(Feb 2012 – Sept 2012)
The advent of SOPA and PIPA led most important sites of the Internet to react in some way to it. Anonymous was not excluded, and it culminated with massive protests, a black-out were even sites like Wikipedia participated in for a day, and DDOS attacks to most US government sites. The law was eventually rejected but another, weaker version was proposed and a similar one was also projected in the European Union. To this day most governments and organizations continue to attempt to censor and control the Internet, but the hacktivist anonymous still puts up some fight.
In February, Valentine’s Day, moot announces plans to add up to 15 boards and manage the rising brony problem that was created from the new My Little Pony series. Three days later he adds /mlp/ - My little Pony. This would be the first move a series of reforms that would, after six years of spam, chaos and reposts, ameliorate the situation of /b/ and 4chan as a whole. moot would later reinstitute forced anon on /b/, open /q/ - 4chan Discussion, make several enhancements to the source code, implement inline plug-ins, open a sticky to discourage porn, rate me, and whatever spam threads were left, reopened the janitor applications and revamped the mod machine. After many years without gaining any money other than ads revenue, because moot hates the idea of receiving without giving (If you know what I mean), he add adds the 4chan pass under suggestion from /q/, allowing people to bypass reCAPTCHA by paying 20 dollars. Though not without its problems, many semi-popular boards suffer from spam due to various events that destabilized them (Andrew W.K. and Deadmau5 posting on /mu/, the Olympics on /sp/, etc) Yet, for the first time in years, the quality of /b/ has returned to pre-newfag summer levels, with new OC slowly making its way through the sea of threads. CP threads are no more, spam is almost inexistent, and the oldest users seem to be returning, or at least began to actively post again. However this small period of peace soon proved to be little more than an ephemeral activity.
The rise of Anita Saarkesian, feminist vlogger, and her successful Kickstarter brought the issue of feminism to the completely unrelated board of /v/. /v/ being the board with the most dynamic age range (from 13 years olds to people in their late 20s) took it as something personal. From the on there will always be a thread on /v/ complaining about feminism, sometimes not even games related.
By April moot commanded a moderation crackdown on long-forgotten boards such as /tv/ and /sp/. /tv/ had become a hub for stalkers, pedophiles and celebrity/waifu worshipers and /sp/ was a shitposting haven since 2011. /sp/ was over-moderated, however, as many long-standing traditions were regarded as off-topic and deleted, such as power level thread and current events like natural disasters being regarded as games. The board instantly rebelled, and began to spam both /q/ and /sp/ with off-topic and propaganda under the banner of “#freesp”. /tv/’s more cancerous elements followed suit. The situation escalated to the point where users, calling themselves #outlaws, got an ex-janitor into their ranks that began to leak information about the janitor board, /j/, and the staff. A full list of the staff logged in the janitor IRC, #janiteam, was gathered. Eventually moot settled the issue during his third Q/A on May stating he will consider allowing the more traditional threads.
Mods would take a much more active approach towards the boards. Whenever a big event happened a sticky would be created on its respective board until the hype wore out, or to squelch an over exited general. Mod presence generally became more noticeable, with /s4s/ getting its own resident mod. moot also added a suggestion box which allowed users to explain their concerns, perceived issues, and ideas in depth without the usual white noise /q/ had. 4chan’s official #4chan IRC would also undergo changes, all of the mods would be de-opped in favour of a single bot, Yotsubot, which could be remotely controlled by them. On some rather controversial decisions, invisible moderation became much more prominent and #4chan IRC Ops where removed, leaving a single bot called Yotsubot to server as a command prompt for them. Mods where forbidden from talking about the moderation itself in all possible forms, assistance and insight from the moderation team where no longer available, and the gap between users and staff became a canyon.
By the end of August, with 4chan’s tenth birthday only a month away, moot announced that he will host a final 4chan panel together with Shut, on AnimeWeekend. This was followed by a couple newsposts, the 500000000 GET on /b/, and second wave of updates and upgrades to the site. Meta threads would be allowed again since /q/ was removed, and in a day that will live in infamy, moot decided to make the sage invisible, since it has long since lost its original meaning. The panel went smoothly and moot did a meet and greet with many fans, even signing a /k/ommando’s Mossin Nagant. On the very same day, the American government would shut down most of it non-essential services, /v/ discovers hints that Half-Life 3 may be on the making, the Silk Road is closed by the feds and many games are released or updated. October 1, 2013 would be a quite iconic day on the short-term memory of 4chan. /b/’s presence is long gone from the face of the Internet and its successors being one of the most hated Internet forums on history and the other an isolationist circlejerk.