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One of the most notorious corners of the web could be about to become a victim of its own success. The owner of 4chan posted a warning last weekend that the anarchic bulletin board service was in financial straits.
While some would not mourn its loss, others would miss its influence and sense of mayhem. The site provides a place to anonymously post text and images about a range of interests, including Japanese anime, video games, cooking, science and cars. But what keeps many of its 27 million users coming back for more are its more controversial s. These include the "politically incorrect" board, in which racist and homophobic comments run rampant.
It has been linked to the rise of the so-called alt-right movementwhose followers are outspoken in their attacks on multiculturalism, globalisation and immigration even if they differ on much else. Many visitors also head straight to the "random" board, after passing a 4chan afult that warns of its mature and potentially damaging content.
Many of the posts are pornographic and otherwise shocking in nature. It was here that stolen images 4chan afult naked celebrities were posted following hacks in There are several other boards on the site dedicated to adult pictures and videos. But people also visit to engage in the kind of humour that might get them in trouble elsewhere.
Mr Nishimura posted a message on 4chan's question-and-answer board on Sunday, headlined: "winter is coming" - a reference to Game of Thrones. He said the site could no longer afford its computer servers and other infrastructure costs.
But many of 4chan's users have ad-blockers - so they never see the promotions - and the controversial nature of the posts means many businesses do not want to have anything to do with it anyway. Mr Nishimura's post suggested several potential solutions, including:. He has already started pursuing the last of these options. Mr Nishimura told the BBC other steps were also under way.
Then, we'll try tough ways. Markus "Notch" Persson - the creator of Minecraft - tweeted that he was interested in helping, before deleting the post. The former chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals, Martin Shkreli, has also said that he would be interested in helping run the site.
I don't know much about his personality, though. Any help is welcome. While most of 4chan's content stays within its walls, the site has repeatedly had influence on the wider world. Perhaps most notably, it is thought to be the birthplace of the Anonymous movement. The hacktivists are said to have taken on the name as a nod to the fact all posts to the site have been marked 4chan afult being posted by "anonymous" rather than another username since The singer Rick Astley can thank 4chan for helping revitalise his career, due to a user creating the Rickrolling meme - in which one of his music videos is shared under false pretences.
And cat-lovers can be grateful for the Lolcats meme, in which oddly phrased text is superimposed over a photo of a feline. Supporters of Donald Trump can point to 4chan helping drive support for the presidential candidate among the unders. And pranksters would undoubtedly 4chan afult its ability to hijack online votes. Examples include:.
Perhaps most critical of all is that 4chan provides a place for likeminded people to hang out 4chan afult - and several other comment sites are already concerned what an influx of its former users would mean if it failed. Pepe the Frog branded a 'hate symbol'. Google hires creator of notorious 4chan. What do people do on 4chan? Why is 4chan in difficulties?
Is there a way out? It seems nothing has come of this as yet. Would anyone, apart from 4channers themselves, actually miss the site? Related Topics. More on this story. Published 28 September Published 8 March4chan afult
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Why 4chan is 'struggling to survive'