Towards the end of 2015, Chris Poole (aka. Moot) sold the controversial website he created, 4chan, to the founder of popular Japanese message board 2channel. Now that the acquisition is complete, Poole has found a new home at Google.
In a short blog post, Poole mentioned that he'll be using his "experience from a dozen years of building online communities" at Google. He didn't mention what projects he would be working on at the company, although his experience seems best suited to improving Google's social network and online community, Google+.
With that said, Google+ is certainly a different community to 4chan. Some of the internet's most widely used memes originated from 4chan users, with the concept itself forming on the 12-year-old image board. The website is also responsible for the creation of activist group Anonymous.
However the site's lack of strictly enforced rules has led to a series of controversies, including the release of celebrity nude photos in 2014, and the spread of Gamergate. 4chan also features a huge amount of porn, occasionally child porn, and threats to various people are often made by its anonymous users.
It seems unlikely that Google would want to replicate 4chan, but its success over the past 10 years is nothing to scoff at. Hopefully Poole's involvement at Google will help the company's online communities take the next step.