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4Chan Founder Chris Poole Is Joining Google

The messaging board phenom comes to the Borg.

The Verge

Chris Poole, the founder of the controversial messaging board and Internet backwater 4chan, is going to be a Googler.

Poole, better known by his screen-name, moot, shared the news in a brief post on his Tumblr page. “I can’t wait to contribute my own experience from a dozen years of building online communities,” he wrote, “and to begin the next chapter of my career at such an incredible company.”

He’ll work under Bradley Horowitz, VP of Photos and Streams, who oversees Google Plus. Horowitz wrote that he’s “thrilled” Poole is joining the team on its flagging social network.

In the fall, the search giant launched a revamped version of Google Plus as a sort of newfangled messaging board.

 Chris Poole, 4chan founder and new Googler
Chris Poole, 4chan founder and new Googler

Poole created 4chan when he was 15 years old. The simple site quickly rose to become one of the Web’s most popular — and most toxic. Posters on the site were trailblazers in the anonymous online mob culture, deploying their horde ability for tricks that were sometimes benign — in 2008, 4chan users managed to nominate Poole as Time’s person of the year — but often outright sexist and racist, as in the flare-ups last year over Gamergate.

Last year, Poole surrendered control of the site to three anonymous moderators after wrestling with the decision for years, according to a long, definitive piece in Rolling Stone. “Week after week after week after week, there’s this new controversy,” he told the magazine. “I kept getting drawn back in.”

After 4chan, Poole started Canvas Networks, an image-based social network. The startup raised $3.63 million from high-profile investors including Founders Fund, Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures before shutting down.

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