Chris Poole, the founder of the controversial online forum 4chan, is joining Google.
Google confirmed to Business Insider that Poole will be working under Bradley Horowitz, VP of Google Photos and Streams, the two products spawned from the break up of Google+ last year.
4Chan is one of the web’s most popular forums for online discussions, but the site has gained a reputation as a repository of seedy or hateful content, notorious for spawning abuse and high-level pranks (for example, users infamously posted the password to Sarah Palin’s email and spread thousands of nude celebrity photos).
Poole founded it when he was only 15 and ran the forum for more than 11 years before leaving in January 2015.
He writes that Google’s commitment to “some of the world’s most interesting and important problems” drew him to the company.
“When meeting with current and former Googlers, I continually find myself drawn to their intelligence, passion, and enthusiasm — as well as a universal desire to share it with others,” Poole writes on his blog. Continuing: “I can’t wait to contribute my own experience from a dozen years of building online communities, and to begin the next chapter of my career at such an incredible company.”
Even though 4chan became one of the biggest, most powerful websites in the world, Poole never made any money from it, and had to use money from a second startup, DrawQuest, to pay the bills. DrawQuest shut down in 2014.
Interestingly, an anonymous 4chan user claiming to be a Google employee posted about Poole (who uses the identity “moot”) last week.
There was a follow-up on Saturday, where someone claiming to be a Google employee placed Poole on the Photos team.