4chan founder Chris “moot” Poole no longer works at Google

Originally published at: 4chan founder Chris "moot" Poole no longer works at Google | Boing Boing


He looks like Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits


4chan in moot’s time was an extraordinary social site. He and his crew had a solid conscious grasp on how code architecture formed social relations, did amazing things with little code, and did interesting experiments in exposing rules to users and conscious culture building.

he wrote a clone of 2chan in php, and his platform later became a cultural hub for the nascent alt-right. and in the 18 years since launching 4chan, he doesn’t have much else of note to put on his resume

He’s an accomplished social hacker, and simultaneously the perfect example of what not to do in running online communities


asked to resign : fired :: misinformation : lie


Adios, and don’t let the door hit ya in the ass.


Success doesn’t always repeat. He might be a decent dev but I doubt he could replicate the success of 4chan it was just a creature of time. The Internet before the full-cable-tv-ization took over. Raunchy, untamed websites aren’t gonna make money no matter how hard you try. So take a hint, don’t hire nerds who run them expecting repeatable successes.


And that’s why my current project is tltled Dooomed Project. :grinning:

Although I’ll do plenty of simulations, I know it’ll sink into the swamp under scale and bad actors, but let’s see how it breaks before doing the next one.


moot eventually went to war with the culture that 4chan had garnered: what most people fail to mention when talking about this is that the whole point of /b/ was to quarantine trolls and other creeps that were ruining other boards. Part of him stepping away was not wanting to destroy the legitimate communities that survived on the site and hoping that someone with more resources could moderate it better (they couldn’t) of course 4chan has morphed into something worse than it ever has been, but getting mad at moot about it is in poor taste imo. but whatever


A decade or so ago I had a passing interest in 4chan… it was everything right and everything wrong about the internet in one place. I was surprised to find out that a psychologist I worked with at the time was frequenting the site because she was trying to wrap her head around what the hell was going on there.

It’s impossible to not focus on the bad parts because there was so much of it… 4chan in totality was a very bad place. A lot of the cross-board flamewars mirror some of the divisive politics we see everywhere now… the troll mentality and pepe the frog type of nonsense has leaked into the broader zeitgeist. Revenge porn, doxxing, swatting, brigading, organized ddosing, inciting violence and self-harm… 4chan was one of the early incubators of all of it (though not the only one).

The Facebook news feed has in a lot of ways become a similarly chaotic feed of nonsense… and it still comes as a bit of a surprise to me, but it turns out you don’t need much anonymity to see the bad side of people come out in force.

While I don’t agree with it, I can see Tom Jenning’s side of the story… there was genuine creativity, a massive meme culture, and connections were made… especially if you kept to the better moderated boards; but you knew what was going on in the bad parts of the site because occasionally that firehose of bullshit would be directed your way. I don’t know how anyone tolerated it for any length of time.

Defending it today, after we’ve seen what comes from it, is like saying Jeffrey Epstein was a nice guy because he donated to your charity once. You can’t put the cat back in the bag.

I doubt Google fired Poole, I wouldn’t give them that much credit; he’s been there flying under the radar for 5 years afterall.


Poor guy. He was just trying to make a place where he and his fellow aficionados of the “Anime Death Tentacle Rape Whorehouse” forum could escape Something Awful’s moderation.


Google’s hiring process seems like it is pretty rigorous. Maybe they hired him because he was able to demonstrate that he could do the job they were asking him to do? Maybe he didn’t mention his side projects and they don’t as a rule do a social media investigation of new hires? That doesn’t seem like a bad thing to me. Google isn’t all good but I don’t see the fact that google hired this guy as necessarily reflecting badly on the company.

yeah. that’s the part that boggled my mind when i read the article above. that getting out from under the jackbooted censorship of “the goons” is a major element of your origin story does not speak well about your community or your membership.


More the question why was Moot working there to begin with? I mean, he did so much to make the world a worse place. The road to hell has been paved by 4chan edgelords.


Seems like kind of a non-story? He worked at Google. Five years later, he’s now working somewhere else. In a followup, rain is sometimes wet.


Yes. On occasion there have been things that I was looking for* that I could only find there. It was still toxic. Being there felt like my worst days at school, except without any sympathetic teachers willing to step in and stop the abuse.

* console ROM hacks, if you must know.


The article suggests his side project was exactly why Google was interested.

Poole’s hiring at the company was controversial, but high-ranking Google+ execs defended the move. 4chan is a social site with millions of monthly visitors, and that made Poole one of the company’s few experienced social experts when he arrived.


Here’s the thing: Poole and other anime fans didn’t name that subforum, it was so named that by the forum administration who wanted to sequester anime discussion out of other parts of the SA forums and into its own subsection. The original ADTRW moderators hated anime and so enforced a draconian set of rules. In some cases this was justified, but overall it wasn’t in line with how other subforums were being moderated. So yes, 4chan was created and positioned as an alternative to the bullshit happening in ADTRW.

ADTRW nowadays is actually moderated by fans of the genre and the meaning of the abbreviation has been changed a few times, currently it’s " Animation Delivers Thorough Rambunctious Wholesomeness"


Something tells me Google knows all about every possible new hire before they even apply

They’re like the Ministry of Information in the movie Brazil


I think you have answered your own question there.


Well, then I’m sorry for him. It must suck to be associated with that poorly-named forum then create a nice website that became infamously toxic after he left.