4chan logo chris poole moot quits
The 4chan logo. 4chan

The founder of web forum 4chan has announced he is to leave the site after creating it eleven years ago.

Moot, real name Chris Poole, said in a statement that he intends to move on because "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."

Chris Poole
Chris Poole at the 2012 Digital Life Design conference. Getty

Poole started 4chan at the age of 15 with a focus on users being able to post anonymously. Many posts on the site were about anime and Japanese culture, but quickly the site grew. As it did, other sub-forums split off.

In its early days the site was responsible for the creation and popularisation of numerous internet memes, including Lolcats, Chocolate Rain and Rickrolling. However over the years 4chan has been at the centre of numerous scandals and controversies concerning child pornography, campaigns of violent threats made against numerous individuals and groups, and last year's GamerGate furore.

Chris Poole says he plans to live stream a final Q&A session with the 4chan community this Friday afternoon (Eastern Time) from the site's YouTube channel.

Here is his statement in full:

I founded 4chan eleven and a half years ago at the age of 15, and after more than a decade of service, I've decided it's time for me to move on.

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. The site isn't in danger of going under financially any time soon, and it's as fast and stable as ever thanks to continued development and recent server upgrades. Team 4chan is also at its largest, and while I've still been calling the shots, I've delegated many of my responsibilities to a handful of trusted volunteers, most of whom have served the site for years.

That foundation will now be put to the ultimate test, as today I'm retiring as 4chan's administrator. From a user's perspective, nothing should change. A few senior volunteers—including 4chan's lead developer, managing moderator, and server administrator—have stepped up to ensure a smooth transition over the coming weeks.

I'll need time away to decompress and reflect, but I look forward to one day returning to 4chan as its Admin Emeritus or just another Anonymous, and also writing more about my experience running 4chan on my personal blog. The journey has been marked by highs and lows, surprises and disappointments, but ultimately immense satisfaction. I'm humbled to have had the privilege of both founding and presiding over what is easily one of the greatest communities to ever grace the Web. It was truly an honor to serve as 4chan's founding administrator, and I look forward to seeing what the next decade holds for the site.

On to the next chapter,

– moot

In a summary of the site's history in numbers, Poole shared the following statistics.

Eleven and a half years, in numbers:

42,176,061,890 Total pageviews
1,771,091,423 Total posts
1,071,189,182 Total visitors
620,125,147 Monthly pageviews
21,128,887 Daily pageviews
20,360,487 Monthly visitors
1,223,807 Daily visitors
2,838 Terabytes per month
105 Volunteers
63 Boards
1 Administrator