Kirtaner: The Hacktivist is Living in Ontario Now

4chan, a notorious imageboard founded by Christopher Poole (known as “moot” online), quickly became a hub for internet culture, attracting a diverse range of users from all walks of life. Initially known for its anonymity and lack of moderation, 4chan became infamous for its anarchic atmosphere and the types of people it attracted. As the site grew in popularity, it also became a breeding ground for trolling, with users engaging in provocative and often offensive behavior for the sake of amusement.

In Netflix’s ‘The Antisocial Network: Memes to Mayhem,’ Aubrey Cottle, better known as Kirtaner, shares his experiences as one of the pioneering figures on 4chan. His actions, like those of many others on the platform, have been both controversial and influential, shaping the culture of online communities in significant ways.

Aubrey Cottle Took Responsibility for Many Online Hackings and Raids

Aubrey Cottle, born on April 6, 1987, discovered the internet at a young age, finding solace and expression in the online world that contrasted with his shy demeanor in real life. Immersing himself in various online forums and groups, he eventually found his way to 4chan in the early 2000s. Initially drawn to the platform by its anime community, Cottle soon found himself captivated by the humor, memes, and irreverent atmosphere that permeated 4chan. This newfound virtual playground allowed him to shed his inhibitions and adopt a louder, more assertive persona online.

Cottle confessed to being at the forefront of a group from 4chan that targeted Hal Turner, whom he described as a “neo-Nazi radio host.” He admitted to participating in online trolling activities aimed at Turner, which escalated to the point where Turner responded with hostility. Eventually, Cottle and his cohorts hacked into Turner’s email account, leaking private information that resulted in Turner’s arrest. The fallout from the incident also led to Turner’s divorce.

During the Gamergate harassment campaign, 4chan cracked down on “online raids” that some of its members, including Cottle, were involved in. Cottle disagreed with this move, seeing such actions as foundational to the community’s humor. As a result, he founded his website called 420chan, which operated similarly to an imageboard but centered its discussions on LGBTQ issues and drug-related topics. Additionally, it continued the practice of raiding and trolling individuals with whom they disagreed.

Cottle was also actively involved in the online vigilante group Anonymous, participating in numerous attacks, including one targeting the Church of Scientology. However, after his personal information was leaked, he became fearful and withdrew from the community, remaining inactive for several years. He only returned in 2020, motivated by anger towards the QAnon movement, which had appropriated an identity he once embraced. Following the attacks on the US Capitol, Cottle and a few others took action by identifying individuals involved and releasing their information to the public. They also hacked into Epik Hosting, a forum frequented by right-wing communities, and exposed sensitive information, including personal details of its users.

Where is Aubrey Cottle Now?

In 2022, police executed a search warrant at Aubrey Cottle’s residence, confiscating his laptop, hard drive, and other equipment, including his Guy Fawkes mask. Cottle expressed fear about the potential consequences, knowing that some hackers had faced lengthy jail sentences. Presently, Cottle works as a full-stack engineer, concentrating on combating misinformation and preventing extremist radicalization. Additionally, he serves as a freelance web developer for Taima Labs, a role he has held since 2007.

Cottle also serves as the Chief Information Security Officer for Butt Security Group, an information technology consultancy specializing in asset protection. In addition to this role, he freelances across various undisclosed projects. Describing himself as a “cyberterrorist,” Cottle believes in the necessity for more aggressive approaches to far-left and left politics to gain political traction and feels he contributes to this cause.

Beyond his professional endeavors, Cottle is a digital creator, frequently producing videos on TikTok that blend absurd humor with politically charged themes. His Instagram was suspended sometime in 2022 but he continued posting content on other platforms during this time and making his voice heard. Currently residing in Ontario, Canada, with his two cats and a dog, Cottle has cultivated a personal brand that aligns with the image he has crafted.

Read More: Christopher Poole: Where is The 4Chan Founder Now?