4Chan founder Chris Poole takes job at Google
Published 09/03/2016 | 08:57
The founder of a site often described as the dark side of the internet now works for Google.
Chris Poole, founder of 4chan, said he was impressed by Google's commitment to "tackling some of the world's most interesting and important problems".
"When meeting with current and former Googlers, I continually find myself drawn to their intelligence, passion, and enthusiasm," said Poole.
Poole founded 4chan from his bedroom in 2003 when he was 15. He designed the message board site, which is rife with black humour, as a place to discuss Japanese comics and anime.
It evolved into an active community that has been responsible for popular internet memes, such as "rickrolling" - when you get someone unsuspecting to click on a link to a video of Rick Astley singing "Never Gonna Give You Up".
It has gained a dark reputation for high-level pranks, including hacking Sarah Palin's email and convincing people to drown their iPhones. The hacktivist collective Anonymous also started life within 4chan's forums.
Poole resigned from 4chan in early 2015 before selling the site to a Hiroyuki Nishimura, founder of a Japanese message board called 2channel.
Google and Poole have not released details about which department Poole is joining, but there is speculation that he's going to Google+ or Photos. Poole said he wanted to "contribute my own experience from a dozen years of building online communities". The founder of Google+ Bradley Horowitz also tweeted about the move.
But Horowitz is currently vice president in charge of Google Photos and Streams - two products formed out of Google+ last year. An anonymous Googler writing on 4chan said Poole was going to be product manager for Photos. While posts on 4chan should be treated with a healthy dose of skepticism, Poole has experience in social photos - he also founded a photo sharing site called Canvas, which shut in 2014.
"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," said Poole.