2channel (also known as 2chan) was an anonymous Japanese textboard founded in 1999 by Hiroyuki Nishimura and was hosted and its domain registered by ex-US army noncommissioned officer Jim Watkins. Although not precisely the first imageboard, this was the first site that sparked a generation of similar sites. These sites have started or facilitated massive sociocultural, economic, and political changes.
|Found in 2001 by anonymous 2ch user “Sonchou.”||Found in 2003 by 15-year-old 2chan user Christopher “moot” pole|
|Catered to the Japanese audience||It catered to a Western audience, starting with American anime and manga fans.|
|Relatively moderated with a del function||Virtually no censorship|
Futaba or 2chan was an imageboard that was created in 2001 when 2ch was faced with closure. Other similar evolutions of 2channel are 2ch.sc (discovered in 2014 by Nishimura after Watkins obtained exclusive possession), and 5channel (found in 2017 utilizing a redirect from the original site) would eventually evolve from this site.
4chan is an anonymous English-language imageboard website. Christopher “moot” Poole launched it in October 2003. It was created as an unofficial English-language counterpart to Futaba Channel, also known as 2chan. Registration is not made available, so users typically post anonymously. As of 2022, 4chan received more than 22 million monthly visitors, about half of which came from the United States.
2chan VS 4chan
2chan was founded by an anonymous volunteer whose identity remains unknown to date. He is commonly referred to as “Village Head” (Sonchou) among users.
To create 4chan, Poole, then 15, got 2chan’s open-source code and translated the Japanese text into English using AltaVista’s Babel Fish online translator to build 4chan. It was founded so Western users could openly discuss anime and manga after becoming frustrated with 2chan’s subforum moderating.