Rahul is a web enthusiast who loves scouring the web for alternatives to different websites. Monopoly mustn't prevail! Join his cause.
What Is 4chan?
4chan is one of the leading anonymous image bulletin boards in the world, allowing its users to share images or leave comments on a variety of issue-based posts without revealing their identities. The website receives 20 million unique visitors every month, with more than 40 billion page views since its founding in 2003.
Through the 4chan website, members are able to news-worthy and news-related content in form of images and comments. These posts usually cover different topics of interest to themselves and the public. To ensure anonymity, 4chan users do not have to register an account on the online platform. Instead, a would-be user just needs to visit 4chan, select one of its numerous boards they want to join, and share their content.
4chan uses a famously simple user interface. From creating a thread, post, or comment anonymously to sharing similarly interesting content on the platform, 4chan has stripped away the complexities of older image-sharing websites like Pinterest.
6 Alternatives to 4chan
If you have used Pinterest and similar earlier imageboard websites, you realize that 4chan is different. Its focus on and dedication to anonymity is unprecedented. Similarly, the simplicity in its user interface is more reminiscent of 1990s websites than a deliberate design feature.
So, are there any other similar sites to 4chan? Well, I recommend the following;
- Booru Project
Also called Futaba, 2chan was the original motivation for and the foundation upon which 4chan was created. Indeed, 4chan was categorically created to be the 2chan for the US and other English-speaking countries before growing to take on more prominence.
While often used interchangeably, 2chan and Futaba refer to different sides of the same online pinboard platform. The Futaba channel is a leading imageboard in Japan that deals with a wide variety of topics, from food to sports and personal problems to culture, among numerous other topical categories.
On the contrary, the 2channel platform (also called 2chan) is used exclusively as an anonymous textboard. It empowers users to share honest views about varied topics organized in categories, uninhibited by censorship of free speech due to guaranteed privacy.
With more than 1 thousand unique boards with approximately 3 million posts per day, 2chan is a massively popular online community in Japan. Unfortunately, the platform suffers similar evils as other popular message boards across the world, with defamation, hate speech, and xenophobia extremely rampant on 2chan.
- Promotes free speech devoid of censorships
- Facilitates information sharing
- User privacy guaranteed
- Promotes artistic freedoms
- Copyright violations of shared images
- A hotbed of criminal elements
- No accountability for user activities online
- Fosters hate speech and xenophobia
Previously called 8chan, Infinitechan, and Fullchan, among others, 8kun is a popular imageboard website primarily composed of user-generated content. Like 4chan, the 8kun website is built around absolute anonymity, as the platform does not require its users to register. In fact, no personal details are collected on or stored by 8kun, unlike 4chan, whose administrator could access IP addresses.
The 8kun website is a direct replacement for 8chan, which was shut down by authorities for its role in facilitating mass shootings in Christchurch, Poway, and the El Paso Walmart. As a result, the imageboard and other image-only functions of 8kun are essentially lost in its perennial controversy.
Indeed, Insider established that close to 60% of 8kun's referral traffic came from QMap.pub alongside other QAnon-affiliated websites. On average, approximately 18% of the near 1 million monthly visitors and over 20 million views since its 2019 launch come from referral traffic.
8kun users can also share other content forms or leave comments on photos. Both content and related comments vanish after some time, just like 4chan.
- Unrestricted free speech
- Greater visibility for image arts, anime, etc.
- Free publicity for graphic artists, e.g., photographers, designers
- Free to join and use
- Limited content moderation
- Fuels hate speech and homophobia
- A hotbed of criminal elements, e.g., mass shootings in Christchurch, Poway, and the El Paso Walmart
Like 4chan, the Imagechan platform allows users to upload their content as well as share or comment on content posted by other users anonymously. Since Imagechan does not require user registration, there is no need for usernames. As a result, Imagechan is prone to publishing X-rated content, as well as fueling the darker arts of unmetered free speech.
Boards on the Imagechan are organized in distinct categories based on clearly defined subject areas. Thus, a user must visit a specific category to view images related to a given topic, much like 4chan.
Imagechan also differs from 4chan in terms of content shared, however. While 4chan only permits images, texts, and graphic arts, Imagechan permits lots of other fun content, including exciting signs, photoshopped pictures of animals, and a whole host of graphically altered images.
- Free to register and use
- No moderation hence free speech
- User privacy is guaranteed as no personal information is collected
- Platform to share artistic works free
- No content moderation leads to offensive images
- Copyright infringement
- Fosters criminal intent and activities
Pixoto is the biggest freely available photo contest website in the world, allowing its users to upload and share photo-based contests every day, as well as selling a wide array of amazing wall art and canvas prints.
Like 4chan, Pixoto allows its users to share their images. It makes use of a simplistic, user-friendly interface, while users can initiate side-by-side photo contests or participate in those posted. Of the photos in a contest, the winning photo gets awarded, with awards available for spot contests, as well as daily, weekly, monthly, and even yearly contests.
However, Pixoto does not support text sharing like 4chan. Pixoto users must register, have a username, and submit to sharing personal identification data with the website.
The website is widely popular, ranking 352nd amongst photography websites around the world with about 70 thousand visitors a month. This means that any photos shared are almost guaranteed to receive global viewership.
- Easy to rank new photos
- Free promotion of great photography
- Easy to get started
- Simple user interface
- Side-by-side photo duels hurt photographers' works
- Photo challenges are overly subjective
- Rampant copyright infringement
- Awards could mislead budding photographers
- A skewed voting process that favors some contestants
Just like 4chan, 7chan also empowers users to use its imageboard platform free and anonymously. Its image and pin bulletins cover a wide variety of unrelated topics organized in clearly distinctive categories. As of 2021, the 7chan platform supports thousands of independent imageboards on different subjects.
7chan users are also not required to register to access these bulletin boards or take part in any other activity on the website, ensuring user anonymity and promoting free speech as well as honest discussion of important social issues.
The most popular imageboard categories on 7chan include movies, culture, video games, sports, weapons, as well as comics and cartoons, among others. Supporting topical discussions is one of 7chan’s unique features—a total deviation from industry standards.
While 7chan users can tag others or quote another post in their comments, it lacks the automatic deletion features evident on similar imageboard platforms.
- 7chan platform is free to use
- Simple website interface suits low-tech users
- Content moderation fosters a better online community
- Supports proper discussion of essential social issues
- Requires users to register
- No auto-deletion of posts leaves users vulnerable
- Promotes extremism and other criminal actions such as website invasions
6. Booru Project
The Booru Project is an open-source imageboard that allows users to upload, comment on, and share pins by tagging other people. With Booru, any user can create a Booru imageboard anonymously for free using its simple, minimalistic interface.
Besides image and text, the Booru platform also hosts anime, graphic creations, and other artistic works. It also enables users to browse, aggregate, tag, download, and manage a collection of their imageboard, as well as the ability to modify the original list and configure private workplaces.
Unlike 4chan, however, Booru Project requires registration for users to create their Booru projects as subdomains of the main website. The Booru Project does not insist on verifying user identities nor collecting their private data, so users can use fictitious names during signup.
The Booru Project maintains control of all the content shared on its platform, however, with violators' accounts terminated without notice.
- Free imageboard platform
- Easy to get started
- User privacy guaranteed
- High traffic guarantees increased visibility
- Encourages discussion
- Image download facilitates copyright infringement
- Posts do not always self delete like other imageboards
- Free speech censorship with some content restrictions
Did I miss out on any sites like 4chan? Let me know in the comments section.