Logo for Byte Magazine at Ball State University

6 times 4chan hacked the internet

by Ian Roesler The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the opinion of Byte or Byte’s editorial board. 4chan is one of the most ubiquitous websites on the internet. It is the stereotype of the internet. The most internet place on the internet. Take all the mundane parts, all the weird parts, all the racist, sexist, etc. parts, and put them all on one website and presto chango, you have 4chan. The website also shows what we as humanity can accomplish when we work together.

1. Changing the Results of the "Dub the Dew" Contest

When Mountain Dew was coming out with a new apple flavored beverage in 2012 they had a promotion they called “Dub the Dew ” where people could name the new flavor of Mountain Dew. 4chan caught wind of this and promptly set about changing the results. The number one result was “Hitler did Nothing Wrong” followed by “Gushing Granny,” “Fapple,” and “Diabeetus." Other names included “Soda,” and “Sierra Mist.” They even named one after the Seth Putnam classic “Hitler was a Sensitive Man.” Oddly enough, Mountain Dew decided to not release the drink at all and closed the poll down. Gee, I don’t know about you, but sometimes I sure could go for a crisp, cool sip of Mountain Dew Hitler did Nothing Wrong.
Image from Know Your Meme

2. Feud with Shia LaBeouf

Shia LaBeouf last year did a piece of protest art called He Will Not Divide Us in response to our current President. It consisted of a live stream of a flag with the words of the artwork on it. It initially took place in Queens, New York. 4chan users, or Anons as they’re called, soon set about trying to get on camera and harassing Shia LaBeouf. In this process he went to jail for punching someone. After that fiasco, the exhibit was moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico. The same thing happened minus the punching. Next it was moved to a random location in the middle of nowhere. So, 4chan looked up weather and flight patterns, constellations, and eventually the location was found. The flag was changed and the livestream ended shortly thereafter. And then on June 8th, 2018 it was installed at the Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź.

3. Tay.ai

Tay was a Twitter bot created by Microsoft. Tay was to learn from human interaction. It was a shining landmark in artificial intelligence. Less than a day later Tay was tweeting racist stuff, and she was promptly shutdown. How this came about is the existence of Tay was shared by a user on the /pol/ board of 4chan, which is the "politically incorrect" board.
Image from Engadget

4. Microwaving iPhones

Shortly after the iOS 8 operating system came out for iPhones there was a rumor that putting the phone in a microwave and nuking it would charge the phone. It went about as well as one would imagine. The claim was that microwaving the iPhone for a minute at 700 watts would completely charge it. The rumor was spread by /b/ which stands for random.

5. Mr. Worldwide goes to Alaska

In 2012 Pitbull was working with Walmart and there was a contest on where Pitbull should go. The contest was simple: the Walmart that had the most likes on the Facebook would win. The winner was the one in Kodiak, Alaska. Pitbull went there, performed a concert, and visited the town. Say what you will about him he at least did as promised.

6. Taylor Swift goes to Deaf School

Another famous singer had another Facebook contest. The winner would receive $10,000 and a free concert from Taylor Swift. 4chan again chose the winner for this contest and the winner was the Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. The money was donated and additional money was raised from the event as well. Taylor Swift decided not to perform at the school. So those are but a few incidents that the collective hacker known as 4chan has been involved in. There are many others and there shall be many more. Eventually nuclear war will break out and somehow 4chan will be involved. 4chan best shows what humanity is capable of when given anonymity: endless trolling as far as the eye can see.
Sources: Time, He Will Not Divide Us, Vice, Washington Post, Daily Mail, Mashable, The Guardian Images: Know Your MemeEngadget Header Image: The Verge