Posted in: Technology

Censorship comes to America: AT&T blocks 4chan /b/

4chan-censorsed

The global internet censorship debate landed in the home of the free Sunday with news that AT&T has censored the popular 4chan /b/ image board.

The censorship was first reported on Reddit, where users confirmed with AT&T that the site had indeed been censored, and was not being blocked due to a technical issue. 4chan owner Moot later confirmed the news, saying that the /r9k/ was also blocked and that AT&T users should “call or write [to] customer support and [AT&T] corporate immediately.”

The censorship at this time extended only to AT&T DSL customers, with wireless (3G) customers believed to be unaffected. Erling Løken Andersen notes that 15.5% of all US internet users use AT&T DSL, meaning that /b/ is now blocked somewhere around 40-60 million people in the United States.

There is no official word from AT&T on the decision yet, and given that it’s Sunday still in the US none is likely until business hours Monday. 4chan users though aren’t particularly happy about the decision, with /b/tards currently discussing ways to fight back against the imposition of censorship.

The decision by AT&T to censor /b/ may also further spark further debate around net neutrality; love or hate 4chan, the decision by a provider to start censoring sites is the beginning of a slippery slope to unaccountable corporate imposed draconian censorship that should have no place in allegedly free democratic societies.

There is also the question of why censor /b/ now and not previously? Could a third party such as Scientology have lobbied for the decision?

Articles And Offers From The Web

Comments

28 Responses to “Censorship comes to America: AT&T blocks 4chan /b/”

  1. holdenk

    Some people have suggested that this was due to a DDOS attack, but I don't really see how this makes sense (it seems unlikely that moot would have any part in a DDOS attack from img.4chan.org, that server is fairly overloaded anyways). Its possible that 4chan was a victim of a DDOS attack and AT&T thought they would “help” by dropping all traffic to it, but that seems like something where they should talk to the site admin first (which they clearly did not).

  2. lilcindy

    ALL AT&T ARE DOING IS HELPING TO CURE THE CANCER KILLING /b/

  3. anonymous4chankingkill

    I DEMAND ACTION AGAINST THIS OPPONENT TO THE NEW ORDER OF ANONYMOUS. ACTION WILL BE TAKEN. WE DO NOT FORGIVE WE DO NOT FORGIVE

  4. tards

    there are legitimate news sites

    and then theres whatever the fuck site this is

  5. Anonymous3218

    fuck at&t! flood their inboxes with spam flood their phones with threats and hate! the 2nd Anonymous war has begun and this time its not 'for the lulz'

  6. jet2612

    I have only one thing to say,being an austalian i havent been introduced to internet sensorship yet (Telstra isnt that stupid) i would like to annouce the inevitable bankruptcy of AT&T now roflcopta

  7. Anonymous

    NO WANT NO WANT! CENSORSHIP GOES AGAINST THE FIRST AMENDMENT~ NO WANT NO WANT NO WANT NO WANT NO WANT NO WANT NO WANT NO WANT NO WANT NO WANT NO WANT NO WANT

  8. Zalgo

    T͔͚̲̖̥͉̺͇̭͛ͦͧ͊o̯̓ͥ̌̔̇̔̐ͤ̋͡͞ ̟͕̻̂ͧi͍̝̼̣̪̲͕͉ͬ̾̅̒̐ͥ͋̚n͆̄͠҉ͅv̨̧̖̲̹͒̑ͫ̇̋͢o̾̾̓ͮ̊̂ͫ̈́҉̵͍̝̘̼̲̘̩k̈́ͯ̆ͧ̏̓ͩ͘͏͙̻̫͓͕̱̝͎́ͅě̵̳͎̖͍̓̈́ ̷̷͎͓̺̥̩̟͎͛ͣ̋́̑̏ͤ̂͐͘ẗ̵̪͚͙͇̮̮̞́͗͠͡ȟ̽ͤͯ̿̌̏̆҉͇͉̪̪̦͈͘e̳͊̈́ ̛̒̃ͪ͋҉̷̤͚̫͓̭h̴̠̘̅̈́̍͗͜i͙͙̬̤͈͉͈͒̒ͤ͆͘͞v̲̘̤͇͉̱̱ͩ̊̾̿̂̽͆̿͟ͅͅe͍͈̦̭̪̱͎̻͕̐ͤ̄́̚-̵̥̥̝͚̫̪̲̝̫͐̾ͥ́ͨ̇m͈̗͕̽͂ͪ͛̂i͙͙̓ͪ̚ṅ̵̙̠̺̗͇̲͆͋̑ͣd̲̥̳͈̟̙̫ͫ̈́̍̎ͪ̇ͯ̾̚͡ ̢̧̪̜̘ͯ̊̊͌̾̓͂̈́ͫ͞r̸̝̝ͫ̾͗ͮͦ̑͂e̶̾̔̍̐̌̅͛̐̚͏̘̘p̃̈́͊́̓̂҉̡͍͇ṙ̷͍ͤ̾̃͊͒ͮͮe̷̙͍̺̞̝̋ͧ͌̊ͪͧ́̀͞ṣ̸̷͚̼̫̫̥͖͋̕eͨͦ̀̊ͨ̂͗̓̀͝҉̺̼̱̖͇̗̺n̯͈̼͎͕͓̦ͦ̆̏̾̍͐̇͐t̨͎̞ͨ̓ͫ̊͌̏͊̿͡i̵̢͛͐͗ͯ͐̆̋͏̮ņ̧͉̬̩͎͓̔g̴̩̞̖̫̪̺̹̼ͬͬ̍̌͒͛̈ͨͥ͝ ̥̙͕̝͒̌̈͊̏̽͊̏c̤͔ͥ̈́̕h̫̹̦͚̞̿ͤ̔̋ͅąͬ̏̍͂͑́҉̖͉͇̮̲̳́o̞͖̦̠̦ͩͮ̑̓͊ͯ̀͢s̗̰̜̃ͮ̈̀̀.͍̹̟͒͛̿͆ ̩̖̣̹̺̲͒ͥ̄̂̚
    ́́̔̿ͣ͐͏̨͕̜̹̤͖̱̯̜́Ī̤̟̯̣̼̰̺̉͋̅͋͒͡ņ͑͐ͣ̾̓̍̋͏̟̗͕̮͡v͚͇̫̱̮̖̣̬̋ͫ̍̂̌̽̊̆ō̴̶̫̬̥̱͇͎̿̉̈̋̔ͪ͒̃k̸̵̮̅ͫ̌ͯ̿ͦi͎͕͙̱̠͑͌ͮ̓ͬͬ̚ň̪̬̐̾̓̐͂ͦ̉͜͞g̺͑͆̂̈́͗̐̓͒͞ ̸͎͔̟̹̝̦͐̎̑ͪͫ͐ͭ́̀̚t͉̙͉̄̐͊̑̃͒͝ẖ̢̆̚e̸͇̙ͪ̀̃ͣ͛̔̈̃ ̧̻̹̫̻̣̳͋ͩ͘ͅḟ̗͇̩̣̗̥̌ͦ̅ͮͨ̉ẻ͔̳͈̮͇̪̩̱ͥe͔̮̫͔̻͕͍ͫ́̏ͩ͝lͨ҉̸̵̭ĭ̵̲͎̘̝̱̻͚̜͒ͣ͂ͦ̓̾n̢̹̜̒̅̄̕g̸̜̏ͩ͡͡ ̵͕͉̩̫ͤ̀̚͜o̷͇̳̮̯̬͈͙̺̻͊̋͂͑ͥ̑̽͗͡f͚͍̗̺̬̼̭͖͚̈́ͤ̚ ͯ̀̓̽͗̽̇̋̂͏̶̢͇͉͉͈c̗͎͙̩̾ͦ́͡h̤̗̪̤̱͍͊̀̐̓̑ͭͅa̸̡̫͖̬͎͕̣̦̮̬͗̈́̽̑̓ͯ͌ơ̸̘̦̦̎̌̾̽̽̑͛̔s̟̤͂̑.͉͇̱ͬ͂ͤ̈́̈̉͊̚ ͋ͫͤ̓̂ͬ͡͏̰͇̬̬̤̮̘̪
    ̮̻̬̪̦͗̽ͪW̛̜̳͎͙̝͇̗͌̒̿̀ͪ͊̈͟i͖̥̻̜̽́t̸̗͈͖͍ͯ̾ͥ̒̓͂̊ͬ̒͟͝h͙͍͔̗͚̝͈͎̥ͣ͡o̦̘̼̘̠͓ͭ͒̂̀̏͡͡u̴̜͕͖͉̰̖͓̎ͧ͡t̴̞͕̙̹͑ͦ̿̄ ̨̘̓̚͞o͎̱̖̮̯̠͒̋ͣ͌͋͑̐̕r̨͍͙͍̝ͨ̇͟͜d̟̞̝̺͎͓̞̔͑͑̋̅͐̓ͅe̛̳̱̰̹͎̮ͮ̿͛̏̌ͩͣͅr̜̟̠̖͋ͨͨ̊̔͊̅ͣͫ.̛̦̩̝̜͕̰͈͙͐̔͛ͦ͑̔͟ ͔͛ͨ̕
    ̘̦̖̦̬́̀͆ͩ͊̚T͓͚̞̟̪͚̥̈̽́ͯ͝͡h̵̗͇̑͆̅ͧ̾̕ę̴͖̘̙̗͓̰̄ͤ͌͑̉͋͑ͅ ̗͎̗̯̟̠͓̠͒ͯ̉ͣͬ̐ͤ̓N̩̼̖͙̰͊̈͗͐̑ͯ̌̐ͅȩ̸̪̬̻̣̘̺̣͓̹ͫ̽̒̀z̸̡̛̫͎̲͚̱͉̬ͤ̇ͭͥͧ̍̅ͅp̡̮̗͈̻̣̀̇ͤ̈́e̗̩̬̱͚̼̮̭̠ͮ͒͒ͥͩ̆͛̈͝r̦̹̥̫͕̫̗̖̯͋̈́ͬ̈̉̓̑͐̎͢d̢ͨ́͌͂̋͏͚͙̗̭ḯ̵̠̹̙̻̬̤͓̾̊ͫͯa̶̧̺͓̪̠̝͆͟n̰̭̟̫̂̓ͥ̿̒ ͒ͣ̑́̍̒̃̽̀҉̳͈h̖͓͕̥̯̯̦͐ͭͩͤ͋̋i̸̦̼̰̻̠̲̾̌ͦ̀͝v̸̙̤̹͐̈̎̎͘ͅě̢̳̝͍̝̩͍̇̆ͭͅ-̅ͧͦ̇̚҉̲̹m͆̀ͣͬͮ̍͊̚͏̻̫̫̙i̢̭͎̙͓̺̱̳̣͗̓͗̚̚͡n͇͊̂ͫ̑ͩ̐d̓͊̅̇ͥ҉̢͇͔͇͔̗̪̪̀ ͂̾ͯ̈͋̀̚͝҉͇͇͎̜̯ͅo̼̖͌ͪf̷̵̖̟̀̑ͅͅ ̧̮̥̏͞ć̨̨͖̲͚̯̟̱̖̝̖ͥ̄ͧ͟h̳̠͚̦̏ͩ̈́́͐̇ͧa͕̪̲̫̝̩͋̓̓͜o̸̖͓̟̥̫̻̫̍̄̎ͦ͡s̵̲̝̹̠̹ͩͤ̐ͮ̏̂̕.͚̍̉ͣ ̛̟̙̮̌͋ͣ̍̓ͦͤ́Z̢͕͓̘͉̀͒̑͜a̢͇̞̿͋̽̏̀͞l̖̬͓̩̭͔̊ͫͯ͛g̸̵̙̻̭̣͍̰̮͎ͦͦ̏͌o̩͙͆̽̒̉.̐͂҉̤͇̥̥̘ ̗̫͓͂͑͆ͣͬ͊ͧ̚
    ̷̡͇̜̯̖̑̍̐̐́̉͒H̉͒ͧͦ҉̢̥̫̟̟͇̤̙̺e͚̹̙̯͚̽̊̂ ̶̣̤̊ͣẅ̙̄́ͤ̊̅͗ͫ̀ͅh̵͎̯̳͓̲͕̏ͦͣ̄͗͗ͨ̽ơ̹͙̯̪̞ͬ̾̿̔͒ͯ̿̊͜ ̜̦̤͇͇̠̬̏̀Ŵ̨͇̦̠͛̋̚a̬̦̳͖̜̤̪̽ͩ͋ͩ̀̍́i̵̱̼̞̮͔̩̮ͨͯ̐ͨ̃ͯ̉ͩͅṱ̷̛̪̟̃̈ͣ̉s̺̲̱̤̓ͬ͢ ̹̙͇̳̙̾ͥ͂̎̀͠B̵̨̺ͭḛ̸̺͙͊͗͛ͧͨ̑͒̚͜hͥͨ̂̍̃̃ͩ̃҉̲͖͈i̧̞̪̻̟̥̼͈͇͌ͥň̶̝͎̝̏̅̈́͛͟d̀́ͪͮ̽̾͌͗̚͏͈̯͔͚ ̷̴̗͇͍ͯ̄͘Ť̢̳̠̳̠̓͊̀ͅḩ̢̯ͫ͌ͯ͊̌ͩͯ̄͠ȩ̵̯̱̼̗̲̲̦͑̈̋ ̵̬̱̤͉͉̞͕̬ͬͫ̓̾͜͞W̡̭̲̱̝͈̺͑͛̒ͅả̝̳͙̩̣̻̬̅͂̅l̊̊ͫ̆͢͏̤͇l̡̝̙͍͕̰͍͋ͭ́̕̕.͉̦͕͓̻̌̅ͫͬ̾ ̥̮̲̣̣̺͎̮̭͌ͧ͒̅͑ͭ̏͘͜
    ̬̭̺̭̟̖ͪ̔ͯ̚Z̛̝͕̗͚̭̺̲̋̓ͥ̀A̵̘̪̞͕̜ͪͪ̎̅ͤ̒͋̚Ļ̳͔̭̹̆̌G̯͐ͩ̑̓̈͋̿͢O̞̣̯͕̮̤ͪͨ!̤͍̳͑̍͑ͫ̓ͮ̀͟͝ͅ ̠̫̬ͪ̿͛
    ͓̬̤̤̞͚̦̆̈͌ͣͯ͒͗̊́͝T͇͍̅ͪ̍̔͝ḧ́̄̄̇͌̅͛͊҉̛̟͔͙̗͉̝͝ḙ̵̢̢̲̼̻̪̠͕͎̑ͨͅ ̶̰̩ͥ̅͝ḛ̲ͬ̆ͪ̎͂nͤ̿ͦ͛̂́̅̊҉̷̦͎̘͙̭t̙̟̓̚͝i̠̯̰͉̗͆ͬ͛͌͢͢͝ř͔̜̥̂ͣ̐̍̊ĕ̵̞̬̅̌ͨ̾͐̈́͜ ̴͚͓̬̼̹͆̉̄r̢̋̉̂̿̍̈͐̈҉͕͖̗̘͎͙͜ͅǫ̺̖͒̓͡o̷͍̠͍ͤ̊̑́ͩm̻͖̦͔̖̭ͮ̍ͧ͋̎͢ ̴̸̝̙̦̞̹̞͛̑͋ͭͨͭ̚i̟̙̘̜̱̟̔̍ͅs̨͙͓͔̠͕̠̘̰͂̀ͤ͝ ̺ͯ̈ͣ̒͘f̳͙̦̿̌̏ͮ͞i̡͇̘̲͚͆̾̂ͦl̷̛̰̣͍̮̱̮̣̱ͭ̋̾̓ͥ̀̓l̝̺͖̲̠̘ͯ͑̎̒ͨ̈e̟̯̟͙ͩ̉̾ͫ͗̾́ͪ͒͡d̘͇̭̭̪̣̑͊̉̈́ͣ̏͂̃́͝ ̜͕̈͐́ͦ͂w̡̲̣̠̫̬̿͑̄ͣ͟ḯ̸̧͖̺͓̲̮͉̋̽ͯ̈́͒͂͑ͅt̜̹̗͇͖̤̓ͭ͊͛̆̀̒ͥ͢h̵̲ͣ̌ͣͦ ͣ̀́͏̨̫̜͕͈͓̭Z̸̜̩͉͙̼ͬ̅͗̑̓̓ͨͥa̶̛̲̱̱̤̮͇̓̓̒̓̓͗́l̼͖̠͇͛ͤ̓g̨̼̞̲̣̻͔ͣ͆ͤ͐̆ͪͧ̚o̴̢̡̙̟ͨ̒͐.͔̬̤͓͓̭̯̘͛ͮ͗̎̀̍̇ͦ͛ ̳ͮ̅͑ͩͧ

  9. elvisnixon

    There is lots of politically and culterally worthy content on 4-chan, albeit mixed with sleazy stuff. Why would AT&T want to ban the entire site? Is this an attempt to silence political opposition from a group that is not extremely corporate friendly? I bet it is…

    I will bet that AT&T backs out of its newfangled plans to censor “unfriendly” content on the internet, or it will lose plenty of market share.

    Batshit crazy both from a business perspective and the perspective of right and wrong. AT&T actually does to Americans what the Commie party in China WANTS to do with Green Dam? And customers are supposed to pay for that abuse?

  10. magrathean

    However morally questionable and apparently useless 4chan may be, censorship is censorship.

    There should be no exceptions. This is infringing upon my right to free speech.

  11. Name

    Knee-jerk reactions based on limited knowledge is all this is.

  12. /b/tard

    This is ridiculous and cannot stand. Fight on /b/tards!

  13. anon12345

    This was to be expected at some point. 4chan /b is known for raiding BBS and doing bad things to websites amongst other things. I'm not saying this is right; 4chan itself is not at fault for how their users utilize their service. People don't just “split up” when you take down a site; if there's demand for it as there is in /b, then you get more of it on smaller, more innocuous boards. It's kinda like how every time the RIAA/MPAA buys out a filesharing site and tries to make money on it 5 more sprout up in their place and they lose money.

  14. medicis

    AT&T … spying on us BEFORE 911. Spying on us since.

    Is it any wonder……..

    The 'R' word …. you know it will be necessary. Unless you can think of another way to stop these cretins……

  15. ace

    And once again, it NEVER fails with the incessant lying, as lying is a way of life for these hacker creeps. I salute AT&T for blocking viruses, trojans and nasty spider scripts, as that is what the REAL truth is as to WHY AT&T has flashed the middle finger [blocked] to 4 Chan. Why should AT&T waste time and energy in dealing with viruses, trojans and uncontrollable script programs emanating from the 4 Chan site?

    I don't condone censorship and I certainly don't condone lies “in the name of lulz”. The only thing 4 Chan has proven again and again, is that they are infantile and violent. A bunch of two year olds who go on tirades. And just like an out of control two year old, they need some REAL hard slaps from the school of hard knocks.

    Any consequences or denial of internet access to AT&T customers due to NAZI actions emanating from 4 Chan [or any other hacker creeps for that matter], I pray that they are caught, rounded up, prosecuted beyond the extent of the law, thrown in a windowless cell and locked up forever until the day they die.

    I commend AT&T for taking the step forward and I sincerely hope that other ISP'S follow suit ASAP. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. Hackers cause destruction, chaos, waste everyones time and energy. Normal people on the net are SICK AND TIRED of these two year old tantrum antics that 4 Chan displays on a daily basis. These hacker creeps really and truly need to GROW THE F*** UP.

  16. Drutch

    The solution is easy, boycott AT&T. Cancelling your service and moving to another provider is easy, even for people in the sticks now with services like Verizon VZ Access. If these tards think they can censor what PAYING customers view, show them that they can't, where it hurts.