Google has hired the founder and former owner of 4chan, Chris Poole (better known as Moot). Poole will be a part of Google’s social team, including Google+, a move which fits his 12 years experience of building an online community at 4chan.
Poole established 4chan when he was only 15 as the message board where anything goes. 4chan is a highly controversial website, it is where a lot of memes and internet pranks started (including Lolcats and Rick Rolling). The hacker group Anonymous also started on the site.
Because posting on 4chan is anonymous, the site is infamous for its trolling and mob mentality. The site created #CuttingForBieber fooling Bieber fans that their idol had cancer and encouraging them to cut themselves for Bieber. The website was also the first to host the naked photos of several female celebrities back in 2014.
“Today I’m excited to announce that I’ve joined Google.
“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.
“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.”
The news was later confirmed by Bradley Horowitz, the VP of Streams, Photos and Sharing at Google:
— Bradley Horowitz (@elatable) March 7, 2016
The move is a strange one; Poole’s 4chan prides itself on anonymity and an ‘anything goes’ attitude, whereas Google encourages people to create identity profiles. Poole has also publicly attacked Google for its social platform Google+. At the 2011 Web 2.0 Conference, Poole criticised Google+ for the requirement that an online persona is always linked to your real name.
“Facebook and Google do identity wrong…Twitter does it better. I want to think about what the world would be like when we do it right.”
It would be hilarious if this Google appointment is just another 4chan prank.