Christopher Poole, best known by the moniker “moot” on the 4chan site he founded over 11 years ago, has announced plans to “move on.” The imageboard website was launched by moot on October 1, 2003, when he was just 15 years old.
Poole will be retiring as 4chan’s administrator, but he promises that nothing will be changing for users. 4chan’s lead developer, managing moderator, server administrator, and other senior volunteers will continue his work (in fact, many of his responsibilities were delegated a while ago) and will ensure “a smooth transition over the coming weeks.”
In fact, moot says 4chan should continue on just fine without him:
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.
Poole says 4chan is financially sound, and the site is fast and stable thanks to continued development and recent server upgrades. As he puts it, 4chan “will now be put to the ultimate test.”
Poole had spent the past few years developing DrawQuest and Canvas, two services that attempted to encourage average people to express themselves creatively. DrawQuest, in particular, was a major departure for Poole (when you consider 4chan), but ultimately the service shut down due to a major security breach.
For now, Poole will be taking time “to decompress and reflect,” though he is already looking forward to “one day returning to 4chan as its Admin Emeritus or just another Anonymous.” Poole plans to write more about running 4chan on his personal blog, but before that he will host a livestreamed Q&A session later today on YouTube.