These Funny 4chan Pranks Are Why We Have Trust Issues

The first rule of the internet: Trust NO ONE!

4chan is an image-based web bulletin board whose anonymous internet users love a good prank. These internet pranksters and trolls often hatch schemes to crash competing site's servers, plant ridiculous hashtags on Twitter, create internet hoaxes, hack into famous people's email, and more.

While some of these pranks can be cruel or hurtful, I've selected only the funniest and most benign 4chan pranks from years past to highlight here. Have fun, and remember kids, be careful out there!

01
of 07

Convincing People To Microwave Their iPhones

Microwave iPhone
Via Twitter/@rizarul.

In "I can't believe they really fell for this" news, 4chan managed to convince a lot of people to put their iPhones into the microwave to "charge" them. Now, common sense would tell most of us that this is not a good idea, but 4chan's word was good enough for countless hapless (and soon to be phoneless) followers back in 2014.

The best part was when they started tweeting Apple to complain about the faulty new iOS 8 "feature."

02
of 07

4chan Creator Named "Time" Magazine's Most Influential Person

Courtesy: Time Magazine

In 2009, 4chan pranksters flooded a Time magazine poll for their third annual Top 100 World's Most Influential People competition with votes for their site's creator, Christopher Poole (known as "moot"). Thanks to 4chan's organized community, Moot received 16,794,368 votes and an average influence rating of 90 (out of a possible 100), beating important contributors to society such as President Barack Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Vladimir Putin.

03
of 07

Naming Kim Jong-Un as "Time" Magazine's Person of the Year

kim-jung-un-meme.jpg
Via Reddit.

It worked once... why not go for it again?

How else would North Korean supreme leader (and perpetual meme fodder) Kim Jong-Un get voted as Time magazine's Person of the Year in 2012? 4chan rigged it, of course!  

Naturally, Time did not go through with  the reader vote, choosing Barack Obama instead (THANKS, OBAMA!), but the web sure had  a good time with this prank regardless. 

04
of 07

Sending Pitbull to Alaska

Courtesy: Entertainment Weekly

It all started with a funny comment made in jest by Boston Phoenix journalist, David Thorpe, and rapper Pitbull was "exiled" to a remote Alaskan town. Fortunately (or not, depending on whom you ask), his exile only lasted for a day.

In 2012, Mr. Worldwide was working with Walmart on a promotion in which he would pay a personal visit to the Walmart store with the most "likes" on Facebook. After Thorpe suggested that it would be funny to vote to send Pitbull to Alaska, 4chan organized their masses and started voting for the Walmart in Kodiak, Alaska (population 6,130). 4chan users got the Twitter hashtag #ExilePitbull tending within a day, soon increasing Kodiak's Walmart Facebook page by 70,000 new likes.

Pitbull took the joke in stride, spending a pleasant day in Kodiak where he performed, sat in on local traditional celebrations, and tweeted about the experience to his many followers. He even brought along the journalist who started it all, proving that Pitbull is genuinely a good sport.

05
of 07

Trying To Send Taylor Swift to Perform At School For The Deaf

Courtesy: Popdust

In 2012, singer Taylor Swift teamed up with sponsors Papa John's and a textbook rental company called Chegg to send Swift to perform for the school that received the most votes on Facebook. The school would also receive a $10,000 cash prize to be put towards their music department.

When 4chan got wind of the competition, they sprang to action and hijacked the contest, skewing the results so that the winning school happened to be a school for the deaf.

The joke may have started off a bit mean-spirited (though no-doubt funny), however in the end, it turned out to be a boon for the Horace Mann School For The Deaf.

Even though the contest organizers took Horace Mann out of the running, Taylor Swift stepped up and donated $10,000 to the school, then promised a free concert ticket to each of the school's students. Contest sponsors Papa John's and Chegg matched her donation, and then Cover Girl and American Greetings stepped in with checks of their own. In the end, the Horace Mann School For The Deaf received $50,000 in donations, all thanks to 4chan's prank. As an added bonus, VH1's "Save the Music" program chipped in another $10,000 worth of musical instruments.

06
of 07

Naming A Mountain Dew Drink "Diabeetus"

Courtesy: The Daily Dot

In 2012, soda company Mountain Dew held a contest asking fans to submit names for a new beverage for a chance to win a digital camera, leading 4chan to start "Operation: Gushing Grandma." 4chan users submitted a flurry of suggestive names to the contest, eventually crashing the site. The winner ended up being "Diabeetus," and Mountain Dew had to publicly admit that they "lost the internet."

07
of 07

BONUS! Never Forget That 4chan Gave Us "The Rickroll"

Rick Roll
Via Hitflix.

A lot of people forget that 4chan is responsible for one of the funniest ways to troll web users ever: The Rickroll.

Founder of 4Chan Christopher Poole started the trend as "duckrolling." For some reason, Poole decided to prank users by substituting the word "duck" for "egg" all over his site, kind of like a precursor to those iPhone keyboard shortcut pranks. This simple move quickly turned into users redirecting image links to a picture of a duck on wheels in order to "duckroll" them.

Over time, the trend switched to sending users to that infamous Rick Astley video, and Rickrolling was born.

Thanks for the laughs, 4chan!

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