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8chan (or infinitechan) is a message board in the style of various imageboards, such as 4chan.
The site claims to remove content only when it violates United States federal law, justifying this policy as the exercise of "free speech". Launched in 2013, it gained prominence among Gamergate supporters in August 2014 when their fondness for doxxing got too much even for 4chan to put up with.
8chan was founded by Fredrick Brennan, nicknamed "Hotwheels" because he is a wheelchair user, due to severely disabling osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease). In May 2016, Brennan stepped down from leading the site and passed it onto 2ch engineer Ron Watkins. Watkins will hopefully be cracking down on things Brennan did not — but we all know what happens when the mods go to sleep.
8chan began as an alternative to 4chan, proud shithole of the Internet. 8chan boasts having only strictly illegal content being removed, in order to protect its posters' "freedom of speech". The site allows content forbidden on 4chan, such as raiding boards and doxxing. 8chan's policies on child porn can charitably be defined as "loose." The site allows questionable porn such as lolicon,[note 1] and photographs of barely-clothed children in sexual poses.
Brennan has also written for The Daily Stormer, the news site of Stormfront, in favour of eugenics, blaming the lack of a eugenics program in the US for his disability. He says that when he contacted the Daily Stormer asking for an interview, they suggested he just write an article for them. Defending his contribution on Reddit, Brennan insisted that he is not a neo-Nazi or a white nationalist — he merely considers the Stormer the right-wing equivalent of such "far-left" publications as The Huffington Post or The Daily Dot — although he does indeed support eugenics. He also stated that "building hype around my business is my job, especially when we are strapped for cash and can't advertise directly". It is possible he does not realize that these are not the sort of Nazis that have boxes and boxes of gold.
More recently, the archive.is website archiving service had blocked all links to 8chan due to an overwhelming amount of child pornography being contained within them. However, this was shortly reverted.
Considering that anybody can make a board on 8chan, there are definitely some gems out there for those willing to trawl through the nearly endless (and ever-expanding) list of boards.
/gg/ /gamergate/ /gamergatehq/
- /v/ is the gathering place for the Gamergate mob as of writing.
- A doxing/cyberstalking board similar to /baphomet/ and /b/. Usually just the stalking of YouTube celebrities, though like /baphomet/, it occasionally organizes raids. Comes from the chan term "lolcow," usually referring to someone too vain or too stupid to realize they're being baited into going crazy on the Internet.
- The "Politically Incorrect" board, home to neoreactionaries, neo-Nazis, and red pillers, most of whom originally came to 8chan with the "exodus" for Gamergate. When 4chan's admin spammed the local and original /pol/ as part of a joke, many posters "migrated" to 8chan.
- A radical leftist board that discusses and promotes revolutionary socialism, including Marxism and Anarchism.
- Dedicated to a rather outlandish plot by white supremacists to colonize… well… Namibia. To put it shortly, they believe that Namibia is a wild lawless space for their great white hunter selves to colonize and create a nation based on the alleged "values" of National Socialism. Though this may sound like the typical anon plot, they actually have sent scouting parties and are attempting to get their "New Rhodesia" under the guise of a charity.
- Created after Redditors "left" in "droves" after the banning of the /r/FatPeopleHate subreddit due to the site's new anti-harassment guidelines. They were shortly driven out by 8chan's existing userbase in a raid fashion.
- A whole bunch of other boards we're not giving any exposure to
- Drawn child porn, rape, gore, animal abuse and the like.
One of the more infamous boards is called /baphomet/ (named for the demon Baphomet, of course), a "hacking" and raiding board dedicated to the spirit of old 4chan /b/. /baphomet/ streamlines the most extreme and disturbing forms of harassment for which user of 8chan are notorious for, such as gathering personal information of the site's targets and coordinating SWATing efforts. The board is also replete with grotesque images of abuse of humans and animals, the sole purpose of which is to disgust outsiders and thus deter spying on the board's operations. Initial targets were those who worked to report the child porn on 8chan to the authorities, though many of the current targets are the same people Gamergate has been targeting for months. Gamergaters off the board will deny that it's part of their movement, while simultaneously cautioning against provoking /baphomet/ in a way that totally isn't a threat.
On February 9, 2015, /baphomet/ underwent a total history wipe after it was revealed that the board's moderator Benjamin Biddix had posted the mailing address, phone number, and Social Security number for Katherine Forrest, the federal judge who presided over the the Silk Road black market case. Biddix had allegedly been selling dox to fund his attempt to leave the United States for Shanghai. His Tor site was then seized by multiple national and international law enforcement agencies.
- The term lolicon refers to anime/cartoon media featuring sexualized or sexually-explicit depictions of children. It derives from a Japanese portmanteau of the phrase "Lolita complex", although on 8chan, it is sometimes used as a dog whistle for real child pornography.
- Dan Olson, "The Mods are Always Asleep", Medium
- "@infinitechan", 19 December 2014
- "PRQ, Web Host For WikiLeaks And Once For The Pirate Bay, Raided By Swedish Police", Andy Greenberg, Forbes
- https://i.imgur.com/e37Nmdp.png https://i.imgur.com/1nRNmGS.png
- Zoe Quinn, GG's Public Enemy #1, has the details.
- Sam Machkovech, "Notorious 8chan "subboard" has history wiped after federal judge's doxing", Ars Technica
- @Cernowatch, "Benji links to illegal Tor pastebin with CC#, SSNs. This is what we found. (Note the district who issued the order~)", Twitter (archive)