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Moot, real name Chris Poolevia Wikipedia

Controversial 4chan founder Moot steps down after 11 years

‘I have come to represent an uncomfortably large single point of failure.’

Moot, the founder of controversial messageboard 4chan, has announced that he is leaving the website after eleven and a half years at its helm. The 26-year-old – real name Chris Poole – founded the website when he was only 15 years old. 

4chan became part of the global consciousness last year when it became a conduit for human misery, misogyny and exploitation after hundreds of nude celebrity images were leaked by its users on the site. The mass dump of private photos became known as the Fappening.

In a statement posted on the site, Moot said: "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."

"The biggest hurdle it's had to overcome is myself," he added. "As 4chan's sole administrator, decision maker, and keeper of most of its institutional knowledge, I've come to represent an uncomfortably large single point of failure."

4chan was also the breeding ground for Gamergate, the resolutely anti-feminist movement that issued death threats and warnings of bomb attacks against video game critics and journalists, including Anita Sarkeesian. 

Moot stopped users from discussing Gamergate on the boards, in a bid to prevent users leaking journalists' private information. He also hoped to destabilise potentially dangerous 4chan members. 

But Moot's tenure at 4chan hasn't been all bad. The website gave birth to the hacker collective Anonymous, an organisation that has gone on to inform and instigate protests around the world. Moot leaves the site in a relatively healthy financial state, but it's unclear how 4chan will proceed. As he puts it, "that foundation will now be put to the ultimate test".

He'll be holding a live Q&A on YouTube on Friday afternoon. You can read his full statement below:

I founded 4chan eleven and a half years ago at the age of 15, and after more than a decade of service, I've decided it's time for me to move on.

4chan has faced numerous challenges over the years, including how to continuously satisfy a community of millions, and ensure the site has the human, technical, and financial resources to continue operating. But the biggest hurdle it's had to overcome is myself. As 4chan's sole administrator, decision maker, and keeper of most of its institutional knowledge, I've come to represent an uncomfortably large single point of failure.

I've spent the past two years working behind the scenes to address these challenges, and to provide 4chan with the foundation it needs to survive me by bolstering its finances, strengthening its infrastructure, and expanding and empowering its team of volunteers. And for the most part, I've succeeded. The site isn't in danger of going under financially any time soon, and it's as fast and stable as ever thanks to continued development and recent server upgrades. Team 4chan is also at its largest, and while I've still been calling the shots, I've delegated many of my responsibilities to a handful of trusted volunteers, most of whom have served the site for years.

That foundation will now be put to the ultimate test, as today I'm retiring as 4chan's administrator. From a user's perspective, nothing should change. A few senior volunteers — including 4chan's lead developer, managing moderator, and server administrator — have stepped up to ensure a smooth transition over the coming weeks.

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. 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.

On to the next chapter,

–moot