Notorious troll haven 4Chan has been leaderless since their founder retired in January, but now they’re welcoming a new site owner into the fold.
n January, 4Chan founder Christopher “Moot” Poole retired from his position as site admin. He transferred power to three other admins while he looked for a buyer. Yesterday, it was announced that Japanese web pioneer Hiroyuki Nishimura would be taking the helm. Hiroyuki’s most notable work is 2Channel, a Japanese message board similar to 4Chan. Unlike 4Chan, however, 2Channel found a mainstream audience, and is now listed alongside television, movies, and radio as a significant influence in Japanese society. The The Asia-Pacific Journal described it as “Japan’s most popular online community, with around ten million users accessing it each day.”
“Hiroyuki is literally the only person in the world with as much if not more experience than myself in running an anonymous, large destination community that serves tens of millions of people,” Poole said in an interview with The New York Times. “He’s the great-grandfather of all of this.”
Hiroyuki has been received warmly by the 4Chan community. “This is the best thing that could have happened honestly,” wrote one user. “At least it’s someone we know has experience.”
It’s doubtful Hiroyuki will do much to change 4Chan’s abrasive atmosphere. According to Wired magazine, he’s pretty open to the “anything goes” mentality that has made 4Chan such a popular destination for anonymous web users.
“[Hiroyuki] has lost about 50 lawsuits and owes millions of dollars in penalties, which he has no intention of paying. ‘If the verdict mandates deleting things, I’ll do it,’ he says. ‘I just haven’t complied with demands to pay money. Would a cell phone carrier feel responsible when somebody receives a threatening phone call?'”
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