Understanding chan culture, the birthplace of GamerGate

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Vivian James

Boing Boing has published a fascinating exploration of chan culture – the society of “anons” that congregate around 4chan and its spinoffs – and the problems created when it clashes with, say, Twitter culture, as it did at the height of GamerGate:

This hostility to moderation reaches all the way down to the personal level, particularly on Twitter. Stating a contentious opinion on an anonymous imageboard is an invitation to argue. GamerGaters challenge people they don’t know to arguments, and feel snubbed when they’re blocked or told to get lost. To their minds, why would you post in the #gamergate hashtag on Twitter if you didn’t want to defend your arguments — and yourself — from attack?

The insistance on anonymity – and thus, a form of emergent conformity – is fascinating.

gamergateanonschansgamersonline cultureonline identity

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.