Controversial message board 4chan has run into financial troubles and may struggle to survive. Owner Hiroyuki Nishimura wrote in a post, titled “Winter is Coming,” that the forum faces closure unless new methods are introduced to help with spiraling costs.
4chan founder Christopher “moot” Poole sold the site to Nishimura - creator of Japanese anime forum 2channel - last year. "4chan can't afford infrastructure costs, network fee, servers cost, CDN and etc, now," Nishimura said. "We had tried to keep 4chan as is. But I failed. I am sincerely sorry."
The owner put forward three options that may save 4chan. The first is to half the amount of traffic to the site; this could be achieved by limiting the size of images that can be uploaded, closing some of the message boards, or slowing down the site itself. Another option would be to offer more features to 4chan pass users in the hope of selling more subscriptions. Finally, Nishimura suggests introducing “much more” ads, even malicious ones.
But it turns out that there may be another option. Professional internet hate figure and general scumbag Martin Shkreli has said he’s interested in buying the site. Shkreli, as you’ll probably remember, became one of the most despised people in the world last year when – as CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals - he smugly raised the price of a life-saving HIV drug by around 4000 percent overnight.
I'm open to joining the Board of Directors of 4Chan. @4chan— Martin Shkreli (@MartinShkreli) October 2, 2016
Whether anything comes of Shkreli’s interest remains to be seen; he does, after all, have a habit of making stuff up. But should he become the new owner of 4Chan, then it sounds like a match made in heaven. Or hell.
If Shkreli - who is currently out on bail following charges related to alleged securities fraud – finds he doesn’t have the funds to save 4chan, Nishimura could always turn to Minecraft creator Marcus "Notch" Persson. The billionaire said he would be interested in lending his support to the site. "Assuming it's not too expensive, and assuming I don't have to do any actual work myself, I'm in," he tweeted.