Research Seminar Series: Fear, Loathing, and Redemption on 4chan’s Advice Board

The penultimate research seminar of the term is presented by Dr Marcus Maloney, Lecturer in Sociology and Research Associate, Centre for Postdigital Cultures

Two male protestors from the attempted coup in January. The one in the centre is shirtless, showing tribal and nordic influenced tattoos. He is carrying a spear (with an American flag tied to it) and a megaphone. He has the US flag painted on his face, and is wearing an animal fur hat with horns. The other man is also carrying a flag, and has a beard. He is wearing a hoodied and a "trump" hat. They are both standing in a hall in the US Senate building.
image: a protestor in the US senate

Marcus writes: “In this paper, I will report on a computational-qualitative study of 4chan’s /adv/ board, a space in which the platform’s predominately white-hetero-male user base seek advice on life matters from others in their community. To give some context, 4chan has long been of interest to researchers as both ‘a source of subcultural innovation on broader mainstream Web culture’ and breeding ground for a grievance-driven ‘right wing digital populism’. Widely seen to underpin the latter is ‘a link between fragile [white hetero] masculinity and aggressive political stances’ – though this link remains largely speculative/theoretical. As a 4chan board that exhibits both the problematic hallmarks of broader 4chan culture, and a surprising openness to expressions of masculine vulnerability, /adv/ is a useful space for exploring the proposed link between reactionary masculine cultures and the fragilities seen to drive them.”

Watch Marcus’ paper here.