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9GAG's Home Page
Membership Free, Optional
Self Identity
Launch Date 2008
Users number of people
is a social network website that focuses primarily on memes and image sharing. The site is based in Hong Kong, but hosts content worldwide in multiple languages.[1] Launched in 2008, the site is image-based and centers around popular memes and rage comics. The site uses the same style of image sharing as 4chan, Reddit, and Funnyjunk, but is unique in allowing people to post content through their Facebook accounts. Similar to Facebook, 9GAG has a "like" or "upvote" system that allows users to vote on individual content.[2] 9GAG has been at the center of a number of ethics controversies over its history. These include issues of privacy infringement, copyright infringement, upvote rigging, and terms of service related violations by users, and the responses by 9GAG's system administrators. These issues have been particularly apparent in its disagreements with 4chan users resulting from image sharing, and a controversy involving a gun shooting during the "The Dark Knight" movie premiere.



Users may browse 9GAG with either the "Fun" or "Fast" tabs. The fun tab shows images and uploaded information on a vertical scrolling page with 9 "gags" per page, hence the name of the website. The fast tab allows users to browse through images one by one. There are also "random" and "search" options for browsing.


The default page on the 9GAG website is the "What's Hot" tab, featuring the most popular images voted on by the users of 9GAG. There are also "Trending" and "Vote" pages, where user-uploaded material can be pushed up to more recent pages so that they appear in the front of the website.

Safe Mode

Safe Mode is a functionality that is automatically activated when one is browsing the site. It blocks out images labeled "Not Safe For Work" (NSFW) that may be inappropriate or offensive to some viewers. In order to access these images or memes, users must create an account and log in to the website in order to turn off Safe Mode.

Social Networking

9GAG is synced with social networking sites such as Twitter and Tumblr so that users may browse the "Hot" images from outside sources. The site itself is also embedded with Facebook; users may log in and comment via Facebook, as well as share images with others.

Mobile Access

The site itself runs in a mobile version when browsing from a mobile electronic device. Applications have been developed for iOS and Android based smartphones.

Rules for uploading pictures

As listed on the site:[1]

  • UNFUNNY content will get your account suspended. 9GAG is a community of FUN ONLY.
  • Respect originality and creativity. Try using Google Images to find the origin of the post.
  • Think of a descriptive or creative title, instead of “LOL”, “True”, “:)”.
  • Search for dupes before posting. Post with 9GAG watermark will be removed.
  • “Get this to the Hot page” is worse than “Like this / Press L” and both will be removed.
  • No blogspam - Many, many sites just recycle pics from other sites and put ads on it.
  • If you would hesitate to show the content to your coworkers, your mum, or Uncle Bob, please mark it as NSFW.
  • NSFW posts will be removed if not marked as such.
  • [Fixed] posts should be added using the “Fix this post” button.
  • Make sure you have checked our 9 Rules.

9GAG Controversy

Feud with 4chan

4chan Attack

In late 2011, 9GAG users claimed to be the creators of some images and memes that originated on the site 4chan, which caused a conflict between the users of the sites. 9GAGgers began to refer to themselves as the “legion”, an obvious reference to Anonymous. The noticeable watermark at the bottom of every image taken from 9GAG was also a factor, as it implied that 9GAG had created the image.[1]

On December 21st, 2011, 4chan members planned a raid on the 9GAG website that would involve posting gore, porn, and other inappropriate materials to the newest uploads section of the website, while another team performed DDoS attacks on the web server. 9GAG users formed "The 9GAG army” in retaliation and responded to 4chan by saying: “The 9GAG army is coming for you 4chan.”[1] The 'army' had 'spies' that would inform 9GAG users about the attack, such as the date that 4chan would attack and what they wanted to do while on the website. The 9GAG army also requested the other members for extra "back-ups" in the voting page, to prevent inappropriate content such as gore and porn from reaching the hot and trending pages.[1]

The developers of 9GAG interfered with this "war" by making several changes to their website. One of these was adding a log-in system so that users would have to log in to view the vote page and have access to other features.

Aurora Shooting Hoax

On July 19, 2012, a gunman opened fire, shooting at the audience of a movie at a theater premier of Christopher Nolan’s ""Dark Knight" trilogy, killing 14 people. Soon after the attack, rumors surfaced that the gunman had posted about the attack some weeks prior on 9GAG, and that 9GAG users had encouraged the poster, thus contributing to the attack.[3] However, it has been confirmed that the image that circulated around the site was fake, so this was disproven.[4]

Other Incidents Involving 4Chan

4chan posters have also been known to raid pages such as YouTube videos with obscene, graphic, and otherwise disrespectful comments, claiming to be from the "9GAG Army" in order to place blame on 9GAG.

On one occasion, a YouTube user BG Kumbi addressed a video to 4chan filled with denunciations, threats, and a declaration of "war" against it in the pattern of past attacks.[5] 4chan responded by doxxing him and engaging in the usual pattern of harrassment until he posted an apology video.

Ethical Implications

Because children have access to the site, 9GAG saw the necessity to implement the safe button. This button prevents people under 18 years old from seeing memes containing adult content or other unsuitable material. The safe mode also helps those users that are using the website in public places to be respectful to those around him by hiding the "unsafe" memes. In order to view NSFW (Not Safe For Work) images, or images that are flagged as inappropriate, users must log into an account, indicating that they are over the age of 18, to have the choice to turn off Safe Mode.

Privacy Infringement

A post on 9GAG that could be infringing on privacy [6]

9GAG has several restrictions, rules, and filters to abide with general ethical conduct expected of a site where several users can contribute, but there is one loophole. Users can post pictures or 'meme-ify' pictures of people without attaining their consent to publish the picture. This, in itself, infringes upon the privacy of the person being photographed, in most cases, unknowingly, and without signaling any form of consent for this. In the case that the picture expands and enters into the repository of successful memes, the picture then can be entered into the creative commons and is free for use by the users on the internet, across all sites. For example, this meme is used for its humorous value, depicting a child in a shopping cart watching movies and children studying in a shopping cart captioned 'Difference in cultures'. Consent from the adults in the picture was probably not received in order to take this picture and publish it online. Though this itself might not create a completely unmanageable controversy in most cases, certain posts on 9GAG using such pictures have been viewed as extremely offensive, particularly by the person photographed.

Copyright Infringement

9GAG encounters many copyright related issues. However, as a website that shares memes with many users, copyright is difficult to enforce. A major problem surrounding 9GAG and its community includes the "Repost Machine", in which users on 9GAG take material including images, videos, memes etc. from other popular sites, such as Reddit, and repost them on to 9GAG.[7] This transfers material initially meant for the first site onto 9GAG, and which may not have been the desire or intent of the original content producer.

Vote Page

As the popularity of 9GAG grows, the increase of users on the platform brings with it some negative effects. Some users are now using the vote page to post inappropriate material which go against the 9GAG uploading rules. Some of the uploaded material is not "Only for Fun" purposes, still the main purpose and goal of the website. In fact, a lot of the post contain pornographic material and links that lead the users to computer viruses. This problem is very hard to regulate, especially since anyone can create an account and start uploading posts to 9GAG. The main way to avoid posts like these would be in conjunction with the participation and regulation of other members, where they would vote against those post which might be seen as offensive or may contain the wrong material for 9GAG.

Terms of Service

9GAG has the right to immediately remove any offensive content if users violate any of the polices found on the website. The responsibility lies on the users to assess the guidelines and policies instilled, in order to be familiar with the terms and condition to their use of the Service.[2]

See Also

External Links

9GAG Website 9GAG on Wikipedia


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Wikipedia Entry on 9Gag "9Gag" Retrieved on 17 April 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Mahpu. "9gag." 20 December 2011. Retrieved on 15 April 2016.
  3. Chen, Adrian."What Is 9gag and Why Is It Being Blamed for the Colorado Shooting?" 20 July 2012. Retrieved on 15 April 2016.
  4. Erickson, Christine. "Don't Fall for 9gag Theater Shooting Hoax." 20 July 2012. Retrieved on 15 April 2016.
  5. BG Kumbi. "I Declare War On 4Chan... Join le 9Gag Revolution!" 19 May 2012. Retrieved on 15 April 2016.
  6. 9gag. "Difference in Cultures." Retrieved on 15 April 2016.
  7. 9FAG_EXPERT. "9GAG "Repost Machine" Explained." 3 September 2012. Retrieved on 15 April 2016.

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