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Name: 4chan
Owner/Maintainer: Hiroyuki Nishimura, created by Christopher 'moot' Poole
Dates: 2003-present
Type: imageboard community
Fandom: mutli
URL: 4chan.org
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4chan is an extremely popular English-language imageboard community known for generating memes, "hacking" sites, and birthing the group Anonymous.


4chan is made up of 63 imageboards organised into six categories. Each imageboard is given a short name consisting of one or more letters or numbers between slashes: Anime and Manga is "/a/", etc.

Japanese Culture


  • /v/ Video Games
  • /vg/ Video Game Generals
  • /vr/ Retro Games
  • /co/ Comics & Cartoons
  • /g/ Technology
  • /tv/ Television & Film
  • /k/ Weapons
  • /o/ Auto
  • /an/ Animals & Nature
  • /tg/ Traditional Games
  • /qst/ Quests
  • /sp/ Sports
  • /asp/ Alternative Sports
  • /sci/ Science & Math
  • /int/ International
  • /out/ Outdoors
  • /toy/ Toys
  • /biz/ Business & Finance


  • /i/ Oekaki
  • /po/ Papercraft & Origami
  • /p/ Photography
  • /ck/ Food & Cooking
  • /ic/ Artwork/Critique
  • /wg/ Wallpapers/General
  • /mu/ Music
  • /fa/ Fashion
  • /3/ 3DCG
  • /gd/ Graphic Design
  • /diy/ Do-It-Yourself
  • /wsg/ Worksafe GIF


  • /s/ Beautiful Women
  • /hc/ Hardcore
  • /hm/ Handsome Men
  • /h/ Hentai
  • /e/ Ecchi
  • /u/ Yuri
  • /d/ Hentai/Alternative
  • /y/ Yaoi
  • /t/ Torrents
  • /hr/ High Resolution
  • /gif/ Adult GIF


  • /trv/ Travel
  • /fit/ Fitness
  • /x/ Paranormal
  • /lit/ Literature
  • /adv/ Advice
  • /lgbt/ LGBT
  • /mlp/ Pony [see My Little Pony]


  • /b/Random
  • /r/ Request
  • /r9k/ ROBOT9001
  • /pol/ Politically Incorrect
  • /soc/ Cams & Meetups
  • /s4s/ Shit 4chan Says

Notable fanworks

Since its creation in 2003 4chan has been responsible for many fanworks varying in size to small pieces of fanart to author driven collaborative stories called quests, as created on the board /qst/. Due to the nature of 4chan's self deleting threads, many of these creations are currently hosted on off-site archives of in pdfs that are spread via word of mouth.

The /tv/ general known as /who/, or the Doctor Who General has produced a number of short to mid-length fics in collections titled "Shit Trips", these collections range in genre from comedy to smut and are connected by a framing device written by the trip called "GallifreyImmigrant", who has a AO3 account under the same name. Many anonymous users temporarily adopted pseuds for this collaboration.

/lit/ once self-published a short parody of the life of David Foster Wallace, a writer best known for the book Infinite Jest.

/co/ produces large amounts of fanart in daily drawthreads. These threads are primarily driven by anonymous requests.


4chan has a complex history and an even more complex culture, so new users are often overwhelmed and even frightened. Because 4chan users do not create accounts and instead post anonymously, certain boards on 4chan are very likely to contain potentially disturbing language and images. /b/ in particular, the "random" board, has a reputation for being vulgar and shocking. However, other boards are moderated to enforce strict rules, e.g. many of the boards are kept worksafe, and users who break those rules will find their IP addresses temporarily or permanently banned from accessing the site. Off-topic posts are not tolerated and may result in bans.


"Anonymous" is a very loosely organised "hacktivist" group (in a sense) born on 4chan and known for distributed denial-of-service (DDoS attacks), Guy Fawkes masks, and an embarrassing slogan. The "group" has notably protested the Church of Scientology.

  • The iconic Guy Fawkes masks worn during protests have nothing to do with Guy Fawkes, Catholicism, or the UK government. They are a reference to the graphic novel/film "V for Vendetta."
  • Anonymous has no official leader and no protocol for "joining."


  • Some boards, such as /pol/ and /b/, can be very anti-"SJW" [See: Social Justice] and will deliberately post triggering content. Fat-shaming, racism, sexism (particularly anti-feminism), antisemitism, and homophobic language is common on these boards. Some of the hate speech on 4chan is satire, some is shock humour, and some is just genuine hate.
  • Graphic images are sometimes posted, including gore/guro.
  • Provoking 4chan users tends to go quite poorly. Do not post personal information, links to your personal sites, or Facebook photos (your info is encoded in the image, and a reverse image search will identify you immediately).