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4chumblr refers to the fictionalized relationship between personified versions of 4chan and the micro-blogging site Tumblr. The anthropomorphized relationship stemmed from a trolling war between the sites known as Operation Overlord.
On November 11th, 2010, 4chan’s random image board /b/ declared war on Tumblr with Operation Overlord for their trolling on anonymous chat site Omegle. Anonymous members began spamming shock images to the site and orchestrating DDoS attacks with a special application called a Low Orbit Ion Cannon. The raid managed to temporarily bring down the home page of Tumblr, although individual blogs continued to function.
In retaliation, Tumblr users posted multiple threads of cat pictures to /b/ the same day, calling this counterattack Operation Overkitten. While it seemed to have little effect, several of 4chan’s moderators felt that Anonymous members had crossed the line with this attack and caused all new threads made on /b/ to 404 upon creation. Because of the mods taking away the ability to create threads, many 4chan users decided they would rather take advantage of Tumblr’s stereotypical hipster female userbase and turn the raid in to a romance.
Tumblr-tan, the female version of Tumblr was created the same day as the initial raids. She was drawn with the same blue and white color scheme as the site, usually wearing clothing associated with hipsters and a hair clip in the shape of a “T” Tumblr logo. She is often depicted as romantically involved with True/Old Anonymous, a faceless man in a green suit.
The same day as the raids, 4chumblr was defined on Urban Dictionary, a single-topic blog for Tumblr-Tan and a Facebook page for the relationship was created. A deviantArt group was also founded that day, which received over 250 members over its first year. Many of the deviantArt images were turned into video compilations by YouTuber desiredblasphemy, generating nearly 5,000 views in under 3 days.
On November 16th, Urlesque covered the imagined relationship, highlighting some of the best fan art.
The short-lived war between the two websites brought a surge in attention for both of them, causing a noticeable spike in search volume on November 14, 2010. Search for “4chumblr” also peaked in November 2010.