Christopher Poole created the site aged 15 as a place for manga fans / Getty Images

Christopher Poole has run the site since he was 15, but is ‘retiring’ and handing on responsibilities to a new team

The founder of controversial website 4chan is to step down from the site and has handed responsibility for it to a new team.

The site, best known for malicious and offensive jokes as well as its role in the ‘Fappening’, was set up by American Christopher Poole in 2003, when he was 15. He has managed it, largely alone, ever since.

As the site has grown in popularity, Poole has begun to feel that the site should be passed on to a team of volunteers, he said.

In a post announcing his retirement, he wrote: “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.”

4chan has strong finances and recent server and site upgrades have left it stronger than ever, he said.

During the almost 12 years that the site has existed, it received 42 billion pageviews from a total of 1 billion visitors.



Poole will host a livestreamed question and answer session on Friday, where he said he will “hold court with the community for one last time”.

He said that he hopes to return to the site in the future, potentially as “Admin Emeritus” or an anonymous user, but that he would first take time to “decompress and reflect”.

Poole initially posted pseudonymously under the ‘moot’ username, by which he is still often known. He has recently been involved in other internet ventures, including the establishment of picture-sharing site Canvas in 2011 which went out of business last year.