- Mariah Carey refuses old-age FaceApp challenge 5 Years Ago
- Journalists horrified by consolidation of Gatehouse, Gannett 5 Years Ago
- Facebook and Google could be tracking you on porn sites Today 1:42 PM
- 7 best sites for psychic love readings Today 1:20 PM
- Driver demonstrates why you always need to read road signs Today 12:58 PM
- Area 51 remix video proves it’s the summer of Lil Nas X Today 12:26 PM
- ‘ICE will come’: Convenience store clerk threatens customers speaking Spanish Today 12:11 PM
- Rand Paul dodges questions about 9/11 Victims Fund, says ‘watch Fox News’ Today 11:51 AM
- Report: ‘Stranger Things’ season 4 to begin shooting in October Today 11:03 AM
- AT&T paid Michael Cohen to consult on net neutrality, FBI documents show Today 9:10 AM
- Mysterio’s ruse changes on a second viewing of ‘Far From Home’ Today 9:06 AM
- Twitter overturns Barrett Brown’s third permanent suspension Today 8:49 AM
- How to live stream Liga MX Today 7:56 AM
- The QBaby’s parents are already trying to profit off their kid’s fame Today 7:45 AM
- How do 4DX movies work? Today 7:00 AM
4chan is trying to make ‘free bleeding’ the latest Twitter trend
Let’s check in with 4chan’s mission to dismantle modern-day feminism.
Warning: This story contains content that may be NSFW.
How’s 4chan’s mission to dismantle modern-day feminism going? Terribly. That’s to be expected when a group of teenage boys, with no understanding of the movement they’re criticizing, launch a couple silly hashtag trends.
But they’re having fun.
It’s called Operation Freebleeding, a “new radical feminist movement.” The goal is to manufacture enough fake social media outrage over the use of sanitary pads that news organizations and feminists fall for it.
As was the case with two other feminist-related pranks this month, /b/ has created dozens of dummy Twitter and Facebook profiles to disseminate out-of-context photos and shoddy Photoshopped images of women menstruating down their legs.
One of the photos /b/ has used (the third one down) is by photographer Emma Arvida Bystrom. It’s part of a Vice photo series addressing our tendency to turn natural bodily processes into something shameful.
Since launching the operation Friday morning, #freebleeding has been tweeted about 1,000 times. Many of these tweets have been sent from fake accounts, while a few appear to come from real users. And they aren’t happy.
— Cherry_Bos (@cherrybos) February 1, 2014
I looked at the #freebleeding hashtag. It’s the end of days, people. Prepare yourselves for zombies or Jesus. Or, like me, prepare both.
— Sheila Gunn Reid (@SheilaGunnReid) February 1, 2014
— Mitch Behna (@MitchBehna) February 1, 2014
/b/’s latest spat with feminists began on Jan. 5 with Operation Bikini Bridge. The goal was to spam social media with conflicting messages regarding the fashion phenomenon that occurs when bikini bottoms are suspended between hipbones, causing a space between the fabric and the lower abdomen.
/b/ was successful, and then some.
A day after launching the hoax, the hashtag #bikinibridge had been mentioned in more than 4,000 tweets. This new “trend” was mentioned in ABC News and the Sydney Morning Herald. Some publishers, like the New York Daily News, even appeared to take the bikini bridge seriously, calling it something that “will likely do real damage.”
But that wasn’t enough for /b/.
About a week after Bikini Bridge went viral, /b/ and 4chan’s politics board (/pol/) launched Operation Fourth Wave Feminism. It’s goal was to emphasize “the attractiveness and sexualization of skinny and fit female bodies” and pit second- and third-wave feminists against one another.
It’s also nothing to get riled up about.
On the site Remaking June Cleaver, author Kenda Smith answers questions surrounding the topic of free bleeding and what it should mean. “Maybe if you forget to change your tampon on a regular basis—yes, you should definitely do this and save yourself the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome,” she writes. “But I’d wager the majority of women don’t have that problem. Many of us like keeping Aunt Flo contained.”
Free bleeding was a thing before 4chan. But let’s be clear: This iteration is a hoax.
Photo via me and the sysop/Flickr
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.