(Jan 21 2015 – Sep 21 2015)
Not much of note happens in the period after moot announces his departure. Modposts are immediately allowed back, and mods generally try and contain threads that may spiral out of control with stickies, plus deleting generals that have degraded into circlejerks. Everyone still complains about things they don’t like, and boards keep producing OC. Several boards see themselves positioned among some of 4chan’s most influential.
The Pepe Explosion edit
(Late 2014 – Early 2015)
/r9k/ was always a strange board. It was meant as an experiment to see if it was possible to enforce the creation of original content by making all posts original (effectively getting rid of copypasta). However, the board generated a community of socially awkward people who spent all day complaining about the lack of friends or girlfriend. The board was axed in 2010 and given a second change in 2011. Beyond that, not much changed.
Pepe the Frog was a meme born from the comic strip known as Boys Club. It started out in 2006 on /b/ in the form of a cut panel of Pepe saying “Feels Good Man” (the full strip has him being questioned as to why he is peeing with his pants down). The meme enjoyed activity for a while, and then it evolved into its most iconic form: by snooping the smile and the text, you had the opposite reaction, "Feels Bad Man". Feels Bad Man and Feels Good Man remained extant in 4chan culture for many years without any relative changes, until they were adopted by /r9k/, together with a meme from Krautchan, Feels Guy.
/r9k/ was a strange phenomenon that made most 4channers uncomfortable. To some’s disbelief, the board’s userbase kept getting worse with each passing year. Depression was a common problem amongst their members, and the culture would form a violent hugbox dedicated to painting themselves as victims of uncaring girls and assholes, "Chad Thundercocks". They would violently run away from anything that challenged their perception of reality, even if they were trying to help them, and lashed out at each other constantly. Among this, the remix culture in /r9k/ and other boards fond of Wojak were making quite a pair by putting Feels Guy and Feels Bad Man together. The frog and the pole became preferred mascots of /r9k/ for obvious reasons. Years later, the popularization of Smug Pepe in 2014 led to a major rise in interest in the frog. The particular instance of Pepe caught the attention of /r9k/, who, in an attempt to transgress and pick on the whole ironic mentality 4chan had, began to make unsettling edits of Pepe and Wojak in various situations, often involving surreal imagery and obscure fetishes. /r9k/ further transgressed by making greentext stories of the worst possible /r9k/ situations imaginable, such as manchildren in their 20s who tortured their parents in order to get “tendies”. This astonishing merge of Pepe, Wojak, and /r9k/ continued to evolve and invoke freakier and freakier imagery, eventually culminating in the Pretty Princess Points, a female version of the tendies guy. The sheer bizarreness of these comics attained cult status on the Internet and got many people looking for the source, which led to an influx of new users to /r9k/. /r9k/, angered at the newbies, began to do ironic smug pepe shitposts and ultimately coined rare Pepes. Unwittingly, /r9k/ influenced a major part of 4chan and the Internet.
Nerd Emporium edit
For most of its existence, /co/ has a den for the worst Internet nerds had to offer. Furries, pedophiles, fetishists, and capefags. If it was weird and it was nerdy, it was /co/. However, the board was steadily becoming the most populated comics and cartoon community on the Internet, and by 2013, it was regarded as the best place to discuss comics and cartoons.
The new tens saw a specular rise in popularity of the nerd fandom in all its forms, which led users from all places to flock to /co/. The board can be described as having a little of everything: far left, far right, expats from /v/, /a/, and /tv/, furries, and many other kinds of personalities. At the same time, it’s also the hobby board most visited by the hobby’s professionals, which creates a unique atmosphere where /co/ is basically the Internet news hub of the nerd fandom. Its rising popularity saw it fit comfortably in the top ten of the most populated 4chan boards.
The /int/ternational edit
Unwittingly, when moot created /int/ on 4chan, he created a colony for a collective of boards that shared all the same culture. /int/ began as a board for foreigners on the German site Krautchan, and it quickly became one of the biggest non-4chan boards. Many sites imitated them, which, in a strange turn of events, made them share a userbase. Eventually, 4chan’s /int/ was opened, and the full might of Krautchan culture. The board kept to itself, operating as its own thing, with its own memes that didn’t transcend the board until recently.
Modern /int/ is among the top ten most active boards, and its influence and particular brand of humor have begun to show up on the rest of 4chan. Of all the joke exports, the popularization of British slang is probably the most important one, which has come to dominate 4chan on all corners. Among others are older and newer jokes like Remove Kebab and Mehmet, My Son. /int/ is still isolationist, but at the same time it’s one of 4chan’s biggest and most iconic communities.