R9K is a fairly old phrase on the internet with its origins in the late 2000s in the form of an open source Robot called Robot 9000, nowadays its something you might see in Twitch chat and wondering why its there and what you or others did to trigger it.
Let’s get to it.
The origins for the term R9K stem from XKCDcartoonist Randall Munroe who developed an IRC (Internet relay chat) script called Robot 9000 with the name often shortened to R9K. The goal of the script’s algorithm is to prevent users from sending the same messages, over and over again.
You can actually see an original blog post from Randall here.
This was simply made to ensure Munroe’s IRC chat was clean with fewer manual actions needed. The script was open-source so that it could be used elsewhere.
This is the origins of all future R9K related uses and its meaning remains the same.
Following from the release of Munroe’s R9K script, it was implemented into 4chan’s now deleted /r9k/ board, with the script in place reposts were not permitted which means only original content was able to be posted. This was the goal ion mind for the creator, for something a bit fun.
But, rising from /r9k/ was the ‘green text’ style of writing which is still used as memes today. Here’s an example for a refresher.
These days, R9K means to write in this format. R9K “mode” probably referred to Twitch below.
However, it was soon taken over by the ‘incel’ community and turned into a cesspit, quite frankly.
Twitch R9K Mode
Twitch chat has an R9K mode which is turned off as default which is called unique chat mode. R9K mode works exactly as the above descriptions do – it prevents users from entering non-unique messages on chat and may mute or even ban them for repeated offences.
Some chat bots still offer R9K mode, such as Chatterino.
This feature was in official beta before disappearing as it was easy to trigger innocently, especially with messages along the lines of “hello”, “gg” and so on. Its nearest relevant command now is /slow which sets a limit to how many messages a user can send in a given time.
When people question the meaning of R9K now, they are unlikely to be asking about Twitch.
Discord R9K bot
Signal is an R9K bot which can turn the mode on for their Discord server. It’s easy to use and works the same way as other Robot 9000s – it simply limited messages to only unique entries.
The bot attempts to improve a channel’s signal-to-noise ratio by requiring all messages to be unique. Every time a message is sent into the selected channel the bot will compare it to all previously sent messages, if it’s deemed too similar the message will be deleted. If the user keeps sending unoriginal messages they will be temporarily muted based on the number of infractions.Signal
So, what is the meaning of R9K mode?
R9K mode simply means every message is unique. In the early days it referred to a simple IRC script but its mainstream use is in reference to the 4chan green text style of writing, usual stories.
Twitch, for a brief period, had R9k mode, which angered many (if not all) casual viewers and it was since removed and not implemented.
Can you bypass R9K Mode?
Of course! Misspellings, adding numbers in random places can avoid the wrath of R9K. However, its goal is to create original conversation rather than colourful ways to get around it. This is why the green text memes are so popular because they are so original by design.