- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: The Overlook Press; 1 edition (September 1, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781590207109
- ISBN-13: 978-1590207109
- ASIN: 1590207106
- Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1.1 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,881,150 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Epic Win for Anonymous: How 4chan's Army Conquered the Web 1st Edition
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"Other than a portrait of the headline- grabbing hacktivist group (who are planning to take down Facebook this November), Stryker also gives a frank assessment of 4chan founder Chris 'Moot' Poole who's now preoccupied with his new meme factory Canvas." — New York Tech Blog
"A primer on why the Internet works the way it does today, thanks in large part to 4chan. That includes, but isn't limited to, the emergence of Anonymous." — Salon.com
"Sharp, witty, and well-researched" — The Rumpus
"One of the few accounts--along with Julian Dibbell's work--of 4chan by someone who gets it. ... It's pretty good for amateur cultural history, and it illustrates the centrality of the lulz to the internet. So if you find yourself confused by the activities of 4chan, or, if you're frustrated by the mainstream media's utter failure to comprehend Anonymous, then Stryker's book provides a good primer. And, like 4chan itself, the book is a good reminder of how culture on the internet actually works, as opposed to the way various marketers and social media moguls keep telling us it does." — MetaViews.ca
"Author Cole Stryker has risked online life and limb to explore /b/ and plumb the depths of 4Chan in his new book Epic Win For Anonymous: How 4Chan's Army Conquered the Web. Though the book focuses on the history of Internet culture and the rise of online memes much more than the recent ascension of politically active hacker groups, Stryker succeeds in providing a coherent, comprehensible introduction to Internet creativity" — ArtInfo.com
"A recommended pick for computer and social issues holdings alike." — Midwest Book Review
About the Author
Cole Stryker is a freelance writer and media consultant based in New York City. He is the author of Epic Win for Anonymous, the first book to tell the story of the genesis of the Internet-based protest groups and creative memes currently changing our world. Stryker has been interviewed about his writing by The New York Times, Reuters, New York Observer, Salon, and The Rumpus.
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Top customer reviews
If you are looking for a history of Internet memes and 4chan culture, you might enjoy this book. If you are looking for a more in-depth discussion of Anonymous, this book is not an epic win.
At the same time, the book covers much more than just 4chan. 4chan is a useful case study, but the themes discussed in this book are applicable to the greater phenomenon of internet culture. The author discusses many of the other sites where this type of cultural sharing is occurring, putting the actions of Anonymous into the context of internet activism as a whole.
If you're still wondering what 4chan is, the chapter "4chan in a day" is the best introduction to it that I have ever seen. Instead of trying to describe 4chan (the fact that it is almost impossible to describe it is a big part of what makes 4chan awesome), he lets it speak for itself, conveying actual content from "just another day on 4chan." This chapter has come in handy several times already when friends and relatives have asked what 4chan is.
I think this book is perfect for people who have been part of "the internet" for years, but it's also perfectly accessible to those who are just starting to notice things "from the internet", or news reports about "Anonymous", and want to learn what it means and where it is coming from. If you are part of the latter group, after reading this book you'll find yourself being able to join in with everyone else who is ROFL-ing every time they see a news report about 4chan and Anonymous.
Then we get a potted history of the boards, from 2chan a Japanese anime board which inspired 15 year old Christopher Poole, calling himself moot, to start his own board called 4chan because he didn't speak Japanese. He invited everyone to join in and there would be no rules. Later he started an art site called Canvas.
We are told that many memes, cultural gimmicks, get started on 4chan as bright or bored people kid around with images and captions in spare time. Here the author makes the mistake of thinking that everyone uses the social media he does. Reddit, Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, whatever, no, I don't use any of them. So much of what he was saying, however nicely explained, was wasted on me. He makes one brief reference to AOL boards in the early days, detailing that those days were slow and expensive due to dial-up modems at home, pay subscription and pay for time. I used CompuServe from mid-nineties and there is no mention. We had similarly separate chat boards with mods.
We get a mention that women are sometimes insulted or instructed to show images of themselves stripping on 4chan. If they do more fool them. This is a laddish chattery abuse-slinging culture. More recently than publication, a young woman was doxxed after stripping with, as requested, a bottle of her medication, all the lads needed to find out who she was. Her images were sent to her family and friends. Some /b/tards had spoken against doing this, but with no consequences to the doers, they proceeded.
At the end we get a look at how some members working together formed Anonymous and carried out DDoS attacks, mixed with other attacks, on Scientology and other groups they disliked. They managed to hack into a major security company. To read what I consider a better look at this hacking see 'This Machine Kills Secrets: How WikiLeakers, Hacktivists, and Cypherpunks Are Freeing the World's Information' by Andy Greenberg. However Greenberg, another journalist, did not appear to have been able to get anyone in Anonymous to talk to him whereas Stryker being already on 4chan got quotes from members of both. Neither man tells us that some women took part in the protests against Scientology.
Pages 286 - 304 contain references and an index. I counted 16 names which I could be sure were female.
This is an unbiased review.
Postscript: I review this book on 5th July, and on 6th July I get a phishing e-mail allegedly from Blockchain saying in the headline that my access to a Bitcoin purse has been blocked.