Is 4chan creator Christopher Poole’s anonymous army turning against him? A 4chan user appeared to reveal Poole’s home address and phone number on the imageboard this week, posting a Manhattan address and phone number as “moot’s info.”
The post was quickly removed before any 4channers attempted to verify it, but one user saved a screenshot and sent it to The Observer.
The phone number went to an unidentified man’s voicemail (he didn’t sound like Poole). The address appears to be associated with an audio and video production business.
The user could have been targeting Poole or the business, or it could have been just a joke–as with many things 4chan, the poster’s intent was unclear.
“Doxing” is the practice of digging up identifiable information about a person based on what’s available about them on the Internet–photos, blogs, directories–and sometimes through associates.
4chan is a bastion of anonymity. But for Internet personalities, ex-lovers of slighted 4channers, and anyone who wanders in without taking precautions, it can be the opposite.
The phenomenon is common on 4chan, where it’s often used to find women or girls based who have appeared in (usually sexual or naked) photos on the imageboard. It’s also common in China–the Chinese name for it translates to “human flesh search.”
This week 4channers tried to dox a young girl who posts videos on the chat site blogtv.com, after she took off her shirt in front of the camera. The thread in /b/, 4chan’s most popular section, prompted Poole to ban the poster and express his disapproval. “Keep the stupid rate-me/report in/fuck-fight-smoke/camwhore/etc out of /b/,” he wrote, directing users to another section, /soc/.
That was on Monday. On Tuesday, another anonymous user posted an image of a listing from WhitePages.com named “mootdox.png,” a reference to the name Poole uses on 4chan.
“The beautiful irony,” one user wrote. “That’s not Moot’s info, that’s some fucktard named Chris Poole,” another said.
“Hey, if it is moot, fuck moot, spam everything,” another posted. “If it’s not moot, he’s a poser, spam everything.”
Poole recently signed on as an advisor at Lerer Ventures and is working on a new startup, called Canvas, which will be “a look at what forums would be if they were invented today.”
ajeffries [at] observer.com | @adrjeffries