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A Brony is a fan of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic outside of the show's target demographic. The term can be applied to both males and females, though most bronies are male. Bronies of all different shapes and sizes exist on the internet, and frequently hang out in Synchtube, 4chan's /co/ and /b/ boards, Ponychan, FiMchan, and various other brony websites. 4chan's Comics and Cartoons board, /co/ is known for its discussion of anything animated typically ranging from the 90's to present day, and comic books or movies produced under the license of a major comic book vendor, let alone their threads for fan artists.

Origin

For additional archived threads, view no-ip archive mirrors.

Story time, fillies and gentlecolts! Before we begin, it should be noted that not all information displayed can be sourced with documented threads. Some information may appear be leaning in favor of one party, but most of it is disputed with most cautious of efforts, supported with archived posts and the testimonies of witnesses.

Firstponythread

The Earliest Pony Thread

In 2010, a brand new My Little Pony cartoon was about to air, on a newly formed channel. Out of all sites to pick up a show teaching the magic of friendship, much notable attention was attracted by 4chan's /co/ board. A plethora of /co/'s regulars had caught wind of Discovery Kids Channel's turnover. Many were sad to see what was long-running childhood favorite of theirs, engulfed into a joint venture with multinational toy company, Hasbro[1]. While the first few threads did not reflect anything significant, they gradually gained more posts as they approached the night before the premiere of both the channel and the show itself. To quote the OP of one thread on that night, "Considering that It´s done by a PPG and Foster´s writer, we will probably get the best girl cartoon ever[2]

That user now is commonly known as "

The Zam , " and his speculations were entirely correct. The next morning, he did /co/ a great public service by broadcasting the show via LiveStream, then posted PensivePine's Youtube upload on 4chan to share to those who had missed it. The premiere's follow-up thread was the most successful one yet[3], and many more threads were to follow, as many more fellow /co/mrades would find themselves discomforted by the fact that their own authentic desire to watch the My Little Pony would outweigh their resistance from associating with a TV show outside of their demographic range. It was rather rare to find one who actually disliked the show without seeing the community from the outside in. Beginning October 13th, a user of the handle Archive !noTe.poNY

 began archiving threads with full images of the phenomenon[4].

OldenDaysofCo

The "Wall of Friendship".

October 14th marked the first existing thread from a /v/ regular who showed disdain for the then-developing community. For users outside of 4chan, this is much too irrelevant to note, however, for /mlp/, this is a milestone. One other milestone of which is often accused of receiving too much credit for this phenomenon is Cartoon Brew's article. An animation critic by the name, "Amid Amidi[5]" had wrote an infamous essay known as the "End of the Creator driven Era[6]". Their attention was majorly surrounded by the negative thesis regarding the new channel block, "The Hub", slamming Hasbro for using existing franchises mainly based on their products rather than allowing the writer to have the freedom to start their works with a blank slate. Though some of their influence sparked the attention of few, the no-IP archive[7] only listed two threads directed towards it. Nonetheless, the accusations thrown in this essay had proven to be inaccurate to the point where it's almost laughable.[8]

/co/lts

: For full-image archivals, see: MLPG hyper-index.

4628

MLPG Marker that redirects the thread locator.

Nine days after the airing of the show, threads had become consistent to the point of which they were required to be centralized into one ongoing and never-ending general, the My Little Pony General, or MLPG. Any threads that were outside the existing genearal were regarded a bannable offense. In the early years, MLPG was by far the largest driving force of developing fandom, and yet, from the perspective of outsider /co/mrades looking in to the thread full of /co/lts, still scratching their heads about it, the whole fandom was still believed to be the same 4 or 5 sockpuppets[9].

As popularity continued to climb, the outreach only advanced. One animator decided to hop on to /co/ by the name "Diehard in a pony" and answer a few questions[10], and the users there were stunned. To this day, that anonymous animator's name remains unknown, but later that night came two more major events of the fandom - the first acknowledgement of Derpy Hooves, and the coining of the term, "Brony"[11], which actually came from a splinter site called plus4chan. Derpy Hooves was never intended  to be anything further than the role of a background character, and her discovery was merely a result of an animation goof from the first episode and was subsequently named by Dr. Foreigner. Not only did Derpy become the poster pony of the fandom, but her legacy led to the trending concept of "background pony" fanons. In the middle of November, another animator would come back and acknowledge the "Derpy" phenomenon and explain the animation error.

In analysis, the term brony is often used by the mainstream aspect of the fandom, and it is often frowned upon by the majority of the community that resides on imageboards. However, in late 2010, things worked entirely differently. With the exception of "Love and Tolerance," these fandom-related terms, such as Brony, brohoof, everypony, or parasprite, were used entirely authentically.

Foundingofeqd

Founding of EqD

As November flew by, mods were finding themselves more agitated at the rising level of popularity of the show, as it was now intruding with the appearance of /co/'s front page. Prior to the 413chan archive update, the posting of multiple threads would be met with massive ban-waves up to thirty days. One notable user would often roleplay as the Great and Powerful Trixie[12], which would only further aggrevate the mods and fellow users. That user was later revealed to be Sethisto, the admin and founder of Equestria Daily[13].

As of that time, there were only sketches of fanart, no soundtrack remixes, and maybe a few small excerpts of fanfics. There were no HD downloads of episodes, just Pensivepine's Youtube uploads, and later, MasterlinkX's uploads. Lauren Faust herself would come by and post on /co/ on December 10th, and acknowledge the "brony" and the Derpy phenomenon. Later that week came the revision of 413chan's archive fetcher. This fetcher would then search for the archive marker by the MD5 hash, then start fetching their respective threads. This week would also coincide with the same week of which the MLP wiki[14] was founded, then at the end of the week, the opening of  However, December was mainly a month devoted to artwork, and despite the short hiatus, recorded statistics had shown that MLPG was active at a rate of about 3000 posts per day.

January, however, was the month of fanfiction. Users would gather around and share and write stories and critiques. One of the most popular examples of such to come out of this month was Sergeant Sprinkles' Cupcakes. Later that month came a thread that discussed the potential of blogging the very best of the material to come out of /co/. On January 20th, Equestria Daily went live. A handful of members of /co/, such as Cereal Velocity, would later be selected as moderators for the blog, for which would later evolve into broader subject matter, following after the fandom exile from 4chan.

/b/ronies

Out of the mostly anonymous /co/lts to watch the show, a handful of them had a general distate with both the culture and the moderation restrictions of that particular board. Particularly, five of them had gathered in an IRC channel and decided to post ponies to the rest of the imageboard. While it seemed like a good idea at the time, it later stirred up some controversy in the already controversial board, /b/.

They used the following tripcodes:

Flutter !Shy.frIUO2 , age 16

Apple !jack , age 22

Pinkie !Pie/LYtK8E , age 20

Rainbow !Dash , age 23

Big McIn !toshdAyGxE , age 14 Both BigMcIn!Tosh, precursor of /b/rony threads, and The Zam, precursor of MLPG, are still known to be around. (Note: if you have the usertrips of the remaining two people on this list, please complete them.)

They started a simple pony thread on /b/. And, much to everyone's surprise, it caught on. /b/ suddenly exploded with pony threads. More and more bronies were born in the /b/ pony threads. The /b/ pony threads took on a copypasta format, which Flutter!Shy's went a little something like this:

THIS IS THE OFFICIAL PONY THREAD; IF YOU SEE ANOTHER, DIRECT THEM HERE! If there are multiple threads, the older thread should ideally become the 'go to' thread, unless another thread is more active.) Everypony equal. Everypony Loved. You don’t have to have a tripcode to be a brony, it’s just for fun. Due to complaints, the links have been removed from the OP copypasta, but a brony will always be ready to help anypony who asks!

Love, Tolerance, Friendship, and Kindness are the most important things a /b/rony can have, let’s spread some joy and post some ponies!

–/b/rony thread copypasta

135576625026

/b/ronies at the time talked more than about the show.

At some point, the vast majority had come upon agreement that it was time to find a new home, and had proposed the making of an imageboard exclusively dedicated to the newborn Pony Community. The next day, a /b/ regular under the usertrip, Orange !BLaZE/litY , opened up a new imageboard under the domain, www.ponychan.net and invited his fellow /b/ronies into the site. However, it wasn't until late February that the site was actually served as a refuge.

The February Bannings

By the end of February 2011, MLPG has already skyrocketed to 5000 posts per day, making it effectively the fastest general on 4chan. While /co/ would have maybe one or two threads on the front page, /b/ did not share the same organizational traits. There were no markers, no hyper-index, no archive. Nothing but a mere copypasta written by one of the five precursor /b/ronies at its inception. It would be a common sight to see four, or maybe even five pony threads on /b/ simultaneously. These were not the intents of the /b/ refuge, and would inevitably lead to mod intervention sooner or later.

/co/ is notorious for being maintained not by janitors, but fully fledged mods. Their job is to delete posts, make their own decisions following their best judgement, and issue bans when necessary. When they mod /b/, however, there is much more emphasis on the "make your own decisions" guideline. They strive to keep posting behavior exemplarily and genuinely random. Starting on February 26th, one mod decided to take action and purge the pony threads.

/b/rony threads were now at a posting rates by the thousands. Many of them were legitimate discussions, others just included people talking about their day. It takes a largely discussed topic to get to the point where users complain.

Saturday, February 26

5:00 PM EDT - A mod grows sick and tired of the pony threads on /b/ and starts purging them, issuing out bans spanning from 3 days to 30 days. He likely intends to dissolve it completely, but it doesn't go exactly to plan. However, other /b/ros were pleased of the mod's actions and proceeded to gorespam the threads. A few of them overflowed into /co/, believing they would be safe there. However, users of MLPG were quick to notice the fluxuation of hostile behavior, only to be informed of the bannings. It appears to be just a joke by a rogue mod at the time[15].

Where the hell did all these dubs people come from?
No one cares about dubs on /co/, damnit!

/co/ anon

PonyBanDay

That day will live in infamy forever. FOR-EV-ERRRRR.

10:00 PM EDT - As MLPG approaches the night threads comes the air of uncertainty as the first thread with the general image/marker gets 404'd. Users from /b/ warn /co/ that the word "Pony" and "Ponies" is now banned text on /b/ and threads are being purged from /v/. Marker holder, Pacce of the many mustaches !!aEt/eFG7JWB , was the last one properly mark the thread that night before the mod started deleting threads, leaving the marker free without a password. There would now be 3 or 4 generals on the front page.

Sunday, February 27th

1:50 AM EDT - Banned text, including phrases like "pony", "ponies", or "brony", are now implemented on /co/. Complete havoc has struck the board as both /co/lts and /b/ronies trying to refuge the only place left to post. While this situation had been forthcoming for /b/, it had not on their end. /b/ was agitated at the mods, MLPG was infuriated by /b/'s unwanted migration, and the remainder of /co was aggrevated at everyone because the rather incompetent banswinging had done ironically nothing but spam the board with ponies.

1:58 AM EDT - The MLPG archive uses a one-click hyperlink to the current indexed thread, called "hyper-index," which is marked with the MLPG logo, a.k.a. the "marker" or "general image". It is the most practical way that users navigate to the current thread and effectively minimizes duplicate threads from being made. At about 2:00 AM, the marker is blacklisted by the MD5.

3:31 AM EDT - Sethisto posts the news about the global bans on his blog, Equestria Daily. Some viewers of the blog hopped in the board and started creating meta threads, which immediately followed more oncoming banwaves. Autoban wordfilters at some point lifted, however.

9:00 AM EDT - The first few pages were all to some degree pony related, now that there was no general to actually enter. And even worse, they were almost all useless reaction images, as those who were actually trying to at least talk about the show were getting autobanned by the wordfilter.

5:30 PM EDT - Mod on the official IRC room clarifies that the pony ban will still be enforced globally, but with the exception of /co/. Ponies however, will still be forced to one single thread, and avatars will be banned under strict enforcement. Furry or any anthro will not be tolerated at all.

5:43 PM EDT - Mod posts a sticky on /co/, clarifying the new rules regarding ponies on the board. The first sanctioned MLPG thread returns.

Monday, February 28th

Drama on /co/ subsides. Purging of pony threads outside of /co/, mainly /b/, continues. Many users have migrated to ponychan for refuge, but their constraints of bandwidth make it a little difficult to be worthwhile.

Tuesday, March 1st

1298964468987

Mod calls for raid.

12:00 AM EDT - Banswinging on /b/, by now, does not appear to be solving the problem. Regulars on /b/ continue to either cheer on the mods. Others believe they're just stirring up the bees' nest.

2:10 AM EDT - A mod loses his patience on /b/ and calls out a raid thread. Posts a link to Lauren Faust's DeviantArt account, Equestria Daily, and a thread on Ponychan, claiming these were venues of which the site "raids" /b/, stating that Ponychan is being used to aid ban evasion to "spam /b/ with ponies". The results were as follows:

  1. Lauren Faust's DeviantART page gets spammed with death threats that were quickly deleted.
  2. Sethisto suggests to turn off anon posting for the night on his blog, Equestria Daily, but after seeing no traces of a raid on his site, he let it go.
  3. Then, we have Ponychan. While it it's entirely possible that some /b/tards were DDoS by sending out ICMP packets, the vast majority went about a more successful plan. Instead of temporarily shutting it down, they spammed it with gore and porn. While most ponychanners at the time weren't sensitive to gorespam, the site is now in a position to warrant a concern from its sever host. Rushing to draft a complaint letter to their hosting company, the mods rushed to delete their posts, fully aware that the gorespam jeopardizes the existence of the site.

3:00 AM EDT - Ponychan's hosting service obliges the request and pulls the plug on the site, erasing the modified kusaba x fork along with all of the contents of the server.

12:00 PM EDT - Whatever happened overnight, the mods seemed to have relaxed the pony ban on /b/ and only appear to be deleting posts on boards where they never belonged.

9:18 PM EDT - Ponychan goes live again with Webfaction's hosting services.

Aftermath

Users at the time, mainly /b/ronies, refuged upon the restoration of Ponychan in early March 2011, marking the first major divide of the community, and the era's demise of the one and only truly unified fandom. We are not factioned, but we are aware that new boundaries exist where each respective subcommunity has its own culture. Currently, the fandom's attention is not geared towards the pony imageboard community.

NeverForget

Never forget.

It was around this time that Ponychan started getting lots of users, as many /b/ronies wanted a place to go, but didn't use FiMchan due to some tension between the /co/ portion of the fanbase and the /b/ portion. Soon, ponies became okay on 4chan again, leading to more bronies being born. Today, bronies are undeniably a huge thing on the internet. MLP is still at the top of the trending topics list of Know Your Meme, and is the most viewed page. Equestria Daily has had over 70 million views. /co/ threads still reach autosage and image limit every time, and there is now an archive of them here. /b/ still has pony threads many times a day. Ponychan got a ton of traffic, mostly on its most popular board, /oat/. Bronies from SomethingAwful have also created a pony-related form, known as Ponygoons.

In the summer of 2011, Ponies were rapidly taking over the internet. Resistance was futile; you would be assimilated into the herd.

Oh how times have changed.

Gallery

References

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hub_(TV_channel)  The Hub's Wikipedia Page]. Wikipedia (2013-06-06). Retrieved on 2010 October 10.
  2. Mirror of No-IP's Archive. 4chan's /co/ (2010-10-09). Retrieved on 2010 October 9.
  3. Mirror of No-IP's Archive. 4chan's /co/ (2010-10-10). Retrieved on 2010 October 10.
  4. The MLPG Archive. Archive (2010-10-13). Retrieved on 2010 December 15.
  5. Amid Amidi's Profile. Cartoon Brew.
  6. End of the Creator Driven Era. Cartoon Brew (2010-10-19). Retrieved on 2010 October 19.
  7. Mirror of No-IP's Archive, the archive of old /co/.. The Wayback Machine (2012-02-11). Retrieved on 2012 February 11.
  8. http://www.roundstable.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1138  Roundstable Thread - While we don't have an archive of this anymore, they have already confirmed it.]. The Wayback Machine (2010-10-19). Retrieved on 2012 February 28.
  9. DerpySquad, founder of DHN (01-07-2012). IT BEGINS: The early days of the fandom. DerpyHoovesNews.
  10. Interview of Anonymous Animator. MLPG Archive (10-24-2010). Retrieved on 2010 October 25.
  11. Coining of the Term, Brony. MLPG Archive (10-25-2010). Retrieved on 2012 December 15.
  12. http://arch.413chan.net/co22064053.html  Example of a Sethisto Trixie Roleplay thread]. MLPG Archive (2010-02-20). Retrieved on 2010 December 21.
  13. http://arch.413chan.net/co22765110.html  "Seth made a Blog" Thread]. MLPG Archive (2011-01-19). Retrieved on 2011 January 20.
  14. The MLP Community Wiki. PonyNews (2010-12-15). Retrieved on 2010 December 15.
  15. Late Evening MLPG. 413chan (2011-02-26). Retrieved on 2011 February 27.

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