4chan, the infamous message board whose users once labelled it “the asshole of the Internet,” is nearly out of money and will have to take drastic action if it wants to survive, according to its new owner. Meanwhile, the notorious hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli has offered to help out.
The site, which hosts notoriously racist and sexist message boards, and which in the form of its /b/ board launched 1,000 unpleasant trolling campaigns, has long suffered money troubles, with users unwilling to subscribe and legitimate advertisers put off by unpalatable content. Its founder, Christopher “Moot” Poole, sold up in January 2015 to Hiroyuki Nisimura, the man who founded the board that inspired 4chan, Japan’s almost equally unpleasant 2Channel.
In a post on Sunday, entitled “Winter is Coming,” Nisimura wrote that he “had tried to keep 4chan as is. But I failed. I am sincerely sorry.” He added:
Some notice there are no more middle ads and bottom ads on 4chan.
Ads don’t work well. So we reduced advertisement servers cost.
4chan can’t afford infrastructure costs, network fee, servers cost, CDN and etc, now.
He went on to describe three options to cut costs, none of which is likely to impress the site’s fractious users. To stay afloat, the site apparently would need to halve traffic costs by closing some boards, limiting image sizes, and using slower servers; or have more pop-up or even “malicious” ads; or have more paying users.
However, an unlikely saviour has seemingly emerged. Shkreli—who erupted to notoriety of his own last …