An imageboard functioning as the originator of a significant amount of the internet's memes.
4chan is an imageboard, a unique kind of forum which does not require registration and encourages posting anonymously, and has an overall focus on images, specifically. While the majority of 4chan is anonymous, some users use tripcodes to establish an identity. These users are often derided, and have no other means of identification aside from their unique ID.
4chan is a dominant center of internet culture. Many image macros have been created and shared there. 4chan creates memes at a rate unrivaled by any site, with the possible exceptions of Reddit or YouTube. Many of its catchphrases originated from the /b/ (Random) board, with the /a/ and /v/ (anime and video games) boards following behind. Perhaps the most interesting forum, /b/, the random board, has no rules aside that only legal material may be posted - and even that rule is often broken. /b/ should not be confused with 4chan as a whole, although this confusion is widespread. See the boards subpage for more information.
4chan's members, especially /b/tards, have been known to organize. Chanology is perhaps the best known result of this.
4chan originated out of a 15 year old moot's New York City residence on September 29th, 2003 when he was interested in obtaining a 4chan.net email address as 2chan began to rise in popularity with Western audiences. At the urging of his friends, on October 1st, 2003 a basic imageboard system was set up and the 4chan we know and love was born.
While not the first English-language imageboard, it was certainly the first one with any real movement, literally exploding with traffic overnight from Something Awful, with many visitors coming from ADTRW, the anime board, and FYAD, the troll forum, in particular.
4chan is one of the largest sources for memes and continues to grow in popularity. 4chan is often referred to as the anus of the internet. Often categorized as "dying of cancer", this is simply untrue. "The cancer that is killing /b/" generally refers to older users unleashing OTI fury at newer users for whatever personal motives they may have.
- Known for being an internet hate machine
- 4chan is the largest English imageboard on the web.
- Largest forum in the world after 2channel and GaiaOnline