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What happens when the Web’s most notorious troll forum pranks itself?
Funny that the biggest prank on 4chan—a site known for the meanest pranks on the Internet—is on its users: a fleeting glimpse of what 4chan used to be.
If the forum r/ShitRedditSays (SRS) is Reddit’s rambunctious neighborhood watch, a place where users publicly shame others for misogynistic, racist, and just downright nasty content, 4chan’s Shit4chanSays (S4S) is what happens when the watch sets fire to the neighborhood.
Shit4chanSays is 4chan’s ingenious April Fools’ Day prank, a jab at Reddit’s controversial r/ShitRedditSays and the demonic stepbrother of /b/, the community’s most notorious forum and home for all things random, pornographic, and violent.
The “objective” of Shit4chanSays is to call out anyone for posting “bigoted, creepy, misogynistic, transphobic, racist, homophobic” content. (Ironic, because that description applies to nearly 100 percent of the content on /b/.) If you can’t find anything offensive, Shit4chanSays encourages you to “check your privilege.”*
But rather than restore order, Shit4chanSays is pure chaos. It’s a random collection of anime porn, online oddities, and other nonsense. And just for fun, some images actually fulfill the board’s purpose of calling out bad behavior.
Users began to enjoy the forum unironically. “This board is actually pretty great,” one wrote. “It’s kinda what /b/ used to be, before we got those rules for what we’re allowed to post there, and everyone just posting porn all the time. Just random non-sense and fun. Gonna be sad to see it go so soon.”
All good April Fools’ Day pranks must come to an end. Shit4chanSays is allegedly slated for deletion around 1:30pm ET. Funny that the biggest prank on 4chan—a site known for the meanest pranks on the Internet—is on its users: a fleeting glimpse of what 4chan used to be.
Image via Shit4chanSays
*A popular online expression used to “remind others that the body and life they are born into comes with specific privileges that do not apply to all arguments or situations,” KnowYourMeme reports.
Fernando Alfonso III served as an early Reddit and 4chan reporter and the Daily Dot’s first art director until 2016. He’s gone on to report at Lexington’s Herald-Leader and at the Houston Chronicle.