One of the pioneers of anonymity on the Internet: Who is Chris Poole?

Chris Poole, the founder of 4Chan, gained great fame in the past by taking advantage of Apple's iCloud vulnerability to access the photos of celebrities in the cloud. However, he was later sued for the images he leaked.

By David Foster Published on 10 Temmuz 2024 : 13:17.
One of the pioneers of anonymity on the Internet: Who is Chris Poole?

In a statement made in March 2016, the founder of 4Chan, an image-based forum of anonymous users, announced that he would now officially work for Google.

Christopher Poole (1988) is an American internet entrepreneur known online by his nickname Moot. He founded the English imageboard site 4chan in October 2003 and managed the site for 11 years until January 2015. He worked at Google from 2016 to 2021.

In April 2009, he was the most voted person in Time magazine's Most Influential Person of 2008 public survey.

We can define 4chan, founded by Chris Poole in 2003, as a visual-oriented forum. However, although the forum is famous, it is also infamous because 4chan was one of the first places where private photos of celebrities were shared after Apple's iCloud vulnerability. At the same time, the site was also sued for some images of child sexual abuse. Chris Poole left the site management in January 2015.

Christopher Poole (born c. 1988), also known online as moot, is an American Internet entrepreneur and developer. He founded the anonymous English-language imageboard 4chan in October 2003, when he was still a teenager; he served as the site's head administrator until January 2015. He also founded the online community Canvas, active from 2011 to 2014. Poole was hired by Google in 2016 to work on the Google+ social network and as a product manager. He left the company in 2021.

Despite all these turbulent events, we can definitely count 4chan as one of the most unique forum sites on the internet.

What is 4chan?

4chan, which in its early days was an imageboard where only discussions about anime and manga were held and various images were shared, was founded on October 1, 2003, in New York by Christopher Poole, who was a 15-year-old student at the time. Poole's aim was to create a portal similar to the Japanese Futuba (2chan) imageboard, where Japanese anime and comics could be discussed.

It would probably not be an exaggeration to say that perhaps the biggest advantage of 4chan is its anonymity. This is one of the important points underlined by Christopher Poole, the founder of the site. While many social networking platforms, such as Facebook, choose to highlight individuals' true identities, Poole opposes this view and attributes 4chan's creativity to anonymity.

Incidents Involved

Anonymous and the Chanology Project

It is a known fact that 4chan, named as the starting point of Anonymous by the Baltimore City Newspaper, is closely associated with many internet subcultures and activism movements. The most well-known of these is the Chanology Project, which is a chain of protests organized by Anonymous members against the Church of Scientology.

On January 15, 2008, a 4chan user posted a message on the /b/ board with the theme, "Let's do something solid for the Church of Scientology." After this message, the church started receiving threatening phone calls and the incident quickly spread from the virtual environment to real life and turned into a huge protest. Unlike previous Anonymous attacks, 4chan users used internet memes such as Guy Fawkes masks and rickrolling in this action. All these actions drew the reaction of some 4chan users, who thought that the site would attract unnecessary attention.

4Chan's Internet Attacks

2006-2007: Radio host Hal Turner

2008: Sarah Palin

2009: Youtube

2010: Operation Payback

2010: ACS Law (British law firm)

Threatening Messages

2006: Hoax bomb threat at a football stadium. After this incident, the "Don't bother with football" rule was added to the /b/ board.

2007: Hoax bomb threat at a school in Texas.

2009: A false report of an attack at a school in Sweden.