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4chan The Shithole of The Internet
The /b/-day marked a new stage on the Internet. Having to deal with not one but many iterations of /b/, the Internet began to consider it one of worst places of its realm. The period between 2006 and 2007 marked rapid change on 4chan, as more and more people explored the site in curiosity. Post speed increased dramatically and the ways of posting changed. 4channers would no longer speak like little kids but rather they would shout catchphrases and spam copypasta on every possible occasion. It was also a time of uncertainty – Anything could happen. 4chan could go down and they would flood 7chan, moot could go nuts and embed and mind bogglingly awful CSS with epilepsy inducing flashing colours, a mod could begin to ban everyone on the board and sticky the bans and entire sites got tricked into 4chan pranks. Sometimes 4chan jokes even got on TV. It was a chaotic times where one could truly feel anything could happen. Hilarious things like the DSFARGEG bans, the Allyson/BRING BACK SNACKS drama, the infernal rape GET and the great re/b/oot went and left a memorable mark on the memory of anyone from those times.
On the rest of the site, things were calm and cozy. /b/ haven’t taken the habit of interboard raiding yet, and things still looked like they were before the /b/-day. /v/ was on its earliest days, where mods could easily moderate the board and nobody would insult you just for the sake of insulting, /a/ and /m/ where butting heads over the definition of GAR, /co/ was arguing incessantly about the quality of Marvel’s Civil War crossover, /tv/ was not a haven for pedophiles and a newborn /tg/ was producing tons of anime-esque OC about Warhammer 40k.
The Warring States of Random
(Sept 2006 – circa late 2009)
The aftermath of the /b/-day ended with many banned or exiled anonymous looking for a place where they could retain their old culture. From this point on Imageboard culture would change from being relatively homogeneous, in the sense that no other alternative chan tried to compete with /b/, to divide into a series of small, very hostile sites. One of the main attributes what the existence of the /i/ - Invasion board. It was housed by many sites during the years, and had many splinter groups such as Partyvan, ultimately becoming Raidchan.
This period was characterized by a lot of interboard conflict and hacker activity, with many groups cheerfully DDoSing each other. Mayor players of the day where 7chan; known for being particularly active and hateful towards 4chan, 420chan; a drug chan, though not as active as 7chan it hosted /i/ for a while, Raidchan; IRC/Radio group of trolls, AnonTalk; run by Kimmo Alm, spammed the hell out of everyone. ImageBoards were born due to the /b/-day, such as 2-ch.ru, 888chan and 99chan, etc. or revived, as was WTFux and 7chan. The only trait in common that most of these boards had was a rotund hate for 4chan's /b/, which they considered a dead board filled with idiots.
On January 27, 2007, the great chan death of 2007 happened. Already demoralized by the similar events of November 7, 4chan has a power failure and goes offline, anons scoured the Internet, looking for a worthy candidate to inherit the crown of the hubsite of Anonymous, but to no avail. Each of the other major chans were not available. 7chan went offline due to high traffic, 12chan was closed by the FBI, 420chan was kicked out of hosting, 2-ch.ru died by reasons unknown (Allegedly closed by the Russian equivalent of the FBI). Many minor sites went down due to the sudden surge of traffic, sometimes permanently. Though not very consequential, since most of the important sites came back later, it shined off a single fact: Nothing could replace 4chan's /b/. The dream of the /b/-day, of an independent Anonymous, slowly faded once the anons realized that there was no suitable substitute for 4chan.
The /i/ board would be a major player on the scene, starting out in 7chan, they would plan various raids to sites like Stickam and Tom Green’s show. During the Hal Turner raids, where 7chan got a lot of fame, it was found out that /i/ violated the TOS of the host, so it had to go. 420chan created their own /i/ board and housed the /i/nsurgency for a while. Both sites died, and there was no invasion board for a while, until they returned. However this new iteration did not last long, due to protests from a new wave of users, borne out of Project Chanology achieving mainstream recognition. The new users, denominated protestfags or moralfags hate the idea of Internet raids because it would demonize Anonymous’s standing in the media. This culminated with /i/ DDOSing themselves and flooding 420 with cute things like rabbit and otters in what was denominated the rabbit raid.
Later the /i/nsurgency would take place in minor chans like Freechan, 69chan, 711chan and 888chan, and IRC networks, such as Lulznet, Raidchan and Partyvan.org. During the Caturday Nap 711chan would enjoy a period of high traffic, and during the Subeta raids 420chan and 711 merged their /i/s. Months later they would split, with a very weakened 711chan retaining the board. Freechan would slowly replace the site as HQ of the insurgency, but the site died during October 2008. There won’t be any major boards hosting any /i/ from then on. Ultimately, these sites would die off due to various problems, with the last remaining /i/ on the net, as of June 2013, being 888chan's.
Many raids and chan wars happened, 2007 saw the BRB, compromised incident, where moot had his domain account stolen and the Caturday Nap, where Lulznet DDoS'd 4chan, unleashing a chain reaction that would end with all the mayor sites dead or offline. In 2008 the Chanopocalypse happened, where Raidchan DDoS'd everyone out of existence, the Subeta raids, where 420 leads the charge to take back a stolen meme, and many other attacks and problems, such as AT&T blocking 4chan's img server due to AnonTalk DDOS. The period did not truly end up until late 2009, by that time most of the original splinter *chans died or diminished, becoming barely active, with 4chan returning as the sole place for anonymous imageboard culture, which was, however, changing drastically.
The Newfag Summer:
(Circa Jul 2007)
During 2007, 4chan's Internet presence reached the point where most Internet culture spawned from its womb. There wouldn't be a corner of the Internet that hasn't been touched by 4chan, be it in the form of memes or raids. Following an exponential growth, there was a massive surge of newcomers during the American summer. This time, quality of content dropped massively, many users came from notoriously annoying sites such as AnimeZuki and Gaia Online. Even more came in expecting to find a hacker paradise. The age median lowered, going underage. Many aspects of 4chan culture, like GETs, completely disintegrated. The Raid culture was severely distorted from coordinated raids to simple zerg rushes of spam and memes, losing an important part of their effectiveness. Though there was a considerable amount of high-quality content in a self-fulfilling cycle, the sheer number of pointless threads, repost and spam made /b/ the equivalent of having to swim though an ocean of shit, just to find the diamonds that glitter.
This upheaval of new users led many other *chans to despise /b/ even further, and began to take precautions to keep them out of their forums, like entering partyhard mode every time /b/ or 4chan was down, commonly used by 7chan with the infamous partyhard.css and 420 with the rave mode.
Not long before this, increased migration to and from 4chan had pushed its culture memes into the forefront of Internet fame. Something Awful users emulating 4chan's Caturday sparked Eric Nakagawa to create I can haz cheezburger, which began, and later monetized, the meme industry outside of 4chan. On the fledging site Youtube, 4chan users popularized Tay Zonday's Chocolate Rain and created an adaptation of the Duckroll for video, known as the Rickroll. The Rickroll would later become the most definitive meme of the era. 4chan trolls spread across the Internet to cause rage. Newfags come in expecting a hacker playground, and after the Fox News report on Anonymous, 4chan's /b/ eventually regains a strong raid mentality that the mods have given up on stopping.
The rise of the meme industry produced unwanted interest in the site that created it all. The social problems of population growth, mainstream appeal, and problematic subcultures reached its greatest crescendo during the “newfag summer”, and it’s seen by many users as 4chan's Eternal September.