A 21-year-old college student who founded the online community 4chan.org, one of the world’s largest online bulletin boards, has been listed the world’s most influential person and winner of the Time 100 poll.
Christopher Poole, otherwise known as Moot, founded 4chan.org in 2003. Its boards are mostly used by anonymous individuals for the posting and discussion of manga and anime. The boards are also home to many internet subcultures and activism groups.
Poole received 16.7 million votes and an average influence rating of 90 out of 100, beating off Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin and Oprah Winfrey.
While Moot denies knowing about any plans by his followers to influence the poll, Time.com’s technical team said they detected and extinguished several attempts to hack the vote.
Most of the activity on 4chan takes place on message boards and discuss everything from Japanese comic book art to technology and random subjects.
The site does not have a registration system, enabling users to post anonymously, all calling themselves by the meme or catchphrase Anonymous.
Popular boards within 4chan include the random board /b/, a no-holds-barred forum for black humour, where its proponents call themselves /b/tards.
The site is the home of the infamous ‘Rickroll’ or Rick Astley video of Never Gonna Give You Up, which is used to frustrate YouTube users and was born when a link to RockStar Games Grand Theft Auto IV was changed.
Tay Zonday’s song Chocolate Rain was also hijacked by /b/ in 2007, when 4chan posters decided to champion the song, swarmed the video and increased its YouTube ranking to an all-time high.
4chan is also infamously known as a home for ‘hackers on steroids’, regarded as the origin of alleged denial of service attacks on US broadcasters and the hacking of US presidential candidate Sarah Palin’s email address.
By John Kennedy
Pictured: Christopher Poole, otherwise known as Moot, founder of 4chan.org