If you have ever seen a funny cat picture on the Internet, chances are that this man influenced it. At the age of 15, “moot” started a website called 4chan as a central location for people to exchange some anime. Little did he know that it would mutate into what it has today.
Googling 4chan will undoubtedly bring you a mixed bag of results, ranging from “it is the most culturally relevant website that has ever existed” to “the most vile, cesspit of the Internet.” All posts are anonymous and no data is retained, which creates a very creative platform for people to interact.
Quoted as having a hive-mind mentality, the users worship moot as a king. A so called God amongst men. He was voted the world’s most influential person of 2008 by an open Internet poll conducted by Time magazine, however, this was the doing of his followers. They rigged the voting and got him to the top spot.
Moot has tried to start other ventures but none are as successful as 4chan. The clincher though is that 4chan doesn’t make him any money. All the income goes to running the servers to keep the website up. It also has no employees, only moot, 1 volunteer developer and a few volunteers that help keep the site legal, and clean.
4chan itself has been at the heart of several very moral issues. The users of the site, collectively referred to as “anonymous” have released, on several occasions, nude photos of celebrities, hacked twitter accounts, taken down government and bank websites and publicly released breached data from several sources.
It is however not all bad, they shut down the PlayStation Network over unfair terms of service, provided Middle Eastern countries that were going through revolt access to online information, and help millions of people bypass censorship and internet firewalls in order to freely access information.
Hacktivists, memes, very strong opinions, and government hatred would never have existed in one place if it weren’t for moot. So he isn’t rich, or even very famous while away from his computer, but there is probably not another person that has influenced the Internet in this way. If however you find yourself at a Ted talk and a Mr. Christopher Poole comes on stage, just know that you are in the presence of Internet greatness.
Thank you Christopher “moot” Poole.