Like 4chan is a ripoff of 2chan, 8chan (.onion) (also known as 8ch, infinitechan, fullchan, and cripplechan) is now arguably the coat-tail rider of 4chan (which is ironic because 2channel, which 2chan is a spinoff of, hosts 8chan's servers as the "international 2channel"). It is the bi-product of a crippled midget the 8chan's userbase have named "Hotwheels" who conceptualized it during one of his shroom sessions. Hotwheels didn't like how imageboards like Wizardchan and 4chon were run by admins who banned people left and right. His response to this was creating a chan where anyone could make and moderate their own board. Originally a small chan, it has been heavily populated by pissed off ex4channers, the biggest spike (or "exodus") being caused by the deletion of GamerGate threads on 4chan. Some 8chan users will tell you it's much better than 4chan, and some 4chan users will tell you the opposite. This page is meant as a somewhat neutral article to give newfriends an idea of what "fullchan" or "cripplechan" is and whether they want to check it out or steer the fuck clear of it.
How the 8chan system works
8chan was originally owned by Hotwheels, and is now owned by and hosted by N.T. Technology, the company that runs 2channel. 8chan inherits many features from 4chan and 4chan X, and a few from Reddit, namely board creation and thread inlining. Almost all boards are created, owned and managed by users, not the administration.
Users that create boards can greatly customize them (like by enabling IDs or adding a custom theme), and boards are ranked on the board list by how many unique IPs have posted on the board in the last three days. The only globally owned boards are /newsplus/, a news board, and /delete/, an archive of DMCA notices. /sudo/ is not a global board, but is owned by the admin, and is the meta board.
Unlike 4chan and Reddit, global mods are only allowed to ban people who post illegal content (and just that) despite how many shitposters and 4chan converts beg and beg. Board creators are limited to moderating the boards they've created or claimed, and can recruit board volunteers to moderate their boards. They can be promoted to global mods if their board reaches the top 25 and the staff believes they can be trusted. If a global mod oversteps their bounds, they lose their position (but not necessarily their board).
Also unlike Reddit, if the board owner doesn't log in for two weeks, the board goes on claim.html to be claimed by another person. Board claims have to be made through e-mail in a manual process.
Illegal content is not allowed, and the Dost test is used to determine whether something is child pornography and should be removed. 8chan complies with properly made DMCA requests, and all requests that are made are posted on /delete/.
Advantages of 8chan over 4chan
- It is open source . Some of /g/'s old open source community has migrated to 8chan's /tech/ board because of this and their desire for security.
- Proxy and VPN posting is allowed, and 8chan has an official Tor hidden service (which board owners can opt out of). Tor users can not post images, although it used to be an opt-in board setting.
- You can make a board for anything and moderate it how you choose as long as you don't break US law or make the board unusable (for example, by screwing with the CSS, deleting everything, or banning everyone).
- Many of 4chan X's features are already implemented into 8chan, such as watching threads, autoupdating (default), filters (optional), forced anonymity (optional), image hovering (optional), thread watching (default), keybindings (default), and desktop notifications (optional).
- The community is larger than any other 4chan spinoff and is way faster than Idlechan (the closest thing to it).
- WebMs are allowed to have sound, and MP4s and APNGs are also allowed.
- There are more options for text formatting, such as bold, italic, and redtext.
- Thread inlining is allowed to make post reading easier.
- Thumbnails in threads are all the same size as the first thumbnail on a 4chan post, making them easier to see.
- Smaller features not mentioned, like putting (You) next to anonymous on your posts.
- There are actual girls posting on /d/ (except there are no girls on the internet)
- If you're 12, you don't have to pretend you're 36 while sounding 16 because there's no age limit (except for NSFW boards)
- Although posting requires filling in a captcha once a day, it's a locally hosted captcha instead of a Google captcha, so you don't have to tell Mountain View, California every time you want to make a post.
- Youtube embeds work differently. They are now in place of the images.
- What a board can be about is only limited by US law, and thus boards like /homosuck/ (homestuck), /furry/, and /baphomet/ (because /b/ wasn't edgy enough) have been created as a result. However, subthreads like /agdg/ (amateur game development) have also been spun off into their own boards.
- A bit after the GamerGate exodus, a bunch of edgy /b/tards painted the classic green anon red, and half the userbase stuck with it.
- The site has about the same redditor ratio as 4chan. Thank Hotwheels for inviting Plebbitors back in early 2015.
- Some of the top boards like /pol/, /a/, /christian/, and /v/ have potentially controversial moderation.
- A lot of the site's userbase are GamerGate supporters, and stormfagging and discussion about SJWs are both common.
- Despite 8chan's aim at inclusiveness (board creation wise), many 8channers, like 4channers before them do not like newfags, 4chan users and redditors, despite many simultaneously fitting into those categories (like 4chan users do as well). If you make a social justice board or any posts in that vain expect to be shitposted to high holy hell.
- 8chan's /sp/ loved to go around and steal other boards' GETs as a sport. Many 8channers have a near pathological obsession with GETs and dubs and almost no board discourages them. Some time ago, however, all of /sp/ moved to other imageboard sites, and so their hunt for GETs ended quite a while ago.
Disadvantages of 8chan over 4chan
- There is no age limit (except for NSFW boards) so you'll get a lot of kids posting
- Despite being the second largest English imageboard, 8chan is nowhere as fast as 4chan. /v/, the site's fastest board, moves around the pace of a smaller 4chan board, and smaller, if not most 8chan boards are usually very slow paced, or just dead. This, however, is a two-way street: slow boards tend to have more OC and less cancer, and vice versa.
- Due to being based on the clusterfuck that is tinyboard+vichan, 8chan's Infinity is not as well coded as 4chan's Yotsuba software. There are noticeable glitches here and there and the post limit for all threads is set to 750 to keep your browser from slowing to a crawl (This is due to caching whole page.). Infinity Next was the proposed solution (see Controversy), but that was scrapped and hated almost as soon as the first beta was released. Josh, the creator, has since rage quit.
- 8chan stores post deletion passwords in a way that theoretically allows someone with direct access to the database to track your posting history across IP addresses, unless you clear your local storage.
- The top board system is exploitable. Raiding a board can bring it to the top, and boards have gotten to the top by proxy abuse. Hotwheels can take these boards off the top list, but they'll still flood the top spots in the board list page. This has only happened once though, and only 2 were brought to the top (and faded away soon after), so it has yet to be seen what measures will be done in a worse case. The header bar now shows a random selection of obscure boards, not the top boards, so this is less of a problem than it used to be.
- The site is understaffed, and
HotwheelsCodemonkey/Ron can take quite a while to fix your problem.
- The ability to create boards can often split up a community, /pol/ is the worst case of this, as the natsoc moderators have divided the board into /leftypol/, /polpol/, and countless other politics boards. Many /pol/ users went back to 4/pol/ due to 8/pol/ not being a general politics board.
- The opposite happens too, users of some boards wish to sacrifice board moderation over post speed, and somewhat enable mods to keep doing their thing.
- The community is still new and forming its own identity. Expect to see similarities and similar images between 8chan and 4chan.
- 8chanX is inferior to 4chan X, as new features are added to 8chan every month or 2. There are a few good features 4chan X contains that aren't in either.
- /pol/ has a disproportionately large user base on 8chan. There are at least twice as many users of /pol/ than /b/.
- 8chan's codebase can only be described as "broken as fuck".
Due to its nature as a 4chan-like website, it has been the center of repeated controversy. This is an incomplete list of controversy events that may never be complete.
Australian revenge porn
In late 2014, a woman reported that her nude photos were posted to a pornographic board. Hotwheels said he couldn't find them, then the woman threatened to file suite. Afterwards, it turned out that this whole hullabaloo was over the fact someone had taken a screenshot of their revenge porn folders, and it had her name on them. That Ausfag got her 15 minutes of fame on 2 entire newspapers though!
Hotwheels once released the Private key to the Tor site, causing him to have to re-register the onion domain. He accidentally copied and pasted it into the IRC channel #8chan. The Tor service has been down many times because site owner Jim Watkins does not like the anonymity.
In 2015, Hotwheels sold 8chan to 2channel. This caused some controversy because 2channel has had a history of data mining. 2channel claims that it was Hiroyuki Nishimura, who now owns 4chan after moot sold it to him around the same time. This has caused a minor cross-chan controversy, with 4chan saying it was the other members of 2channel, and 2channel claiming it was Hiroyuki.
After the 2channel concerns, a medium article was made by a man claiming to be Josh, then-co owner of 8chan. The article claims that Josh left 8chan because it was being forced to become a NSA honeypot after numerous undisclosed legal battles. While disproved later in the day, it continued to circulate a large number of boards with people thinking it is factual despite it's obvious falsehood (it attempts to say Fedora itself is a front for the NSA, and clarifies rumors that never existed in the first place).
Infinity Next started development in mid-2015. Designed by 8chan co-owner Josh (n-tech), it was to be the fix for the problems with the previous board software, simply called Infinity. However, Josh betrayed both Hotwheels, and the userbase, and instead of improving the existing code he decided to follow-through with his "vision" of bringing a modern era into chans. Repeatedly, Josh showed his arrogance with coding, and after several failed attempts, one after another, to migrate the main site into the Next software, he kept pushing the "official" release date. A number of new chans were made as proposed alt-chans, most notably Endchan. Infinity Next was nicknamed Infinity Never.
On the 16th of January, 2016, a thread was made on /g/ accusing 8chan of being a honeypot, on the basis of logging every image you expand, and every board you visit for an unknown amount of time, alongside your plain text IP address. Josh claimed that the reason this was happening was due to beta testing. Josh responded by saying:
"Th[e] [IP Logging] was because I was debugging. I didn't expect people to be browsing /hebe/ on the fucking beta board"
-- Josh on #/tech/ via Rizon
On the 25th of January, Josh finally quit and Infinity Next was scrapped. A new medium article was made by Hotwheels calling him out.
Three days later Josh was claiming that hotwheels taking the AGPL licensed code from him is a violation of copyright agreement, which it was not. His primary argument was that the AGPL was never tested in US Courts, so he could impose his own rules over the code despite him choosing the license.
On the 9th of February, Hotwheels announced on Twitter that he purchased the previously unused Endchan.pw domain for "2 dollarydoos". Endchan's admin jokingly claimed he is now the co-owner, though he has no affiliation with the site outside of owning the domain.
Infinity Next is now stable and works, more or less, on an imageboard called Nextchan.
IP logging, honeypotchan and Tor
On 12 May, 2016 Jim of 2channel fired Hotwheels from his own site, putting him and his son in charge of the site.
Official statement by Ron "Fred is stepping down as administrator of 8chan and I will be replacing him." http://pastebin.com/DipC4bcj
"It was a unanimous decision between Fred, Jim, and Ron. Fred will still be working on the site doing technical work like adding new features, fixing bugs, maintaining codebase, etc. He has not left the organization and you can still reach out to him through his usual methods of contact."
Various VO/BO banned
Starting on May 12, various BOs were banned or ousted from the site, making the boards up to grabs. This also caused many BO/VOs to publicly disown the site, and made them leave.
With the demotion of Hotwheels, Jim and Ron (Owner of 8ch.net and his son, CodeMonkeyZ, 2ch curator) took over copypaste, Hotwheel's mod account. They are attempting to purge the pedophilia associated with the site for both moral and business reasons. Any who criticized Jim directly on /operate/ and /v/ were globally banned for 6 weeks with "no reason". Many large IP range bans have been issued.
Jim tried this radical change without even discussing it with the Global Volunteers, and there was talk of globals quitting. lowcard, global volunteer, co-administrator, and /b/ owner, immediately resigned. Jim held an interview on /v/ and explained how he wanted to remove pedo, eventually Jim showing how overwhelming the job of admin is and entering full damage control.
On 1 April, 2017, someone used an exploit in 8chan's software to gain access to the server, used it to delete the database and take the site down, and later leaked a lot of data copied from the server. Among other things, this revealed the existence of Sunshine.
Sunshine was a system that (unsuccessfully) indefinitely stored the IP addresses of posts. For each post, a copy of the post together with its IP address was encrypted and inserted into a table. The entries could only be decrypted using a private key stored on a different computer. This was done in response to a law enforcement request for the IP address that posted a thread threatening a school shooting, which was received after the thread had already 404ed and the IP address had been deleted from the database. Sunshine was used successfully only once.
Because of the incomplete documentation of PHP's openssl_public_encrypt function, encryption of long posts failed, and they were not recorded. Sunshine never even worked properly.
Sunshine was removed when the site was restored. In response to the attack a partial overhaul of the software was started, and it was renamed to OpenIB. 8chan no longer stores plain IP addresses, and hashes them before inserting them into the database. The hashing uses a salt that is replaced periodically, which has the side effect of resetting all bans.
Software for 8chan
- 8chanX (deprecated) - A userscipt that adds a few useful features, and forces the universal boards off the top list.
- Exodus (deprecated) - Full featured 8chan Android browser based on Clover
- Overchan - Android browser that allows you to view multiple chans, including 8chan.
- Ouroboros - An in development 8chan mobile client, though still has full functionality.
- Dashchan - A client that supports multiple chans through different "extensions" that must be downloaded alongside the standard application.
16chan, dead. Josh/owner killed it.
- /tech/, 8chan's technology board.
- /cyber/, 8chan's Cyberpunk board.
- Endchan, a exodus chan from 8chan