Image Boards

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"That helmet won't save him."[1]
"While there are many online places where you can educate yourself, seek the truth, and contemplate the world's injustices and strive to right them, this is not one of them."
Julian Dibbell of Wired, on you-know-where
"I'm a big believer in this board. 4chan is one of the most important human achievements of all time."

Online forums that exist expressly for the purpose of posting images and/or disscussions. They usually have a variety of sub-boards, each with its own focus. Unlike most forums, threads are never archived by the site, so if nobody posts in one for a while, it will eventually be deleted.

The imageboard as it's usually thought of today began in Japan. Futaba Channel, a spin-off of the popular text-based discussion board Ni-Channel (2ch) is probably the best-known. Sometimes the blanket term 'wakaba style' board is used (wakaba referring to the board software that runs the board), traditionally allowing anonymous posting with a self-enforcing theme and standard that hopefully keeps it from becoming too mediocre.

The best-known in the US is probably 4chan, created in 2003 to serve as an English-language version of Futaba Channel. Especially among American Otaku, it's quite popular for the generator of memes and, due to anonymous users and loose moderation, extremely variable quality; for these reasons, one could see imageboards to be the antithesis of social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook.

Most American wakaba boards trace their heritage to 4chan, as alternate boards proliferated when 4chan went offline in its formative years. The successful ones tend to cover more specific niches, like Meganekko or sad girls in snow. Or guro hentai. Or Lolicon. Or guro hentai with underage meganekkos in snow. Or guro hentai with underage meganekkos in snow weeping profusely over image boards. Or... you know what, let's just stop talking about it.

The only real standing rules of just about every imageboard site in existence (besides specific topic rules for subforums) is that its users can't post anything considered illegal in a site's area of hosting (many admins turn a blind eye to things like unauthorized filesharing, however). Dodgy to outright highly illegal material is occasionally posted anyway just for the pleasure of subverting this rule; mods unsurprisingly counter this with anything from warnings to reports to the FBI.

What many imageboard sites have in common is using the same distinctive layout and interface from 2ch: there is a sidebar either on the left, bottom, or top (but never the right) that lists each board on the site in a simple URL theme (usually a contraction of their topic name), and to the right of this is the actual site content. Most boards are also set up fairly similarly to 2ch, (/v/, /m/, /tg/, etc) so you can usually count on wholly different sites to have the same general setup.

Not to be confused with our own Image Links Wiki.


Notable Imageboards (every link below should be considered NSFW unless specifically mentioned otherwise):
  • While not an imageboard itself, The Overchan V.2 maintains an (as up-to-date as humanly possible) list of every English-language imageboard in existence (including furry imageboards and text-based 2ch-esque boards). It's also the closest thing to a worksafe link from this point forward.
  • The aforementioned Futaba Channel.
  • The also-aforementioned 4chan, which hosts boards dedicated to just about every generalized subject you can think of (and a few specialized subjects, as well), is home to the self-proclaimed "final boss of the Internet" (the Random {{[[[Fridge Brilliance]] Bullshit}}] board, aka /b/), and is the starting point for about half the memes in the various subpages of the Memetic Mutation article. Humorously enough, 4chan was created by a bunch of regulars from Something Awful's anime subforum, a fact that is best left unmentioned on both sites. Has its infamous, luckless spin-off, 7chan, Which has its own spin-off, 99chan (see below). The users consider them 'better' than 7chan - and sometimes even 4chan.
    • /b/ (random) is not all of 4chan, everyone just thinks it is. There are no real rules in /b/, so people are free to post whatever non-criminal material they want. In practice, that means a lot of porn, pictures, and discussions that can only be defined as, well, random. Notably, it can have, and undoubtedly has had, every single one of the other boards' topics discussed on it, with the main difference being that the words "nigger" and "faggot" are thrown around with even greater frequency.
    • /tg/ (traditional games) is very...creative. The fa/tg/uys can bring out some amazing stuff on some days (Like creating ENTIRE FRICKIN' GAMES DOWN TO THE CRUNCH, a computer made out of zombies or at least truly epic paladin vs. lich rap battles), but on others... They used to have a saying: "/tg/= /d/ lite", but it's not really evident now moderation for the board was tightened. Known for having an unusual quantity of Knights In Shining Armor, with a weird Chivalrous Pervert atmosphere. Being full of raging 40k fanatics, too much non-comedic porn at once (or any furry porn) receives an immediate backlash consisting of shouts of HERESY! which get the thread back on topic. /tg/ is also home to a surprising amount of writers - or writefags, to use the 4chan parlance. Works range from Pulp Fiction rewritten with Orks to slice of life stories about /tg/'s original characters to completely fluffed-out campaign settings. The usual assortment of 40k fanfic makes its way around, though in somewhat higher quality, and /tg/ can even take the universe's most depressing manga, fuse it with something completely different, and come up with... well... just read it. Two more chapters are posted here.
      • /tg/'s most significant semi-complete work is probably Adeptus Evangelion, a homebrew Neon Genesis Evangelion RPG based on Dark Heresy rules.
        • Also Notable - Dungeons: The Dragoning, a complete system that somehow manages to send up, shout out, or reference just about every other role-playing system out there.
      • And imageboard quests. /tg/ is where Ruby Quest was born (which, after some drama, gave birth to /tg/chan.
      • It's worth noting that /tg/ is only where Ruby Quest become popular - it was actually born the day before the /tg/ thread on /r9k/.
      • /tg/ also has its own Wiki, 1d4chan
    • /po/ (papercraft and origami) isn't very populated, but they're generally pretty helpful to anyone who shares their interests. Full of people showing off their awesome works of paper and stencils.
    • /e/ (Ecchi). is the softcore porn board, separating it from /h, which is for hardcore images. Ecchi material is suggestive and often times cute, but it is still an adult board with adult material.
    • /an/ (animals and nature) is mainly full of topics about animals, both wild and domesticated. Topics like "What's your favorite dinosaur" or "How do I take care of my pet" are common. Animal cruelty is not allowed though, and you will be banned if you post it.
    • /v/ (Video Games) is about Videogames. What games you dislike, are looking forward to, why your favorite game sucks, why every new game sucks, why every old game sucks, why you suck, tips and tricks, high scores and speed runs, favorite characters, and anything else video-game related... when they aren't just being "/b/ lite" that is.
    • Pokémon discussion so overloaded the /v/ board, they made another board, /vp/, just for Pokémon. That should tell you how popular Pokémon is there.
    • Another board borne from /v/ overload is /vg/ (Video Game Generals). It's meant to offload the "general" threads clogging /v/: long-term oriented, recurring threads focusing on a specific video game that get recreated as soon as the old thread dies. Several things have been added to facilitate the long-term discussions, such as 30 threads on a page (vs. 10 per page) and a mandatory subject line to help with Ctrl+F searches, as well as a 1000 bump limit and 500 image limit for long discussions.
    • /a/ (Anime and Manga) is basically the same as /v/, but with anime, and "live action" television shows that are distinctly rooted in, or based off of an anime or manga series. Mostly discusses the more popular series, and upcoming shows they think will become popular. New anime gets released at a much faster rate than American cartoons, so there's usually plenty to discuss
    • /m/ (mecha) is a specalized board just for mecha anime, videogames, and TV shows, including Toku discussion, thanks to their reliance on Humongous Mechas. It also hates Showa.
    • And then there's /jp/ (Otaku culture). Its conception was an ill-defined split in the user base and topic control of the original "/a/ - Anime and Manga" stemming from the bulk output of Fate/Stay Night and Tsukihime and the Touhou series upsetting other /a/ content. Outsiders might comment that /jp/ doesn't have any real direction and patrons might comment back "Actually, we're not very fond of Japan."
    • /sci/ (science and math) is for people interested in science and the latest scientific advances, or needing help understanding a math problem they don't get or a science project they just can't make work.
      • Also home to a great many science vs religion arguments (surprise surprise).
    • /g/ (Technolo/g/y) is dedicated to mainstream tech discussion. Widely dominated by desktop computers and audio players trollfests (though there are ocassions where an exceedingly good thread comes out, for example, the satellite communications Q&A), this board is known for the insane amount of Windows vs. Mac vs. Linux threads, the endless desktop/battlestation/guts thread, the insane amount of trolling and noob baiting (deleting system32 and Gentoo as the most notorious examples), nVidia vs. ATI/Intel vs. AMD/Android vs. iOS, C# vs. Java vs. Python (actually every tech rivalry known to man will have at least one thread per month), hating on audiophiles, hating on Arch Linux, arguing about anything, and the ocassional genuine help thread. Its main contributions are the Stallman copypastas, the 1.7 meme, and ITS OVER, _____ IS FINISHED. On a more positive note, the daily programming threads and the ocassional tech community thread (mostly discussing jobs in the tech industry) are what saves this board from extinction. Also, the most excellent Falcon's guide has its origins here.
    • /lit/ (Literature) is for discussing professional stories. That means fanfics are not allowed, and neither is Ayn Rand. Other than that, the board talks mainly about their favorite books, and is a great place to go if you want a recommendation for something to read.
    • /mu/ (Music) is generally not as all-encompassing as their name would suggest, but are generally a friendly bunch nonetheless. They really only tend to discuss, and welcome discussion of, independent bands like Animal Collective and Neutral Milk Hotel. Modern dubstep in the vein of Skrillex (or "brostep", as they call the genre) is greeted with great hostility, along with modern hard rock bands such as Nickelback and Creed. Most other genres aren't really welcome on /mu/. In certain hours of the day you may find a few fans of alt-rock bands like, Smashing Pumpkins and They Might Be Giants. Some time ago there would be "share threads", in which people would post Mediafire links to various albums. Recently, however, Illegal sharing of albums has become severely frowned upon by the moderators, and is likely to get you a ban, or worse.
    • /ck/ (food and cooking) is usually filled with a mix of delicious recipes, people asking for delicious recipes, and general cooking tips. Speaking of tips, never, under any circumstances, browse /ck/ on an empty stomach.
    • /d/ (Hentai alternative) is for hentai that's a little bit... different. Girls with penises, monster girls, girls with monsters, bondage, tentacles, and anything else in that general category. There's a reason they call themselves /d/viants. Bestiality (of the non-monster variety), guro, scat, or anything generally seen to be "extreme" is not allowed though. That means it's perfectly ok to show a girl having sex with a minotaur, but showing her with a bull is no good.
    • And then there's /u/ and /y/, the Yuri and Yaoi boards. Both are known for their tendency to see homosexual relationships where none exist. Of course if they didn't, they wouldn't have all that much to talk about. This means they talk a lot about shows like K-ON or Kim Possible, which have no explicit homosexuality, but a fan base that really likes to pretend they do, as well as more explicit cases of homosexuality. Neither one moves very fast, so it's not uncommon to see a thread linking to 4 or 5 previous ones with the same topic that no longer allow images.
    • /c/ (cute anime), and /cm/ (cute men) are work safe boards for cute animated things. /cm is for cute men (animated only), and /c is for everything else that's both animated and cute including girls, couples, and animals. It has quite a few Chibis because of that.
    • /w/ (anime wallpapers) is for very large pictures related to animes, to be used as wallpapers on computers.
    • /wg/ (wallpaper general) is for very large pictures not related to animes, to be used as wallpapers on computers.
    • /x/, (Paranormal; as in the X Files) is the creepy, scary, paranormal, and general "weird shit" board. /x/ is the origin of a great deal of the "creepypasta" floating around the Internet, which eventually led to the creation of SCP Foundation.
    • /cgl/ (Cosplay and egl) (one board, egl is part of the title) where people show off the cosplay they work on, talk about conventions they went to and what they cosplayed as, and general cosplay tips. They're the place to go if you need help on a cosplay of your own. Be warned, however, that on off days /cgl/ is one of the most vicious hotbeds of cosplay drama on the entire internet.
    • /o/ (aut/o/mobiles) is about cool cars.
    • /adv/ (advice) is for advice, mostly relationship, and about as good as you can expect from a random group of completely anonymous people on the internet.
    • /co/ (Western Animation and Comic Books) is the Western version of /a/, for all non-asian comics and cartoons. /co/ can get kind of obsessive about shows and girls it really likes. When a new show it likes starts airing, the board usually becomes flooded with topics about it, which eventually resulted in the rule that only one My Little Pony thread could be active at a time, after people complained.[2]
      • Apparently the one-thread policy didn't seem to be work as far as My Little Pony is concerned, as individual pony posts and threads would still appear all over the boards, drawing the irk of various 4chan-goers. During the February 2012 reorganization of the boards, one anonymous poster suggested to Moot that an MLP board be created to confine any pony-related post, but it wasn't until a plea from an MLP fan against it implied such a board would ruin the fandom (i.e. at /vp/) that Moot made up his mind. Thus /mlp/ (Pony) came to be.
    • /p/, the Photography board, Containing an almost paradoxical hatred for Hipsters and post-process while simultaneously gushing over vintage camera equipment and photoshop gurus, /p/ has the distinction of being possibly the single most concentrated collection of image retouching talent on the entire internet. When they aren't showing off their retouching ability (or mocking eachother by photoshopping realistic genitalia into one another's photographs,) /p/ tends to entertain itself by way of vast galloping flame-wars over camera equipment and photographic styles. Just, for the love of whichever god you worship, if you post your images to /p/ remember to resize them to 1,000 pixels on the longest side. You really don't want to see what happens if you don't.
    • There's also /n/ (transportation), which is a very slow (for 4chan) board that's generally 95% bikes, 2% trains, 2% planes, and 1% people lost on the way to /o/.
    • /sp/ (sports) takes the already heated topic of sports fandom and adds that special 4chan touch. /sp/ hates all teams in general and your team specifically, though local fans will often show up to defend their team when the arguments get really heated. The big draws are game threads following and commenting on the action live (good games for the major sports can require multiple threads that hit the limit, and major playoff games are guaranteed to go something like 7-10 threads long), but /sp/ will also regularly feature Power Ranking threads, American Vs. European/World sports arguments, and lots of Tony Kornheiser.
      • /3/ (3dcg) is for 3d modelling, sculpting, and so on. By far the slowest board on the site, there are often threads that have been active for nearly a year. Relatively docile and calm compared to the other boards. Doesn't like porn or people who ask how to make porn.
    • On October 2011, moot revived three old boards and added another:
      • /r9k/ (Robot 9001) is a board based off Randall Munroe's ROBOT9000 idea. In practice, it's kind of like /b/, but with less porn and "GET" threads. Tends to have (relatively) intelligent discussions about anything and everything. It was killed by moot for the flood of "relationshit" threads and their eventual devolution into misogynistic whining, but moot revived it when he had a Heel Realization after he criticized the owner of Encyclopedia Dramatica for shutting ED down.
      • /pol/ (Politically Incorrect) is the board for politics, current events, and general debate. Much broader in scope than the board it supposedly revived, /n/ (News), which was dedicated to news only. Revived due to user demand now that election season is underway. Unfortunately, it tends to be less about politics and more about racism and anti-Semitic Conspiracy Theories, as well as endless flame wars between communists and neo-fascists/far-right capitalists (some of them probably trolls) as well as rabid support for Republican Presidential Candidate Ron Paul.
      • /hc/ (Hardcore) is dedicated to hardcore pornography. It was killed due to spam flooding the board back before moot implemented CAPTCHA, but now revived on a trial basis.
      • /diy/ (Do-It-Yourself) is for do-it-yourself projects, whether it's fixing something broken or creating something from scratch. It's a brand new board rather than a revived past board.
  • 420chan, created as a result of one of 4chan's longer downtimes, is a site specifically geared towards drug users (with several boards dedicated to different types of controlled substances; the site refuses to allow people to directly buy or sell drugs through the site itself, though). It also has several non-drug-related boards, including the site's most second-most-visited board, /wooo/. /wooo/ is one of the most well-known Professional Wrestling imageboards on the 'Net, to the point where Wrestlecrap considers the board their Arch Enemy and forbids their Message Board users to mention it. (420chan's most visited board is, as you might expect, /weed/.)
    • More recently, posting on the Netjester board has become a popular pastime.
  • Fchan, which is the most well-known furry (primarily pornographic) imageboard out there; although assumed to be created as a response to 4chan's infamous "April Fur's Day" prank, it was actually in existence for a while prior to it (and was created as a result of 5chan -- which hosted a couple of furry-based boards -- dying). The site set something of a standard for future furry imageboards by segregating content into different boards (one for female-only art, one for male-only art, and so on); it also marked the beginning of the term "DNP" ("Do Not Post") in the Furry Fandom, due to the list of artists who asked that their work not be posted on the site. Fchan's heavyhanded moderation and large DNP list led to several furry imageboards coming into existence to counteract Fchan's perceived stupidity, the most notable of which are:
    • Lulz.net, which is sometimes referred to just as /furi/ after the site's main board; it is pretty much always EXTREMELY NSFW, and not always because of furry porn -- and not always because of porn. Many of the board's threads are about gore pictures, grossout images, trolling, and extremely vitriolic politics. There's also more furry-hate on the site than /b/ and Something Awful combined. Even the board's regulars will often admit that the site is basically "/b/, but with less furry porn".
      • If you go in without Adblock prepared beforehand, it's also a great stress test for your antivirus application of choice.
    • The Goddamned Furry Board, run by former Fchan admin Sage "Goddammit" Freehaven.
  • That 5chan may have died, but there's now a totally unrelated new 5chan which adds a post voting (community moderation) feature modelled after Reddit. Except it's currently down.
  • 55chan, the Brazilian imageboard. The site used to attract a good number of functionally illiterate users, commonly assumed coming from the social networking site Orkut. Those users would usually flood the boards with bland topics and requesting the other users to raid their enemies' pages on Orkut. The moderation eventually put a stop to this by enabling a filter that asked the user to copy a simple sentence using capitals and punctuation without using the copy-paste command; only once this had happened would a user be allowed to use the boards. That filter was enough to fend off the vast majority of the problem users.
    • Two other Brazilian imageboards spawned when 55chan was down: BRchan and 138chan. If 55chan was the Brazilian 4chan, it is safe to say that B Rchan and 138chan are, respectively, 7chan and 99chan.
  • 888chan was the imageboard chiefly used by Project Chanology, an Internet-based movement based on the Anonymous "culture" borne from 4chan's /b/ (the group has no defined leaders, and most of the members of the various Chanology subgroups do their best to remain anonymous) which was (and still is) dedicated to "fighting" the Church of Scientology. (Project Chanology itself has been going for more than two years as of this writing; it has used several different imageboards as their base, with 4chan's /b/ being the original starting point of the movement.)
    • 888Chan, as of July 2011, has been dead for nearly two years; things have moved over to Vortex Chan, including the pseudo-intellectual concept that would be considered Serious Business to the average *chan user.
  • Because of the area's oddly high concentration of /b/tards, someone in the Kansas City (oh, that's why) area made the now defunct 913chan, naming it after the KC area code.
  • Pooshlmer is the definitive (mostly) worksafe Imageboard for Touhou.* The other main Touhou imageboard is Touhou-Project.com, which is given over to Choose Your Own Adventure-style collaborative fanfic. It tries to maintain a fairly high standard of quality.
  • Desuchan, the result of a certain meme becoming too big and obnoxious for the other imageboards to stand. ~desu (pretty much worksafe)
    • It also has its fair share of spinoff, mostly as backups during downtimes. Because of the current downtime, it should be noted that Hugachan is the current refuge for the Desuchan regulars.
  • Krautchan, pretty much THE German imageboard. Became famous in the wake of the Winneden school shooting, when the media fell for an extremely obvious fake post announcing it (a real but completely unrelated post photoshopped). Has an /int/ board. Its humour consists mostly of intentionally bad and literal translations of english memes and imageboard slang. (Beweis mich falsch, fappieren)
    • Nearly every European country (and a few non-European ones) has their own imageboard. Such as Lóhere, the Hungarian imageboard (the name means "clover", unsurprisingly; literally it can also be translated as horse testicle), Diochan for Italy, Kuvalauta for Finland, Dejimachan for the Netherlands, SectaChan for Spain, several Russian imageboards, and quite a few more. The /int/ board on Krautchan (where each user gets marked with his country's flag) works as a sort of common meeting ground.
  • Uboachan, devoted to Yume Nikki.
  • GUROchan. The mecca for guro, guro-manga and all forms of porn (and non-porn) you could ever want. Except for real stuff. Worst of all, it's not super active. Not Safe For Work.
    • Somewhat notably, a good bit of its userbase is surprisingly nice.
  • Idlechannel. Mostly an aggregator of other * chan sites, but it's host to a still-active Azumanga Daioh/Yotsubato board and some other niche anime, including Genshiken.
  • TF2chan, devoted to Team Fortress 2 fans. Mostly noted for the massive amounts of shipping and porn.
  • Another British Image Board is B3TA, which in addition to message boards, also has weekly or so Image Challenges, quizzes, movies and games. While the vast majority of the userbase are okay folks and the image challenges bring out funny images, the site is NSFW, and don't forget to bring your brain bleach.
    • Actually, posting anything blatantly NSFW without a warning and a text only link usually tends to generate a fair bit of rage.
  • Miserychan, dedicated to Jimmy Two-Shoes
  • plus4chan, originally started as an offshoot of 4chan prime's /co/ (Comics and Cartoons) board, has since grown into its own standalone site with a very tight-knit userbase. Much of the content is still /co/ related, but there are also boards about anime, video games, cooking, music and television, and {Homestuck}, among others.
  • Ponychan (here), an imageboard devoted to My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic; Entirely worksafe, and known for being something of a "hugbox". Strangely, for an imageboard, it has an almost entirely named userbase, who have formed something of a community.
    • Has three notable spinoffs: FIMchan and Stevenchan, made in response to the strict, anti-NSFW rules of Ponychan, and Lunachan.
  • 711chan, an alternative to 420chan and 7chan.
  • 99chan. Elitist as hell, and damn proud of it. 99chan is even slower than 420chan, but has a huge variety of boards. Expect to be banned if you post demotivators, memes, or if the many mods are feeling bored. Most of the humor on the site revolves around inside jokes and self-deprecation. Practically everything is decided on the IRC (better known as the "circlejerk"), which is self-admittedly populated entirely with pseudo-intellectual gay Canadian alcoholics. Tends to have a "sekrit club" mentality, so if your post smells even faintly of 4chan, expect to be banned.
  • MikuChan is an image board dedicated to Hatsune Miku and other VOCALOID characters/voice banks
  • "bbw-chan, home to the big and beautiful." Also, they've got other kinks as well... thankfully, on separate subforums.
  • RateitStar.com is an image and text board dedicated to the review and rating of kool new and exciting things; unlike many of the boards listed here, it is legitimately work safe.
  • 1chan.net BECAUSE TRAINS! Many railfans, especially of the foamer variety. SFW.
  • AnonTalk, an illegal Swedish imageboard. It started off as a lolicon imageboard, created by Kimmo Alm after he was banned from 4chan for posting lolicon, but eventually went on to include actual pedophilia. It is also used as a base for planning DDoS attacks on 4chan. Despite the name, the board software it uses actually makes posters very easy to track, and 4channers have even gotten hold of Alm's home address and other personal information. But despite many attempts to report Alm and his board to the authorities, nothing has been done. The board is currently down, but only because Alm closed it himself as he's planning to update it. Here is an article on it.
  • 789chan, an image board with a focus on technology. It is, however, most well-known for it's /cwc/ section, which, of course, focuses on Christian Chandler of Sonichu fame.
  • 8chan, an image board made in the image of what 4chan used to be like, and whose users include a number of 4chan anons who migrated there following schisms over growing censorship.
  • my[confined]space is a small, intimate imageboard with a semi-moderated feed of interesting pics that range from SF/F-themed wallpapers to SFW photos of pretty girls to political memes. It also supports video embeds, and these will range from trailers for upcoming films to the amusingly weird and unusual. At one point it had considerable NSFW content, mostly hidden behind extra links, but as of early 2016 this seems to have been dropped.

>2012
>not having a stinger

  1. NO, IT REALLY WON'T.
  2. The same rule, though unstated and unofficial, goes for MLP's eternal rival, Homestuck.