After all the trolling, the hating, the hacking and the lulz-ing it must be hard for anyone to not know about 4chan. Yes, the same 4chan that allegedly gave birth to Anonymous (although I personally maintain that the image board is just a dumping ground for untargeted hate by the rest of the internet, and 4chan soaks it up becauseâ€¦ well because it’s 4chan and they largely do things for the lulz) and the same 4chan that is the creator of mostly every meme on the internet right now such as Lolcats and the Rage Comics.
However, 4chan is also full of extremely terrible images and pornography, making it unsuitable for children or those with a poor hearts or bowel movements. It is also an especially fertile breeding ground for those who wish to do unlawful things online. This is because it is very easy to be anonymous on 4chan. The image board does not store its images indefinitely on the servers and thus has no archive of all the discussions that go on there. Stuff that may (and allegedly has) caused a lot of harm in real life.
So Moot (the founder of 4chan whose real identity is Christopher Poole) decided to make a better image board system one that took all the good points of 4chan (relative anonymity, fast posting, instant remixing of content) and threw away the questionable points (not safe for work/lunch images, complete anonymity) and put in a few fun parts (stickers!) to create Canv.as.
Canv.as is a new community that compels you to participate actively right from day one. Activity is extremely high and lurking is not as much fun here. Even the act of likinga post or even sharing a post, per se demands some amount of activity on your part, as explained later. The jokes range from hilarious to vile to what-in-the-world-is-this-and-why-am-i-looking-at-it (although admittedly not as bad as 4chan). It is the bright artsy little sister to 4chan and she’s just getting warmed up with her creativity, jokes, memes and wants every sticker you have.
Stickers are the refined response to Facebook’s bland Likebutton, in my opinion. They are also the only way you can hide or flag a post. Canv.as’ stickers are round symbols of a small range of human expression viz. =D, D=, =O, LOL, ?, <3, #1, Cookie, and the inimitable gentleman with a handlebar wearing a monocle. These stickers are to be dragged and stuckinto posts which elicit the appropriate expression. As the community has expanded, a few thumb-rules for a few select stickers follow:-
If it has a cute girl or a cat in an appropriately cute pose give it a <3.
If it has a moustache and a monocle somewhere give it the appropriate monocle-moustache salute.
If it has #1 anywhere blindly give it a #1.
So, in summary, what is Canv.as beyond the image-board part?
Very good question, internet newbie. Unfortunately, it’s also a question that cannot be answered in a few words since, well it is an image-board and you know the old adage about pictures, right? There was no way we could classify 4chan and the other slew of image boards under the overarching banner of image boards(I know what I just did and I am hoping you will keep quiet about it before everyone gets to know. Hush!). Canv.as is a natural progression of the 4chan of yesterday as a meme factory.
One of the reasons for its label as a meme factorythat I easily applied is that it is extremely easy to change or add things to a picture on it. The remixbutton opens up a toned-down Photoshop on-site for you to play with, complete with layer importing. It is extremely simple to use and its always-available nature makes users want to change an image to their liking.
It is extremely dynamic (the memes there hardly stay for more than half a day), but is not completely original as yet, mostly because the /b/-tards (users of the 4chan random image board) feel like dumping the memes from 4chan back there on a day-to-day basis and also because many people prefer to have yesteryears’ memes have a short run for free karma.
So amidst the general son-i-am-disappoints and One does not simply QWOP/walk into Mordorgifs, there are also draw yourself, especially if you are a bad artistthreads, and threads that mostly constitute adding moustaches and monocles to every upper-lip and left eye one finds (respectively).
It is an endearingly interactive group much more interactive than 4chan could have ever been, and it allows you to maintain relative anonymity. What’s not to like?
So if you wish to participate in this new melting pot of pop-cultures, comment on this thread with a request for a Canv.as invite. We have plenty to give away!