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4chan and /b/:An Analysis of Anonymityand Ephemerality in a Large Online Community Michael Bernstein, Andrés Monroy-Hernández, Drew Harry, Paul André, Katrina Panovich and Greg Vargas >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 No.339760588 mit computer science and ai lab mit media labuniversity of southampton
Mark Zuckerberg Identity Representation Pseudonyms and multiple accounts demonstrate “a lack of integrity” pseudonyms
Google “The web means the end of forgetting.” — New York Times Mark Zuckerberg Identity Representation Pseudonyms and multiple accounts demonstrate “a lack of integrity” Archiving Strategy
Millen 2000 Archives are highly valued and expected to be read by newcomers. Millen + Patterson 2003 Identity Representation Real names and pseudonyms “promote trust, cooperation and accountability.” Archiving Strategy
Ma+ Agarwal2007 Strong identity and permanent archives correlate with satisfaction and participation Identity Representation ? What happens in a large scale anonymous, ephemeral community? Archiving Strategy
Ma+ Agarwal2007 Strong identity and permanent archives correlate with satisfaction and participation Identity Representation ? How does such a community produce so much of the Internet’s shared culture? Archiving Strategy
Ma+ Agarwal2007 Strong identity and permanent archives correlate with satisfaction and participation Identity Representation 4chan /b/ Archiving Strategy
Our Goal Use 4chan /b/ as a lens to understand the concepts of anonymity and ephemerality.
Our Argument Anonymity and ephemerality support community behaviors that generate internet culture.
4chan’s Impact >> moot!Ep8pui8Vw2 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 No.339760588 over seven million users >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:23 No.339760 prolific meme factory > lolcats> rickrolling> chocolate rain> pedobear >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:43 No.339823 highly visible off-site activities > electing moot Time Person of the Year> hacktivist group Anonymous
/b/, the “Random” board The most active board >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 No.339760588 30% of all traffic >> moot!Ep8pui8Vw2 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 No.339760588 “the lifeforce of the website” where the “rowdiness and lawlessness” happen
4chan /b/ and Ephemerality >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 No.339760588 /b/ deletes content as soon as newer content arrives >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 No.339760597 fast-paced and chaotic experience Twitter’s design suggests ephemerality
4chan /b/ and Anonymity >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 No.339760588 posts are fully anonymous by default rarely contain pseudonyms or other identity signals >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:23 No.339760597 traditional reputation systems become unworkable Formspring.me is based on anonymous feedback Blizzard’s shift to real names sparked an uprising
Related work >> Anonymity 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 No.339760588 >> Sites with (discouraged) anonymous commenting:Usenet [Donath 1999], Slashdot [Lampe+Resnick 2004] Removing social cues makes communication impersonal [Short, Williams, Christie 1976] and cold [Hiltz, Johnson, Turoff 1986], and anonymity directly undermines credibility [Rains 2007]. >> Ephemerality 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 No.339760588 >> Technology does not let us forget [Grudin 2002; Mayer-Schonberger 2009]
ITT: In This Talk ContentAnalysis of threads on 4chan /b/ EphemeralityTempo and deletion dynamics AnonymityPractices around identity
Content Analysis
Content Analysis Method >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:31:04 No.3397256562 collected 598 thread-starting postsover ten days >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 No.339760588 rounds of iterative coding developed nine categories to describe thread themes
Themed 28% >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 ITT [“In this thread”] we only post stuff we have laughed at so hard we had tears
Sharing Content 19% >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 This guy is a hero. :) http://www.youtube.com/[xxxxx]
Question or Advice 10% >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 Soup /b/ Recently I’ve been hanging out with a girl a lot, we’re both in college. I spend the night at her place all the time and we kiss and whatnot. Problem is, she just broke up with her ex [...] and I know she’s not over him. I really like her but I dunno what to do, so what do /b/?
>> Sharing Personal Information 9% U JELLY? [“Jealous?”] This is me suiting up at my formal looking fucking brilliant, then there is you fags sitting back and watching. >> Discussion 8% Hi Anonymous! So ive started this game called League of Legends a few days ago. [...] Is there anyone here who also plays it? Lets talk about it! >> Request for Item 8% anyone has a pic of that star wars battle tank with the german insignia shooped[“photoshopped”] on it? in return tits  >> Request for Action 7% Make a group saying [name] is awesome on face book. DO IT FAGGOTS >> Discussing /b/ 5% Heidi Ho there /b/ I’m a Newfag and now that i’ve been here all Summer I was wondering if i need a letter of recommendation From a Registered OldFag?
A Brief Word on Normalcy >> Media Representation 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 Fox News: 4chan is “The Internet Hate Machine” -but- it is a community like any other >> Nudity, Gore, Homophobia, Racism intentionally offensive and off-color create taste boundaries to keep out those not in it for the lulz
Study 1Ephemerality
Ephemerality on 4chan Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 cool paper bro
Ephemerality on 4chan
Ephemerality on 4chan
Ephemerality on 4chan
Ephemerality on 4chan
Ephemerality on 4chan
Ephemerality on 4chan
Ephemerality on 4chan 15 threads per page 15 pages 225 threads on /b/
Ephemerality on 4chan 404
Ephemerality on 4chan Bumping Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 cool paper bro >> Anonymous p values or GTFO
Data Collection >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 No.339760588 complete dataset of /b/ activity over two weeks 5,576,096 posts in 482,559 threads >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No.339734523 recreate /b/’s thread position history using  post creation timestamps
Entire Lifetime >> Thread Lifetime 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No.3397345 median thread lifetime: 3.9 minutes min: 28 secondsmax: 6.2 hours >> 43% of threads get no replies median thread has original post and one reply >> Longest-Lived Thread 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 ASK A PAGAN ANYTHING go on do your worst (or alternatively actually get my re- spect and actually ask something useful) >> Short-Lived Thread 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No.33973453984 I hope you’re glad the captcha is gone, woo yeah, let’s all be random lolz!
First Page >> Why first page? 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 threads get most of their visibility on the first page reminder: bumped threads are returned to the first page >> Total time on first page 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 median time on first page: 5 seconds min: less than 1 secondmax: 37 minutes
Bumping and Sage >> bump 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No.33973454556 39 can reply with deliberate intent to bring the thread to the first page and keep it from 404ing 2.16% of posts contained “bump”, “bamp”, etc. or similar inflections >> sage 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No.33973454556 39 “sage” in email field leaves a reply without bumping the thread: “burying” a thread 0.77% of posts were sages >> Interpretation 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 39 4chan members play within the bounds of ephemerality and manipulate it
Ephemerality Discussion >> Volume comparisons 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 35,000 threads and 400,000 /b/ posts per dayvs. 	7,100 digg threads per day 	25,000 usenet posts per day 65,000 youtube videos per day [Szabo+Huberman2010, newsadmin.com] >> Alternate Archives 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 users save memorable content to /b/ folders on their hard drives 4chanarchive.org for “epic” threads
Ephemerality Discussion >> Role in meme creation 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 fast pace leads to continuously fresh content no history may mitigate “rich get richer” phenomena >> Raising participation? 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 counterintuitively, ephemerality may actuallybe increasing participation in /b/ participating in a thread is the best way to keep it from 404ing
Study 2Anonymity
Anonymity on 4chan >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No.33973454556 [comment text] >> OP 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No.33973454556 [post using an unverifiable name] >> username!Oo43raDvH6107/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No.33973454556 [post using a tripcode, /b/’s only identity mechanism]
Identity Markers >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No. 234028393 90.1% of posts were credited to “Anonymous” >> Gómez et al. 2008  07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No. 23402839 closest comparison in the literature: 18.6% of Slashdot comments are anonymous >> Runners-up 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:44 No. 23402839323 >> Tripcodes07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No. 234028393 5% of posts used tripcodes
An Argument for Anonymity >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No. 2832974298 typical online community narrative is pro-identity >> Millen and Patterson 2003 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 revealing names and reputations has a positive impact on communities >> Suler 2005 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 anonymity can fuel the online disinhibition effect
An Argument for Anonymity >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No. 2832974298 typical online community narrative is pro-identity but, anonymity and disinhibition can have positive effects >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:33:23 masking failure makes experimentation safer 	creativity memes group ownership of creative content >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No. 29038240923 anonymity can provide a cover for intimate conversations Soup /b/ Recently I’ve been hanging out with a girl a lot, we’re both in college. I spend the night at her place all the time and we kiss and whatnot. Problem is, she just broke up with her ex [...] and I know she’s not over him. I really like her but I dunno what to do, so what do /b/?
Identity without Accounts >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No. 2832974298 alternative identity signaling >> timestamping in photossuggests authenticity >> slang helps delineate group membership  4chan ‘dialect’ is nontrivial required familiarity with current trends and memes
Ingroup and Outgroup >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No. 2832974298 Triforcing as a classic identity barrier >> >>
TL;DR: Conclusion >> Content 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 No.339760588 dominated by playful exchanges of images and links >> Ephemerality 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 No.339760588 median thread spends 5 seconds on the first page 			   expires completely in 5 minutes content deletion drives many of /b/’s dynamics >> Anonymity 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 No.339760588 over 90% of posts are made completely anonymously contrast to pseudonymous and fully identified sites 5% of posts use tripcode identity mechanisms
Come join the lulz >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No. 2832974298 research follows the data but this turns a blind eye to important communities and movements  our chanthropologist toolkit can help you collect a dataset >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)16:23:44 No. 2234534879 meme creation and spread relationship to online activism and off-site activities
Acknowledgments: danahboyd, Amy Bruckman, Gabriella Coleman, Danyel Fisher, Benjamin Mako Hill, Alex Leavitt, Rob Miller, Lisa Nakamura, Chris Schmandt, Christina Xu and SaritaYardi

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4chan and /b/: An Analysis of Anonymity and Ephemerality in a Large Online Community

  • 1. 4chan and /b/:An Analysis of Anonymityand Ephemerality in a Large Online Community Michael Bernstein, Andrés Monroy-Hernández, Drew Harry, Paul André, Katrina Panovich and Greg Vargas >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 No.339760588 mit computer science and ai lab mit media labuniversity of southampton
  • 2. Mark Zuckerberg Identity Representation Pseudonyms and multiple accounts demonstrate “a lack of integrity” pseudonyms
  • 3. Google “The web means the end of forgetting.” — New York Times Mark Zuckerberg Identity Representation Pseudonyms and multiple accounts demonstrate “a lack of integrity” Archiving Strategy
  • 4. Millen 2000 Archives are highly valued and expected to be read by newcomers. Millen + Patterson 2003 Identity Representation Real names and pseudonyms “promote trust, cooperation and accountability.” Archiving Strategy
  • 5. Ma+ Agarwal2007 Strong identity and permanent archives correlate with satisfaction and participation Identity Representation ? What happens in a large scale anonymous, ephemeral community? Archiving Strategy
  • 6. Ma+ Agarwal2007 Strong identity and permanent archives correlate with satisfaction and participation Identity Representation ? How does such a community produce so much of the Internet’s shared culture? Archiving Strategy
  • 7. Ma+ Agarwal2007 Strong identity and permanent archives correlate with satisfaction and participation Identity Representation 4chan /b/ Archiving Strategy
  • 8. Our Goal Use 4chan /b/ as a lens to understand the concepts of anonymity and ephemerality.
  • 9. Our Argument Anonymity and ephemerality support community behaviors that generate internet culture.
  • 10.
  • 11. 4chan’s Impact >> moot!Ep8pui8Vw2 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 No.339760588 over seven million users >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:23 No.339760 prolific meme factory > lolcats> rickrolling> chocolate rain> pedobear >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:43 No.339823 highly visible off-site activities > electing moot Time Person of the Year> hacktivist group Anonymous
  • 12. /b/, the “Random” board The most active board >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 No.339760588 30% of all traffic >> moot!Ep8pui8Vw2 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 No.339760588 “the lifeforce of the website” where the “rowdiness and lawlessness” happen
  • 13. 4chan /b/ and Ephemerality >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 No.339760588 /b/ deletes content as soon as newer content arrives >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 No.339760597 fast-paced and chaotic experience Twitter’s design suggests ephemerality
  • 14. 4chan /b/ and Anonymity >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 No.339760588 posts are fully anonymous by default rarely contain pseudonyms or other identity signals >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:23 No.339760597 traditional reputation systems become unworkable Formspring.me is based on anonymous feedback Blizzard’s shift to real names sparked an uprising
  • 15. Related work >> Anonymity 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 No.339760588 >> Sites with (discouraged) anonymous commenting:Usenet [Donath 1999], Slashdot [Lampe+Resnick 2004] Removing social cues makes communication impersonal [Short, Williams, Christie 1976] and cold [Hiltz, Johnson, Turoff 1986], and anonymity directly undermines credibility [Rains 2007]. >> Ephemerality 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 No.339760588 >> Technology does not let us forget [Grudin 2002; Mayer-Schonberger 2009]
  • 16. ITT: In This Talk ContentAnalysis of threads on 4chan /b/ EphemeralityTempo and deletion dynamics AnonymityPractices around identity
  • 18. Content Analysis Method >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:31:04 No.3397256562 collected 598 thread-starting postsover ten days >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 No.339760588 rounds of iterative coding developed nine categories to describe thread themes
  • 19. Themed 28% >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 ITT [“In this thread”] we only post stuff we have laughed at so hard we had tears
  • 20. Sharing Content 19% >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 This guy is a hero. :) http://www.youtube.com/[xxxxx]
  • 21. Question or Advice 10% >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 Soup /b/ Recently I’ve been hanging out with a girl a lot, we’re both in college. I spend the night at her place all the time and we kiss and whatnot. Problem is, she just broke up with her ex [...] and I know she’s not over him. I really like her but I dunno what to do, so what do /b/?
  • 22. >> Sharing Personal Information 9% U JELLY? [“Jealous?”] This is me suiting up at my formal looking fucking brilliant, then there is you fags sitting back and watching. >> Discussion 8% Hi Anonymous! So ive started this game called League of Legends a few days ago. [...] Is there anyone here who also plays it? Lets talk about it! >> Request for Item 8% anyone has a pic of that star wars battle tank with the german insignia shooped[“photoshopped”] on it? in return tits >> Request for Action 7% Make a group saying [name] is awesome on face book. DO IT FAGGOTS >> Discussing /b/ 5% Heidi Ho there /b/ I’m a Newfag and now that i’ve been here all Summer I was wondering if i need a letter of recommendation From a Registered OldFag?
  • 23. A Brief Word on Normalcy >> Media Representation 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 Fox News: 4chan is “The Internet Hate Machine” -but- it is a community like any other >> Nudity, Gore, Homophobia, Racism intentionally offensive and off-color create taste boundaries to keep out those not in it for the lulz
  • 24.
  • 26. Ephemerality on 4chan Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 cool paper bro
  • 33. Ephemerality on 4chan 15 threads per page 15 pages 225 threads on /b/
  • 35. Ephemerality on 4chan Bumping Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 cool paper bro >> Anonymous p values or GTFO
  • 36. Data Collection >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 No.339760588 complete dataset of /b/ activity over two weeks 5,576,096 posts in 482,559 threads >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No.339734523 recreate /b/’s thread position history using post creation timestamps
  • 37. Entire Lifetime >> Thread Lifetime 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No.3397345 median thread lifetime: 3.9 minutes min: 28 secondsmax: 6.2 hours >> 43% of threads get no replies median thread has original post and one reply >> Longest-Lived Thread 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 ASK A PAGAN ANYTHING go on do your worst (or alternatively actually get my re- spect and actually ask something useful) >> Short-Lived Thread 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No.33973453984 I hope you’re glad the captcha is gone, woo yeah, let’s all be random lolz!
  • 38. First Page >> Why first page? 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 threads get most of their visibility on the first page reminder: bumped threads are returned to the first page >> Total time on first page 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 median time on first page: 5 seconds min: less than 1 secondmax: 37 minutes
  • 39. Bumping and Sage >> bump 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No.33973454556 39 can reply with deliberate intent to bring the thread to the first page and keep it from 404ing 2.16% of posts contained “bump”, “bamp”, etc. or similar inflections >> sage 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No.33973454556 39 “sage” in email field leaves a reply without bumping the thread: “burying” a thread 0.77% of posts were sages >> Interpretation 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 39 4chan members play within the bounds of ephemerality and manipulate it
  • 40. Ephemerality Discussion >> Volume comparisons 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 35,000 threads and 400,000 /b/ posts per dayvs. 7,100 digg threads per day 25,000 usenet posts per day 65,000 youtube videos per day [Szabo+Huberman2010, newsadmin.com] >> Alternate Archives 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 users save memorable content to /b/ folders on their hard drives 4chanarchive.org for “epic” threads
  • 41. Ephemerality Discussion >> Role in meme creation 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 fast pace leads to continuously fresh content no history may mitigate “rich get richer” phenomena >> Raising participation? 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 counterintuitively, ephemerality may actuallybe increasing participation in /b/ participating in a thread is the best way to keep it from 404ing
  • 43. Anonymity on 4chan >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No.33973454556 [comment text] >> OP 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No.33973454556 [post using an unverifiable name] >> username!Oo43raDvH6107/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No.33973454556 [post using a tripcode, /b/’s only identity mechanism]
  • 44. Identity Markers >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No. 234028393 90.1% of posts were credited to “Anonymous” >> Gómez et al. 2008 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No. 23402839 closest comparison in the literature: 18.6% of Slashdot comments are anonymous >> Runners-up 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:44 No. 23402839323 >> Tripcodes07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No. 234028393 5% of posts used tripcodes
  • 45. An Argument for Anonymity >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No. 2832974298 typical online community narrative is pro-identity >> Millen and Patterson 2003 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 revealing names and reputations has a positive impact on communities >> Suler 2005 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 anonymity can fuel the online disinhibition effect
  • 46. An Argument for Anonymity >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No. 2832974298 typical online community narrative is pro-identity but, anonymity and disinhibition can have positive effects >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:33:23 masking failure makes experimentation safer creativity memes group ownership of creative content >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No. 29038240923 anonymity can provide a cover for intimate conversations Soup /b/ Recently I’ve been hanging out with a girl a lot, we’re both in college. I spend the night at her place all the time and we kiss and whatnot. Problem is, she just broke up with her ex [...] and I know she’s not over him. I really like her but I dunno what to do, so what do /b/?
  • 47. Identity without Accounts >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No. 2832974298 alternative identity signaling >> timestamping in photossuggests authenticity >> slang helps delineate group membership 4chan ‘dialect’ is nontrivial required familiarity with current trends and memes
  • 48. Ingroup and Outgroup >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No. 2832974298 Triforcing as a classic identity barrier >> >>
  • 49. TL;DR: Conclusion >> Content 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 No.339760588 dominated by playful exchanges of images and links >> Ephemerality 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 No.339760588 median thread spends 5 seconds on the first page expires completely in 5 minutes content deletion drives many of /b/’s dynamics >> Anonymity 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:05 No.339760588 over 90% of posts are made completely anonymously contrast to pseudonymous and fully identified sites 5% of posts use tripcode identity mechanisms
  • 50. Come join the lulz >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No. 2832974298 research follows the data but this turns a blind eye to important communities and movements our chanthropologist toolkit can help you collect a dataset >> Anonymous 07/20/11(Wed)16:23:44 No. 2234534879 meme creation and spread relationship to online activism and off-site activities
  • 51.
  • 52. Acknowledgments: danahboyd, Amy Bruckman, Gabriella Coleman, Danyel Fisher, Benjamin Mako Hill, Alex Leavitt, Rob Miller, Lisa Nakamura, Chris Schmandt, Christina Xu and SaritaYardi
  • 53.
  • 54. Reactions on /b/ >> Find it funny or weird07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No. 2832974298 ITT: /b/ gets trolled by the MIT I bet the FBI paid MIT to study us That's the britfags' tax money at work lol, paying scientists to fapover Emily Watson fakes Lolat how formally they present what goes on here. Like newt gingrich is some isolated tribe in the rainforest with unique and primitive customs. >> Engaged with the content 07/20/11(Wed)15:30:34 No. 2832974298 skimmed the whole paper. interesting. i especially like seeing the breakdown of what types of threads are posted most. I would like to see the themed section broken down ie. 20% CP 8% furfag 17% raff u roose 2% fingerbox 5% sup my name is john and you're all a bunch of candy-ass s This is... This is actually pretty damn interesting. I think something is lost to the analysts here. The fact that one of the most popular /b/ activities is "pissing into the sea of piss”.
  • 55. Time of Day >> primarily an after-work, after-school phenomenon

Editor's Notes

  1. collaboative grad student research, no profs
  2. Let’s start this journey with some trends.When you’re designing an online community or social media service, you need to make some choices.On identity, pseudonyms were the norm on the Internet for a long time.Then Facebook came along. We see more and more sites moving toward strong identity.
  3. Likewise, the advent of search engines has shifted us toward stronger notions of archiving…the web means the end of forgetting.
  4. Academic literature has followed suit. We argue that real names and pseudonyms are important to the health of online communities, and that centrally-maintained archives persist the group memory.
  5. Sometimes we argue both at once. But recently we are seeing a trend in the other direction. Fully anonymous = not even a pseudonym, nobody knows who posted it
  6. Sometimes we argue both at once.But recently we are seeing a trend in the other direction.
  7. the memes, the catchphrases, the attitude
  8. This is what 4chan looks like. Visually, it’s a throwback to 90’s web design.I’m going to try and mimic that aesthetic and attitude through the entire talk with these slides.Content-wise: intentionally offensive. “newfag”, “oldfag”, … misogyny…PornCliff LampeChristopher Poole, or “moot”, created 4chan in 2003 as an anime discussion boardCopied the format of Japanese forum 2chan.The format is: several threads per page, here you can see two compressed views of threads.Posts start with an image, often replies have images.
  9. About sixty boards today, spanning fashion, science, and “sexy beautiful women”
  10. anonymous is 18% of slashdot comments, controlled via user moderation. slashdot norm is pseudonyms
  11. [[[4-5 minutes into talk?]]]
  12. Why do this?Important to give a sense of how the community succeedsIn a space where participation looks nothing like traditional participation, we need to give you a sense of what you’re getting.Warn that this is offensive
  13. In keeping with /b/’s identity as an image board and the requirement that each thread-starter post an image, a common purpose of the board is to share images and web content. The two most prevalent thread types (Themed, 28%, and Shar- ing Content, 19%) both revolve around images and make up nearly half of all threads in our sample.
  14. In keeping with /b/’s identity as an image board and the requirement that each thread-starter post an image, a common purpose of the board is to share images and web content. The two most prevalent thread types (Themed, 28%, and Shar- ing Content, 19%) both revolve around images and make up nearly half of all threads in our sample.
  15. the kind of thing you’d rarely see teen- and college-age boys admitting online
  16. it's idiosyncratic, but it's not a hate machine. see traditional kinds of things, even in what seems to be tremendously hostile environment, we see lots of prosocial behaviorshold nothing sacred. leads to many reactions like, that is simultaneously the funniest thing I’ve ever seen and I wish I could unsee it.
  17. /b/ trolls itself.
  18. What does an ephemeral community really look like?How do people manage it?
  19. Darwinian struggle for attention
  20. 4chan /b/ is known collectively as Anonymous: so how anonymous is it, really?And how does that play out?
  21. but this turns a blind eye…FORTRANfrankly, by the time they’re on twitter or reddit, their fate has already been decidedinterest in this: slate, gawker, reddit, hacker newsColemanischool
  22. but this turns a blind eye…FORTRANfrankly, by the time they’re on twitter or reddit, their fate has already been decidedinterest in this: slate, gawker, reddit, hacker newsColemanischool