- 12.08.10 - 11:00AM
- - by
- Cole Stryker
4chan's Bipolar Response to the Wikileaks Controversy
In my post about 4chan's amorphous moral code, I talked about the anarchic image board's penchant for pranksterism, championing the underdog, attacking the successful and general contrariness.
Because these values are often contradictory, and because the board is made up of so many people who couldn't care less about conforming to the site's loosely established norms, it's no surprise that 4chan's (specifically the subforum /b/'s) reaction to the ongoing Wikileaks controversy is dramatically divided. Some users want to DDoS Paypal for refusing to host the site's donation transactions. Others want to bring down Assange "for the lulz."
On one side, you have the Guy Fawkes mask-wearing Tyler Durden wannabes behind Project Chanology, who are always encouraging their /b/rothers to fight the good fight against censorship and injustice, not to mention hipster bloggers.
This poster represents their desires – though, usual caveat, it only takes one person to make one of these, a couple to spread it, and many more to make anything important happen. Click through for a bigger version.
Yes, this is a poster about informing the public that has a "tl;dr" section. It also recommends distributing diplomatic "cables which are relevant to your area" and posting them on bus stops, organizing community marches and making copies of the Wikileaks files on CDs. Real central planning from Head Office here.
Slightly more useful members have taken down the site for Mastercard, in retaliation for the company banning Wikileaks' accounts.
On the other side of this debate, you have the 4chan veterans, the /b/tards, the self-named "oldfags." These folks were (or claim they were) around before 4chan's storied Scientology raids. They were browsing 4chan before "Anonymous" was even a thing. When someone encourages others on the board to take action on a specific issue, they roll their eyes and call the activists "the cancer that is killing /b/." They harken back to the good old days of 4chan when it was all about trolling, as opposed to fighting for a legitimate cause.
These opposing factions will continue to define the collective's divergent interests. For an explanation of the excessive use of the homophobic slur, scroll to the bottom of this post about 4chan morality.
The latest news on this story is that Anonymous supporters of Assange have brought down the website of a Swiss bank that froze Wikileaks' account along with the site of the Swedish prosecutors from his sexual misconduct trial.
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