The Original Internet Troll Is Retiring

Jan 21, 2015 at 1:49 PM ET

Christopher Poole was 15 when he founded 4chan in 2003. Today, at the ripe old age of 26, he’s retiring.

With about 20 million monthly visitors and 620 million monthly page views, 4chan has become one of the web’s most popular—and controversial—sites. Its boards are mostly filled with jokes and memes and porn, but there have been some dark moments on the site. In November, for instance, a user posted a picture of a dead body, along with a message that said, “Turns out it’s way harder to strangle someone to death than it looks on the movies.” Several hours later, the Oregon man who posted the picture was arrested for the murder of a 30-year-old woman.

Poole, who went by “moot” on 4chan, never made any money from the site. He said he plans to spend more time on his personal blog. “The journey has been marked by highs and lows, surprises and disappointments, but ultimately immense satisfaction,” he wrote. 4chan’s significance on the web is undeniable. In 2009, Time magazine conducted an Internet poll to find the world’s most influential person. Beating out Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin and Oprah Winfrey was 21-year-old Christopher Poole.