A pastebin or text storage site is a type of online content hosting service where users can store plain text, e.g. to source code snippets for code review via Internet Relay Chat (IRC). The first pastebin was the eponymous pastebin.com. 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 needed to share large blocks of computer input or output in a line-oriented medium. On such IRC channels, where the formatting clues are subtle and several conversations can be closely interleaved, blocks of computer data flood the queue, disrupting the intricate flow. Users are often warned to instead use pastebins, or risk being banned from the service in the event of disruption. A reference to a pastebin entry, however, 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 to announce the expected posting by the known user.
After the use of the pastebin.com 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Emil, Protalinski (4 April 2012). "Pastebin to hunt for hacker pastes, Anonymous cries censorship". ZDNet. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on 5 February 2015.
- Sidel, Robin (7 January 2015). "Morgan Stanley Data Leak Not the First Headache for Pastebin". The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company. Archived from the original on 9 November 2016.