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One thing that will always characterize old /b/ for me is the spamming of the word desu in threads. Though it had probably diminished in frequency by the time I discovered 4chan in December 2007, it was still common enough of an occurrence then, as well as in 2008 and 2009, that I encountered many threads with posts containing nothing but the word desu repeated many, many times, often in all caps and sometimes accompanied by an image of Suiseiseki from Rozen Maiden. Although technically it is spamming, I nevertheless consider it an important part of the culture of old /b/ and old 4chan: it was merely another part of the unrestrained madness that defined 4chan back in the 2000s, and which formed a part of my first impression of the site. (If I were a moderator there, I would personally not ban users for spamming it, as I view it as an old, respected tradition which should be preserved.) The word itself, the spamming of it, and also Suiseiseki are all classic memes of 2000s 4chan.
Suiseiseki in particular I consider to be the unofficial anime girl mascot of /b/, and even of 4chan as a whole. I know, of course, that Yotsuba is somewhat the official mascot of 4chan, as she appears in the artwork for the site's 404 pages and anniversaries, but Suiseiseki's presence, in my opinion, can be (or was) felt more on the site, or at least on /b/; even today, whenever I see an image of her, I am always reminded of old, 2000s 4chan, and its obsession with the word desu.
See also the Encyclopedia Dramatica article on this meme.
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This page last modified on 4 September 2021.