Google has made the unexpected move of hiring Christopher Poole, the original creator of the infamously controversial internet image-board 4chan.
Poole, made the news public in a Tumblr post on Tuesday.
“Today I’m excited to announce that I’ve joined Google.”
Commonly known as “moot” online, Poole began building the 4chan site in 2003 at the tender age of just 15. In the 12 consecutive years, he turned his bedroom enterprize into a 22 million active user image-sharing community with topics that were as diverse as pictures of cute kittens to hardcore porn. The idea behind the channel was that it was all anonymous.
While 4chan was a winner for online freedom of expression, it also led to the common association with 4Chan and offensive and abusive material. It was also widely credited as being the epicentre of 2014’s leaking of images of nude celebrities following the now famous hack of Apple’s iCloud service.
The incognito 4Chan however also served as a focal rallying point for online activism from groups such as Anonymous, and others.
The diverse and often anarchically themed 4chan community was also responsible for some the web’s more memorably popular and creative memes over the years, including both LOLcats, and the it was funny once, Rickrolling phenomenon that at one point seemed to dominate virtually every YouTube video going. In September 2015, 4chan was sold to a Japanese entrepreneur.
“When meeting with current and former Googlers, I continually find myself drawn to their intelligence, passion, and enthusiasm — as well as a universal desire to share it with others. I’m also impressed by Google’s commitment to enabling these same talented people to tackle some of the world’s most interesting and important problems.”
Chris Poole retired as administrator of 4chan back in January 2015. While no details of his actual job role have been released or confirmed, other than that he has been hired by Google, he is expected to be involved with the social networking side of Google, an area where the browser giant has failed to compete with the likes of Facebook, et al.
“I can’t wait to contribute my own experience from a dozen years of building online communities, and to begin the next chapter of my career at such an incredible company.”