Constructive criticism is welcomed. While other social forums are entrenched in the habit of comparing their home base favorably with a competitor, 4chan hardly ever mentions another website except when citing it as a source. And yet, if you have a complaint about 4chan, you will find no site more ready to hear it than 4chan itself.
Nobody votes anything down, ever. Like with the film Fight Club, threads will go on “as long as they have to.” No point of view is excluded, and as a result the users are continuously refreshed and challenged. There is no hivemind, no groupthink, and no tyranny of the majority.
It has a literature folder. How many websites on the Internet can say the same? Most websites ignore print media; half as many wage a battle against print media with the goal of using the Internet to replace it. 4chan has an active /lit/ section with discussion threads about every kind of book, 24 hours a day.
Alternative software is not only tolerated, but embraced. Not just Firefox for web browsing, but Linux and BSD for computing, Gimp and Inkscape for graphic design, Blender for 3D design, OpenOffice for office apps… every kind of libre software may be discussed, without fear that a paid pack of Microsoft or Adobe shills will hound you into the night over daring to comment favorably about their free competitor.
No alternative lifestyle is rejected. We’re not just talking about gay and lesbian lifestyles here. Every possible expression of sexuality, from celibacy to the kinds of deviation usually considered socially unacceptable in most nations, is frankly and openly displayed on 4chan without judgment. For one example, pre-op transexuals are often encouraged to come forward and share themselves with the group. For another, supporters of December-February romances are not only supported, but even given their own cuddly, ursine mascot.
It is often the first social site where news breaks. Of course, we mean real news, of the kind that affects us all. 4chan shuns the dry, stale content circulated in the mainstream media to instead focus on what’s important to the masses.
It is on the cutting edge of musical tastes. The /mu/ folder gives equal discussion time to the world of music that /lit/ does to good reading. On any page in the 4chan music section, one is likely to discover dozens of groups previously unheard of. Independent artists are especially favored.
It has a broad international vocabulary. The chans started in Asia, after all, and only recently migrated to the English-speaking world. As a result, they have brought a wide range of Asian culture to the rest of the world, particularly its literature and visual art forms.
It is a showcase of creativity. The sections extend from origami to science and math to fashion. If it’s an original, creative idea running around the Internet, chances are good that it started out on 4chan.
Members are often involved in activist causes. Speaking of runnign around, 4chan has in fact made itself heard from the most base tier of common websites to the very highest ranks of relion and government, with its devotion to activist causes. 4channers are bravely ready to suit up, even wearing the guise of a common heroic character, and take to the streets to demonstrate and raise awareness for a just and noble cause. Once again, can your website do this?
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