4chan founder Chris Poole is leaving Google

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Enlarge /. Christopher Poole, founder of 4chan, speaks during the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in New York on Tuesday, May 25, 2010.

CNBC reports that 4chan founder Chris Poole no longer works for Google. Google hired Poole to work on the company’s doomed social media project, Google+, in 2016. Poole only worked for Google for five years, which, according to CNBC, is typically just long enough that an employee’s shares associated with the hiring are vested. It sounds like Poole never found a permanent landing spot on Google as he has held three different positions over his five years.

Poole’s 4chan is an anonymous, short-lived imageboard that is often called the “cesspool of the internet”. The site is broken down into boards with different themes, and some of the more lawless boards host the worst characters on the internet, such as school shooters, child pornographers, and racists. It is also the birthplace of many internet cultures such as rickrolling, lolcats and, more recently, Pepe the Frog Memes and Alt-Right. The site spawned the internet hacktivist group Anonymous and is often used as a dump for various hacks such as the Nintendo Gigaleak. Poole sold 4chan in 2015, a year before joining Google.

When Poole was hired, Google’s fear of Facebook was completely obsessed with social media, but nobody at Google really understood how social media worked. Poole’s position at the company was controversial, but senior Google+ executives defended the move. 4chan is a social website with millions of monthly visitors, and that made Poole one of the company’s few seasoned social experts when he first arrived.

Google+ started in 2011 and closed two years after Poole’s arrival. So it doesn’t seem like the attitude had much of an impact. After Google+, Poole apparently joined Google’s experimental “Area 120” group and eventually became product manager for Google Maps.

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