In the west we know reddit as the father of all forums. In it we find several communities on different subjects, where the news and information we need on a certain subject originate. In Japan other forums are responsible for spreading news, virals, memes and many other famous things that spread around the world. In this article, we will see the most famous forums and imageboard (2chan, 4chan) among the Japanese and how they influenced the world.
Japan's online community is very active on forums, especially otakus. In addition to forums, other communities are widely used such as nico nico, twitter and others popular social networks in japan. In addition, we can see several sites and communities with a large flow of Japanese users.
But what the heck is imageboard? Maybe you've never heard of this term, it refers to forums, communities or channels that are based on posting images and text, anonymously. The first imageboard that appeared in the world was 2chan, derived from the 2channel text forum. These 2 creations were responsible for influencing the internet in a huge way that we will see in this article.
2channel – The biggest forum in Japan
2channel is the most popular forum in Japan. It was founded on May 30, 1999 by Hiroyuki Nishimura (西村博之), with the aim of creating a place where people could publish their opinions anonymously. The site is so popular that it has received about 10 million visits a day for years, where there were more than 2 million posts daily. Currently, it still receives around 5 million visits a day.
The site has gained significant influence in Japanese society, comparable to radio, magazine, TV and newspapers. The site is quite simple, its focus is only texts, messages and images, don't expect any designer evolution. It was there that several text emoji and other concepts we know.
Each topic created on 2channel has a limit of 1000 posts. This avoids reviving old threads and keeps current affairs alive. Old topics are moved to a file, and eventually deleted.
2chan and the rise of the imageboard
In 2001, a derivative of 2channel appeared called 2chan or futaba channel. This imageboard or image and text sharing forum is mostly used by otakus and meme creators. These sites usually do not require registration and preach anonymity. They are divided into several sub-forums with each having its own specific content and guidelines. It was on 2chan that memes and concepts like Yaranaika and OS-TAN emerged.
The futaba channel and some other imageboards don't archive their posts. So, only active users can follow and enjoy the meme creations. Fortunately, when a meme or viral is posted on these forums, it quickly spreads to external sites. There is a philosophy of the users of the 2chan which prevents many publications from leaving there. To end this exclusivity of the Japanese, Westerners created a similar site.
Inspired by 2chan, Westerners created the 4chan. Although the site is English, it has a large community of Japanese members. O 4chan was responsible for the emergence of thousands of memes and virals on the internet. It is believed that it was in 4chan that was the birth of the anonymous hacker group. Both 4chan and 2chan have sub-forums related to Japanese otaku culture. 4chan was sold to 2channel founder Hiroyuki Nishimura.
Brazil was not left out and created its own imageboard called 55chan. Here all types of cancer and memes created by Brazilians are born. In addition to these sites, 8chan emerged, a more liberal version of 4chan, and a rival 7chan.
Board List – 4chan Themes
4chan and similar sites are divided into themed channels. 4chan has about 63 themed channels, each named with letters between slashes. For example: /TV/ is dedicated to television and movies. Below we will leave a list of boards (as they are called), the subcategories for you to find what you want. It is worth mentioning that /b/ is the most popular, a random category that has everything, be careful that you can find adult and extreme content in this random category. Below is a list of some categories:
- /a/ Anime and Manga
- /c/ Anime/Cute
- /w/ Anime/Wallpapers
- /m/ wick
- /cgl/ Cosplay and EGL
- /cm/ Cute/Male
- /f/ Flash
- /jp/ Otaku Culture
- /vp/ Pokemon
- /v/ Video Games
- /vg/ Video Game
- /vr/ Retro Games
- /co/ Comics & Cartoons
- /g/ Technology
- /tv/ Television & Film
- /k/ Weapons
- /o/ Auto
- /an/ Animals & Nature
- /tg/ Traditional Games
- /sp/ Sports
- /asp/ Alternative Sports
- /sci/ Science & Math
- /int/ International
- /out/ Billboards
- /toy/ toys
- /biz/ Business & Finance
- /i/ Oekaki
- /en/ Papercraft & Origami
- /p/ Photography
- /ck/ Food & Cooking
- /ic/ Artwork/Critique
- /wg/ Wallpapers/General
- /mu/ Music
- /lgbt/ LGBT
- /r/ Request
- /r9k/ ROBOT9001
- /pol/ Politically incorrect
- /soc/ Cams & Dating
- /s4s/ Shit 4chan Says
Influence of forums and imageboard
These unscrupulous discussion sites feature dozens of message boards and “picture forums” in several different general categories, ranging from Japanese animation to travel. These sites suffer from various problems due to their popularity, things like hacking, abuse of posts, hate speech, extremely wrong content, user competitions and others.
Channels like 4chan are no longer a secret club and are now a big factory of memes and meaningless discussions. Your community is very random full of posts related to anime and manga. There are more than 15 million active users, so it's impossible to keep an organization on the site, luckily the categories and tags help in this regard.
We have already written articles about some memes that have appeared on these sites. You can see a list below:
- Horse Head Mask – How did it go viral?
- Waifu – Do you know what it is? How did it come about?
- What does Nico Nico ni mean? Why did it go viral?
- Do you know the famous Doge of memes?
- Nyan Cat – How did this viral come about?
In short, the 2channel forum gave birth to imageboard futaba, which gave birth to 4chan. These are the 2 most popular communities in the world along with reddit. It was thanks to these 3 sites that various information, virals and memes reach us. Did you know or have you accessed these sites? What do you think of them? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.