Most of us have heard of, if not actually visited the infamous forum / message board 4chan. But it looks like 4chan is struggling to stay afloat.
4chan’s owner, Hiroyuki Nisimura, wrote in a post this Sunday that, “4chan can’t afford infrastructure costs, network, fee, servers cost, CDN and etc.” According to Nisimura, ads have not been effective enough to keep the site up and running, neither has having a subscription structure for additional features. Nisimura wanted to stay true to the original 4chan. “We tried to keep 4chan as is. But I failed. I am sincerely sorry.”
Nisimura says there are three possible ways to go about this if 4chan is to survive moving forward: sell even more subscriptions, include more ads – even potentially malicious ones, or cut the site’s traffic in half, which would mean closing message boards, slowing down the site or reducing the size of uploaded images.
Either of these changes could greatly affect the site and its culture. 4chan is a website that has remained unregulated (for the most part) and is often considered the birthplace of countless memes. But at the same time, it also has the reputation of housing some rather nasty conversations and is known for stuff like racism and sexism, among other things.
Despite all that, if 4chan sinks, it could have a big impact on the internet, and maybe even for the better. We don’t know how bad it is, but Nisimura definitely makes it look bad, considering his post is titled “Winter is coming.” However, it looks like Martin Shkreli – Yes the same guy who became public enemy #1 for hiking up drug prices – may want to buy 4chan, and is in touch with Nisimura. We’re not very sure of how this combination will work out but time will tell.