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Moot Works for Google Now

TechCrunch Disrupt New York May 2011 - Day 3
Photo: Charles Eshelman/2011 Getty Images

Chris Poole, the creator of anarchic meme foundry 4chan, now works for one of the world’s largest tech companies. In a short blog post, Poole (a.k.a. Moot) announced that he is headed to 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.

Poole’s post specifically cited his time “building online communities,” mainly 4chan, which had Everest-like highs and Mariana Trench–like lows.

Poole will work on the long-struggling Google Plus, the company’s social network. Bradley Horowitz, the vice-president of Streams, Photos and Sharing, confirmed the announcement by welcoming Poole.

Moot sold 4chan last September. Even prior to that, he had been focused on other web projects, including the failed website Canvas, later renamed DrawQuest.

If you only know Moot through the website he founded, then this news might surprise. 4chan is, well, not for everyone. But this does make a lot of sense once you realize that Moot didn’t really participate in trolling so much as he became a mascot for it (4chan users manipulated a Time magazine poll one year to name him most influential). If you take a zoomed-out view of 4chan, it’s the product of someone who has thought long and hard about how to build a community, determining what its guiding principles and boundaries should be. Google’s idea of a community is probably more SFW, but the mandate seems largely the same.