4chan vs. Reddit: Which One Should You Choose?

Close up reddit logo

Internet forums are a great platform to discuss with like-minded people about whatever you want. Discussions on these forums include everything from cooking to crypto trading and virtually anything else you can think of.

4chan and Reddit are two of the internet’s biggest and most popular forums. Their popularity is their expansive catalog of forums, which makes it a place for everyone regardless of their taste.

What Is 4chan?

4chan is an internet forum where anyone can post anything at any time. You don’t have to make an account or even have an internet alias.

Many funny memes and mainstream social media trends originate on 4chan before getting popular.

This makes the site anonymous, and users don’t have to be accountable for anything they post.

Because of the anonymity and lack of accountability, the site has a lot of explicit, unethical, and politically incorrect content posted on it.

How It Works

At the time of writing this article, 4chan has 63 boards, which are subforums for discussing something particular, such as cooking, literature, photography, etc.

Each board is dedicated to a topic and has its own rules, although they are not strict or imposed too harshly.

Any user can go on the site, select a board and post whatever they want. They can also reply to a thread or create an entirely new one.

More recent comments appear on the top as they are bumped up, and older ones sink to the bottom, where they eventually get taken off the site when there are enough new posts on the board.

As anarchist as the site may seem, it still has some rules that individuals have to follow. The site does not allow bots to post other individual’s personal information, impersonate the site’s admins, and copyright content.

Who Uses 4chan?

Screenshot homepage of 4chan

According to the site owner’s statistics, most 4chan users are college-graduated men interested in Japanese culture, and many are from English-speaking countries. This statistic is not entirely accurate since the site is built around anonymity.

What Is Reddit?

Reddit is a social platform where users engage in discussions on its subforums. It is the biggest forum on the internet and hosts more than 430 million active users monthly. The site has subforums on everything under the sun.

How It Works

Reddit comprises subreddits which are subforums for discussions particular to those niches. This is denoted by r/. so a subreddit where users discuss coffee machines is r/coffeemachines, and a subreddit where users post funny things would be r/funny.

After making an account on Reddit, you can join as many subreddits as you want, and the site even recommends a few to get you started. Once you have joined the subreddit, you can post start a thread on that subreddit by asking a question or writing something.

Other users can interact with the thread and either upvote or downvote it. The more upvotes your thread has, the more likely it is to be shown to others and get traction, and vice versa for downvotes. Users can also comment on your thread, and their comments act as subthreads that you can upvote or downvote.

After you post something, the moderators of that subreddit see if your post follows Reddit guidelines and that subreddit’s guidelines, so users don’t spam or start a thread irrelevant to the subreddit.

If your thread does not meet the subreddits guidelines, the moderator may remove it or even remove you from the subreddit. If something you post goes against Reddit guidelines, then Reddit can ban you.

Who Uses Reddit?

Screenshot subreddit

Given its expansive list of subreddits, Reddit is for anyone and everyone. There is a subreddit for every kind of opinion that you can form, and you can engage with like-minded people on that subreddit.

If you think there isn’t a subreddit for what you want, or if your niche is too narrow, then you can make your own subreddit with its own guidelines and be the moderator.

How Are They Different?

4chan is a platform with complete anarchy where anyone can post anything they want without regret or accountability. This is because you don’t have to make an account to post something or even pick a username.

It is free and has no entry barrier for anyone who wants to use it. This makes the site a breeding ground for hate speech, radical ideas, disturbing content, and pornography.

Most boards on the site are limited to 10 pages, which means everything on the site is eventually deleted when more posts roll in, meaning that you rarely see the same thing twice. This can take a few hours or days before the post.

A few days after your post, it even gets deleted from 4chans servers. This completely removes the accountability factor since nothing on the site can be traced or have a footprint.

The fact that everything gets deleted and there is no accountability also brings out the worst in people and attracts an audience that spews hatred and negativity in everything they post.

Reddit, compared to 4chan, is more moderated and regulated. The fact that users have to make an account on Reddit and have a username makes them more cautious about what they post or say on the site. The site bans users that post against its guidelines and posting standards which include hate speech, illegal content, etc.

Reddit also has way more discussion subforums than 4chan, which only has 63. The discussions on these subreddits are retained on Reddit’s servers and are not time sensitive like in the case of 4chan. This makes it easier for someone new to find an answer that may have been asked before.

This also makes people more accountable for what they post on the site and discourages negativity on the platform.

Conclusion

4chan is generally more chaotic and a free for all site with little to no accountability, moderation, or user signup required, which makes it an antithesis of every other social platform on the internet.

On the other hand, Reddit is more moderated, informative, and interactive, with fruitful discussions and opinions being civilly stated.