4chan, one of the most well-known web forums on the internet, has a new owner. Christopher Poole, who founded 4chan in 2003 as a teenager and saw it become a major player in digital culture, sells 4chan to Japanese forum founder Hiroyuki Nishimura. Nishimura founded 2channel, an online bulletin board that has been one of the inspirations for 4chan. Terms of the sale were not disclosed, but 4chan has over 20 million monthly users.
In a statement, Poole said, “Hiroyuki is a pioneer in the world of anonymous communities and can be considered 4chan’s great-grandfather. His creation of 2channel in 1999 sparked an era of anonymity-centric web culture in Japan which led to the creation of Futaba Channel, the site that inspired 4chan. None of us would use 4chan today – or potentially any anonymous image board – without it. Poole had stopped actively running the site earlier this year.
Fast business spoke with Poole in 2011 about his recent startup Canvas, which was trying to reach a much larger audience than the very niche 4chan. Nishimura, one of the pioneers in Internet bulletin board culture who helped the format move from dial-up message board services to the Web, was recently appointed Editor-in-Chief of Varietythe Japanese edition of.