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I was watching a live video stream the other day. To my surprise, other viewers kept flooding the chat with the number eight! My screen kept filling up with messages like these:

88888888888888888888888888888888888
➑➇➑➇➑➇➑➇➑➇➑➇➑➇➑➇➑➇➑➇➑➇➑➇➑➇➑➇➑➇➑➇➑➇➑➇➑➇➑➇➑➇➑➇
88888888888888888888888888888888888888888888

What do these messages mean?

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3  
I don't agree with the vote to close saying this is too localized, because it is more pervasive throughout the internet then just seen in one little corner of it. If this was only seen on one site, then I would agree. –  silvermaple Jan 28 '13 at 20:20
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1 Answer

up vote 17 down vote accepted

As you can see from these references:

Streams of the number eight such as 8888 represent applause. They're read パチパチ, the sound of hands clapping together one after another in applause, as in the phrase パチパチと拍手する.

The second reference above also explains the derived slang terms 7777 and 9999, which might be of interest:

  • 7777 means that something wasn't good enough to applaud, so it only got instead of ;
  • 9999 expresses the opposite, that something was even better than 8888 would imply.
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なるほど・・・wwwwwwww –  Chocolate Jan 28 '13 at 13:28
1  
88888888888888 Great answer! I was often wondering the same thing. –  Akira71 Jan 31 '13 at 19:32
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