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Professional Troll Milo Yiannopoulos Looking to Buy 4chan, the Home of the Trolls

I miss the days when tolls just lived under bridges and ate people.

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Some things just go together perfectly: peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese, Milo Yiannopolous and 4chan … Yes, Breitbart’s own “free speech” advocate is looking to make his position as king of the trolls official as he moves forward with plans to swoop in and rescue the 4chan image board from its own financial struggles.

4chan is an anonymous message board whose users share a passion for free speech, especially their /pol/ “politically incorrect” section, which Yiannopolous surprisingly claimed isn’t too fond of him when speaking to The Hollywood Reporter. He confirmed to THR that he’s moving forward with plans to buy the site after recent reports of its money problems. Yiannopolous isn’t the only Internet “villain” interested in 4chan, either, with Martin Shkreli, who you may remember from price-gouging uproar, saying he was getting on board and then later retracting that.

Yiannopolous—known for such headlines as “Birth Control Makes Women Unattractive and Crazy” and getting kicked off of Twitter for encouraging racist harassment of Leslie Jones—envisions his takeover as a way to continue to foster the site’s reputation for letting its users run amok. He said, “I spoke to my lawyer this morning about purchasing the business. I intend to approach the current owners in the next few days with an offer. My philosophy as owner would be very simple: free-speech central, no ifs, no buts.”

4chan is a mix of completely harmless memes and jokes bundled with some of the worst things to have come out of the Internet, like Gamergate—which wound up getting split off into another site, 8chan, because it was too much even for 4chan—plus all kinds of coordinated trolling, and the posting of hacked nude photos. It’s hard to imagine how Yiannopolous’ involvement could make the bad parts worse—if it’s even anything more than a publicity stunt—but with his following and a renewed commitment to an anything-goes style, they certainly stand to be amplified.

Meanwhile, “Political correctness” is—surprisingly, since we’ve been hearing about it for decades—still a hot-button issue in the current political climate, which is … kind of absurd. The term “political correctness” has its roots in politicians simply trying not to say anything that will raise legitimate concerns from people and lose them support from the public or from other politicians. Language doesn’t just become “un-PC” on its own. There’s no official standards body deciding what is and is not “PC.” People learn what’s not “PC” by listening to the concerns of those around them and taking their feelings under consideration, which really isn’t a whole lot to ask.

The anti-PC crowd claims to be concerned that legitimate discussion is being shut down in the name of political correctness, while they’re the ones making discussion impossible by applying the label of “politically correct” to any critique. Those who crusade against the idea of “political correctness” are essentially telling people to shut up about legitimate concerns, while not wanting to be told to shut up and stop saying what they want. And yet, here we are in 2016, with people still mocking “political correctness” with the gleeful derision of 12-year-olds (and too many comedians) in the ’90s. Grow up, society.

(via Uproxx, image via Justin Taylor on Flickr)

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