Christopher Poole, the founder of notorious image board 4Chan, has attempted to shed the website's image as the 'dark heart of the internet' during his keynote speech at the South by South West conference.
Poole's speech implied that anonymity had a key role to play in the evolution of the internet as it allows people “to share in a completely unvarnished, raw way”. He also took a dig at Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg by claiming that he was wrong to say that anonymity was a form of cowardice.
Zuckerberg had said during an interview in 2009 that “having two identities for yourself is an example of a lack of integrity”.
Poole also chose to tackle the website's image as a breeding ground for aspiring hackers by saying that the platform allowed its users to unleash and hone their creativity on the web.
“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 said during his speech.
The website is most famously known for acting as a virtual meeting ground for members of the Anonymous hackitivist group which had carried out massive DDoS attacks on websites of companies that had refused to support WikiLeaks.