The Master Of Memes: The Most Powerful Person on the Web You Have Never Heard Of

LEV GROSSMAN writes in Time:

moot doesn’t give out much in the way of personal info. I don’t even know his real name. He’s 20 years old and skinny; he could pass for 16. He grew up in New York City and is currently in college somewhere. He is pleasant and very serious. “When people meet me and I’m generally pretty sociable and I meet some definition of normal, they’re almost surprised,” he says. “And simultaneously disappointed.”

moot is the founder of an online community called 4chan, located at You may not realize it, but 4chan has probably touched your life. Possibly inappropriately. 4chan is unusual in several ways. It’s extremely large and active; it gets 8.5 million page views a day and 3.3 million visitors a month. Since moot started it in 2003, those visitors have put up 145 million posts. By some metrics, 4chan is the fourth largest bulletin board on the Net.

4chan is also very profane. A phrase from Star Wars comes to mind: It’s a wretched hive of scum and villainy. Spammers don’t even bother to spam 4chan; Google started searching it only six months ago. But it is the wellspring from which a lot of Internet culture, and hence popular culture, bubbles. In his way, moot is one of the most powerful people on the Web.