Christopher Poole, the 26-year-old founder of 4chan, has retired from the controversial website after 14 years at the helm. Poole created the discussion site while he was still in high school and, in his farewell message, said the site had faced "numerous challenges over the years."

Christopher PooleJennifer Lawrence was one of the celebrities who had explicit pictures posted on 4chan

Poole, known as "moot" on the site, is essentially responsible for the popularisation of memes such as 'Rick rolling' and 'lolcats'. 4chan caused controversy last year after it hosted leaked pictures of numerous celebrities including Jennifer Lawrence and Kate Upton. Initially, Poole began the website as a place to discuss anime and manga but the site has few laws as to what users can and cannot post, and the FBI stepped in after the celebrity leak.

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Named Time magazine's Most Influential Person in 2009, Poole said he only told his parents about the site in 2008 because of the inappropriate material it carried. 

Kate UptonKate Upton was another celebrities whose pictures ended up on 4chan

"I was 'moot' online, Chris in school and with my family, and I used other real names with people I met online and told them my name was Robert," he said.

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The site has 42,176,061,90 page-views to date though Poole insists it was never particularly profitable.

"The site is technically profitable. We do a little more than break even, but no-one is taking a paycheck," he told

Following Poole's departure, 4chan will now be run by a team of volunteers that have worked closely with him in recent years. 

The Guardian once described the 4chan community as "lunatic, juvenile... brilliant, ridiculous and alarming."