4Chan founder slams Zuckerberg on anonymity

4Chan founder Christopher Poole told the South By Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has got it wrong on web anonymity.

Poole, at 24, is one of the few Internet entrepreneurs younger than Zuckerberg, the bum-fluff billionaire, and the two come at the web from opposite ends of the spectrum.

"Zuckerberg's totally wrong on anonymity being total cowardice. Anonymity is authenticity. It allows you to share in a completely unvarnished, raw way," Poole said.

He said 4Chan - which thrives on the idea of anonymity - was "misunderstood."

"People like to think that /b/ is the dark heart of the internet. It isn't just that," he said referring to the messageborad credited with spawning the DDoSsing mischief makers Anonymous.

"People want to think everyone on 4Chan is a young rambunctious male. That's not accurate – it's a wide range of people using it. One of the things that 4Chan does that's really special is the way people come together to collaborate en masse. It's the process at which you arrive at the product that is fascinating."

Poole reckons that around a quarter of of 4Chan's 25 million monthly users are active contributors, a number dwarfed by Facebook's claimed half a billion users.

But 4Chan is "riffing on a massive scale," he said.

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