There are quite a few posts describing the evil Internet communities that posts pictures of that frog thing and promote hate. I find Internet communities quite interesting, I don’t think I’ve ever belonged to an Internet community. Back in 1999 I used to log on to a chat program called Chatpop a few times a week, after 6pm when the dial up was free. The same users were there every time I logged in, so I guess that was a community. I also led a Rainbow Six 3 Team to 2nd to last place in an eSports league back in 2001. There are social websites I use on a regular basis, but I wouldn’t say that using those means I belong to that community. I use Facebook so I can see what my friends and family are up to, I search for hashtags to see reactions to current events on Twitter. I use Reddit because it allows users to create their own subreddits, if you want to chat about something niche these subreddits are usually the most popular forum on the internet for that topic. There are some people that you might classify as bad people using Reddit. I know you are thinking about The_Donald subreddit, since I use Reddit I am a bad person just like them.
I’ve seen quite a few interesting blog posts explaining why social networks full of bad people exist, the most interesting of which are actually not about Reddit, but are posts about 4chan. Of course, bad places spawn bad people, just look at Sweden. Swedes are good people that use good websites, but they have a liberal refugee policy, a policy to let in bad people that use bad websites. In the UK they don’t have to worry about this because the Queen looks through web history and does not allow Reddit users in.
The Queen also turns away 4chan users because they are the worst. We know they just how bad they are because of the things that they have done. The many blog posts describing 4chan go in to incredible detail about the platform’s history; the Habbo Raids, Serious Business, wearing masks made in a sweatshop in China for 4p to protest capitalism. These posts are interesting because 4chan does it’s best to obfuscate what it is about. It is actually really hard to find this information and piece it together in a coherent story. In fact, the authors of these posts work for GHCQ and watch all the Internet traffic go past in 1 and 0’s to be able to piece it all together. Being the good twitter using citizens they are, there is no way that the authors, who have this incredibly detailed and superior knowledge of the communities, have ever visited the communities themselves. Not like me, who once described 4chan to a friend as ‘The arsehole of the internet’. A description that I borrowed from a wiki documenting ‘e-drama’. The wiki was frequently edited by 4chan users, therefore promoting their self-hate and confirming my position as a bad person.
The posts talk about the history of evil enclaves on the internet to help understand how they got in their current state. Thanks to these posts we know the 15 year old, alt right “young beta males” of 4chan are the same ones that raided habbo pools 10 years, when they were 5. The bloggers know this because they work for GHCQ and most definitely not because 10 years ago they were a 15 year old and found themselves wondering in to a similar space themselves.
There is an issue with online harassment, the alt right, trolling and even without the bloggers it is also easy to find the places that spout a lot of this. We could know a lot about what makes these people tick because, like us, they are people. Alas, it is a shame we can’t really relate to the problem because we have never been there ourselves, we have never wanted to lash out because we are not terrorists. Imagine how good a blog post from an ex-4chan user would be, not just another post from someone who never did visit bad places online.
It is really difficult to talk about feelings and that may be why memes are particularly popular on ‘troublesome tech platforms’ that breed hate. It must be easier to joke than to ask the question “Why am I so angry”. I enjoy a lot of these ‘history of troublesome platform’ posts, but the people I am really jealous of are the people who don’t write a 30 minute read on the history of a platform, but say “today I did this thing, and then these people responded in a hateful way. Why did they respond that way?”. I have lots of these posts waiting to be written, but I’m too scared, so I just joke and make stuff up.