Google has hired Christopher Poole, the founder of the notorious and controversial internet image-board 4chan. Poole announced the move in a post on Tumblr, writing that he planned to “contribute my own experience from a dozen years of building online communities” to the internet behemoth.
Poole’s reference to “online communities”, as well the news’ confirmation by Google+ architect and vice-president of streams, photos, and sharing, Bradley Horowitz, has led many to speculate that Poole will help Google tackle social media, one of the few areas of the internet where Google has failed to compete. In November 2015, Google announced the latest redesign of its lackluster social network, one that aimed to emulate Reddit and Pinterest more than social king Facebook. But the site has remained an afterthought in the social conversation.
Whether Poole’s magic touch can change that is an open question. Described by Rolling Stone as the “Mark Zuckerberg of the online underground”, Poole founded 4chan in 2003 when he was just 15 years old. Today the site claims to attract 22 million unique visitors per month. Read more