An imageboard or image board is a type of Internet forum which operates mostly via posting images. The first imageboards were created in Japan, and inspired the creation of a number of English language imageboards. They are based on the textboard concept.


Imageboards, similar to bulletin board systems, are used for discussions of a variety of topics. The primary focus of imageboards, however, is directed away from text posts, and is instead placed on picture posts. The two share many of the same structures, including separate forums for separate topics, as well as similar audiences. Imageboards are much more transitory with content—on some boards (especially highly trafficked ones), the thread deletion time can be as little as 10 minutes. In Japan, where imageboards are more common[citation needed], topics will vary widely, ranging from trains to current news. The most popular English language imageboard, 4chan, similarly revolves around a wide variety of topics.

Imageboards are also different from online galleries in that most of the works posted are not made by the poster, but instead are taken from other online sources: galleries, other imageboards, and edited pictures.


A diagram of a typical tripcode derivation process.

Most imageboards and 2channel-style discussion boards allow (and encourage) anonymous posting and use a system of tripcodes instead of registration. A tripcode is the hashed result of a password that allows one's identity to be recognized without storing any data about users. Entering a particular password will let one "sign" one's posts with the tripcode generated from that password, while trying to take another user's tripcode and compute their password from it (for instance, to make posts that appear to come from a particular person) is computationally difficult. For those who want a custom tripcode, however, there are custom tripcode generators (which are technically tripcode crackers) available, such as Meriken's Tripcode Engine[1] and MTY_CL.[2] In general, anonymity is considered to be one of the advantages of an imageboard, and some boards have from time to time removed the ability to post with a name altogether (known as "forced anonymous/anonymity").


There are two primary types of imageboard software packages in widespread use:[citation needed] linearly directed imageboards modeled closely after Futaba Channel (in which content is posted through hierarchical subsections of topical interest, usually denoted by a forward slash such as "/f" for female), and nonlinear imageboards modeled after Danbooru (usually indicated by the usage of controlled folksonomic vocabulary for topical tagging and search).

Futaba Channel clones

There are currently several Futaba-based imageboard software packages in widespread use: Futallaby, Wakaba, Kusaba X.

Futallaby is a PHP script based on the Futaba script from Futaba Channel. Although the Futallaby source is still freely available at 1chan,[3] it is no longer in development, and the download page recommends using Wakaba instead, stating that "Wakaba can do everything Futallaby does and so much more." Futallaby started as a translation of Futaba, later retooled to support XHTML and customizable CSS styles. It is mostly notable for being the first open source English imageboard script.[citation needed]

Wakaba is a Perl imageboard script with a SQL backend to store thread information.[4] It is designed to be more efficient and cleanly written than other scripts that are available, while preserving the same kind of functionality. Wakaba is one of the most popular western imageboard software scripts,[citation needed] used most notably by iichan (Wakachan).[5] Because of its focus on bare-bones functionality, Wakaba lacks many of the modern amenities provided by 4chan's Yotsuba,[6] and newer imageboard scripts. A few users have attempted to remedy this by forking the original project and adding in features they consider beneficial. Two FOSS examples of this are frankusr's Wakaba fork,[7] and the user experience focused Glaukaba.[8]

Kusaba was a modular imageboard software written in PHP, which used MySQL.[9] The creator has discontinued the project, however, and recommends TinyIB instead.[citation needed]

Kusaba X is a continuation of Kusaba. Like Kusaba, Kusaba X is written in PHP, and is designed with modularity in mind. It requires a MySQL or SQLite database to run. Kusaba and its derivatives were at one time some of the most popular imageboard solutions.[citation needed] Kusaba X has since fallen out of active development, and has not been updated since July 2011.

Tinyboard is a PHP based imageboard script with a MySQL backend.[10] It was eventually discontinued and forked into vichan[11], which itself was forked into infinity[12] and later infinity was forked into OpenIB.[13] Tinyboard (and its forks) notably feature extensibility with JavaScript[14] and the infinity and OpenIB forks include user-submitted board creation.[15]

Danbooru-style boards

Usually referred to as a "booru" (plural "boorus"). Unlike Futaba-inspired imageboard software packages, Danbooru and derivatives aim for a non-hierarchical semantic structure in which users are able to post content and add tags, annotations, translations, and comments.

There exist a number of different Danbooru-style imageboards, both those with shared source code and those that are not released for others to use. The two main Danbooru derivatives are Gelbooru and MyImouto.

Traits of Danbooru-style imageboards
Shared Software Programmed in License Notes
Yes Danbooru Ruby on Rails FreeBSD Uses PostgreSQL.[16]
Yes CamelBoard PHP FreeBSD[citation needed] Runs without a database.
Yes Shimmie 2 PHP GPLv2 Uses MySQL by default (as part of LAMP), can also use PostgreSQL.
Yes naranai 1.3.x PHP GPLv3 Uses MySQL. Built to replace Danbooru because author considered Ruby unsuitable.[17]
Yes szurubooru Python GPLv3 Uses PostgreSQL.
Yes Moebooru Ruby on Rails MIT Uses PostgreSQL.
Yes MyImouto PHP MIT Uses MySQL. PHP port of Moebooru. Uses a custom Ruby-on-Rails-like framework.[18]
Yes Sequenzia PHP MIT Uses MySQL. Modified and re-designed port of MyImouto for the Sequenzia Project.[19] Some code is specialised for the Sequenzia Project and AC Research.[20]
No Gelbooru 0.2.x PHP Proprietary Uses MySQL. Gelbooru 0.1.x is open source but 0.2.x currently is not.
No Octabooru PHP Proprietary (temporarily down due to host server issues) (linked removed as it leads to a phishing scam)
No Metabooru Python Proprietary
No booru-on-rails Ruby on Rails Proprietary Uses PostgreSQL, used to use MongoDB. "The 'booru-on-rails' project that powers Derpibooru is planned to be released to the public once the debugging is complete."


Futaba Channel

Futaba Channel (ふたば☆ちゃんねる), or "Futaba" for short, is a popular, anonymous BBS and imageboard system based in Japan. Its boards usually do not distinguish between not safe for work and clean content, but there is a strict barrier between two-dimensional (drawn) and three-dimensional (computer graphics (CG) and photographic) pictures that is heavily enforced and debated.[21]


4chan is an English language imageboard based on the Japanese imageboard Futaba Channel. This imageboard is based primarily upon the posting of pictures (generally related to a wide variety of topics, from anime and popular culture to politics and sports) and their discussion. The Guardian describes it as "at once brilliant, ridiculous and alarming."[22]

The site and its userbase have received attention from the media for a number of reasons, including attacks against Hal Turner on his Internet shows,[23] distributed denial-of-service attacks against eBaum's World,[24][25] taking part in Project Chanology,[26] and multiple cases of anti-animal abuse reports.[27]

Many Internet memes have originated there, including lolcats,[28][29][30] rickrolling and Pedobear.


8chan (or Infinitechan) is a primarily English language imageboard, although it has sub-boards dedicated to other languages. Just like 4chan, 8chan is based on posting pictures and discussion anonymously, but unlike 4chan, 8chan lets its users decide what they want to discuss by allowing any user to create their own board dedicated to any topic, a concept first made popular by news bulletin boards like Reddit. 8chan also claims to have a strong dedication to freedom of speech and allows all content—so long as the discussion and board creation abides by United States law.[31] However, local moderators enforce the rules of their own boards and may delete posts as they see fit. It is currently partnered with the Japanese textboard 2channel.


One of the imageboards that were created shortly after the collapse[32] of 2ch.ru, then the largest Russian-speaking imageboard, on 17 January 2009. Unlike the others it copied the original layout thoroughly and was actively advertised and soon surpassed the original in popularity.[33] At the moment, the number of posts in /b/ exceeds 150 million.[34] It is the third imageboard in the world by the number of messages in /b/.[35]


An English-language imageboard based on cannabis culture[36] which was created on April 4, 2005 by Kirtaner Aster. The name is a reference to the larger 4chan[37] and the code term 420 of the cannabis subculture. Its boards include various drug-specific boards,[36] as well as a board featuring a chatterbot.[38]


Hispachan was launched in November 2012[39] as a global imageboard for all Spanish-speaking countries. Vice Magazine describes it as "a site for completely anonymous Spanish-language discussion that has proven popular among hackers since its launch in 2012".[40]

In January 2017 a shooting in a school in Monterrey (Mexico) was previously announced on Hispachan.[41]


A primarily German-language imageboard that was founded in 2007.[42] The name is an allusion to the ethnophaulism Kraut for Germans. In 2009, after the Winnenden school shooting, the Interior Minister of Baden-Württemberg cited a post on the imageboard in a press conference that appeared to forewarn of the shooting, but was later found to be fake.[43][44][45] The site also features a popular English language board, /int/, which is also the origin of the Polandball internet phenomenon.


Ylilauta is a Finnish-language imageboard that was founded in 2011 with the joining of the two most popular Finnish imageboards, Kotilauta and Lauta.net. It is the origin of Spurdo Spärde.


Wizardchan is an imageboard which discusses topics including anime, hobbies, and depression. Users often discuss suicide or self-harm, and a controversy emerged in the board's community about whether to refer users to suicide prevention hotlines.[46]


Karachan is the largest Polish imageboard at 15 million posts, founded in 2010. Karachan has received attention from the Polish media after many trolling actions targeting Polish politicians, journalists and the Pope John Paul II.[47][48][49][50][51][52]

See also


  1. ^ Meriken's Tripcode Engine
  2. ^ MTY_CL
  3. ^ "Futallaby Imageboard Script". 1chan.net. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  4. ^ "wakaba.c3.cx". wakaba.c3.cx. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  5. ^ "wakachan.org". wakachan.org. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  6. ^ "4chan Inline Extension News Post". 
  7. ^ "frankusr's Wakaba Fork Repository". 
  8. ^ "Glaukaba Imageboard Script". 
  9. ^ tslocum. "Kusaba Imageboard Script". GitHub. Retrieved 2013-06-06. 
  10. ^ savetheinternet. "Tinyboard - The better imageboard software". GitHub. Retrieved 2017-07-13. 
  11. ^ czaks. "vichan - Tinyboard branch taking lightweightness somewhat more liberally". GitHub. Retrieved 2017-07-13. 
  12. ^ ctrlcctrlv. "infinity - A vichan fork permitting users to create their own boards". GitHub. Retrieved 2017-07-13. 
  13. ^ Cipherwraith. "OpenIB - An infinity fork focused on security". GitHub. Retrieved 2017-07-13. 
  14. ^ "Cool codes js to improve vichan? #252". Retrieved 2017-07-13. 
  15. ^ ctrlcctrlv. "infinity - A vichan fork permitting users to create their own boards". GitHub. Retrieved 2017-07-13. 
  16. ^ From Readme of the source code.
  17. ^ From Readme of the source code.
  18. ^ From Readme of the source code.
  19. ^ From Sequenzia Project Wiki page.
  20. ^ From Readme of the source.
  21. ^ 2chan.net Futaba Channel
  22. ^ Sean Michaels (2008-03-19). "Taking the Rick News guardian.co.uk Music". London: Music.guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-09-29. 
  23. ^ "Cyber foes find ways to silence hate-talk radio host". freep.com. Archived from the original on September 29, 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-28. 
  24. ^ "Lindsay Lohan causes massive DoS war". Vitalsecurity.org. 2006-01-09. Retrieved 2008-01-20. 
  25. ^ Bertiaux, Michaël (2006-01-09). "Ebaumsworld assiégé" (in French). Le Lézard. Retrieved 2008-01-19. 
  26. ^ George-Cosh, David (January 25, 2008). "Online group declares war on Scientology". National Post. Canwest Publishing Inc. Archived from the original on January 28, 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-25. 
  27. ^ Popkin, Helen A.S. (August 31, 2010). "Web video: Woman throws puppies in river, 4chan tracks her down". MSNBC Technology. MSNBC.com. Archived from the original on September 10, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-31. 
  28. ^ "Lolcats' demented captions create a new Web language", Tamara Ikenberg, The News Journal, 9 July 2007
  29. ^ Richards, Paul (2007-11-14). "Iz not cats everywhere? Online trend spreads across campus". The Daily Pennsylvanian. Archived from the original on 2007-11-17. Retrieved 2008-01-19. 
  30. ^ Steel, Sharon (2008-02-01). "The cuteness surge". The Phoenix. Archived from the original on 2008-02-13. Retrieved 2008-02-10. 
  31. ^ Howell O'Neill, Patrick (November 17, 2014). "8chan, the central hive of Gamergate, is also an active pedophile network". The Daily Dot. 
  32. ^ http://meshif.ru/inet/chto-takoe-2ch-i-pochemu-ego-zakryli/
  33. ^ https://lurkmore.to/%D0%93%D0%B5%D1%82%D1%8B_%D1%82%D0%B8%D1%80%D0%B5%D1%87%D0%B0
  34. ^ https://2ch.hk/b/arch/2017-03-31/res/150010363.html
  35. ^ 2ch.hk/b
  36. ^ a b Olson, Parmy. We Are Anonymous. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 
  37. ^ How imageboard culture shaped Gamergate
  38. ^ "Taimapedia - 420chan". Retrieved 28 March 2015. 
  39. ^ Hispachan's History (in Spanish)
  40. ^ "This Murder Has Exposed the Dark Side of Mexico’s Hacking Community" Vice News.
  41. ^ "Agresor en colegio de Monterrey pudo anunciar ataque en foro" Excelsior. (in Spanish)
  42. ^ Reißmann, Ole; Stöcker, Christian. We are Anonymous: Die Maske des Protests - Wer sie sind, was sie antreibt ... p. 22. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 
  43. ^ "Massacre in Winnenden: School Shooting Internet Post a Fake". Spiegel Online. March 13, 2009. 
  44. ^ Roth, Daniel. Zündstoff für den "Columbine-Effekt"? Die Berichterstattung über School Shootings in deutschen Print- und Online-Medien. p. 116. Retrieved 28 March 2015. 
  45. ^ "German police now question whether killer posted warning". CNN. March 12, 2009. 
  46. ^ Hess, Amanda. "Please Do Not Downvote Anyone Who's Asked for Help". Slate. 
  47. ^ Świderski, Bartosz. "Hejt na Filipa Chajzera to zorganizowana akcja Karachana. Sianie zamętu sprawia trollom największą przyjemność". NaTemat. 
  48. ^ Chmielecka, Julia. "Trolle i zlewy". Gazeta Wyborcza. 
  49. ^ "Koniec żartów z prezydenta Dudy. Policja przeszukała mieszkanie internauty. Prokuratura wszczęła śledztwo". wyborcza.pl. Retrieved 9 January 2017. 
  50. ^ "Hejt pod wpisem Filipa Chajzera o śmierci syna to zaplanowana akcja. 'Karaczan wkracza do akcji'. A to nie wszystko". plotek.pl (in Polish). Retrieved 9 January 2017. 
  51. ^ "Tak zaczęło się obrażanie zmarłego syna Chajzera: "To co, szkalujemy? ZIEJMY NIENAWIŚCIĄ!"". pudelek.pl (in Polish). 22 July 2015. Retrieved 9 January 2017. 
  52. ^ "Trolling level: master. To Karachan stoi za filmikiem "Mój sąsiad imigrant"". naTemat.pl. Retrieved 9 January 2017. 

External links