Feels bad man: Is this the end of 4chan?

Could it all be over for the internet's most notorious message board?
Could it all be over for the internet's most notorious message board?

It was responsible for leaking the naked photos of Jennifer Lawrence, convincing people they could charge their iPhone in the microwave and a series of bomb threats.

And this is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to 4chan - the internet's most infamous community message board.

The ability to post comments and share images anonymously on its anything-goes forums has been what has made the social networking website so appealing to users.

However, it appears the same ability to operate without names, very few rules and even less consequences has finally caught up with the controversial platform.

In an aptly titled post Winter is Coming, 4chan owner Hiroyuki Nishimura said the website could be in its final days.

"We had tried to keep 4chan as is. But I failed. I am sincerely sorry," he wrote on the thread.

Mr Nishimura added failed advertising on the website meant 4chan could no longer afford server costs, infrastructure costs and network fees.

With a track record of being responsible for some of the world's most horrendous hoaxes and cyber-bullying incidents, it's no surprise the website struggles to find advertising.

One of the more notable incidents was when anonymous trolls on the website convinced young people to deliberately harm themselves in pop star Justin Bieber's name.

In wake of pop star's alleged drug use, 4chan convinced teenagers cut themselves and post pictures online with the hashtag #CutForBieber, with claims it would get Bieber to stop smoking weed.

The hashtag became so popular it started trending worldwide and caused outrage among mental health professionals.

In his post, Mr Nishimura detailed what he believed to be the only three options for 4chan's survival.

The first option would be to "halve the traffic cost" by limiting uploadable image sizes, using slower servers and closing some of the boards on the website.

Secondly, 4chan could be less diligent with advertising and accept revenue from non-reputable sources, which could include malware.

Finally, users could support the site by subscribing to "4chan Pass" - a paid feature that makes uploading images faster.

The demise of the website has been a long time coming with founder Chris Poole selling the site to Mr Nishimura last year, after admitting to Inc that 4chan struggled to even break even.

With 4chan apparently unable to gain momentum after the sale, it appears the notorious website might be past the point of return.

However, hated entrepreneur Martin Shkreli - responsible for increasing the cost of lifesaving AIDS medication by more than 5000 per cent - has claimed he would be willing to help keep the 4chan dream alive.


It is yet to be seen if any of these fixes will keep 4chan in operation, for now it's just a waiting game.

While many would be happy to see the infamous website fade off into the abyss, it would be a sad day for the internet if it ceased to exist.

For all the controversy it has created, 4chan has also been responsible for LOLCATS and Rickrolling - the practice of sending someone a link that actually takes them the music video for Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up".

- news.com.au

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