GOOGLE SET TO PURCHASE 4CHAN
September 30 2008
Mountain View, CA – Google Inc. has entered into talks to purchase controversial website 4chan. The deal is designed to bring the massive user base of the imageboard and the internet meme machine of /b/ into the Google family in an attempt to broaden the search giants grip on the entire internet.
4chan, which has been birthplace of such ubiquitous phenomenons such as lolcats and rickrolling, boasts a massive user ship but has never been able to break through to mainstream audiences unlike the memes it has spawned. This is largely to do with the very much NSFW content presented on the boards, which provides Google with a sticky situation.
“Obviously we would Google-ize the site. Get rid of the questionable content, throw up some ads, that kind of stuff,” continued Schmidt. “We no doubt will risk alienating some of the users but the majority of them will stay. The amount of private information users drop on those boards combined with the sheer amount of people on the boards makes it a perfect opportunity for us to build up our databases and create new directed marketing. We think the majority of users will appreciate the shift, and if they don’t, well that’s the way it’s got to be. We’re not going to chase everyone down.”
The founder of 4chan, moot, could not be reached for comment. Many web analysts are seeing this as a natural progression into the mainstream for the site, something moot mentioned in a July interview with Time Magazine, stating that he wouldn’t be above taking a payout from Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.
“Eventually the big companies are going to swallow up everything on the web, and Google is one of the biggest. 4chan has been on a collision course with mainstream acceptance for well over a year now and it’s only natural that something like this has happened,” said Scrape TV business analyst Ken Green. “I shudder to think what kind of exodus the site will see, but it’s likely they will eliminate the more controversial boards and replace them with something more Google friendly. Do they have a g board? I’m sure that will be the big change. Integrating Google docs, Gmail, search, I’m sure all those things are on the drawing board right now. This could change the web as we know it, or it could do nothing but further erode net neutrality. Either way, things are about to change.”
Despite the obstacles, Google seems determined to make the purchase a successful one.
“Look, we’ve bought a lot of things that really haven’t gone anywhere, but this is different,” concluded Schmidt. “Mudkips, rickrolling, Caturday, we own them all now and the more we own the better off we are.”
There were no financial details released.
William Ashford, Business Correspondent