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The Weird, Dark History of 8Chan


Daniel Stolle for WIRED

August 6 -- WIRED


FREDRICK BRENNAN IS a vivid dreamer, and toward the end of his time running the notorious website 8chan, one sequence would play out in his mind night after night as he slept.


BRENNAN, WHEELCHAIR-BOUND FROM a genetic disorder, dreamed that he was being hauled away by police and locked behind bars while dressed in an orange jumpsuit. “In my waking life, I could rationalize that that would never hap­pen,” he says. But at night, in his dreams, denying the risks of operating the site he built and obsessively defended for years through a combination of slippery deflections, free-speech absolutism, and personal attacks was “getting harder and harder.”


Brennan, 25, is telling me about the days he spent running 8chan while living in a small studio apartment some 20 stories above the sprawl of Manila, far from New York where he began building the site as he came down from a psyche­delic mushroom trip in 2013.


Brennan was born with osteogenesis imperfecta, more commonly referred to as brittle bone disease. His arms and legs are severely bowed from the condition, which, he says, also afflicts his mother and younger brother. He has, by his own tally, suffered dozens of broken bones over his life.


Full story here.