What is unique about this website is its scale and management style. It has more than 600 active boards (Japanese ita) such as "Social News", "Computers", and "Cooking", making it the most comprehensive forum in Japan. Each board usually has thousands of specific threads, such as "Coming election in Tokyo: 4th vote", "P4 vs. Athlon: overheating 51 times", and "Best wheat for making Pizza: 3rd slice".
2ch operates on innovative forum software which is a major departure from 1980s bulletin board systems or 1990s forum software such as vBulletin. Most importantly, nearly everything is done anonymously and voluntarily. A posting in a thread will either "age" (bump, from Japanese "ageru", to raise) or "sage" (not bump, from Japanese "sageru", to lower) its position in the thread list; "sage-ed" posts have no effect on its position. Threads may be "sage-ed" if the thread is disliked, or to keep it from cluttering the main thread list, or to prevent idle browsers from flooding in and trolling the thread at the top of the list.
Each thread is limited to 1000 postings at maximum, and a new thread must be opened (by some anonymous user, self-elected during discussion) to continue discussion. This prevents the rotting of old threads and keeps active topics refreshed. It also saves bandwidth, which is a major concern on a forum as large as 2ch. Old threads are moved to a paid archive, then eventually deleted.
2ch members participate in various distributed computing projects such as the United Devices Cancer Research Project and SETI@home. 2ch is the current leader of the UD project, with the highest results and point total, as well as having the largest number of participants.
Incidents such as this have happened in the past, an example of this being a women's mahjong league and the activist Debito Arudou. 2channel, due to its massive size and anonymous posting, is littered with slander and defamation against public figures and institutions. Though the site has a rule to delete such illegal posting, the scale of the site makes a prompt response difficult. There are numerous civil actions against Nishimura by individuals and corporations for slander and defamation. Nishimura so far ignored every court order and has never shown up for any trial and he has lost every civil case brought against him by default. Nishimura does not hold any sizable asset in Japan and any financial gain by Nishimura (bar what the court rule as necessary living expense) is subject to foreclosure. 2channel's assets are all held overseas; the servers are located in California and the domains are owned by a United States registrar. Moreover, technically, Nishimura does not own 2channel. None of the winners of civil action collected any money from Nishimura.
In January 2007, a small court in Japan, making a judgement on yet another slander case, announced that 2channel's holding company was bankrupt and it would be repossessed. This claim was openly mocked by Nishimura on 2channel's splash page, and nothing of the sort happened, although 2channel's Japanese ISP ended its operations.
* AA — Abbrev for "ASCII Art", actually JIS art.
* aborn あぼーん — Post deleted. Occasionally also 〜する "to administratively delete a post".
* age — To reply to a thread and thus bump a thread to the top of the board. From 上げる. Written in romaji but inflected like a verb, e.g. ageろ "let's age".
* appu うp — "Upload please!". Like "zOMG TORRENT PLZ" but less annoying.
* arashi 荒し — Troll.
* burakura ブラクラ — Browser crusher. Things or people who post things which break web browsers.
* chūbō 厨房 — Posters who don't bother to read the rules, flamers, spammers. From kanji misconversion of 中坊 "middle school kid", an abbrev for 中学坊主 or 中学坊や. 坊主 is an everyday slang term for "kid", from the short haircuts of young boys and bald heads of Buddhist priests.
* denpa 電波 — Literally "radio waves". Songs and similar things which get stuck in your head, e.g. マイヤヒ.
* desu tane デス種 — Abbrev for Gundam Seed Destiny.
* DQN ドキュン — Retard, asshole, jerk, troll. Also ドキュソ.
* FF — Abbrev for Final Fantasy.
* fuyuchū 冬厨 — Idiots who appear over winter break. From 冬 and 厨房. See also natsuchū.
* gangare ガンガレ — Deliberate misspelling of がんばれ.
* henshin 返信 — Reply. Also 〜する "to reply".
* hiroyuki ひろゆき — The handle of 西村博之, Nishimura Hiroyuki, the founder of 2ch.
* ita 板 — Board, as in 掲示板. Each board on 2ch has a distinct subject or style of discussion. There is some overlap.
* iten shita yo 移転したよ — Thread has been moved. This is usually accompanied by a link to the new location.
* itte yo shi 逝ってよし — FOAD. A pun on "行ってよし" which roughly means "you can go". Cf. 逝く "to die".
* jisakujien 自作自演 — Someone who replies to themselves thereby pretending to be multiple people. Also the name of this guy: (･∀･).
* kakikomu 書き込む — To post.
* kami 神 — Literally "god". A poster who responds rapidly with useful information or answers. Occasionally written ネ申.
* kanren pēji 関連ページ — Related pages.
* kaomoji 顔文字 — Literally "face characters"; the Japanese version of emoticons.
* keijiban 掲示板 — Bulletin board, BBS.
* kensaku 検索 — Search, lookup, data retrieval. E.g. 検索エンジン "search engine".
* kinenmakiko 記念真紀子 — Posting in a legendary thread. From 記念なスレッドで書き込み → 記念書きこ, with a portmanteau of Japanese politician 田中真紀子. See this thread.
* kopipe コピペ — Copy-paste, from コピー＆ペースト. Either a verb or a noun, the latter meaning either what has been copied and pasted or the act thereof.
* kora コラ — Photoshop, shopped.
* kotehan コテハン — A poster's nickname when used instead of anonymous posting. From 固定ハンドルネーム, "fixed handle name".
* kusosure クソスレ — Shitty/useless thread.
* kyappu キャップ — Abbrev for "capcode". An administrative tripcode.
* majisure マジレス — Serious response, naive reply to a troll or joke. From 真面目(まじめ), "really, seriously, no kidding" and レス.
* manse マンセ — Equivalent to 万歳(ばんざい). May imply mindless obedience or servility. From Korean.
* matāri マターリ — Laid back, cool, chill.
* moe 萌え — Literally "budding". Cute or hot, worthy of a crush.
* mona(r) モナー — The name of 2ch's mascot, shown here. From his catchphrase "オマエモナー", q.v.
* mou zutto hito oo sugi もうずっと人大杉 — Site is too busy, inaccessible. From もうずっと(アクセスする)人が多すぎる → もうずっと人多すぎ, thence through kanji misconversion.
* narijjibēsu なりっじべーす — Knowledge base. Don't ask why it's in hiragana.
* natsuchū 夏厨 — Idiots who appear over summer break. From 夏 and 厨房. See also fuyuchū
* NEET ニート — Abbrev for "Not in Employment, Education, or Training". A slacker.
* neta ネタ — Usually online jokes or memes. From slang meaning "gossip" or "info", reversal of たね "seed". Means lots of other things besides "meme".
* nidā ニダー — Korean. From the Korean copula "ni da" similar to Japanese です. Also an AA character shown here. Rude.
* nuko ぬこ — Cat. From a typo for ねこ.
* offu kai OFF会 — An offline meeting.
* oira おいら — Us. From おれら.
* omēra おめーら — You (pl). From おまえら.
* omae mo nā オマエモナー — Generally either "you too" or "screw you too" depending on context.
* orz — Romajification of ○|￣|_, which is AA for a person bowing on their knees, usually called "fallen man". Used to express despair or failure, or to thank a person or to bow to their superiority. In uppercase romaji spelled OTL.
* otsu 乙 — Thanks. Contraction of and kanji misconversion of お疲れさま.
* pakuri パクリ — Stolen, copyright violation.
* resu レス — Reply, followup. Ocassionally れす. From レスポンス.
* rirōdo リロード — Reload.
* sage — To reply to a thread without bumping it. To do so simply type "sage" in the E-mail field. This may be done to increase the post count toward earlier deletion, or may simply be done to add an unimportant comment. Always written in romaji. See also age.
* saishin 50 最新50 — Latest 50; view last 50 posts.
* sakujo 削除 — Deletion. Also 〜する "to delete".
* shinā シナー — China, Chinese. From an archaic word for China from Sanskrit. Also an AA character usually found with Nidā and shown here. Rude.
* shine 氏ね — Die. Kanji misconversion for 死ね.
* shinki sureddo sakusei 新規スレッド作成 — New thread creation.
* suman スマン — Short for すみません, "sorry". Also スマソ.
* sure スレ — Thread. From スレッド.
* teishi shimashita 停止しました — Banned. The correct response is of course 「停止されたワロスwwwww」.
* tōkō 投稿 — Submission. Also 〜する "to submit".
* torippu トリップ — Abbrev for tripcode.
* umā ウマー — Wonderful, lovely, tasty, very nice, awesome. From うまい.
* un うn — "Yeah".
* vipper — Someone who posts in News for VIP.
* warota ワロタ — LOL. Also 「wwwww」 and many other variations.
* yoku aru shitsumon よくある質問 — Frequently asked questions. Often simply よく質問.
* yome 嫁 — Read. Kanji misconversion for 読め.
* zenbu yomu 全部読む — Read all; view entire thread.
Many imageboards also provide limited amounts of anonymous discussion boards.
Between March and May 2004, an anonymous user posted in a sub-forum for single men to decry his woes. His post detailed an event that had happened that day as he was riding the train. According to his account, he was sitting on the train when he noticed an attractive woman. Suddenly, a drunken man entered the car and bothered many passengers, who did not offer any resistance to his disturbance. This man then began to sexually harass the woman, and seeing no-one else coming to her aid, the poster told the man to stop bothering the woman. The two struggled for a short time while the other passengers used this distraction to call the conductor, who took control of the situation.
This poster was an extremely introverted, socially inept otaku. Never having done such a thing before in his life, he was amazed to find that the woman was thanking him deeply for saving her from harassment. They exchanged addresses and parted ways. The poster, upon returning home, began talking with other posters in the thread and was nicknamed "Densha Otoko" ("Train Man") for his bravery.
A bit later, Densha received a package from the woman he had saved. This package, originally thought to be a generic thank-you gift, turned out to be an expensive tea set. Flabbergasted, he turned to the 2channelers for advice: he was convinced that such a gift was too expensive to be a mere thank-you gift. Densha then contacted the woman and began meeting her regularly, all the while posting updates on 2ch and discussing the matter with other posters. Following their collective advice, he got a haircut, purchased new clothes, and began to come out of his shell. After seeing her for a while, his personality had changed for the better and this culminated a few months later in Densha confessing his love for the woman. She accepted and when the 2channelers were informed of this there was a mass celebration; posts began flowing in congratulating the new couple.
Because 2ch has an enormous impact on net culture in Japan, this story quickly spread throughout the media and became an instant hit. Its almost fairytale-like simplicity and emotional power drew people to the story, and a copy of the original threads relating to the story was published in a book. Since then, there have been four manga adaptations of the story; a feature film which reached #1 in the box office upon its release; and a hugely popular TV live-action drama aired during 2005. According to Densha Otoko and Hermes (the nickname of the woman; named after the brand of the tea-set she sent him), they are still together.