How imageboard culture shaped Gamergate



So, to the point about how white supremacists dominate /pol/, but the whole board is supposed to be about not identifying with a particular way? I find it interesting that these sorts of racist, sexist identities seem to float to the top then. Why not identification with the black block or Andrea Dworkin? Or the communist party?

And they reject identity, except to identify as channers or gamers?


The “sea lion” phenomenon actually reminds me of the famous interview between Richard Dawkins and the creationist Wendy Wright. Wendy would consistently ask “show me the evidence” even after evidence was given.


Maybe the question is, “Who would want to go on such a board?” and what comes out of that board flows from that.


excellent piece, thank you


Who knew that Monty Python would predict the future.


It seems like some nasty mash-up of Lord of the Flies and a vicious, willful cancer. Is this really how some people spend their lives? What’s the payoff?


That they get to feel superior to others? Honestly, I’m not sure. But it is a kind of sad worldview, isn’t it?

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We had this same story, in greater depth, a few weeks ago. Also, 4chan doesn’t own Yotsuba. Thank goodness.

It’s quite depressing. And given that these people don’t understand how the social mores of board culture are wildly inappropriate - hell, completely toxic behavior - everywhere outside the boards, of course these people are going to continue to behave inappropriately in other contexts. Given that they can’t figure that out, I imagine they’re pretty socially dysfunctional outside of those boards.


When someone responds to you, for a moment you were important.

If they agree with you that’s great: You’ve been affirmed!

If they disagree with you, well, they cared enough to fight you: You’re still important! But now also something is wrong on the internet, and you must correct it. You have further purpose!

This tendency is far from humanity’s best innovations when it comes to building individual self worth and fulfillment. But, having frequented (non-anon & not nearly as toxic) forums and discussion threads, it seems a pretty easy behavioral pattern to fall into.


Interesting to see this in proper article form vs the form it was previously published in

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I agree with you in a totally non-ironic way.


Honestly, in most the hobby boards it’s one of the best fonts for current information about that hobby. The anonymous posting means that dickheads are rampant, but it also means people freely post information that can be pretty cool if it’s about a subject you care about. I’ll mostly go to /tg/ now and again, but I’ve been lurking around 4chan since its inception on and off.

I will say that there is a big divide between the types of anons that support the gamergate crap and ones that feel they are a cancer. I have not gone to /v/ or /pol/ more than once in my lifetime, and it’s been years since I’ve been on /b/; and all I ever hear about them is people complaining that they exist elsewhere on 4chan.


I had to shoot myself in the foot at least 3 times before I got that through my head. Honestly no one is enforcing Rule 1 enough.


Look at these likes. And someone actually posted a response to what I wrote!

I’ve been affirmed! Yeah!

As a reward have a like back. :slight_smile:

(Only half ironic here.)


From the little I’ve looked at /pol/ on 8chan, at least in terms of claimed ideology, it’s pretty diverse – to the point of being bizarre. There’s more overt sexism, racism, and extreme right material than I’ve seen elsewhere.

I’m inclined to feel that participating in such a forum would be politically compromising – at least for supposed leftists, fraternizing with open neo-Nazis and the like suggests that they care more about membership in that community than about their claimed political principles.


I wonder how much of it is just that they aren’t moderated out. In most places you could discuss politics, if you are overtly white supremecist you get banned.

It could be that:

  1. There are way more white supremecist posts on many boards than we are aware of
  2. White supremecists simply go to whatever boards won’t censor them to talk

Or a combination.


This is a really great summary of the forces that formed this whole clusterfuck - and I say this as someone who spent a lot of his formative years as part of the messageboard clique. I luckily also managed to get other perspectives and come out of it somewhat reasonable but I really do love this article.


I didnt read the moronic wall of text but let me try to sum up what i believe is contained inside of it

“boo hoo /pol/ is an echochamber and it just gets worse and worse because nobody there has the same beliefs as me.”

by definintion , pol cant be an echochamber. New users are free to argue against anything they see “untrue” they want. The problem is most of the things pol says are objective fact , this is why its growing. You can only plug your ears and scream for so long until you start researching things independently

You see places like pol harbor different views because you cannot be banned for speaking your mind. For example on reddit , your post disappears if people simply dont like it enough (let alone have a DIFFERENT IDEOLOGICAL OPINION). You opinion lives or dies based on how hard it sucks the cock of the majority opinion.

Pol is different because your opinion always dies with the thread at the end of the day. the ideology is whatever can be argued the most effectively on a day to day basis.

Its mostly right wing opinions because , shockingly , right wing politics are the only ones that actually work on a logical foundation. Where as left wing opinions are entirely dependent on the approval of the group and their personal feelings.

This is why left wingers are scared of pol. They cant argue using their debate tactics of controlling the crowd with feelings. Also they cant ban people