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June 23, 2016updated 11 Jan 2017 3:30pm

What is 4chan?

The controversial website started life as a way to post pictures and discussions relating to manga and anime.

By Ellie Burns

4chan is an imageboard website which was originally used for posting pictures and discussing manga and anime.

Launched on October 1, 2003,  the site has often courted criticism and media attention due to the site’s anonymous community and explicit content.

Founded by a then-15-year-old Christopher Poole, with the founder’s identity remaining hidden until 2008 when The Wall Street Journal revealed his name. 4chan is relatively simple in the way that it works – users start threads by anonymously posting images, with other users then able to anonymously comment on the posted images.


Find out which 4chan board has a no rules policy on the next page.

The site, as of January 2016, hosts 66 discussion-based imageboards, a number of trial boards and one upload-only Flash board. The first board created was the random board, or /b/, and is 4chan’s most popular board.

/b/ has a ‘no rules’ policy and was reportedly where the Anonymous group first started to take shape. Due to the anonymous nature and no rules policy of /b/, there has been much criticism over reported threats of violence, child pornography, cyber attacks, racism and other content deemed to be ‘the dark side of the internet.’

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