Kuro5hin (K5) (pronounced "corrosion", i.e. ) is a collaborative discussion website. Articles are created and submitted by Kuro5hin's users and submitted to queue for evaluation. Site members can vote for or against publishing an article and, once the article has reached a certain number of votes, it is then published to the site or deleted from the queue. The site has been described as "a free-for-all of news and opinion written by readers".
Kuro5hin is powered by the Scoop collaborative system. Its motto is "Technology and Culture, from the Trenches". It was founded by Rusty Foster in December 1999. Kuro5hin's membership numbers in the tens of thousands, but its popularity has declined significantly from its peak in the early 2000s, and the present number of active users is much less (likely in the low hundreds).
One feature of the story queue is edit mode, in which a story is protected from voting for a period of time and the author can make changes. Comments can still be made on the story to suggest changes before voting begins. They are distinguished as being editorial or topical comments.
A further section is known as the diaries. They have no editing or moderation vetting and are essentially weblogs. They are the source of most of Kuro5hin's content by volume, though unlike the edited article sections, they are not widely syndicated.
Kuro5hin site administrators have on several occasions revealed the full name of a user, and are known to publish complaints and comments emailed by readers, usually to publicly ridicule and insult them.
The community also holds a (now dormant) wiki for Kuro5hin related material called "Ko4ting" (pronounced "coating" or "cavorting"). It houses information about the community, including a Greatest Stories Hall of Fame, Welcome/Introduction Guide, History of Kuro5hin, and a story directory.
In January 2002, OSDN ended the advertising affiliate agreement with Kuro5hin .
In June 2002 Rusty Foster suggested that he might be forced to sell or shut down Kuro5hin due to lack of funds, and he solicited donations to support the site. In response, readers gave more than $37,000 in donations and other support in less than a week. Shortly thereafter Rust announced plans to create a non-profit organization known as the Collaborative Media Foundation (CMF) to manage K5. Since then, some users have been critical of a perceived lack of active management and functional improvements to the site. As of 2008, the CMF is not legally incorporated, and the site runs on bandwidth provided by sponsor voxel dot net, with ad revenues going directly into Foster's pocket.
The style and content of what is in part a magazine site has ebbed and flowed over time, at first resembling more the typical Slashdot geek fare. Following the Dot-Com Crash, the election of George W. Bush and the Iraq War, the site saw an increase in politics articles. In early 2003 a fiction section was added.
In the second half of 2003 a large portion of the diarists abandoned Kuro5hin and started posting diaries on "Hulver's site" (commonly referred to as "HuSi"). Around the same time complaints about trolls increased.
On March 25, 2004, Rusty Foster closed off new user accounts because of posting of a photoshopped pornographic image of his wife. He later announced he was going to implement new user sponsorship. Many users believed that it would be the beginning of the end of Kuro5hin and some believed the whole scheme wouldn't work at all. On July 13, Rusty Foster reopened new user accounts and informed the community that he was abandoning the idea of user sponsorship.
On July 23, 2004, Rusty Foster announced that he was going to alter the way editors modify peoples' diaries to make it more visible to the K5 community. This was done in response to the way that an unknown editor modified circletimessquare's diary. There was confusion over whether the diary was a troll, and a subsequent diary by curien underscored this further. As of June 22, 2005, almost one year later, these changes to editor powers have still not been implemented.
On July 04, 2005, a minor scandal erupted over the publication of a front page article titled "Fuck Natalee Holloway" that was perceived to be ridiculing alleged rape and murder victim Natalee Holloway, with new users signing up to denounce the author and Kuro5hin administrators.
On June 14, 2006, a cross-site scripting vulnerability was used to compromise cookies belonging to administrators. This access was then used to embed an Iframe redirect to Last Measure into every page on the site. The site existed in this state for about 15 minutes before being taken down entirely. After approximately 2 hours of downtime, the site was restored to its normal state.
On September 10th, 2007, Rusty Foster announced a $5 fee for new members joining the site, with the intent of discouraging trolls. This came in the wake of several attacks on site at the end of August, when Foster was distracted with the birth of his new child .