It should be no surprise that "imageboard" websites like 4chan, 8chan, and 2channel which all host anonymous, provocative content from users around the world, often without charging any fees have their share of fuzzy-sounding, behind-closed-door stories. How exactly do the sites operate, and who runs them?
That question became both clearer and more confusing in the past week. Both 4chan and 8chan announced their ownership arrangements had shifted and that their ties to Japanese site 2channel had drawn them into a tangled web.
In January, Chris "moot" Poole announced he would no longer run the "imageboard" site 4chan that he founded in 2003, but that announcement came with only vague hints as to how the site would continue to operate. Monday saw Poole briefly return to the site to provide an answer: the reins have been handed to Hiroyuki Nishimura, best known as the founder of 4chan's own predecessor, the Japanese imageboard site 2channel. (4chan's announcement didn t confirm any financial terms for the ownership transfer, and neither site's announcement included indications that their respective content or moderation policies would receive updates.)