AT&T Reportedly Blocks Wildly Popular And Deeply Offensive Website

UPDATE: AT&T has a statement. They said the temporary block was to stop DDos attacks from IP addresses associated with img.4chan.org. After the threat was over, they lifted the block.

You may find 4chan weird, chaotic, or offensive, but you can’t deny that the Internet wouldn’t be the same without it. There would be no cat macros. There would be no Rickrolling. There would be no Anonymous protests against the Church of Scientology. Did I mention the cat macros?

AT&T has decided to discover what a world without 4chan would be like. They’ve reportedly blocked it. Specifically, the forums /b/ and /r9k/.

[Editor's note: We won't be linking to these sources. If you want to be offended, you know where to find them.]

TechCrunch had the story early on:

4chan has been called many things, most of which aren’t particularly flattering. Some parts of the site are entirely unmoderated, leading to a wild-west, highly NSFW environment where irreverance, mischief, and lewdness thrive (I like to think of it as the Mos Eisley of the web). But that doesn’t mean the site isn’t extremely influential on web culture. Many of its exploits are famous, including taking over the Time 100 list, and it’s also where some of the Internet’s most famous memes got their start, including the Rick Roll and LOLcats. It’s also known as the main hub for Anonymous, a group that has held a very public campaign against Scientology.

In other words, AT&T has just opened perhaps the most vindictive, messy can of worms it could have possibly found. Blocking any site is an extreme breach of user trust, but the decision to block 4chan in particular just seems stupid. Expect the web equivalent of rioting if this doesn’t change soon.

So, how about that net neutrality?

AT&T Reportedly Blocks 4chan. This Is Going To Get Ugly. [TechCrunch]
Report: AT&T Blocking 4chan [Mashable]

RELATED:
FCC Chairman Says Comcast “Violated Our Principles” By Arbitrarily Blocking Internet Traffic