New York Systems

I'm David. I live in Astoria. During the day I work at a startup. Other times I visit bookstores.
This blog is my curio collection, sort of. I'll have a place of my own for essays... someday.

Posts tagged #4chan


One problem with a website like 4chan going “blackout” to protest SOPA

4chan is a website whose users do actively engage in piracy, knowingly and willingly, right on the boards. There are weekly threads on the comics board with links to all that Wednesday’s releases, and “storytimes” where comics are posted in their entireties for users to read. The anime boards have been dens of fan-subbing and distribution for years — illegal under international copyright law. And so on. 4chan is exactly the sort of website that SOPA/PIPA is designed to go after, not part of the collateral damage contingent that Wikipedia or reddit are arguing would be the result of the legislation.

Now, I personally don’t think the piracy that occurs on 4chan is a bad thing. The comic sharing that occurred on /co/ got me interested in comics, and now I read three a week and have an entire bookshelf devoted to trade collections — I even bought the trades to Transmetropolitian after reading the comics illegally online.

In a similar vein, I pirated a lot of music in high school, but haven’t done so now for years, not only because I have more disposable income now (although that is certainly part of it) but that Amazon MP3 and to a lesser extent iTunes make it so easy to pay a reasonable amount for music. Piracy is a combination of an inability to pay and a desire to use content however the pirate wants, not simply how the content provider wants. Services like Netflix fix the first problem of affordability, but fall flat on their face when looking at the second question, since content is constantly shuffling on and off their streaming service and isn’t cacheable for offline viewing in most circumstances.

This has wandered a little off the point: having a site like 4chan protesting SOPA alongside more general-interest sites muddies the argument that general Internet content providers can make against the law.

Since people asked:

I believe I earned myself a ban for posting what amounted to a discussion thread on a… let’s say one of the more image-centric boards. And the moderator there wasn’t a fan.


I’m banned from 4chan?

Finally! I can check that off my list of dumb things to do on the internet.

Homestuck general, ladies and gentlemen.



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.



Ahahahaha. Y’know, MAYBE this “autistic manchild” was busy putting out two new albums of awesome music, and MAYBE he didn’t want to make everyone wait longer for updates. “OH NO WE HAVE TO WAIT FOR MORE UPDATES.” How is that anything new?

hi, i like you, thanks for being sane!

Like anyone should listen to anything 4chan says. And I say that as someone who participates in HSG threads on /co/ somewhat regularly.

"Pressure", a fake video game that /v/ made up last year. I’d certainly like to play it.


I’m counting the days til this comes out!

This is the book I’ve been communicating with that author about!

Seeing that one of the many tentacles of the cheezburger network is a ‘4koma builder’ — and then seeing those items showing up in my personal facebook feed, from people whom I doubt have ever even know what that mean — just reminds me of how much 4chan underpins what we think of as the clean, safe internet.

Dammit, I remember seeing Gaijin 4koma first streak across the English-speaking internet.