Insightful, inspirational… and also a clear reminder about the power of technology and communities, both online and in your own smaller (closer) networks, like family:
“I literally wanted a new version of Nazi Germany to take over and to kill me and everyone like me. That’s how angry I was,” he says.
He spent hours thinking of ways to tell his dad how much he hated him. “I put most of the blame on him. And it’s hard to recover from that, you know.
It’s hard to recover from saying those type of things to your father. And I could tell it upset him, but as a teenager I really didn’t care.”
If Brennan hadn’t created 8chan, the same culture would have developed elsewhere, he insists. “It’s not the technology that causes what happens, it’s really the hearts of the people who are using it,” he says.
“If 4chan ceased existing, they would go to another site. If 8chan ceased existing they would go to another site. And the same patterns would repeat over and over.”
In essence, Brennan had created one of the most dangerous sites on the internet – a place with a structure that made it a perfect petri-dish for violent misogyny and all kinds of hateful ideologies to germinate and spread – but he had done so entirely by accident.
Hmm. So much of what exists on the internet is an accident, which mirrors a lot of life.