Decade old shout out to controversial site 4chan finally removed from Minecraft

·2-min read

The latest Minecraft update on Java has finally removed a decade old message referring to controversial site 4chan.

The title screen of Minecraft includes rotating splash messages, one of which is a reference to 4chan, namely: “Woo, /v/!”.

The update isn’t included in the official patch notes to the latest version (ver.1.17) which is still in pre-release, but was spotted by the Minecraft wiki page on Gamepedia and reported by Kotaku.

The /v/ thread on 4chan is the video game discussion page.

4chan has become known for its toxic and bigoted community and was associated with the rise of white supremacy during the Trump election. The use of the Pepe the Frog meme is widespread in the 4chan community, which led to it becoming an emblem of the alt-right.

However, Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson promoted the game on 4chan during its infancy, which is considered to have contributed to its meteoric rise in popularity.

The “Woo, /v/!” splash message was a thank you to the 4chan fans, added in a 2010 version of the game. The reference was never seen outside of the Java edition.

Microsoft bought Minecraft and its developer Mojang in 2014 for $2.5 billion. References to Notch have slowly been removed from the game without comment as Microsoft has, presumably, sought to distance itself from Notch and what some people have referred to as increasingly erratic behaviour.

Tweets containing racist, homophobic and transphobic abuse have been posted by Notch over the years, including a tweet saying “It’s ok to be white” – a far right slogan often associated with 4chan.

His full name, however, still appears in the game’s credits.

The users of 4chan have reacted to the news as expected, though Kotaku does highlight one response from a now archived thread:

“Well, do you want to associate your product that is targeted towards kids with a site that is 18+ and filled with NSFW and politically incorrect jokes?” it reads.

“Obviously, there’s also the issue that the press has connected 4chan to Trump, racism, and online bullying/hate mobs. So, it would be terrible optics for any company to associate with this site.”

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