Join us at TNW Conference 2022 for insights into the future of tech →

The heart of tech

This article was published on March 8, 2016

Google engineer promises Plus won’t be a ‘den of infamy’ after hiring 4Chan founder Chris Poole

Google engineer promises Plus won’t be a ‘den of infamy’ after hiring 4Chan founder Chris Poole
Nate Swanner
Story by

Nate Swanner

Former Reporter, TNW

TNW's former West Coast writer in the PNW (Portland, Oregon). Nate loves amplifying developers, and codes in Swift when he's not writing. If TNW's former West Coast writer in the PNW (Portland, Oregon). Nate loves amplifying developers, and codes in Swift when he's not writing. If you need to get in touch, Twitter is your best bet.

With the hiring of Chris Poole, Google got everyone talking about Plus again, but not in the way it may have wanted. According to one engineer, Plus won’t be the new 4Chan, so we can rest easy.

Yonatan Zunger is the man behind the social tech at Google, and took to Plus to comment on Poole’s hiring:

Since several people have been asking me about this, I just want to mention: At Bradley’s instigation, I spent a few hours chatting with Chris Poole a few years ago. What I discovered was a man who was quite thoughtful about issues of social dynamics and interactions.

The things that 4chan became (in)famous for grew rather organically out of the system, out of the people who ended up congregating there and the ways they used the tools. Poole is by no means a troll or a troll-curator, and I actually think that with the rather different crowd of people who hang out here on G+, he’s going to make something really exciting.

(When you ignore the people who came and went quickly, there’s actually a pretty awesome culture here on the Plus. I’ve had more good conversations on this site than I’ve had, cumulatively, on the entire rest of the Internet. This is a good place to build from.)

So I’m looking forward to seeing what he does. And fear not: we aren’t about to become a den of infamy. This isn’t that kind of place, and we don’t intend for it to be.

It’s still not clear what Poole will be doing at Google or for Google+, but those who may have feared it would become the next 4Chan can rest a bit easier. The company is reframing Plus around communities and interests, so perhaps it feels Poole has something unique to offer users that will accelerate that effort.

Yonatan Zunger [Google+]