When the owner of infamous website 4Chan admitted last week it could be about to shut down, "Pharma Bro" Martin Shkreli quickly voiced his interest in buying it. Now another divisive name is in the running, with Milo Yiannopoulos suggesting he's about to make a bid.
Known as the 'internet's cesspool', 4Chan is facing financial hard times. However, the woodwork is crawling with possible suitors, including outspoken alt-right apologist and Breitbart tech editor Yiannopoulos.
The Hollywood Reporter discovered plans for the approach for the stricken site and confirmed plans with the man himself: "I spoke to my lawyer this morning about purchasing the business," said Yiannopoulos. "I intend to approach the current owners in the next few days with an offer. My philosophy as owner would be very simple: free-speech central, no ifs, no buts."
Yiannopoulos, a love-or-loathe figure who was banned from Twitter earlier this year after accusations of inciting a racist trolling campaign against Ghostbusters actor Leslie Jones, plans to purchase the site with the help of a "wealthy backer".
The man who described himself as "the most fabulous super-villain on the internet" may face competition from the "most hated man on the internet". Pharmaceutical entrepreneur Shkreli swiftly made his interest known on Twitter to 4Chan's owner, Hiroyuki Nishimura, when the news broke about its financial demise.
The imageboard site allows members to post anonymously and has been a breeding ground for trolls and politically incorrect content as a result of its near-lawless nature allowing homophobic, sexist and pornographic posts. It was involved in leaking the Celebgate iCloud scandal hack. It has also been behind a hashtag that encouraged Justin Bieber fans to cut themselves to show their love for the popstar and pranking iPhone owners into thinking they could charge their smartphones by microwaving them.
It's not all bad on 4Chan, however. There are numerous message boards on the site offering advice or simply seeing users share a passion for Japanese manga movies. It's also become the birthplace for web funnies and memes such as Rickrolling and more images of cats than you can count.
"As a free-speech fundamentalist and a student of Internet culture, I appreciate how fragile and precious the 4chan ecosystem is and how much it gives to the wider Internet — even if some corners of it, such as /pol/, don't always approve of me very much," Yiannopoulos told the Hollywood Reporter.
Further details of what the internet super-villain will do with the site was not disclosed, but it appears he'll be preserving the lair for outspoken internet users like himself.