The Washington Post calls it the "dark heart" of the internet. It's called 4chan.org and it could very well be the birthplace of some of the web's darkest dandelions.
Talk about walking on the wild side. Started in 2003 by a then 15 year-old who goes by "moot," 4chan is a hub for 5 million "hackers, slackers and potty-mouthed geek" visitors who create 400,000 daily posts on just about anything from "images of... their favorite actors to their favorite bowel movements." Apparently the group Anonymous, (in)famous for staging protests against the Church of Scientology, sprung from 4chan. The kid that hacked into Gov. Sarah Palin's Yahoo account? He's on 4chan. So are the ones that hijacked Google's Hot Trends list, first with a swastika and then this "?l?oo? no? ??n?". Remember the post - "Steve Jobs just died" - that leaked into the blog macrumors.com in January? You guessed it. That's 4chan too.
It's like stepping into the heart of cyber darkness. I imagine that countless other dastardly dandelions plant their roots in 4chan. Proceed with caution if you dare. Word of warning: it is highly NSFW.
Ever read something on the web that you thought was real but turns out it wasn't? I call those dandelions. Pretty enough to be flowers, but naught(y). If you think you've caught one, I would love to know. Contact me if you have a link to share or even just to say hello.