Monday, July 1, 2019

"How a childhood of anger led the founder of 8chan to create one of the darkest corners of the internet"

Tortoise Media (I'm not familiar with the site):
Brenan had inherited from his mother a genetic disorder called osteogenesis imperfecta. The condition, which stunted his growth and confined him to a wheelchair, is often called “brittle bone disease”. By the time he was 19, Brennan estimates, he had broken his bones 120 times.


By the early 2000s, 4chan was growing exponentially, and at some point, its users picked on Brennan’s video-game board. To Brennan, it was as if an alien invasion force had descended from the sky. He realised the internet could be used for destructive as well as constructive purposes – and he saw how much fun the destructive side could be. In the force of 4chan’s raid, which demolished his little community, Brennan saw for the first time in his life something that could make him feel powerful.

He went to 4chan.


“Free speech didn’t really factor in to the reason I made 8chan in the beginning,” he says. “I just wanted to see what it would look like if users could make their own boards. But after the Gamergate guys came, I decided to go whole hog on the free speech thing – to keep them.”