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A pastebin or text storage site[1][2][3] is a type of online content-hosting service where users can store plain text (e.g. source code snippets for code review via Internet Relay Chat (IRC)). The most famous pastebin is the eponymous pastebin.com.[citation needed] Other sites with the same functionality have appeared, and several open source pastebin scripts are available. Pastebins may allow commenting where readers can post feedback directly on the page. GitHub Gists are a type of pastebin with version control.


Pastebins developed in the late 1990s to facilitate IRC chatrooms devoted to computing, where users naturally need to share large blocks of computer input or output in a line-oriented medium.[4] In such chatrooms, sending messages containing large blocks of computer data can disrupt conversations, which can be closely interleaved. When users send such messages, they are often warned to instead use pastebins or risk being banned from the service. Contrarily, a reference to a pastebin entry is a one-line hyperlink.

A new class of IRC bot has evolved. In a chatroom that is largely oriented around a few pastebins, nothing more needs to be done after a post at its pastebin. The receiving party then awaits a bot announcing the expected posting by the known user.

After the use of the pastebin.pl pastebin for a data breach, Pastebin started monitoring the site for illegally pasted data and information, leading to a backlash from Anonymous. Hacktivists teamed up with an organization calling itself the People's Liberation Front, launching an alternative called AnonPaste.[5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Robertson, Adi (April 3, 2012). "Pastebin Hiring People to Proactively Remove 'Sensitive Information,' Says Owner". The Verge. Archived from the original on February 20, 2017. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
  2. ^ Notopoulos, Katie (February 3, 2012). "Somebody's watching: how a simple exploit lets strangers tap into private security cameras". The Verge. Archived from the original on February 20, 2017. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
  3. ^ Cheok, Jacquelyn. "First batch of personal data offenders slapped with fines, warnings". The Business Times. Archived from the original on February 20, 2017. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
  4. ^ Brian, Matt (June 4, 2011). "Pastebin: How a popular code-sharing site became the ultimate hacker hangout". TNW. Financial Times. Archived from the original on May 10, 2023.
  5. ^ Emil, Protalinski (April 4, 2012). "Pastebin to hunt for hacker pastes, Anonymous cries censorship". ZDNet. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on February 5, 2015.
  6. ^ Sidel, Robin (January 7, 2015). "Morgan Stanley Data Leak Not the First Headache for Pastebin". The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company. Archived from the original on November 9, 2016.