What is 4chan? Is it a Matter of Concern for Parents?

Have you ever heard your child mention 4chan? If yes, then how much do you truly know about this bizarre site?

4chan is an American-based imageboard that came to the limelight due to its anonymous nature. However, many parents have highly criticized this site for being the hub of rising cybercrime and online harassment.

So, if your child is also actively involved on the site, you must get to know the harm that truly awaits them. Scroll through this write-up and get to know everything about this app, including how it works, whether it is safe, and how to ensure your child’s safety while engaging in discussions.

So, let’s get going!

What is 4chan?

Alt-tag: 4chan

4chan is an anonymous image-based bulletin board where anyone can share and post images. The imageboard hosts various topics ranging from video games and television to literature, cooking, weapons, music, history, anime, fitness, politics, sports, and many others.

According to the user demographic, this website is mostly used by young males ranging between 18 and 25. As of 2022, it has accumulated over 22 million unique visitors per month since it appeared in 2003.

Originally, this website was created as a reply to Japan’s 2chan to discuss anime. But now it hosts various boards and features a lot of disturbing content, ranging from private parts of the body to obscene imagery.

How Does 4chan Work?

The user base of the 4chan app shows a keen interest in Japanese culture, anime, and video games. Most youngsters think this platform is a great way to hop on the trends, share memes, and create funny threads like LOLCats, Advice Animals, Rage Comics, and others.

So, let’s see how it works! Once you open the 4chan site, it will redirect you to the home page, as there is no need to register. There you’ll come across different board categories, like Japanese culture, video games, creative, miscellaneous, adult, and others, as shown in the image below.

Alt-tag: Imageboards topics on 4chan

Now, click on any topic you desire to be a part of, and then you will see a ‘Disclaimer’ tab. If you wish to proceed, click on Accept. Now, click on Start a New Thread to proceed, or you can just scroll on the page to find some engaging conversations.

Alt-tag: Disclaimer on 4chan

Then, upload an image of your choice and start chatting anonymously. However, remember that being anonymous increases the risk of receiving unpleasant replies and messages, and thus, you must tread accordingly.

 

Note:

 

If you ever break the rules of 4chan, then it might result in your account being banned.

Is 4chan Safe for Kids?

No, 4chan is not safe for kids, as it is an adult website that features various discussions containing explicit content and profanity. Moreover, it doesn’t require visitors to sign up or verify their identity, which means anyone can post anything in the discussions.

Not only that, the Disclaimer I’ve shown earlier clearly states that ‘the site is for mature audiences and may not be suitable for minors’, further showing the required age limit for the users.

The topics on the boards are disturbing, especially the ‘Adult’ one that has no restrictions whatsoever. So, if your kids want to explore these genres, they can freely explore them without much restriction.

Thus, as a fellow parent, I don’t recommend this site to kids below 18.

What Parents Need to Know About 4chan?

If you are a caregiver to a child actively engaging on 4chan, you must get to know what your child is dealing with.

  • Center of Various Controversies

Unsurprisingly, this site has been the center of many controversies, including GmaerGate (a harassment campaign), various cyberattacks, child pornography, and harassment (mainly in America).

  • Promoting Wrong Behaviors

Needless to say, the website has been under fire for promoting misogyny, racism, and violence across the site.

  • Lack of Parental Controls and Privacy Settings

This bizarre website does not have any parental controls or robust privacy settings.

  • Inappropriate Content

The inappropriate content is easily accessible to children. Not only that, there is a board topic called Random, or /b/, that has fewer rules, making it very easy for the kids to come across hate speech (on racism and transphobia) and encounter pornographic and obscene content.

Pro Tips to Keep Your Kids Safe While Using 4chan

After getting to know the looming dangers of the website, you must be looking for ways to ensure your child’s safety. Here, I’ve listed some tips that will help you!

  1. Have an honest conversation with your child. Discuss the potential dangers of using the site and why they should avoid them. Once your kids understand your concern, they’ll be more cooperative.
  2. Install parental controls or content filtering tools on your kid’s device, broadband, and mobile networks to set certain limits on inappropriate content.
  3. Set clear boundaries for online activities. Try to establish rules around screen time and internet usage.
  4. Educate about online responsible behavior. Teach them what is okay and what isn’t while posting personal information, and show them how to avoid cyberbullying and online harassment.

Should 4chan Get Banned?

Since its launch in 2003, 4chan has been involved in many controversies, putting kids’ safety at risk. Considering the notable scandals, it raises doubt in every parent’s mind (including mine) – why the site is still up and running.

This site has been popular for introducing grotesque content that is unsuitable for young minds and, thus, should be held accountable for the amount of harm it poses to children.

If you were to ask me, I would most likely favor the idea of 4chan getting banned.

Wrapping Up!

4chan holds to the notion of allowing anyone to post anything without restrictions. However, this freedom has its repercussions similar to the 12chan and 8chan.

Hence, as a responsible parent, I suggest that kids under 18 should not frequent this site without parental permission. If your kids insist on using the site, you must follow the pro tips I’ve mentioned earlier.

Source Links: https://radarro.com/

Simon

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