The infamous message board 4chan is having a tough time meeting expenses and seriously needs to reduce costs to be able to stay afloat, according to The Verge. This is what owner Hiroyuki Nisimura believes, as is evident from the post he made on Sunday.
Three options to keep 4chan running
In the post, Nisimura, who bought the site from its founder last year, said, “4chan can’t afford infrastructure costs, network fee, servers cost, CDN and etc, now.”
The site has not received enough support from ads, nor have subscriptions been able to offer additional features, said Nisimura.
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“We had tried to keep 4chan as is. But I failed,” Nisimura notes. “I am sincerely sorry.”
Nisimura believes that 4chan has three options for survival going forward: sell more subscriptions, cut traffic to the site in half, or include a lot more ads, even malicious ones. To do this, the site would need to close message boards, slow down traffic and reduce the size of images that can be posted, he said.
Nisimura believes the site has been almost entirely unregulated for a long time, and these changes could have a real impact on its culture–for better or maybe worse. 4chen has faced financial crises in the past as well. Citing financial issues, Chris Poole, the founder, sold the site less than a year ago to Nishimura. In 2015, 4chan boasted to Inc. Magazine that it had 20 million users.
A victim of its own actions
4chan is believed to be the progenitor of countless memes but is also seen as a home to racism, sexism, and otherwise vile discussions, notes The Verge. The site has been linked to the start of practices such as Gamergate, a campaign focused on harassing women online, and the release of stolen nude photos of actresses.
The site, which has very few rules for users, does not allow the posting of child pornography, and users are not allowed to discuss Gamergate. Apart from these two things, almost everything else is unregulated, including activities like posting non-consensual sexual imagery, threatening to kill people, and even hacking private citizens’ data and releasing it.
One horrific incident took place when a 4chan user murdered a woman in Port Orchard, Washington and uploaded pictures of her dead body on the site, notes Bustle. In another incident, a user attempted suicide live by setting himself on fire. Instead of stopping him, fellow users encouraged him to go ahead with it. Such a culture is the main reason the site failed to find companies that would want to advertise with it.
If 4chan disappears, then it will leave a big impact on Internet culture, and many would not like to see it go away. However, the seriousness of the situation is not very clear as of now. Nisimura’s post titled “Winter is coming” tends to instill negativity, but at the same time, he has proposed changes to save the site.
What’s interesting is that apart from the three options listed by Nisimura, there is one more option – Martin Shkreli, another infamous name. Shkreli said he is willing to buy 4chan and is “open to joining the Board of Directors.” So it will be interesting to see how this combination (if taken) will turn out.
Photo by fkyou1