When you think of 4chan, you probably think of a festering cesspool filled with images of blue waffles and racial epithets, but that’s not the only thing you’ll find on the forum at the end of the Internet. The posters on 4chan, specifically in /b/, the page’s random image board, also have an odd sense of justice, especially when an underdog is involved. The good things 4chan has collectively accomplished may not outweigh all the bad, but it shows that the users have souls and that they don’t want to see the world turn into a flaming wasteland of animal cruelty and hate (seriously, do not f*ck with animals or 4chan will hunt you down).
The best things 4chan has done range from forcing the mainstream media to recognize rape victims and those who would shield their abusers, to catching monsters who filmed themselves abusing animals. Time and time again users of the 4chan message board have come to the aid of people and animals in need when no one else will acknowledge their plight. So don't judge a book by it's cover! They might judge you for not knowing how to triforce, but many 4chan users are not the basement-dwelling pedos you might take them for.
4Chan Catches a Cat Hurler
In 2014, the cat people of 4chan (not those cat people) saw a video of a man name Farid from Marseille, France, hurling an orange cat more than 20 feet into the side of a building, and a second video showing Farid tossing what looks like the same cat more than 50 feet in the air. To retaliate against this monster, the folks on /b/ tracked down Farid's full name and phone number, contacted French police, and sat back as the cinq-zéro took it from there.
They Threw a Birthday Party for a Sad Old Man
Lonely old people bum everyone out, even the worshippers of chaos over on 4chan. In 2010, 4chan found out about a lonely, 90-year-old WWII veteran William J. Lashua, and decided to throw him a birthday party. A woman at Mr. Lashua's arm of the American Legion noted that she’d received almost 100 calls from people as far away as Switzerland, Japan and Sweden, and that she planned to put together a collage of all the places that had sent in birthday wishes. Whether they did it for the lulz or not, 4chan certainly made this old man's day.
The Bosnian Puppy Killer Who Was Brought to Justice
When a Bosnian girl filmed herself throwing puppies in a river in 2010, she should have known that it was only a matter of time before someone on /b/ would figure out who she was and bring her to justice. After the 44 second video began circulating, 4chan and animal rights groups banded together to bring the girl to justice, and eventually the Bugojno police tracked her down. Under Bosnian law a person who kills or tortures animals is punishable only with fines ranging from €15 to €5000, but if 4chan had their way, this person probably would have gotten the death penalty.
4chan Goes to War with a Darknet Child Porn Ring
It's nice to know that despite the differences of everyone on the Internet, the one thing we can all agree on is the fact that dark net child porn rings should be burned to the ground, salted, and then burned again. In 2011, a group of Anonymous members from 4chan began Operation Darknet, an anti-child-pornography effort aimed at thwarting child pornographers operating on the Tor network. The attack managed to take down Freedom Hosting, which eliminated at least 40 major child pornography sites.
4chan V. Scientology
After the Church of Scientology filed a copyright claim against Anonymous (a group that stemmed from 4chan) over a video of Tom Cruise claiming that Scientologists are the only experts on the mind in 2008, the members of Anonymous went full crazybones on the organization. What started with website defacing and DDoS attacks escalated into fax spamming and a proclamation being released from Anon stating: "With the leakage of your latest propaganda video into mainstream circulation, the extent of your malign influence over those who have come to trust you as leaders has been made clear to us. Anonymous has therefore decided that your organization should be destroyed, for the good of your followers, for the good of mankind, and for our own enjoyment."
4chan then started the website Project Chanology, where videos and messages about the whereabouts, and comings and goings of various members of the organization were made public. They even made a massive push to educate people about Scientology's tax exempt status, with varying results.
4chan Doxxes the Steubenville Rape Crew
You may remember that in 2012 a girl attending high school in Steubenville, Ohio was raped by a bunch of football players who filmed the attack and posted photos of the blacked out teenage girl on social media. Two of her attackers were charged, but there was a cabal of football parents who were also in on the rape and kept quiet about it. Enter KnightSec, an offshoot of Anonymous, which is itself an offshoot of 4chan.
Members of KnightSec wasted no time in doxxing everyone involved in the case. One of the 4chan members was later indicted under the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, but regardless of that fact, they were able to put more eyes on a horrendous rape case and for that they should be thanked.
They Tracked Down the Girls Who Killed an Endangered Tortoise
What's up with all these chumps that like to abuse animals? It's almost as if they've never contemplated whether karma exists. In 2014, two teenage girls from Florida filmed themselves setting a gopher tortoise on fire, slamming it against a wall, and stomping it to death. After the girls posted the videos online, members of /b/ tracked the girls down and began emailing local media outlets, as well as Ridgeview High School, detailing the girls' actions and their supposed identities.
Both girls were arrested on felony charges of cruelty to animals, but one girl was deemed not mentally competent to go on trial.
There are some things happening in the world that are even too big for a massive group of online folks to solve, like global terrorism. But that doesn't mean that a group like 4chan can't go to war with ISIS, have a little fun, and make the world a smidge brighter. In 2015 4chan began crying “ALLAHU QUACKBAR” while posting pictures of jihadists with their faces replaced with rubber duck heads. ISIS never formally responded, but with as much time as those guys spend online they definitely saw it and maybe even had a panic aquack.