Christopher Poole on leaving 4chan


#1

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#2

He sounds like a really nice guy- I’m surprised he was able to put up with that abuse for as long as he did, and sad that his little message board became a playground for literally some of the worst people on the planet.


#3

Well I do hope he finds a buyer, the guy worked his ass off for years. Even though he built Frankenstein, I hope he earns something for his labor.

I hear Disney is interested.


#4


#5

Yep. I was expecting something along the lines of a Bile Demon from Dungeon Keeper. Or at least something from the traditional Spawn of Beelzebub theme. But he seems a decent sort of chap. Now I’m all confused.


#6

Like many articles on the topic, this one inexplicably demurs to name Eron Gjoni as the petulant baby who started the attacks that would come to be called “Gamegate.” I do not agree with thus shielding Eron Gjoni from responsibility for his actions. Also, Eron Gjoni.


#7

I have this weird hope where he donates the site to Zoe Quinn and Anita Sarkeesian and lets them teach these people a lesson or two.


#8

Now I can’t help thinking of this


#9

It seems like he was perfectly happy to see people saying horrible things, but started to get concerned when people began doing things – good or bad. Anonymous has been a mixed bag, but I’d say their first public action, a demonstration against Scientology, was pretty clearly a good thing, and Poole apparently opposed that.

Poole seems to have a measure of sanity, and tried to set some limits, but I don’t think he can be completely absolved of responsibility for how 4chan developed.


#10

Frankenstein is the most apt description of x-chan, ever.


#11

Chris Poole grew up and decided to play with the big kids instead.


#12

For someone his age and experience, that probably isn’t that bad of a rule of thumb. Sure, horrible words can turn into horrible actions, but still, it was a place to draw a line.


#13

That would make him like Dr Frankenstein’s parents, as they made Frankenstein, who then made Adam, the monster… Doh, I’m being pedantic again…


#14

To be pedanticer yet, I don’t believe the monster was actually named Adam, rather he compared himself to Adam. CMIIW


#15

I should rephrase what I said before, to clarify. I don’t think he can be completely absolved yet. He’s partially acknowledged his responsibility, but not fully.

Fortunately, I think he could achieve that absolution with a much less painful form of penance than Dr. Frankenstein’s. Doing a lot of reflection, discussing it with people, and writing a book about his perspectives on the history of 4chan could cover it.


#16

I suspect that it might not be fair to say that because he allowed people to say horrible things, that he was happy about this. Poole seemed to adhere closely to the principles as outlined, rather than making up rules as they went along, which I think takes a bit of discipline. Not wanting the board to be used as a place to organize for real-life activities, without needing to judge them was I guess a reasonable choice which served well to limit the sprawl of what, by most accounts, became something of an unwieldy behemoth.

This sounds like a dangerous position to put any open community in. Many sites and services claim to be working towards openness and public involvement, yet the legal landscape seems to push towards trying to make the few people who “own” such sites and services responsible for what users do there. It seems to me that they do this because 1. it is easier to identify and go after a central party, 2. it costs them less to prosecute fewer people , and 3. a larger organization is more able to pay up than masses of ordinary people. But I think it also continues to offer a conflicting philosophy of to what extent individuals are responsible for their own actions. If somebody commits a crime against me, and I decide to prosecute The State instead because I know where they live, and they have more money - they’ll tell me directly to GFMS. So… it works as something of a double standard.

It puts people who try to cultivate open communities at risk when they then need to provide an illusion of free participation, whilst policing the content of those who are supposedly responsible for their own actions in the first place.


#17

Oh cool! Some more Gamer Gate news! I wonder what exciting blood we can try and squeeze from the stone today?


#18

No, a story about someone of significance to people who are interested in tech, online communities, intellectual property, and censorship, all of which are topics BoingBoing covers regularly.


#19

And yet more than half of your posts here are on GG.


#20

On the gamergate phenomenon: Those ants can be so cruel.