The 2-channel forum is a Japanese internet phenomenon. This single site has more influence on Japanese popular opinion than the prime minister, the emperor and the traditional media combined. On one level, it serves as a fun, informative place for people to read product reviews, download software and compare everything from the size of their poop to quiz show answers. But conversations hosted here have also influenced stock prices, rallied support for philanthropic causes, organized massive synchronized dance routines, prevented terrorism and driven people to their deathbeds.
“2-channel stirs the naked heroism that lives in every individual,” says Keisuke Suzuki, the author of several books on Japanese internet culture. “This can be dangerous, but in a community where you can’t ordinarily express your true feelings because of its restrictions, it’s really important.”
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