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Good Old Encyclopedia Dramatica

I have known about Encyclopedia Dramatica (ED) since around December 2007; I recall that I discovered it, as well as 4chan, very soon before Project Chanology began. It will always be one of my favorite sites on the Web, and I say this without any hesitation.

ED has a very special kind of humor, and I know that not everybody appreciates it. I will admit that some pages are of pretty poor quality and are hardly funny, as there certainly isn't that much quality control on the site, so some 13-year-old could write an article in an afternoon about somebody he doesn't like online, and even if it was full of profanity and little more than a long list of insults, it probably would not be taken down. However, articles on more well-known topics are generally of higher quality, as they are edited by many people. Sometimes, when reading ED, I have laughed so hard that I ran out of breath and my stomach started hurting. There are some real gems on that site.

ED has gone through much over the years, including the sudden change into Oh Internet in 2011, followed by a period of gradual decline in content, quality, and activity, when the site was absolutely riddled with advertising. Things have improved during these past few years, as the site now appears to be completely or nearly ad-free, but it seems to me that its best days are in the past. Although the change has been gradual, I would say that the best articles were written before the Oh Internet incident, when the culture of both Encyclopedia Dramatica and 4chan was different—and, I think, better.

Despite this, I still browse ED every once in a while; for me, it will always be the primary and authoritative reference for Internet memes, rather than upstarts like Know Your Meme. It is one of the few troll hubs on the Web, with 4chan being another obvious one, but ED has permanence, which makes it an invaluable archive of trolling activities and trolling targets, as well as Internet cultural history.

It's also a glorious bastion of free speech: ED makes fun of everything, and never holds back when doing so. This site is still up and accessible after all these years, and as long as this is so, I can sleep well at night with the knowledge that freedom of speech on the Internet remains alive and well. Support freedom of speech


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This page last modified on 4 September 2021.