, however, this next meeting has been mapped out and has a tentative agenda place. Don't miss it.
As we have done in the past, there will be an open Q&A session for users to ask questions, give feedback, and respond to answers. In the past these have been VERY successful and many of the recent changes you see today have come about through them. We ask that you please submit questions beforehand using this web interface so that we may have formatted questions available before the meeting starts, as opposed to taking the majority of them during. Hopefully this will speed things up a bit and allow us to respond more. Thank you.
Keeping good on our promise, we have added the following new boards on a trial basis:
Rules for the new boards should be posted within the next few days.
After a festive evening's conversation in the 4chan IRC channel we're ready to make certain changes, leave other things the way they are and also reemphasize a few points. Moot fielded a bunch of questions tonight and we are working on improving 4chan based on your uniformly excellent* points.
New boards are being added as follows:
As in every case where a new board is added, it is up to you, the users, to make it worthwhile. If a board has low activity it will be removed. We believe there is sufficient interest to make these boards viable, so prove us right. In the next few weeks we will keep on evaluating and adding/removing trial boards in an effort to keep new content flowing, and branch 4chan out even more. Thank you in advance for the support.
Remember, and I cannot stress this enough, 4chan is what you make it.
For the ADD crowd: New boards, post in them. Visit world4ch.
We've adopted a new layout, resembling that of world4ch. The old layout can still be accessed here if you dislike the new one or don't like using frames.
Note: Microsoft Internet Explorer does not display CSS properly. If you are not using an alternative browser such as Mozilla Firefox, Opera, Safari, etc., the site will most likely look terrible. It is encouraged that you to stop using Internet Explorer and use a safer, compliance friendly browser.
I'd like to quickly detail our experience with YowCow. To make a long story short, our account was suspended weeks back for absolutely no reason. It took about three weeks, and over four emails to get them to respond. The reply I received was poorly written and could be summed up with "Oops our email is being funny, but hey your account was closed months ago! LOL". It was obvious that nobody had bothered to check the site for a second time, nor was the company interested in providing any explanation for their actions. As such, I would consider YowCow to be a poorly instituted payment alternative which makes up with a complete lack of professionalism where PayPal falls behind in customer service. But hey, at least I received a poorly written and evasive email instead of the generic babble I have come to expect these days!
YowCow should be refusing payments to the account by now, in addition any prior donations WILL NOT BE CHARGED. If you sent a donation, you will not be charged for it since YowCow requires the buyer send positive feedback to them before turning payment over to the seller. If your funds seem to be frozen by YowCow (which would not surprise me), I would suggest you get started in complaining to them, because if my correspondence is any indication of a timely and articulate response, you will have a long road ahead of you. I apologize for picking YowCow as a means for accepting donations—at the time there was no indication that they were any worse than PayPal, and that of course seemed to be a very good thing.
As for donations and such, I do not have an exact figure as of now. Man of Wax should have one in the following days, however it is certain that it is nowhere near the set goal. I would guess that with debt incurred from the previous months of operation deducted from the total raised, enough money for one to two months was acquired. Thank you to those who donated and purchased ads, without that support 4chan would have been dead by now.
If anyone is interested, Man of Wax can be contacted for other means of sending in donations.
## 4chan NEWSPOST 11/30/04 DISCUSSION ##
As you've no doubt noticed, there have been some pretty significant changes to 4chan today. Some of you are understandably wondering what we're doing and why.
The fact is, and we really are sorry about it, but we have zero money. ZERO. Back when we started up (again) we made some good returns on ads and donations and we've been trying to hold ourselves together on that. Of course, for a site the size of 4chan that's impossible. I just want to give you a sense of the scale of things to appreciate what it is that we do here:
4chan pushes roughly 6.3TB of data/month. That is almost double what we we did in the previous incarnation of 4chan, and this number will double again come December.
On an off-day the site gets over 32,000 unique hits from users all over the world (we're talking Finland, Singapore, Italy, and a host of others here people).
4chan was originally run by one person: moot. We now have more than twenty moderators working to ensure that we have a great site and, more importantly, internet community. We want more than anything for you to have a positive experience. There are copycat image boards out there, but none of them have the size and quality of staff needed to run a site of 4chan's size.
Running 4chan for a full year will cost roughly $7,200.
This is it folks. On past occasions when 4chan was in dire straits such as these the community has stood up and made it possible. It may seem like we do this a lot, like we're always begging and never getting anywhere. Even so, 4chan recently had its first anniversary. It has been a bumpy ride, no doubt about it, but we've got staying-power. We're still with you and we need you to still be with us.
We're back on board with YowCow. It's easy to set up and it's not PayPal so there's no need to worry about their baggage. Just click the button and donate a little something (or a lot something). This an easy and completely painless way to ensure that we continue to bring you the 4chan experience. Be sure to support our advertising sponsors as well.
Speaking of advertising, send an email to email@example.com for info on how you can advertise pretty much anything on 4chan—one of the largest anime interest websites in the world. Our rates are criminally low for a site 4chan's size and popularity and we have flexible payment options. Both personal and business ads are welcome. If you want to capture the anime market there is no better site on which to advertise.
I'm going to say it again. The site needs money or it goes bye-bye and don't count on a v.6. There's more incentive though. 4chan is not going to stagnate. We have plans to make the site more full-featured, to improve posting quality and the image of both our board and its users. What are we going to do? We'll add things like reviews (both serious and non), new (and resurrected) boards, more pages per board, and a better portal with new and interesting content.
Remember, we are the original English chan and there is no substitute. We want to run an awesome website that we can all be proud of, but 4chan doesn't come cheaply.
As otaku always emphasizes, every donation counts. Even a few bucks goes a long way to keeping the site alive. With 32,000 users you'd think scraping up donations would be easy... Unfortunately it's not.
mootnote: IT BEGINS. AGAIN AGAIN.
4chan is currently experiencing DNS problems, which may cause the site to appear slow or down. To temporarily fix this problem, add the following to your Windows or Unix "hosts" file, which is located at :\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\etc\hosts under Windows XP, and /etc/hosts under Unix. If you are not using Windows XP, do a search (Ctrl-F) on your computer for the file in the :\WINDOWS\ directory.
This weekend the best little con in America, AnimeUSA, is happening in Vienna, VA. They are expecting roughly two thousand guests and this year's con will be better than ever before. Why you ask? Because 4chan will be there. I will be there to tell people about this depraved corner of the internet, hurl insults at our beloved users and lie to you about our server specs. I do not dance or sing, but we can have a good time anyway.
If you are in the Baltimore/DC area you should definitely check out AnimeUSA and our panel. The 4chan panel is going to be at 11:30PM on Saturday (same time as the Yaoi and fan service panels, gg programming).
AnimeUSA's website is AnimeUSA.org.
Oh, hello. There's been a bunch of changes over the past few days, and now the majority of them are done. I felt it was finally time to update about them.
There have been a few board additions, as well as one "subtraction."
Train lovers, don't fret. /n/ was removed due to not having enough posts, but I know there are still people out there who liked /n/. Posting of trains is now permitted in /o/, but don't take over the place, okay? The HTML and image files in /n/ will stay up for a little bit, for anyone who wants to archive them.
Please make sure to read the rules for the new boards, and also check them regularly, as new ones could be added soon.
As well as the new discussion board of /tech/ being added, all the data from the old dis boards is back, along with an updated version of the board software.
Soon Now: An updated 4chan Firefox NavBar Extension in the Tools section. Go get it!
Ezzi pulled the old box a day too early and screwed over our server migration. The result? Goodbye zip/dis/www.4chan.org!
We're working hard to get an interim site up now, however it could take a while. In the mean time, you may want to update your "hosts" file to include the following line:
Snacknote: We got the data back, thankfully.
boards.4chan.org will be down from around 4:00AM EST to approximately 7:00AM EST.
Upgrades have been completed, boards.4chan.org should be faster now.
So, 4chan has been up and running for nearly two months now. Everyone has gotten settled in, habits have formed, and posting has... well, posting has almost died off.
Board contributions are way, way down at the moment. A few of the newer boards, such as /sm/ and /n/, are severely lacking in fresh material. This is a large disappointment because these boards were soley added because the users of 4chan requested it, not because any one person felt so. If we feel that they aren't being used, then we'll remove them—4chan doesn't have space or bandwidth to waste, as you all know. Posting needs to pick up, and stay up, if you want to retain your favourite boards. We've been picking up new and unique users at a ridiculous rate and, when you consider that user-base, 10 image posts per day on some of the boards is utterly pathetic. Help turn 4chan around—all it takes is five minutes and you've contributed to the continuation of one of the boards.
The other issue is the new crackdown on trolls. The Team, myself included, apologise for the way things have been; the problem is being addressed but we're going to need help, i.e. Users need to stop breaking the rules on purpose. Stop trolling outside of /b/ unless the comment is WITTY and HILARIOUS (note: 99% of them are not), and start contributing more.
We are now making an active effort to remove the trolls from our community by enforcing the new rules, thus making 4chan a happier and friendlier place to visit. We're not asking for one big circle of love, singing, dancing, empty smiles of love and warmth—just a bit of respect and restraint. Part of what makes 4chan a fun place to visit is the fact that the rules are not rigidly enforced, however it has come to the point where users have stopped using common sense and instead of adding to the site, they start detracting from it.
The site is getting ever more popular, but we still need you to get the word out: the more the users, the more the content; the more the content, the better the site and thus the better the community. You've heard it all before. Quality users who contribute quality posts make a quality community. Don't let a few bad apples ruin it for everyone.
So, the latest message from the 4chan Team in a nutshell:
Stop trolling and get contributing.
mootnote: DamageInc coded a really neat Firefox extension for 4chan. Check it out here. More nifty features to come in the future.
There are several changes that warrant mention so let's start with the biggest one. We've added three new boards
/k/ - Weapons - For the posting and admiration of various killing instruments. Guns, knives, planks with nails in them, and so on. Note: Military machinery and related is allowed.
/o/ - Auto - For things that go fast and look good doing it. Civic owners only, please. If you have friends who are into cars but don't post on 4chan now is the time to convert them and get the word out.
/sm/ - Shota/Male - If this board interests you, you already know what it is. Think of it as /y/'s own /l/ board. As always, ANY real pictures will not be tolerated.
Next up is a disturbing trend in usage. Despite a huge increase in browsing we are seeing a sharp decline in posts. While it's nice to see so many people enjoying the content, we'd like to encourage more contribution. Posting is not only a sign of appreciation for 4chan and your fellow users, but it also keeps the boards lively. If a board is found to be mainly inactive we will delete it. Each of the three new boards needs your support to stay in commission. A few others (/cm/ for example) are in danger of losing their 4chan seal of approval for lack of content. If you like your board, contribute to it.
Lastly, /b/ while not lacking in contribution is lacking highly in quality. It went from being unique and hilarious to, "Hey guys, let's spam shock-site pictures!!", and is getting pretty "old". I understand that it's as moderated as a stall in a road-stop somewhere in Ogallala, but it would be nice if the content were a little better. Then again, that is only my personal opinion on the matter. Make your parents proud.
So far, 4chan has been struggling a bit to keep its head above water, but it doesn't have to be that way. 4chan now has three ways to earn much needed revenue and you can help us in every case.
We have banner ads running. Our prices are extremely low and whether you want to sell a product, generate more traffic for your site or just poke fun at your buddies with a banner viewed by hundreds of thousands of people this is the way to go. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
We now have donations set up through Yahoo's PayDirect service. We've finally found a company whose terms we don't violate and that means that everyone who's chomping at the bit to donate can now do so. You will need to register an account at paydirect.yahoo.com. To ensure a smoother donation process we ask that you email email@example.com for information before you donate. Please tell us how much you intend to donate and any questions that you may have. In turn we will provide you with other info needed to complete the donation process.
mootnote: Yahoo! PayDirect is no longer active. Do NOT send donations via their service.
Here is the bandwidth usage of boards.4chan.org, one of the 4chan servers.
Restarting a website the size of 4chan is a monumental task. Already, we are experiencing twice the traffic that we had when the original 4chan was at its peak. So, until our advertising begins to come through 4chan needs you guys to help out. You can do that by visiting our sponsors or you can also donate to 4chan through the YowCow online transaction service. It's like PayPal only with less baggage. We don't enjoy asking you for money, but we need anything we can get so that in the future 4chan can really take off.
As little as $2 can go a long way toward feeding our hungry servers.
mootnote: As of 8/22/04 we won't be accepting donations via YowCow due to a violation of their AUP (thanks for reporting us!). Nobody donated anyway, so it doesn't really matter.
Over the past few days, I've made a lot of various changes to our code.
Some if it is major enough that the whole site should be made aware of it, so I wrote up a kind of changelog to let everyone know what's new and cool.
4chan's super hacked Futallaby, partly by W.T. Snacks
Version 081404 FINAL
imgboard.php (all imageboards)
If any problems are found, please post them in /sug/.
Subject says it all, 4chan is back and here to stay (we hope at least). Spread the word—the original and largest English imageboard is back!
We have made numerous improvements to every piece of code contained on the site, and as such things should be running faster and more smoothly than before. One interesting new feature added is the 4chan Portal. Check it out, it should make browsing much easier and more enjoyable.
Note: If you or anyone you know is having problems accessing the subdomains, locate the file "hosts" on your computer and clear any lines pertaining to 4chan in it. If this still does not work, please allow up to 24 hours for DNS changes to propagate.
ATTENTION: MOOT DID NOT WRITE THIS. SERIOUSLY.
Everyone thought it wouldn't happen, but hey look who's back. 4chan has gathered up enough money, support, and a new team to make its fifth and hopefully last reincarnation possible.
By choosing the a team of superlative coders, knowledgeable system administrators (NOT MOOT), and webmasters, we are now working on making 4chan bigger and better than it ever was before. We have learned from our mistakes made in the last few months, and are committed to reviving what 4chan once was—in the days before trouble and dissent arose.
What we are going to try and do this time, is create a more open website for our visitors, where people like you can actually decide on a number of things that will shape the way the new 4chan website will work. 5chan refugees will be happy to hear that 4chan will try to keep a cleaner environment, but still allow a free form of discussion about virtually anything. It'll be like the old 4chan, just without all the crap that made you hate it.
The new 4chan will be bigger and better; and we're going to take 2chan this time for sure. If you're wondering just how we're going to do it: Simple: by combining the efforts of the *chan sites, and taking the best of them all, we will basically create the number one site for image sharing and discussion.
Please bear with us while the site comes back online. The ETA to having the site back to the way it was over a month ago is about one week. Image boards should be up within the next 48 hours, as well as e-mail and an interim discussion board. As always feel free to get on IRC at the old hangout: #4chan @ irc.pyoko.org.
tl;dr: The original is back, get the word out!
mootnote: Rumor is that I am no longer part of the team. Do not fear! For I am still the team leader/site owner or whatever you want to call it. I'm sure some people will be happy and some will be sad, however I am actually making an effort (THIS IS NEW!!) to appease both sides. Just bear with us for the first month and then pass judgement. Also, most of this newspost isn't my writing, but that should have been easy to tell because it is too happy and optimistic to be me ;_;.
Well I guess this is the end for the last time. 4chan is now meeting its fourth and hopefully last death. In my opinion, the site was killed by the following things:
Now I'll list a few things that I really needed help with but nobody from the community ever was willing to help out on. Help and donations have and I guess will always be sparse.
There's not much left to say. I spoke for a few hours on IRC answering questions and giving insight on my train of thought to the users present. 4chan just ceased being fun for me and began to be an overwhelming chore to run. I have a knack of easily "burning bridges" and angering the people that I ask for help. The site was really too demanding in its current incarnation for both me and those who have helped me. The GNAA flood was only the beginning of the end, and I had entertained the idea of shutting the site down with some moderators for a while. Now seems like the time to pull the plug, on a semi-good note before all goes to hell again, and inrecoverably so.
I'd like to thank a few people out for helping me run the site. CV was a great stress reliever by taking e-mails for me, listening to the users suggestions, and writing news posts for me. shut has always been there to listen to me whine and beg for computer help. Souldark is Scottish and made me laugh with his funny accent. LordVorbis because he made fun of Souldark and his accent which again, made me laugh. thatdog for creating Futallaby, yet dropping all support for it in a fit (BURNING BRIDGES!). Shii for getting a semi-translated and working yet buggy version of 0ch PHP to me. otaku for being hilariously convinced he was up to the task of running the site, and also helping me deal with problems along the way. hova because he called me a fag, when he found out I did not mention him originally. Last but not least, the good, ruley, portion of the community who made the site what it was. I'm sure I've missed quite a few people but that's about all I can think of off the top of my head.
If anyone wants to flirt with the idea of reviving the site for its fifth time, feel free to e-mail me at my usual address (hint: check my name above). Be prepared to send a resume or long list of reasons explaining why you are a worth while and commited person to work with. That's a polite way of saying, if you're a moron, don't bother me as it is wasting both of our time.
It was a good run. Best of luck to all of the people who made it possible. Thanks for riding the rollercoaster known as 4chan. Oh and feel free to join everyone on IRC, #4chan on irc.pyoko.org.
tl;dr: YOU DIDN'T SEND ME ENOUGH MONEY TO GO BACK TO CANCUN SO THIS IS WHAT YOU GET!
FUN STATS (about 5-6 months of logs):
Successful server requests 631,705,147 Requests
Successful requests in last 7 days 27,337,963 Requests
Successful requests for pages 57,772,752 Requests for pages
Successful requests for pages in last 7 days 2,723,440 Requests for pages
Distinct hosts served 1,076,836 Hosts (note: only for img.4chan)
Distinct hosts served in last 7 days 70,949 Hosts (note: only for img.4chan)
Total data transferred 13.191 TB (note: because the cgi.4chan domain is newer, it slightly threw off this number)
Total data transferred in last 7 days 536.813 GB (note: off due to GNAA flood, usually ~600GB+)
And now a few words from shut:
4chan originally started as a subproject to entertain all the nerds in ADTRW as an English version of 2chan. The original site eventually got out to the rest of the internet, and that is when the trouble began. Japanese flooders used up monthly bandwidth in days, assholes and morally righteous idiots came to troll in droves, GoDaddy axed the .net domain while PayPal cancelled the donation account, and most notably, our own apathy, all contributed to the long demise of 4chan.
4chan started dying, in all senses, one week after the domain was registered. People came out to help, but never enough (CV, the moderators, thatdog (maintainer of the English Futabally), countless donations) to make the site seem more than a giant money sucking tumor. The most recent flooding just assured us that 4chan was past its prime in terms of entertainment value. I would personally like to thank the rest of the internet for completely sucking at everything that is not distributing pornography or hilarious email chain letters. You people should be ashamed of yourself.
Thanks for visiting 4chan!
PS: Go see the Japanese Pornography and Racism in Anime panels at Otakon 2004.
CV has suggested that I be both contrite and blunt while writing this. I will do my best.
4chan does not have enough money to run again. But wait, I asked for money two months ago and said we were fine! Well, we were fine. The two new problems are overall bandwidth consumption, and server load. I'll split these up to make it easier to understand:
The maximum bandwidth throughput I can allow myself, so as to not go over my allowed monthly limit, is 500GB a week. These past weeks we have been doing about 600GB. What does this mean? Well multiply 100GB x 4, and you will get 400. Now if you divide that by .5 ($0.50/per 1GB over), you get 200, which translates into $200. The server is normally extremely cheap, at $200 a month (flat without overage). This month the fee will be $400. It's going to get increasingly hard (read: not possible) to pay these new bills unless money is raised.
Secondly, people may have noticed the site can be extremely slow on weekdays (ironically weekdays are peak load times). This is due to the fact that the server is quite literally "maxing out the line". This means that under normal usage, the server is transferring around 9-10mbps. In addition to this, the maximum amount of connections to the webserver Apache allows can be simultaneously reached, resulting in excessively long page load times, and an apparent "lag" in page requests.
What are the viable solutions? Well for one thing, lowering filesizes. The faster a user can download a file, the faster that connection is "released" which allows for someone else to make a new request. The problem here is that every code the site runs is about as optimized as it is going to get. The second and most reasonable solution is to purchase a new server. The problem here is that there is not enough money to afford a second server while at the same time sustaining the current one.
So if you've read this far, it should be pretty clear by now that something needs to be done. Thus, 4chan is going to have a second donation drive. Just like the one before, it is going to be an all or nothing approach. If we can't hit the quota ($2,400USD), the site will obviously die a slow, horrible, hilarious death. However if we can raise enough money I have a few things I can promise.
For one thing, new boards will be added, both image and discussion. Like drawing? I'm sure some of 4chan's artsy users would enjoy a PaintBBS or "oekaki". Board lengths could be increased and if money allows, and I'll even consider hiring someone to add features on to futabally to make it faster. Overall, the site should run much faster and have much more room to grow. The amount of traffic of the site recieves growing at a quick rate, however posting is not. Don't let it fool you though, 4chan is getting bigger by the month and if played correctly, could become a much better site.
That aside I'm specifically going to address one thing, and that is trolling. If the majority of your posts are baseless, uncalled for trolls (outside of /b/) you may have you post deleted and face the possibility of recieving a ban. As time progresses the community is getting both harsher and more absent minded. As I said in the rules: asshole posters, stupid replies, and spam do not make a good site. I'm hoping most users will agree with me and attempt to make the future of the site a better one. I do sincerely apologize for the frequent donation pleas and site problems. Some things are beyond my control, ability, and amount of free time.
Anticipating that I will not recieve enough donations, I am temporarily reinstating banners. See the advertisement page for more detailed info. That said...
IT BEGINS. AGAIN.
As always my PayPal is firstname.lastname@example.org. Please comment on this newspost in /sug/, here. Just like otaku said last time, everything helps. Be it a few dollars or a few hundred dollars (unlikely!), every contribution will benefit the longevity and quality of 4chan.
I have a few things on my mind that need addressing:
Rule breaking. A lot of people do not take the time to read the rules. I haven't been banning people for the past few months but now that's changing. Break the rules and either get your post deleted or get banned. Think I'm being an asshole? Well if you're on the recieving end, it's your own fault for not taking the five minutes required to familiarize yourself with the rules. I'm usually very lenient when it comes to rule interpretation in the first place.
Board creation/deletion. Before asking for a board, consider if there is enough support for one. 4chan seems to have hit it's maximum threshhold for boards. Users may have noticed the site being slow to very slow recently, this is because the current line is maxed out and the server load is high again. I really need to distribute them over multiple servers, but again, can't afford that. Because of this, any new board I add had better seem "worth it", meaning that they get a decent ammount of contribution and traffic. See the next topic for more on that.
Contribution. I'm getting to be quite disapointed with the ammount of contribution the boards recieve. 4chan recieves an incredible ammount of hits from tons of hosts, spread out among the boards. Unfortunately it seems /h/, the board using the most bandwidth, pales in comparison when comparing the number of posts it gets to those of /b/. The site is becoming a hoard of leeches. I am now considering getting rid of boards such as /f/, /u/, and even /l/. Don't want to see the board you frequent disappear? Contribute, be it replying or especially uploading (this does not mean flood boards with shitty pictures or spam replies). Things had better change, please get the word out.
Discussion boards. There are now three discussion boards up. People who like to complain or have ideas should especially look at /sug/, because I actually read it and have already changed parts of the site due to input. As stated above, if these boards recieve a miniscule ammount of traffic, I will not consider hosting them "worth it" and they will be removed.
That's about it. I've created a thread on /sug/ for discussing this news post, so go there or e-mail me if you wish to discuss it.
The discussion boards are now back up. This time without the shitty Perl code! Many many thanks to Shii who found and translated this new board code.
/dis/ - Discussion
/sug/ - Suggestion
Spork made an IRC channel. Everything pertaining to it can be found here.
That said, go chat and do whatever it is that people do on IRC these days. For the lazy, this link should work: irc://irc.pyoko.org/4chan
All users should take two minutes of their time right now and read the rules. It is required that you understand the rules and abide by them when using the 4chan image boards. This goes for the disclaimer as well. Three things need specific addressing:
/d/ is not a replacement for the old "/g/ - Guro" image board. Posting of guro (scat, mutilation, snuff, etc.) will result in a ban. No warnings, no appeals.
/p/ is not a new pseudo /b/. Stop posting catchphrases, stupid (read: useless, not on subject) replies, and photoshops. It's meant for interesting photographs of all sorts of things. I'm by no means trying to discourage discussion however as of late it is becoming infested with /b/-esque images and conversation.
/s/ is to have no underage pictures posted. Period. Even if it's an under-18 model, DO NOT POST IT. Why? It invites misinterpretation and the "wrong crowd". Go elsewhere if you want those types of pictures.
The /g/ board may be put back up in the future, but I'm making no promises. Many users have noticed the site can be pretty slow these days, this is because as the site gets more and more popular, it eats up all of the bandwidth (mbps) I am paying for.
A discussion board is also something I have wanted to put up for a while, but have not found a suitable script for. In my opinion, 0ch is the shittiest Perl script known to man (in my limited experience), and thus under no circumstances will I use it again. Please suggest to me a board that is not a vBulliten clone, simple, functional, and with no registration.
The 4chan.org domain will now be permanant until I can reclaim .net. If you know friends that use the site, people that run webpages with links to the site, etc., please inform them of the change. I'd like to get everyone pointing to .org, so .net will get little to no traffic.
I am tired so I will make this blunt.
Thank you to all those who donated. The site now has enough money to run into 2005. I am planning on purchasing a second server in the coming months, which will be used for the tracker, and to split the image boards up between servers. As far as I am concerned, no more image boards are needed, however I am open to a simple discussion board or ASCII board.
Again, thank you to all of the users who donated. The site would have died if it had not been for your generous and determined contribution. Donations will still be accepted to help with the second server purchase, however not required.
Until then, this is moot signing off from Cancun, Mexico.
AN ACTUAL IMPORTANT NEWS POST! READ IT.
This is probably the last news post I'll need to make. Even with my advertising attempt and CV's request for donations, I haven't been able to garner enough to pay the March bill (at least February got paid). CV has advised me that there is some point at which I must let go, and this is it. This site simply does not support itself, it's a sad fact, but it's the truth. Even with the tons of users (most of the leechers who don't even post), we haven't had enough people pony up enough to pay two damn bills. March will will be the last month that I use out of pocket funds to pay the bill. Starting this March, if there is not enough money to pay the server bill, it will go unpaid and the server will be abandoned. This is the reality of the matter and it's taken me way too long to realize it. We have remained optimistic throughout the acquisition of server #3, but now that optimism is gone.
Thank you to the posters and many thanks to the donators. I hope that the site goes on until the end of this year, but it's out of my hands starting now. I've said it many times before, but rest assured this will be the last time I "beg for money".
Edit: otaku told me to emphasize that every donation helps. Tons of people donating a tiny bit is better than having nobody donate!
In some e-mails I've recieved it's been mentioned that many site viewers would like to know what the fund raising goal for 4chan is. To that end, moot figured out what it'll cost to keep the site running for the rest of the year: $2,200. That's the point where moot will stop begging for money for the rest of the year. Not small change though and we're not expecting everyone to start pitching in large sums of money (though donations are still appreciated, and February's bill is yet to be paid). Instead, we've decided to compromise on site advertising. That means we'll soon be rotating banner ads on the site. Anyone can buy a banner, the rules are here. We hope that banner ads will eventually be enough to keep the site running on its own. Comment on these rules in the BBS, feedback is appreciated. Affiliate programs have also been added.
Additionally, links are being changed to reflect 4chan.org. When and if we manage to get 4chan.net back, the links will be changed back, but until then there shouldn't be a need to edit your hosts file to view the site. 4chan.org email addresses should be working already.
Two discussion boards were put up for testing.
/amh/ - Anime-Manga-Hentai
/bbs/ - 4chan Discussion
The FAQ is now written. It's worth the read if you ask me (NOT BIAS).
As for the updated DNS status, I will again reiterate that GoDaddy has the worst abuse department I have dealt with, and still do not know what caused the domain to go into REDEMPTIONPERIOD.
Note: /f/ is located at boards.4chan.org, and not boards.4chan.org. You will need to add the following to your hosts file (without quotes):
4chan.org is now working. Everything should work as long as you change any links that point to .net to .org. I'm not going to change everything around because I expect/hope to have 4chan.net working soon enough, this is really just a temporary solution.
If you know anyone that uses the site, tell them and get the word out.
Note: I haven't been able to get e-mail for a week. email@example.com should work, so if anyone needs to contact me, use that for now (it will end up in my normal mailbox).
Apparently, the 4chan.net domain has been suspended (despite the fact that GoDaddy never informed me). I've been on the phone/emailing them for three days now and have gotten absolutey nothing accomplished. Right now I believe I have found the right department that can actually help me, and am awaiting their response.
I'd just like to point out GoDaddy has the absolute worst technical support I've ever dealt with, and I'd recommend never doing business with them again.
If you're getting a "Page cannot be displayed" error when trying to access the image boards, do the following:
If you're not using Windows XP (which I'm assuming a bulk of the users are), do a Find (Ctrl-F in the Explorer shell) for "HOSTS" and add the above lines.
All previous bans are removed (minus the Japan block). For the past week I have been writing down exactly what I'm banning for, so now it's impossible for offenders to complain.
The tracker may go up within the next few weeks, but expect it to be much smaller than before, with about a maximum of 40 torrents. Server load is still pretty high at times, but bandwidth usage is down with the blocks and smaller image boards.
Thanks to all the people that have donated, everything helps. I still don't have enough for the next payments, so if you have absolutely anything to spare and enjoy this site, please help out. Since I don't believe a lot of people regularly check the front page, I've added the donation button to all of the image boards, and may put up a small 88x31 transparent AnimeNation banner in the future if donations don't cut it.
Looking towards the future I'd like to get the tracker back up, a couple discussion boards added (using 0ch, I still haven't succeeded in setting it up, if you can help please e-mail me), and the archive working. The archive would be a backlog of posts from all of the image boards. Basically, the public image boards would allow new content to be posted and replies to be added, but it would be limited to around 10-15 pages in length. After that cutoff, the posts would be moved over to the board's archive which would disallow new content and replying, but be approximately 40-50 pages in length. This would help me cut down on bandwidth and server load (considering I estimate a lot less people actually willing to donate to access them), and help me pay the bills and maybe even get another server in the future.
The 4chan tracker was taken down to curb what had become excessive CPU load. Certainly all users of 4chan that aren't on 300 baud modems noticed the server being sluggish. The situation is much improved now, except that /t/ has been removed. It's regretable, but until moot has enough to buy a new server that can handle hundreds of torrents, the tracker will remain offline. If you want to see /t/ return, the best thing to do would be to click on the donate button (hint hint).
/r/ was created because /t/ was becoming a cesspool of requests and discussion. Read the rules before posting. They will be strictly enforced.
After much arm-twisting and sitting around doing nothing, /l/ has finally returned. Just to make sure everyone is clear on the rules: /l/ is not a forum for real images (or photoshopped real images). Poster's IPs are logged, so spamming a ton of real kiddy porn is probably not a good thing to try unless you want to get a visit from the men in black (and get your ISP banned). Moderators will use their own discretion in deciding what comes to close to the "real-looking" line.
Three things I forgot to address earlier:
The weekend of 1/03 - 1/04 (EST/GMT -5) will have Japanese domains unblocked once again. I decided to do this because Shingo and I recieved some e-mails regarding the block, requesting to be given another chance. Hopefully this is for the best.
I'd appreciate some help setting up the 0ch script. If you've ever dealt with it or know good Perl/CGI and would like to give me a hand, please e-mail me.
/l/ may come back in the future. The descision whether or not it should be revived will be made within the next week.
Almost done replying to all the mail I've gotten over the past few weeks. Thanks to all of those who donated. I've sent out as many thank yous as possible... sorry if I missed you.
Donations are still needed and appreciated. I'm very pleased with the ammount of support I've receieved over the past few days, thanks again.
Just wanted to say my PayPal account is now active and I can accept payments. I'll issue a plea for any and all donations since I just got a $400 bill that I cannot pay. Some people seem to think this site runs on magic and not money—that's sadly not the case and it'll be up as long as I can pay the bills. The PayPal button over on the left will take you to a donation page, but in the case that it does not work, my e-mail address tied to the account is firstname.lastname@example.org.
As for the /l/ situation, it was deleted for good cause. Either that board went or the site went. In the past few days I've modded more people and removed board specific mods. I've informed all of them to strictly follow the rules, so I'm not expected those who hate /d/ going in there and messing things up.
Having more people prepared for another flood like the one on Christmas is a step in the right direction, and now I am more interested in bringing /l/ back with the help of CV. I apologize for taking so long to address the matter.
A belated Happy Holidays on my behalf to the users of 4chan. Have a good one.
Moot wanted me to post something to the news, but he didn't specify what. Obviously there's been some discussion of the situation with /l/. Moot didn't delete this board because of some anti-pedo crusade, it's a more practical issue of it attracting people who seem to think posting real pictures of children is ok. It isn't. That's what got /l/ deleted. I don't agree with it, but I can only try and talk moot into bringing it back.
Before anyone gets the idea that spamming illegal content on the other boards is a good way to get them removed, take heed of the fact that IPs are logged (lol FBI) and many new moderators have been added to the team to make sure it doesn't happen again.
thatdog's "futallaby" is now being set up on all of the boards. It should look about the same but in the future it will allow for much more expansion while being easier to update.
Japanese domains have now been blocked from accessing any content located at boards.4chan.org. After reviewing the newest logs, almost half of the bandwidth transfer was to .jp domains, which accounts for about 650GB in a little over two weeks. This is way too much for about the fifty posts I've seen from our foreign friends. I may consider undoing this in the future, however it is not likely due to the fact that I highly doubt it would stimulate any new posters.
I will make exceptions to this block. If you are a Japanese user or an English speaking person living in Japan that would like to continue posting, e-mail me.
The site has been running nicely, with absolutely no downtime for over a week. I'd just like to address some issues that have sprung up over the past few weeks:
The rules have been changed slightly, specifically /h/ and /l/. Read them here if you have not. I am now enforcing a zero tolerance policy towards rule breaking—if you break a rule you will be banned from either the image board that you broke a rule on, or in some cases all of them.
A BitTorrent tracker is now active at tracker.4chan.org. Note that leechers who do not upload will be promptly banned, do not cap your uploads or close torrents immediately upon completion! I recommend Azureus and SHADOW for clients.
Japanese (.jp) domains may be blocked in the future. This is because 50% of 4chan's traffic comes from Japan, and with the extreme lack of contribution for that number, I consider providing almost half of the available bandwidth to people who do not contribute a waste. This change should speed up the site and give me more bandwidth to play with (read: more boards or features).
Lastly I'd like to make one thing clear... Myself and the board mods are the law. We will remain as open as possible to input and concerns, however if a descision is made (such as removing a board or post), there should be no public whining and complaining. This site is paid completely out of my pocket now (fuck you PayPal), and it is a privilege, not a right. I do not charge for access to this site, thus there should be no expectations that any user has direct say in any descisions made, and that is how it will be from now on. As always I appreciate input, however I do not appreciate the recent flames via e-mail and posts I have gotten regarding the descision to remove two boards. If you believe you are entitled to tell me what to do, you are sadly mistaken.
That is all.
Edit: I forgot to mention the blocking of ri.cox.net and ph.cox.net. Way too many problematic users have come from these domains, thus I have chosen to ban them. Sorry to those who were negatively affected due to this block.
My e-mail account is now active again, feel free to send me messages from now on. If anyone sent me mail during the past week I ask you to please resend it since I was unable to recieve it. As always I welcome all comments/feedback/suggestions, and usually respond to every message I get.
In other news a new contest is now up. This second contest is for a 4chan favorites icon, please read the contest rules here.
Cancel that last update, a lot has transpired in less than twelve hours...
DJ Lucid was able to fix EVERY problem plaguing the site without a reformat. Kudos and mucho thanks to him.
Fixed: PHP with full gd support.
Fixed: gif2png now works. GIFs are now being thumbed into JPGs like the old board. I will fix GIF->PNG conversion in the next board update.
Fixed: BMPs should upload fine now. I will be removing them in the next board update.
Fixed: Thumbnailing and upload issues with gigantic pictures (HxW and size wise). Make sure you leave your window open until the upload completes! Remember, if it is a JPG image it must DECOMPRESS and then RECOMPRESS on the server before it thumbs—this takes a bit for HUGE images (one 1.5MB JPG I was using to test was 44MB uncompressed).
This miracle "board update" I'm talking about should take place next week, hopefully by Wednesday. It won't be apparent at first but this will spell out some great changes, here is a snippet from thatdog:
ALL of these features won't be up by Wednesday, however I should at least have a working beta-board to fiddle with. I'm hoping that by mid-December all of the problems with the site will be hammered out, and there will be a no downtime no board wipe streak.
The site will be going down from Monday 12/01/03 to Thursday 12/04/03. During this time a full reformat will be performed as well as everything being reconfigured to actually work this time. The image boards will be down as of right now until that time, however I did back them up and the site should not have to start from a clean slate like before.
I pray this is the last of problems I have... Sorry for the horrible uptimes, but there is nothing in my mind that could have prevented these problems.
The site will be on and off for a little bit while everything is updated. The stuff in the RH9 apt-get repository (ayo.freshrpms.net) wasn't so fresh, so the site was running MySQL3, old Apache/PHP, mods, etc.
I know the Japanese text is messed up, and there are thumbnailing problems. There is a line in httpd.conf that needs changing to fix the text problems, however it isn't worth editing while everything is being updated. The problem with thumbnailing is that php-gd isn't installed yet (or libgd/gd2?), so images are just resized and thumbnails are not created. .gif's aren't being converted to PNG as well due to a problem with gif2png and maybe libgd. All of these problems will hopefully be fixed within the next day.
One last thing: STOP UPLOADING BITMAPS (.bmp). For some reason the script isn't catching and throwing these away—they should *not* be allowed.
Here comes a long awaited update:
Where have you been?
Busy, or doing :ninja: work on the site. This takes a lot more time than I originally bargained for!
Why haven't you responded to my e-mails?
Webmail is down right now and I'm working with niralisse to get this stuff back up and running. Don't send me mail for a day or so.
The site was down for a few days—why!?
4chan has yet another new home. It's actually the same server as before, just formatted to RH9 and with no other sites on it.
Will the site be faster now?
I expect it to be much faster. There will be one other SMALL personal site running on this server, otherwise all remaining resources are at this site's disposal. Plesk is gone (thank God), meaning I have to do everything by hand now, however it will be MUCH easier to tweak and update packages. PHP/MySQL are now up to their current versions instead of older ones like before, sqlite can be tested out, several Apache/PHP optimizations, etc.
Does having the server to yourself cost more?
Yes it does, however the price difference is bearable. I still appreciate any and all donations, as it makes the "coming only out of your wallet" factor a bit less to bear. I'd just like to note my PayPal is currently messed up and it will be a few days until I can actually claim payments. I lost over $100 because I could not claim payments due to their stupid policies ;_;
What happened to the beta-archive and /r/ - TRAINZ?
The beta-archive is being revamped and will be up shortly. Hopefully I won't have to curtail pages by that much with the new server and all, but only time will tell. /r/ was put up by thatdog, the guy who helps me with my PHP and wrote the archive script, when he was testing the beta-archive. At the time I couldn't host another board so I did not advertise it on any board but /b/. thatdog has since purchased 1chan and is using yotsuba-script to run a TRAINZ paradise.
Check it out! I'll get around to linking it in a bit (this helps distribute load so I don't have to add /r/ anymore).
I'd now just like to thank a few people that have been helping me keep the site running. In no particular order:
[NPH] - wrote this main page and helped me out with old optimization
ichibanMuffin - partnered with me to revive 4chan (the second version). It didn't work out so we mutually called it off and now he has his own box again at the same datacenter.
hannibal (handyball) - bears with my whining and persistant questions about Linux, also was admin of the second server.
hova - helped me get my first translation of futaba-script working, I would probably have given up without the guy.
thatdog - made yotsuba-script better than ever, helped me with futabaSQL and made the beta-archive.
Scuzzy - wrote an anti-leech script and monitor just for 4chan. He also taught me how to trace in Photoshop.
Mangoat - got the third server formatted and running in pronto time. He's a behind the scenes kind of guy.
niralisse - walked me step-by-step through getting the new server back online, continues to do so.
$mods (haha variables!) - they quite frankly clean the shit out of every board, since I don't have the time to police them all like on day one.
If I forgot anyone please forgive me as I don't have the best memory. The huge group that needs the most thanking is the people that contribute, since this community based website would not exist without a userbase!
More updates will follow...
Both new boards have been added:
/a/ - Anime
/l/ - Lolikon
Make sure to recheck the updated rules page. If you plan on using /l/, please make sure you understand these rules. I am NOT messing around with the real stuff.
That is all.
Just wanted to say two things. If you donated, you'll notice your payment is probably unclaimed. I'm having some problems with PayPal and the bank and I hope to get that sorted out soon; sorry about that.
In the next week two new boards will be added along with [hype]THE ARCHIVE[/hype]. "/a/ - Anime" and "/l/ - Lolikon" will be added soon; /a/ will be soley dedicated to anime pictures of all types (so /b/ can still remain plain old random), and /l/ dedicated to lolikon. Some people started complaining that /c/ was becoming a pedofest, and it was impossible to find *CUTE* pictures, thus I had to do this...
Look forward to some updates later, as well as a big surprise.
I just dropped all of the old SQL tables, and reloaded boards.4chan.org. The old post limit was 3000 entries, it has now been reduced to 750 entries per board. MySQLd along with PHP were optomized, however disk accessing could not be. The problem with 4chan is that I can't figure out how to auto-prune after ten pages like on 2chan, since the script is pretty hard to follow. When the boards got to over thirty pages long, each new post, reply, or thread caused the script to automatically regenerate the old static .htm files, causing alot of load on the system. When you take into account there are multiple boards all running on the same server, and the ability for multiple people to post within seconds, you can see how this caused the system to crawl. At the moment there is no fix for this, and boards will be considerably smaller—however I did backup the site before I wiped it, and will think about getting that archive subscription idea worked out.
For those wondering why the site is running like ASS, it's because the server is getting overloaded by mysqld and all of the concurrent connections. It cannot be fixed without a new server or banning Japan. Right now I'm trying to figure out which is best.
As far as sponsors go, Peter gave 4chan the thumbs down, this sucks a ton because I factored his "pledge" in with my calculations, and now 4chan just runs way too short of projections. ichi warned me that you cannot rely on donations for anything, I sadly did, and as it stands there is hardly enough money to keep the site running, the rest will have to be out of pocket or I need to get subscriptions worked out—I believe an overwhelming two people have contacted me about that. 4chan is on a server with another community website, and a few hosted sites (SMALL, that generate little revenue), and at current it is bogging these sites down, which is unacceptable. Solution? Get a dedicated server, however It's unreasonable for me to pay over $400 a month to provide a free service which does not benefit me in any monetary way; that's looking at it from a realist perspective. 4chan is going to die a humorously slow death within the next month if I can't figure out a way to either get mysqld loads down, or a way to make money.
If you know anything about mysqld or sponsors, E-MAIL ME. If you would like to know about any potential subscriptions, or would like to donate, E-MAIL ME. PayPal is email@example.com.
I'm just going to flat out say it as it is: this site recieves way too many hits for the ammount of contribution. People who are still leeching, I'm going to start fucking with your leeched images if it doesn't stop, your forum posts at RAGNAROK ONLINE are going to turn into a man ripping his anus open. You have been WARNED.
Those who leech images are in for a fun surprise! Instead of getting your images on my dime, you'll be getting a nice 65,535 x 65,535 px GIF! The lesson learned here should be: don't leech images, be them from this site or ANY OTHER SITE. I have a very simple and efficient way for tracking the offending sites, many thanks to Scuzzy for coding this.
For the past few hours /g/ was broken; if you tried to post user#tripcode your output would not be user !$crypt(code), but "Anonymous". This was probably caused when I changed the file encoding of the .php file from ANSI to UTF-8, causing a Japanese "#" to dissapear. Everything should be fine now, but I'm not sure why it only affected /g/, and not the other boards.
I'm still aware of the error you get on every post, it has something to do with cookies and it will be looked into.
So alot of people just noticed for over an hour their posts weren't showing up and they were getting a Japanese error message... This message was caused by a built in anti-spam script, that tiggers at five seconds and ten seconds. There was a problem with the server's timezone which caused posts to go "back in time", permenantly screwing this spam script up; as it was trying to figure out how you just posted negative x seconds ago.
Everything should be fine now, however in order to fix this everything had to be pruned ;_; Sorry! Many thanks to thatdog for figuring this problem out.
Site went back up a few hours ago; everything looks good. The oekaki board isn't up, I'll try to get that back in a few days... Thanks to everyone who donated, ichibanMuffin, and Peter Payne (J-List is now hopefully going to sponsor the site) for making this comeback possible; without your generosity it probably would not have happened.
Some things that were fixed/changed/added:
Fixed: Thumbnailing problems! This should help curtail bandwidth and load times.
Fixed: Japanese character display—all pages should now be UTF-8. Although UTF-8 isn't totally friendly with Japanese ASCII art, it should be a large improvement (it's either this, no Japanese text, or improperly formatted English).
Changed: The board now uses a MySQL database (modified futabaSQL -> "yotsubaSQL") for storing information. The last board used a flatcode text file, which was pretty inefficient.
Changed: Minor changes went into the board formats (ie. posts now show the day of the week when posted).
Added: Protection from some robots, however this will only help a little. Will look into some anti image linking (direct) soon.
Alot of ideas have been raised as how to keep this site up through donations, so far the following have been considered:
Sponsors: I believe J-list will sponsor us, since Peter said once the site went back up he would consider it right away (yes this does mean ads, however they won't be obnoxious) If you know anyone else who might be interested, please contact me.
E-mail: A few users inquired about paying for e-mail accounts. I've consider requiring a small per year subscription for this, but I have yet to think about exactly what would be offered. If you'd actually be interested in paying for this, drop me a line.
Subscription: Spork came up with a great idea (I would do this at least, if I didn't run the site that is), involving paying for archive access. He suggested providing the ability to download backups of older posts, since sometimes the boards can be filled up so fast you miss good content. This should directly impact bandwidth and speeds in a positive way, because I would be lowering the ammount of posts per board, and only letting these subscribers access the old stuff. Just a note: I am completely against forcing people to pay for use, however income is needed to support the site. Please e-mail me if you'd be interested or have any input on the matter.
With a new server also comes the ability to add a few more boards! The following have been suggested: trains, real-life, ASCII, weapons, and discussion. If you bear a strong liking to one of these subjects and would like to mod it, or have another idea for a new board, please e-mail me!
That said, ENJOY!
I must say I'm impressed. Word has gotten out on 2chan and we have alot of new Japanese posters to the community. Every board seems to have had it's traffic at least doubled, and /c/ has had traffic go up tenfold! Obviously with so many new posts an influx of bandwidth usage has occured, however this is not a problem so far. I've gotten many donations today, and this will definantly help (or even totally) pay the bills. My huge thanks goes out to those who donated, and all of the dedicated users we have recieved thus far.
I expect 4chan's English users to accept the new guys, and I don't want to see any racist crap on any boards (unless it's on /b/). I also expect 4chan's new Japanese users to use discretion on choosing which boards to post on. Granted there are no Japanese rules up, the most basic thing I ask is don't post "DESTROY USA BASES AT OKINAWA!!1" (LOL Golgolmois) on the real boards. Hopefully Shingo can work on getting the rules page translated... In the mean time, check the following page out, 日本語 (Japanese).
Some things on the to do list:
Fix thumbnailing problem for pictures. Thought we had this fixed, however numerous new cases have been reported.
Fix Japanese character display, and ASCII art. It appears that if you post off of an English computer, it prints fine under UTF-8, however some posts from Japanese computers seem to display incorrectly. I'll think about looking into Shift_JIS again.
Translate the 'Rules' section into Japanese. If you're Japanese and speak English, help would be appreciated in the editing process. I can be e-mailed here.
Once again, all comments, suggestions, complaints, etc. are welcomed. As always the e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Just throwing out an update for the people that actually read the main page. We hit ~9000 unique sessions in six days, with over one million hits! I'm very impressed, I never thought 4chan would get this popular so fast. You have have to remember, it's not like I'm going out of my way advertising left and right, in fact I've only posted the site on two or so boards...
One thing I'd like to bring up is image leeching. I have no problem with you showing your friends pictures, or linking to them on forums. I do however have a problem with actually leeching the images on websites or other boards, simply because there isn't enough bandwidth for that. Scripts such as 2chtrawl are technically allowed (as I have no robots.txt or .htaccess restrictions), however I'd prefer people not use them.
These two boards are the second and third user managed boards, and mark the end of my "board spree". I believe 4chan now has enough covered in terms of image boards, and maybe it's time to think about adding an ASCII board or just living with what is already available. Since these boards are new, they still have the possibility of being deleted if they don't recieve enough traffic. Also remember because they are user managed, all e-mails concerning them should be forwarded to the appropriate manager, NOT me.
4chan is now looking for sponsers to help with the bills. Ads in the future are possible but not yet likely. By ad I mean something around 125x50 pixels, and plain. I have NO intentions of ever adding pop-ups, flashing ads, Flash layovers, etc. These ads make me want to gouge my eyes out, and I despise them as much as anyone else. I finally understand why sites need support; things aren't as cheap as they appear! As always my PayPal is still email@example.com, and my huge thanks goes out to the few people that have donated already. Don't get me wrong, donations will always be completely optional, and money should only be donated if you personally feel this site is worth it. Please also note, donating gives you no special treatment, and all of the normal rules will still apply to you.
Two new boards, and a host of changes!
One new image board added:
/y/ - Yaoi
...and a drawing board!
4chan Oekaki BBS
Obviously the rules have been updated to include these boards. Rules for the /c/ and /d/ boards were modified as well, be sure to check those out.
Now on to a few things that need addressing. Alot of people are asking me to add new boards, one for /c/ without any nudity, dedicated dix board, deciated grotesque board, and of course the trainz/farm machinery boards. I'm perfectly okay with adding new boards, as long as we don't get repetitive. /c/ will stay the same, sifting through stuff won't kill you. /d/'s rules have been changed to better suit the anti-grotesque people out there. The problem with making so many image boards is twofold...
I don't have the cash to support so many boards. Each new board is bandwidth, and bandwidth costs MONEY! In six days, we are already 200% over the cap, at 50GB. Donations are very welcome, I use firstname.lastname@example.org for PayPal.
Adding more boards spreads out user participation too much. 4chan albeit new, and very popular for a new site, is too small of a community to support so many boards. By adding the yaoi and drawing boards I'm going out on a limb, as I personally don't know how popular they will become. Prove me wrong guys.
That said, please keep the complaining for new boards and rules down. Unless it's a good idea that will attract participation, it isn't worth it right now. On a side note I'm interested in hosting boards for other communities at the moment, I talked with Bad Luck, and she convinced me a yaoi board was a good idea, and she could get enough users to build it... thus /y/ was born.
Still looking at ideas for what to add, as long as these ideas aren't like the examples above. If anyone knows a few artist friends or people that could help start up the oekaki board that would be great. I'm currently looking for someone to run that division of 4chan, as recently I've been pressed for spare time. You can read more about that position on the rules page.
[NPH] and I believe we have figured out the retention bug. The bug caused posts to be deleted too quickly, on newly replied posts.
The problem was the parameter for the maximum amount of log entries was too low, 500 to be exact. Effective immediately the new max for /b/ is 2000, and for all other boards, 5000. That's REALLY high! We just want to see it's effect on the boards. Keep on posting so we can make sure this is the proper fix.
Rather large update...
Updated the rules, please check them out!
A Japanese explanation of 4chan has been added! Check it out here, many thanks to Shingo for doing this. If you see any problems with the translation or think something needs adding, you can e-mail Shingo.
Glad to see the participation and support so far, keep it up. Again, if you know of any good people or places to advertise 4chan, go ahead. Just bear in mind retarded posters are not wanted. Lasty I'd just like to thank nem from Apis again, without his generosity 4chan would not be possible. If you decide to host with him, please put "4chan" as your referrer, this gives me more bandwidth to play around with, meaning more boards and features.
In order to resolve the rampant misconceptions and flames I'm getting on world2ch (without my knowledge), I'll post some quick points:
4chan is a Something Awful/ADTRW run conspiracy.
Please stop mixing 4chan up with "SA's hentai forum is trying to steal our thunder!!", it's a stupid argument that is untrue. The reason that the ADTRW users outnumber the non-ADTRW users is because I posted it there first, and rather than embrace this site, others are holing themselves up into what I will call "the elitist brooding state of mind" (tm).
4chan is supposed to be ADTRW only, and consist primarily of pictures of animated children (pedo anime), with some added women and children with penises (dickgirlz).
Sorry, but no. 4chan is open to everyone, and I WANT people outside of ADTRW to use it. The quote "a comprehensive english based resource for the collection and distribution of yaoi and dickgirlz" (previous title), is simply one of comical value, a kind of inside joke. Why did I choose this seemingly horrid sentence as a quote? I had no clue it would offend anybody... sorry guys, but sarcasm is prevalent on the internet as well as real life!
But the /b/ image board is full of it!
If you bother to read the rules, you'll see /b/ is meant to be nothing short of a retard bin for now. It will be changed within the week. The site has existed for only two days now guys, sorry if I can't put up forty boards at once.
You stole world2chan's code and didnt even plug us! How RUDE.
I never even knew futaba was public until I edited the ENTIRE code of GazouBBS (the base of futaba). I was then cheerfully informed that, all of my efforts had just been wasted, as 2chan freely shares their PHP coding. Before this, I had never frequented world2ch much, and also had no clue their Engrish translation of futaba (0ch is it?) was released as well. 4chan's script has been further modified (more than you can actually see), and will continue to be modified as scripters offer their help.
Time 4chan has had code to work with: 72 hours.
Time 2chan/world2ch has had code to work with: Years?
4chan sucks, moot sucks, ADTRW sucks, SA sucks, Apis sucks...
Awsome. I whole heartedly thank those who have e-mailed me voicing their opinions and concerns (to date: 0) regarding 4chan. Furthermore, posting threads on another board is the best way to attract my attention, keep at it. (If you haven't noticed, this is the "sarcasm" I was talking about earlier)
You're immature, and this response has done nothing to sway my opinion.
If this is the way some of you are thinking right now, I am truly sorry for you. The above is meant to be my serious response (as anything posted on the main page will be), to the discontent peoples of world2ch and abroad. For the tenth time I will reiterate: E-MAIL ME. If you're either too immature or incompetant to have a real two-way conversation with me, without hiding behind the magic of the internet, you very well could be an idiot. If the previous is true, please do not waste my time, or your time... by e-mailing me I am requesting a decent piece of writing sent to me outlaying your concerns, suggestions, or questions. Please refrain from sending me "WORLD2CH ALLIANCE WILL CRUSH YOU", as I have just stated you are an idiot.
I hope that clears some things up. You can read my previous response on world2ch's ongoing thread (as well as my host's) here.
Here is an e-mail my host recieved today:
"A website which you appear to be hosting, http://img.4chan.org/b/ , is in my opinion violating your Acceptable Use Policy. If you browse through its the archives, you will see many uploaded pictures that are definitely pornographic and involving children (albeit technically not *illegal* child porn), as well as some other rather gruesome pictures."
Dear valued anonymous 4chan user:
Thank you for informing me that my website does not contain illegal content. I am sorry to inform you that although this site is "in [your] opinion" violating the AUP, it is not.
Just got done making a page for all of the banners. You guys submitted a huge ammount of awsome banners in less than an hour, so I'm forced to end the contest early. If you missed the cutoff, just send me your submission via e-mail. I will NOT be taking them from the board anymore, as it is too much work.
All of the winning banners can be viewed here, as well as on the image
4chan's rotating banner script is made possible by "Urakh's Rotating Signature Script".
On a side note: A lite navigation bar has been added to the image boards. Use the three links at the upper left to change image boards.
Just reminding you guys there is a contest running for a 4chan logo. Please check out the info here.
Greeting 4chan users!
As you can see, 4chan now has a nice mainpage up. With this, I can now post the updates and plans I had previously been withholding... Let me start off by posting a little about 4chan:
4chan is meant to be an unofficial sister site to 2chan.net, an amazing Japanese community that has been around for a long time. This website, while similar to it's Japanese counterpart, is NOT trying to replace 2chan... that's simply impossible. 4chan is merely bringing to the table, what English speaking people have lacked for a while; a diverse community united around the simple thousand line piece of PHP code that we call tagboard. Our site is meant to be an equal alternative for non-Japanese speaking persons to interact as they would on 2chan, with an active and diverse community. The road to becoming a full fledged sister-site will be a long and difficult one, however I believe that with the help of a few dedicated individuals, and a large, helpful, friendly community, greatness can be achieved.
Everyone is equally welcomed at this website, as long as you keep your drama and warring elsewhere. By trying to start flamewars between 2chan, world2ch, and 4chan, you're just hurting the web-based English anime community. Please don't do it, you have nothing to gain, and others end up losing out. That said, if you enjoy this site, tell your friends! Both English and Japanese users are again, *equally*, welcomed here if they meet the above requirement.
Please bear with us as we get the site online. ALL feedback is valued, and I'll try my best to get around to looking at it. The only way this site will improve and hopefully flourish, is with constant user input on how it should be run. I've already asked several people to help out, and am still looking for a few more dedicated individuals to help out with 4chan. If you think you have what it takes (PHP coders wanted), shoot me an email!
That said, enjoy the boards!
Edit for the world2ch crew: Don't worry, there is no plan to put up several inactive sports and political forums. This will be largely image and comedy based, we have no intention of partaking in intelligent discussions concerning foreign affairs. By sister-site, I mean focusing primarily on certain likable aspects of 2chan, not just a mirror. Your territory is safe.
I only say this after I politely asked people not to post stupid stuff on these boards, and to take any problems or concerns directly to me in the form of e-mail.
Just testing out the mainpage... Many thanks goes out to [NPH] for writing up this simple and efficient site!