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26 Feb

(Much to the dismay of its millions of users, who tried in vain desperation to keep it a secret.)The key to 4chan’s popularity (and what distinguished it from its progenitor Something Awful) was the Japanese bulletin board Poole had adapted for English use.

People had so much fun using it, threads became ephemeral, growing wildly within seconds, then disappearing minutes later, pushed out of the way and into oblivion by new threads and so forth 24/7. At the time, one of the few places you saw memes was there.

There were things it loved, things it hated, ways of being and acting that met with approval and disapproval in the group.

In fact, it codified its value system in a series of “rules”.

A., as a result the site became popular very quickly.

These days, 4chan appears in the news almost weekly.

Their user base had grown exponentially and it was obvious they were about to explode into the mainstream.

As a nerdy teen growing up in Baltimore in the 90s, I had wandered into Otakon much like I had later wandered into 4chan, just when it was starting.

I also attended Otakon in the mid-aughts when 4chan met there, likewise to promote my webcomic.

Like everything it did, these were constructed piecemeal from pop culture.

Rule #1 was taken from vibe to them, that is to say, they were very obviously created by a bullying and anarchic society of adolescent boys — or at least, men with the mindset of boys — particularly lonely, sex starved man-boys, who according to their own frequent jokes about the subject, lived in their parents’ basement.