2011-07-01

  • 4chan and /b/: An Analysis of Anonymity and Ephemerality in a Large Online Community – Bernstein et al. study the image board 4chan from the perspectives of anonymity and ephemerality. They find that average life times of threads on 4chan are extremely short, and that many posts go without response. Close to no users use pseudonyms or real names. The authors argue that 4chan's ephemerality may help its productivity as a meme factory, as it requires high-frequency repetition. Anonymity, while leading to anti-social behaviour, may increase identification with the group.

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