The week of January 17, 2016

The Community Issue

An oral history of A Special Thing, the world’s most important comedy message board

By Rick Paulas

Punk rock had CBGB, grunge had Seattle, and the alternative comedy scene had—an online hub frequented by your favorite comics.


For tightlacers, a fringe community of body-modifiers, the Internet is a haven

By Kastalia Medrano

Men and women who wear Victorian-era corsets to permanently alter their waistlines can be judged and ridiculed, but online they’ve created safe and supportive spaces.

Law and order in Reddit’s Karma Court

By Ned Donovan

In this subreddit, terrible users stand trial.

Beyond /b/: The best underground 4chan forums

By Luke Winkie

4chan gets a bad rap, but there are parts of the site worth revisiting.

Revisiting David Bowie’s bizarre virtual world

By Mike Wehner

In 1998, David Bowie launched BowieWorld, a confounding 3D chat client, and it’s still used by some fans today.


Growing up Habbo: My so-called life in the first social network for teens

By Erica Lenti

In the 8-bit world of Habbo Hotel, I learned how to be an less-awkward teenager, and how to be a friend to people I’d never actually met.