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4chan Meme Faces

Antonizoon edited this page Jan 31, 2015 · 1 revision

On the late 2000s cellphone market was making huge leaps in size and technology. By 2010 everyone and their grandmas had access to a cellphone and an Internet connection, and all those people spent their free time, during job breaks, waiting for the bus, or simply in their houses, browsing the Internet. The turn of the decade marked a vast change for the Internet. More and more memes and events were broadcasted by the old media. The Internet began to reach new corners, especially with new and more efficient Smarthphones and Apple products. During late 2011 a sudden explosion of /r/funny’s prefabricated rage comics combined with the gigantic market of cellphone Internet and apps made Internet Culture hit the mainstream – Ultimately concluding the near collapse of Internet Culture.

Now that everyone is connected the Internet became truly mainstream, with (Relatively) new faces such as Twitter, Tumblr, Reddit and Facebook becoming massively popular, attracting much of the youth culture. The old sites like Newgrounds, YTMND, Something Awful and Fark became a small spot in comparison to their enormity. 4chan, however, didn't. This may be due the fact that 4chan's core never had any basis for a truly solid userbase. All traditions where dictated by whatever social group was on the site all the time and mods didn't enforce any kind of culture beyond what was specified by [{moot's | moot]] site rules, making the site flow along in the direction the Internet as a whole went. Every three years or so as the site got more popular the userbase of 4chan would be completely unrecognizable from what it was before.

The site I can haz cheezburger, which managed to successfully monetize meme culture, spawned a series of content aggregators with a simple model which became notoriously popular with the rise and consolidation of the social sites Reddit, Twitter and Facebook. Reddit was a site that could be considered a “moderate” 4chan, where people made similar jokes and had a propensity for black comedy but never went off the rails. These sites became known for utilizing and popularizing the rage comic format, along with many of the rage faces and trollface variants that existed. The popularity of said comics became massive, spreading to Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter and even real life with many pieces of merchandise based off them. This prompted a third wave of new users curious about the source of all those memes, probably reading about them on Reddit or Cheezburger’s Knowyourmeme. Unlike what /b/ was used to these users were more moderated, a part of the “Mainstream”, with little semblance or knowledge of Internet culture. They arrived at the same time the popularity of the worst aspects of 4chan's Dark Age began to die. On the bad side the site became flooded with NORP teens, prompting a considerable increase of moralfags and people without a sense of humour on /b/. Meme culture kept evolving on content aggregators like 9Gag and /r/funny, distortions which 4chan and even Reddit have grown to hate. The old userbase never left, but was easily outnumbered by the new twitter-addicted youth.

This year also saw a growing concern with social justice in sites like Tumblr, Reddit and Something Awful, but apparently it’s most vocal defenders don’t what how what social justice even means. Allegedly the movement had its origins on Something Awful; where Lowtax, who stopped caring about the site long ago put a radical feminist as second in command, making the stupidly elitist and closed-minded community even more elitist and closed-minded. A bunch of users discovered /r/ShitRedditSays, a community about stupid or ignorant comments made by redditors that managed to get upvoted, and proceed to influence it, enabling a sort of hostile, intolerant cult mentality surrounding feminism that took over SRS and various subreddits. This is quite saddening, since SA is one of the fathers western Internet culture. At the same time Tumblr, the successor of BlogSpot, became the birthplace of a particularity insane breed of feminist dubbed the “SJWs”, Social Justice Warriors. These people, usually LGBTs, rape and abuse victims, young girls that couldn't deal with normal life and of course, idiots, preached very erratic ideas about political correctness, gender fluidity and self-victimization. Being the capital of all kinds of fandoms, 4chan's media dedicated board’s /co/ and /tv/ suffered a great increase of far left users and SJWs, with all that it implicates. By 2012 /co/ was heavily populated with Tumblr users forgetting many aspects of common 4chan culture. This saw a massive rise in the numbers of troll threads as SJWs are physically unable to ignore any sort of bait that usually reach +300 posts.

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