Like anyone should listen to anything 4chan says. And I say that as someone who participates in HSG threads on /co/ somewhat regularly.
if you feel that way stop participating
i have some pretty strong opinions on 4chan and anonymity-on-the-internet in general that can be boiled down to:
if you decide to be anonymous, you ally yourself with all other anonymous posters. this means that when one of them—that is to say, one of YOU—does something with which you disagree, you are nonetheless tacitly supporting it and them.
when 4chan had its first few rachel-hate spells i would time to time get messages saying “I’m not one of THOSE anonymous, I don’t agree with them, I’m sorry.” that sentiment is nice, but it’s the sentiment of someone who has not fully thought through their participation in such a thing. you share culpability. it is the nature of the beast.
if you decide to take part in the largely toxic, emotionally-and-mentally-unhealthy atmosphere of 4chan (and similar hate machines), you are probably eroding some of your mental health. if you view this community at its worst and excuse it or hold it at a remove by saying that it is not you, you are not removing the damage done. nor are you changing the negativity at play.
frequently activated neural pathways become easier to activate; habits and thought patterns take hold. this is one way in which depression, addiction, etc, can be so unshakable. engaging in frequent hateful thoughts makes hateful thoughts more frequent.
i was just going to check my tumblr notifications before bed and this happened, oh well. we’ve been on the road all day and i’m extremely tired. regardless.
Not to be too combative, but I didn’t want to let that roll away without a short response.
I have been involved in anonymous communities for a very long time. (I run one myself, although these days that’s more a set-and-forget sort of operation.) As much as the rhetoric that Anonymous projects would like you to believe otherwise, Anonymous is definitely not a monolithic entity. Some of the most productive arguments I’ve ever had online — where it really felt like both sides were listening to the other, both changed their positions as they went, and there was actual agreement at the end — have been in anonymous communities.
Threads like Homestuck General are full of people both being jerkasses and being called out for being jerkasses. It’s a constant argument about what exactly is proper behavior. The post that started this (although this is impossible to know for sure) was likely called out immediately for the exact same reasons that it was called out here on tumblr: ridiculous entitlement issues. There were probably a few more four-letter words used, sure, but the reaction was likely the same. (Also note that it’s by someone using a name. That matters. In my experience, users who go out of their way to identify themselves on an anonymous forum are the ones who hold the most outrageous/offensive opinions. They are there to get a rise out of people, to be noticed.)
Anonymous communities are not necessarily any more ‘toxic’ than the rest of the discourse on the internet. They’re just more public and move faster. That’s why I said you shouldn’t listen to what any one person says from a thread — they might have any number of reasons for posting it, including just pissing off everyone else in the thread, or calling attention to themselves, or furthering a joke everyone else has actually already forgotten. The behavior of one cannot be mapped onto the whole; the behavior of the group cannot be mapped onto an individual.
Hope the rest of your travels go well. Road trips are always hard to stay energetic for.