round 2005 or so a strange link started showing up in my old webcomic’s referral logs. It was a bulletin board, but its system of navigation was opaque. It was an offshoot of a different message board which I also knew from my referral logs, “Something Awful”, at the time, an online community of a few hundred nerds who liked comics, video games, and well, nerds things.
The week before that neo-Nazi Richard Spencer pointed to his 4chan inspired Pepe the Frog pin, about to explain the significance when an anti-fascist protester punched him in the face.Also like adolescent boys, 4chan users were deeply sensitive and guarded.They disguised their own sensitivity (namely, their fear that they would be, “forever alone”) by extreme insensitivity.On all those millions upon millions of posts the author’s name was simply, “Anonymous”. In other words, the site left a profound impression on how we as a culture behave and interact.In 2008, I wrote the site’s teenage founder, Poole, whose contact was at the top of the site, asking for an interview. Then I saw 4chan was meeting, not in Baltimore, but a few blocks from my apartment in New York, in fact, in many cities around the world.