Who owns 4chan?

Over the course of 19 years, the imageboard 4chan has been linked to a number of things, including the creation of a particular brand of online racism, and a number of domestic terror attacks.

There are a lot of references to 4chan in a 180-page screed believed to be written by the 18-year-old who is alleged to have shot 13 people in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo, New York, on May 14. Black victims were killed in the massacre. The identity of the school shooter who killed 19 children and two adults in an elementary school in Uvdale, Texas, quickly reached the feeds of a right-wing member of Congress after 4chan users spread transphobic misinformation.

As the imageboard continues to rise in popularity, a question remains: Who owns 4chan?

Its corporate structure is unknown beyond a pair of Delaware-registered corporations, despite being founded by an American and sold to a Japanese businessman in 2015.

New information has been shared with WIRED that provides more information about 4chan's relationship with the Good Smile Company. Interviews with people familiar with both companies show that Good Smile was involved in the acquisition of 4chan.

In addition to being 4chan's silent partner, Good Smile has struck major deals with some of the world's largest entertainment companies, including Disney and Warner Bros.

The company said last year that it is a passive investor. The records of a nondisclosure agreement show that Good Smile Company and a major Japanese telecommunications company were involved in the acquisition of 4chan. The Hollywood Reporter and Kotaku reported in September that Good Smile employees were disturbed by their engagement with 4chan, but executives ignored their concerns.


Attempts to hold someone accountable and perhaps even reduce its role in radicalizing young men will not be possible without 4chan's toxic influence.

2channel was created from his dorm room in Arkansas.

Several successful text-based usenet and message boards were used to build the Japanese-language imageboard. Nishimura gave users the freedom to be completely anonymous.

idiots can be the idiots they want to be Nishimura told The Japan Times that they are allowed to say things they don't need to take responsibility for. It would be very popular in Japan. Nishimura became the bad boy of Japanese media within a decade, becoming a self-help guru and even inking a deal with a Japanese telecommunications giant to set up a hugely successful video-sharing site. Nishimura was the face of Niconico until he left.

The message boards had a small cult following in the US. A group of users on the Something Awful message boards became enamored with the popular Japanese animation series, "Akira." They shared their finds on the forum.

Christopher Poole was one of the early devotees. He opened 4chan in 2003 after grabbing the open source code underpinning the website. He referred to himself as unimportant.

In the early days of 4chan, users could share everything on the random board. The website quickly branched out into all manner of internet culture, hardcore pornography, news, and eventually the politics board.

The troll culture was shaped by 4chan over its first decade. The users harassed Hal Turner, and then hacked SarahPalin's email. 4chan users used their anonymity to make threats against their schools, despite the persistent problem with child sexual abuse material on the site. 4chan users reported their fellow users who they feared could commit acts of violence.