Chris “moot” Poole, the founder of the online cesspool known as 4chan, has been hired by Google. While there’s no news yet what exactly he’ll be doing there, his comments about using his “building online communities” and a Twitter tweet by Google+’s founder Bradley Horowitz (now working elsewhere within Google) suggests he’ll be working with Google+ in some capacity.
While Google likely wants to do something with Google+ to make it more popular or viable, hiring the founder of 4chan seems like a questionable way to go about it. Yes, Poole’s site was successful… but only because it attracted the most bottom-feeding parts of the online world en masse, accompanied by a hands-off/apathetic policy toward dealing with bottom feeders, trolls, and other online awfulness. I suppose it’s not much different from Reddit‘s problems, though even Reddit decided to make a stab at fixing things.
Of course, unlike with 4chan, Poole will have superiors to answer to at Google for anything he does do there. Still, Poole on board doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence, especially since I still like Google+ for its community forums. For Google+’s sake, I’ll just hope the absolute worst doesn’t come to pass.
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Wang Shein (CC BY)