The PreludePonies had arrived on /b/ in December 2010. The posting of ponies on /b/ up until late February, retained their privilege, and was technically allowed, however it was discouraged. Users had to fend for themselves from /b/'s troll-tastic nature as the quantity of daily threads rose by the thousands. Many of them, including Big Mcin!Tosh had hope to relocate most of the /b/rony threads to avoid clogging up /b/ with niceness. 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. Flutter!shy returned on Ponychan in April 2013 saying he "just wanted an organized community, not a bunch of chaos and 50 pony threads at once with a bunch of faggots running around." The building of a pony-related website was still a young idea at the time, as the only known sites of such were Derpyhooves and Equestria Daily.
Due to the limitations the unarchived board, the coining of the name, Ponychan, cannot be determined. However, on the MLPG, the hypothetical name of a Pony imageboard first appeared on February 7, 2011, the night before the site went live. Sadly this raw evidence will likely be irrelevant as users from /b/ seldomly traversed /co/, at least without their tripcode.
PrologueThe 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. The traffic in the site started out slow, but had a hardy jumpstart due to the wanted migration.
The community at its grand opening arrived on the site from two primary outlets - /b/ and Derpychat. Rules at the time were not entirely specified yet, as the admin, Orange, at the time, wasn't sure what type of crowd the site would attract. For the first week, there were no mods, period. Since most users came from 4chan at the time, half of the community was anonymous. Orange himself wrote a sticky clarifying that he never wanted the users to feel pressured into identifying themselves.
The original Ponychan only had five boards - /pony/, /pic/, /a/, /st/, and /meta/.
There were no wordfilters in the beginning of the site's history, nor were there mods that used canon pony names. Nonetheless, they were all asked to hide their identity anyways, simply using the Anonymous ##Mod## Capcode. Much of the moderation policy was similar to 4chan's moderation, except that gore and porn have been forbidden since day one.
Raid and Downfall
On February, the infamous pony bannings on /b/ had led to a flooding of traffic to a degree far higher than the original servers were able to hold. The site was now consuming more bandwidth than ever. However, most of /co/'s users would temporarily migrate their discussion to FiMchan, a site that technically opened exactly one day before Ponychan went live.On February 28, a mod called out a raid thread on /b/ and dropped a few links, including a link to Lauren Faust's DeviantArt Account, Equestria Daily, and Ponychan, claiming these are places where bronies "raid" /b/, claiming this was a site used to discuss the use of proxies to ban evade and to "spam /b/ with ponies." The /b/-tards were then provoked to perform the most successful Ponychan raid they have ever done. If anyone tells you that they DDoS'd the site via LOIC, they are incorrect. Here's what actually happened. They spammed the site with gore in porn, which in reality, didn't do much to offend its users, seeing how most users at the time were /b/-tards themselves. However, the /b/-tards took it a more successful step further. They reported the spammed site to its hosting company for hosting gore and porn that violated their hosting Terms of Service, and the moderators weren't quick enough to delete the content from the raid, which later on, led to the implementation of a "raid mode" which automatically deletes all reported posts from a raid at the push of a button. However, that night, the server host pulled the plug on the Ponychan server, deleting the site, along with all of its contents, where the site remained down for the next three days. However, one Anon user luckily saved the threads shortly before the attack, where they are now saved in a directory known as /80/. However, many threads were saved by the Wayback Machine as well.
|“|| The poor website couldn't handle it apparently...Lets just hope this doesn't leak over to our /co/ again. I love you /b/ronies but you really do know how to stir up the bees nest.|
I'm starting to wonder if Moot is even aware of all of this. Usually he's the voice of reason when his mods go on rampages.
–Sethisto, Equestria Daily
The First YearOn March 1, Orange reintroduced his with new renovations, including a reformatting of the themes, moderation capcodes, hidden deletion boards, a wordfilter, and later an archive. The mods took grip of the pony handles, including !!RainbowDash, !!PinkiePie, !!Rarity, and so on. Three weeks after the upgrade, the sidebar was removed, and the new "Now 20% Cooler!" menubar was added. By March 24, the site had reached 1000 unique IP addresses.
Ponychan in its early months had gained recognition from those who worked on the show including the show's director Jayson Thiessen, and at one point, Lauren Faust herself.
One of the most infamous trolls on the site, HitIar, started appearing on Ponychan as well. He was famous for his harsh sense of humor, speaking with bastardized German. These kinds of trolls were still welcomed at the time, which shows how relaxed the site's policy was at the time. Over the summer, however, these trolls would not recieve such a warm welcome like they used to.
Another troll named Marceline the Vampire Queen would also devote himself into making several threads a night, many of which led to a little drama amongst the community.
Unfortunately, the show and the fandom didn't really turn out the right way either. The first !!PinkiePie mod was fired for making excessive errors, and the abundance of gorespam was a common sight. This was primarily surrounded by the massive attention given by /b/.On May 1, Ponychan was reported down due to an internal server error, where it remained offline for the rest of the night. Many Ponychan users rushed to /b/ (where at the time, "AMERICA, FUCK YEAH" was autoplaying. Others went on /co/, only to find out that most MLPG users had garnered a general distaste of Ponychan, mainly because it allows off-topic discussion and its policy encouraging the community of being akin to a "hugbox." Sometime in June 2011, the Ponychan URL was removed from the MLPG linkboard.
Summer Population BoomThe utilization of the new boards, notably /collab/, were peculiar enough to often gain public attention by major pony-related outlets nearly at a daily basis. Over the Summer of 2011, Ponychan had easily become the largest pony-related discussion site yet. Users would often claim Ponychan as the premiere place to work on fanfiction and collaborate on major projects, including Fighting is Magic, Ponykart, Desktop Ponies, even this wiki.
Over the Summer of 2011, the /b/ raids began to dwindle as /b/ and Ponychan drifted on their separate ways. Ponychan started to gain its own inside jokes, a stable community, while at the same time, maintaining serious pony-related discussion. Ponychan outran FiMchan as the fastest pony imageboard on the internet. Along with the rest of the fandom, the population skyrocketed mainly due to the outreach of which the fanworks had gathered, including the My Little Pony Physics Presentation, Ponies Anthology, Fighting is Magic, all of which happened to coincide together. This led to the opening of many media outlets that are popular today, such as MyLittleBrony, a pony themed branch of MemeBase. This is also the month of which the whole "Ferris Wheel" meme had originated, which was started by HawkeyePierce. The thread had devolved into roleplay shipping, much to the amusement to /oat/ posters at the time.However, this had also led to some mild drama between the !!Spike Mod, who mainly cracked down on these roleplay derails which resulted into public confrontations that harshly tolled his mod reputation until he ultimately quit. However, he mentioned later that his reasons for quitting were rather due to tensions between !!Celestia and the mods who currently resided. Despite these internal conflicts, Ponychan garnered a more peaceful culture.
That was, until a scam had struck /oat/ on June 15. On this day, an MLPG user known as Faceless decided to take advantage of Ponychan's benevolent community. (Let's be clear here. This incident is frowned upon by the majority of /co/ as well.) He wrote a story claiming he needed money for medical help, and he dropped a link to a paypal account. By the end of the day, he had scammed out $124 from the community and spent it on scat rule 34 commissions, which led to a major shitstorm on /oat/ that forced !!Scootaloo to allocate all threads into one ginormous sticky. This had provoked the creation of /predictionsandprophecies/, a hidden board for stickies. It had also led to the "no beggars" rule.
- Main article: Thread Derailment
Dragons aren't supposed to be cute, right?
On October, a sticky on /oat/ had announced a more lenient policy change on board. The board wouldn't be as loosened as before /chat/ was established, yet not as stringent as the !!Spike era. One of the most famous threads to come out of /chat/ was the ATM story, which evolved into multiple perspectives of the same mugging story.
On the same day as the airing of "Luna Eclipsed," 4chan admin announced that he would be purging pony threads on /b/. After another massive series of bannings on /b/, much of their community relapsed on Ponychan. Following these events, the first "/b/ and Friends" serial was opened on /chat/ (later to be relocated to /gala/, then finally MLPchan.)
From November up until Christmastime, a successful thread on /pony/ involving an anonymous gift exchange with amazon Wishlists had warmed the hearts of our beloved community.
Following a series of Twilight Appreciation Threads, the admin, !!Celestia himself decided to jump the bandwagon himself and forced anon the entirety of /oat/, making the default name Twilight Sparkle and the default theme Twilight. He then took it as far as to filter every mane 6 cast into Twilight. These admin shenanigans would later be labeled "Twilight Night".
January 2012 Policy ChangesAfter an "effort to drown out the /meta/ drama," the moderation undergone a policy change that completely altered the perspective of which the community viewed the site's staff members. Ever since day one, Orange has had a strict "concealed identities" policy. The punishment of neglecting this policy would result in the revoking of his (or her) mod trip. On January 3, this staff guideline was removed, and a /meta/ thread was created of which all of the mods revealed their identities, including newly recruited members, Moony and Dragomena. This ultimately assumed the scrapping of the previous mod recruiting method, which included mod applications. Following this disclosure had allowed the community to become much more personal with the staff with little to no restraints.
Everfree Board and Derpygate
Furthermore, after an incident of a newcomer being harshly criticized for his OC, !!Celestia was pressured into creating a controversial off-topic board with more relaxed rules. In the forest, the fear of being banned for anything below the level of porn, gore, or illegal content was permitted. The board was subject to flame wars on /meta/ quite frequently.
In late January, !!TwilightSparkle announced the newly written "Suicide Policy." The policy stated that any Suicide threads are forbidden due to the sensitivity of the situation. This has gotten a mixed response from /meta/, but many of the users are relieved that it's not their problem anymore.
On February 17, Moot finally opened a new board for posting ponies on 4chan. On the first night, many Ponychan users, including Moony found themselves wandering in this new board to see if it was a safer place to settle compared to /co/ and /b/. Seeing all of the porn dumps on the site, it probably wasn't. The proverbial tensions between [[4chan's Pony Board|/mlp/]] and ponychan didn't take effect until a few weeks later. The final week of February marked on of the largest shitstorms to ever impact /show/, the Derpy's censorings were public. The original thread on /show/ had reached over 2400 posts in one week, easily a record-breaking posting rate for the high-class discussion board. Many users from /ef/, however, decided to stay.
Shock exit of /ef/
On March 16, the users on /meta/ finally got the best of the admin. Later that night, !!RainbowDash was ordered to post a thread stating that the experiment is a failure and was to be deleted by the end of the day. This sparked a series of shitstorms that shook /ef/'s final hours and subsequently /meta/. Everfree's front page was replaced with a cake - a Portal reference.
Black Butterfly, among many advocates who sought the return of /ef/, decided to host her own board to retain the community that had already formed. April 8 is officially recognized as the date Efchan was established, and the aftermath resulted in the loudest splintering of Ponychan. Moony, among the Ponychan staff, was given a spot in Efchan's moderation.
After the ending of the heartwarming season finale, !!Celestia announced the closing of /now/, also known as the episode streaming board. Following these changes came the renaming of /oat/'s Title, the "Pony General." This major change helped make /oat/ more hospitable for /show/ posters. However, the fellow g/oat/s shared their thoughts about the changes on /meta/. Much of it was harsh criticism at first impression, but as time took its toll, /oat/ realized that their first impressions were overboard and these changes had done the best for the board.
Summer 2012 - A Hotpot of Drama
The majority of the Ponychanners were upset to hear about the resignation of Cross Breeze. May 11 marked the boiling of the biggest hotpot of drama yet. On that night it was leaked amongst the community the plannings of Orange's retirement along with the upcoming turnover of the Admin rights to his former assistant, Zamoonda. Without going heavy into detail, his rights were revoked the next morning under Orange's volition after a series of confrontations with community members had convinced him to change his mind. The internal drama proceeded throughout the summer but was no longer the epicenter of attention like it was on this day.
Get something else on my desk by the end of the day. And it better be juicy.
The final week of May came the widespread announcement of the Brony Documentary, which had left /oat/ initially in great excitement. However, as more of the Documentary plans were elaborated, truthfully, the hype had died down. Later that week came the horrific discovery of the "Lyra Plushie" on /merch/. After many complaints on /meta/, the linking of the DeviantArt gallery had become a bannable offense for a while.
Over the summer, The Daily Oat was given a dedicated board. The idea appeared to make sense at first, mainly because the staff was tired of keeping up with the blotter links and would prefer to give /oat/ its own community and be done with it. This board had proven to be an absolute failure and was dead by the end of its first week. /meta/ users had responded with a hailstorm of criticism, saying that by isolating /oat/ from its news outlets, The Daily Oat could no longer give the site its proper news coverage it has always provided.
TLC as in "Tender, Loving Care?" or "Totally Lost Cause?"
Throughout the summer advanced a wide spectrum of disagreement with the site's current policies, and many members no longer wished to stay. On July 13, MLPchan.net went live. Its population growth had proved to be beyond a "splintering," but instead, a rivaling site. Many users had chose to leave Ponychan behind, including Anonthony himself, and took their community discussion to MLPchan.
On August 2, the anticipated "Fighting is Magic" game had been leaked to the public. Ponychan's /collab/, the home of the game's discussion thread had caught wind of it. The posting of the game's link was later ruled a bannable offense. However, the development team later had accepted the aftermath of the leak.
It's a work in progress!
Coming to the end of the moderation drama, Hawkeye was appointed as the new !!BigMac. The end of that month came with the purging of the dead boards. !!Celestia's abscence started spanning in larger durations. Throughout his abscence, moderators were choosing to become more laxed in terms of rule enforcement. By Ponychan's second year in, the community has long abandoned the "Love and Tolerance" phrase alongside the "hugboxing" atmosphere.
December 2012 Policy Changes
Throughout the month of December, many users had become fed up with the excessive wordfilters, which had spanned from lighthearted trolling and was now akin to intrusive counterproductivity. Every other thread was a complaint regarding wordfilters. The mod team was more than willing to help if the situation wasn't out of their hands. Three of !!Celestia's final administrative decisions included the establishment of a Canternet IRC channel, the removal of the dying /phoenix/ board, and the appointing of !!SweetieBelle (or Aurroria). After these public decisions were finalized, Orange handed co-administrative rights to !!Lyra (or Mithent), stuck around in the IRC for a brief period, then disappeared without explanation. However, it has been confirmed that he still pays for the server hosting, minus the hardy donations received out of the community's generosity.
Is that Princess Celestia?
!!Lyra has remained open to suggestions and the community posts their changes publicly via Trello Cards. In particualar, the coders opened a theme contest, changed the settings menu, added some experimental features such as "Duo View" and are currently working on an IRC sidebar in an attempt to breathe life in the chat while encouraging the imageboard traffic to be more topical.
|“||There are various changes and improvements that we are hoping to make in the near future, many of which have been prompted by our recent discussions on improving the site.||”|
–!!Lyra, on /meta/.