Over the past 11 years, 4chan has grown into one of the most active and influential communities online, and for all that time, there was only one man running the show — Moot, also known as Chris Poole.
Now, Moot has announced that he is stepping down, leaving the website in the hands of a team of volunteers who will guide it into the future.
After founding the site when he was just 15, Moot built it into a powerhouse with 42 billion total page views and 20 million active users. The site, which includes a number of image-sharing boards, but is most famous for /b/ or random board, has spawned internet memes, countless hoaxes, and was the birthplace of the internet activist collective Anonymous.
“I don’t know what to say, it’s been a long time,” Moot said in an interview with TechCrunch. “Eleven and a half years. It’s been incredible. Unprecedented, I think. Very few online communities make it 10 years. Even fewer people have the opportunity to be at the helm that long, at least at the scale that 4chan is. Thinking of who my peers would be in that sense, can’t think of any others.”
In a message posted on 4chan, Moot said he is looking forward to stepping back and moving on to new ventures.
“I’ll need time away to decompress and reflect, but I look forward to one day returning to 4chan as its Admin Emeritus or just another Anonymous, and also writing more about my experience running 4chan on my personal blog,” he wrote. “The journey has been marked by highs and lows, surprises and disappointments, but ultimately immense satisfaction. I’m humbled to have had the privilege of both founding and presiding over what is easily one of the greatest communities to ever grace the Web. It was truly an honor to serve as 4chan’s founding administrator, and I look forward to seeing what the next decade holds for the site.”
Moot said he hasn’t decided what will come next after leaving 4chan, but seemed open to TechCrunch’s suggestion that he go to Google to run their foundering social media site Google+. “Larry Page can give me a call,” Moot noted.
[Images via Ted.com and Business Insider]