Website 4Chan serves a very important function on the internet: The delightfully unmoderated message board is among the last bastions of Wild West lawlessness on the web. From that freedom springs the most vile and the most sublime ideas and art on the internet. Rick Rolling, LOLCats, and countless other internet memes got their start there. But over the weekend, internet provider AT&T seemed like it was not a fan of 4Chan at all.
Beginning Saturday, reports started rolling in that the ISP had blocked access to some parts of 4chan. As you might expect, the internetz responded with instant planning and mobilization, calling for a boycott, falsely reporting the death of the CEO of AT&T, creating youtube videos and otherwise virtually going to war and/or rioting... but the anger may be misplaced.
According to AT&T, the problems with accessing 4Chan wasn't its fault. Here's AT&T's statement:
Beginning Friday, an AT&T customer was impacted by a denial-of-service attack stemming from IP addresses connected to img.4chan.org. To prevent this attack from disrupting service for the impacted AT&T customer, and to prevent the attack from spreading to impact our other customers, AT&T temporarily blocked access to the IP addresses in question for our customers. This action was in no way related to the content at img.4chan.org; our focus was on protecting our customers from malicious traffic. Overnight Sunday, after we determined the denial-of-service threat no longer existed, AT&T removed the block on the IP addresses in question. We will continue to monitor for denial-of-service activity and any malicious traffic to protect our customers.
According to The AT&T war board:
AT&T has lifted their ban. All rioting/'war'/protests have been suspended for the time being.
So it all has a happy ending -- it looks like the internet got all hysterical over something it didn't fully understand and jumped into action without all the facts. How very internet of it.