This article is about 2chan.net. For 2ch.net "ni channeru", see 2channel
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Futaba Channel (ふたば(双葉)☆ちゃんねる Futaba Channeru, lit. "Double Leaf Channel, Two Leaf Channel"), or Futaba for short, is an internet forum in Japan. It is a popular Japanese imageboard dealing in otaku and underground culture.
Futaba Channel was set up on August 30, 2001, as a refuge for 2channel users when 2channel was in danger of shutting down. The 4chan imageboard is based on Futaba.
Futaba Channel consists of about 60 imageboards (three of which are oekaki boards) and about 40 textboards, with topics ranging from daily personal problems to junk food, sports, ramen, and pornography. There is also a place to upload general non-image files. Futaba is powered by a custom script based on GazouBBS. The Futaba script is open source and is used to run many Japanese imageboards.
Futaba has spawned a number of strange visual gags and characters; the OS-tans would be one such meme that has spread to western internet culture. Some of the characters that appear on Futaba Channel have entered the real world in the form of various real-life goods, such as figures, dolls or images printed on pillows. Such items are mainly produced by Japanese dōjin artists and groups.
Non-Japanese Internet users sometimes refer to Futaba Channel as 2chan, due to the address of the site. It is frequently unclear whether this is intended to mean Futaba Channel or 2channel, and sometimes it even refers to both, as if they were a single website. To eliminate confusion, the names Futaba and 2channel are often used.