What does it mean when someone comments “ITT” on a message board, and what exactly is a thread? We’ll answer all your questions about this online forum acronym here.
ITT: In This Thread
ITT is an initialism that stands for “in this thread.” It’s typically used on online forums, social networking sites, and message boards to describe or suggest a topic to be discussed in a particular thread.
If you’re unfamiliar with message boards, this might be the first time you’ve heard of an internet “thread.” It’s a string of messages from various people on the same topic. Each message is viewable by a community, and they’re often replying or referring to each other. Every thread is started by an “OP” or “original poster.
Threads are also present on social networks, like Twitter and Facebook. A highly popular website that uses threads is Reddit, where the comment section under each post is a thread.
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The Origins of ITT
ITT has likely been around as long as web message boards have. The earliest definition of ITT on Urban Dictionary dates back to 2003, well before Reddit’s emergence. It defines ITT as “in this forum thread.”
ITT was used to set a thread’s topic. It was often found in the title of the first post or the post itself. For example, if the title of a first post says “ITT: We post pictures of our gaming rigs,” people will post images of their computers.\
The acronym was also used for humorous effect. For example, if the title of a thread was “ITT: You roast the person above you,” people would crack jokes or make fun of the previous poster.
ITT eventually became widespread across a variety of internet forums. In addition to becoming common on popular boards like 4Chan or Something Awful, it also gained traction on smaller, more niche websites.
The Changing Meaning of ITT
Given the continually shifting culture and demographics of the web, certain terms gain new meanings as time goes by. The usage of ITT has become more ironic or sarcastic. Instead of being used to set a thread topic, it’s now used to describe the types of messages within a thread.
For example, in a thread about rumors of a potential sequel to a trendy movie, someone might say something like, “ITT: People freaking out about nothing.” This person is expressing skepticism about the rumors and emphasizing that people seem to be getting their hopes up unnecessarily.
Another use of ITT is to jokingly predict the kind of people and/or messages a thread will attract. For example, in a thread discussing a controversy about Apple devices, someone might post something like, “ITT: Android users.” This is a joking prediction that the thread will attract people who’ll comment negatively about Apple.
Some people also use ITT as a warning. For example, if sensitive information is discussed in later posts, someone might post something like, “ITT: Descriptions of violence,” to warn more sensitive folks to steer clear.
Not in This Thread
One of Reddit’s most popular communities is r/AskReddit, where people post questions and others answer them. Some questions are directed at experts or specific groups of people. For example, someone might post a thread entitled, “Professional chefs of Reddit, what’s the worst dish you’ve ever served?”
However, since there are all kinds of people on Reddit, many who comment will most likely not be professional chefs. Per the usage we described above, someone might then humorously comment, “ITT: Not professional chefs.”
How to Use ITT
Unlike some internet terms that you can also use in real-life conversations, ITT is almost exclusively used online. While it’s not commonly used to start topics anymore, it is still used in a joking manner.
Below are a few ways you can use ITT:
- In a thread asking people about near-death experiences: “ITT: People who’ve never even ridden a roller-coaster.”
- In a thread asking people to post pics of expensive computers: “ITT: PCs I could never afford.”
- In a thread that describes a disturbing incident: “ITT: Graphic violence.”