Trainwrecks wrecked
March 12, 2007 11:47 AM   Subscribe

RIP Trainwrecks.net. A website devoted to making fun of bloggers and forum posters who reveal a little bit too much TMI went dark in January after sustained attack by another site called Heaven Nose. After it was gone many of its readers fled to new site called The Insult. The Insult went dark today in a similar fashion. Where does free speech end and cyber-bullying begin?
posted by humanfont (68 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
NO SHIT NOW THEY'LL TAKE DOWN MEFI DELETE DELETE DELETE.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:00 PM on March 12, 2007


Sorry, but if there weren't any assholes on the internet, what fun would it be?
posted by GavinR at 12:05 PM on March 12, 2007


I'm just pissed I didn't know about The Insult before it was taken down, too. I loved Trainwrecks, if only for all the nostalgia. And the wacky homeschoolers.
posted by atayah at 12:06 PM on March 12, 2007


What free speech? It's hard to tell from (mostly) one side of the story, but it sounds like Trainwrecks was harassing people. Heaven Nose didn't like that, so they harassed Trainwrecks back. Trainwrecks couldn't take the heat, so they left the kitchen.
posted by DU at 12:07 PM on March 12, 2007


The end of the Internet, it has been reached.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:09 PM on March 12, 2007


Trainwrecks.net most certainly did not harass people. It posted links of sites that they found funny. There was then discussion of why these sites were funny. That's called opinion, in my book.

People who can't handle other people having a negative opinion of them from information they themselves put out into the public sphere are really, REALLY immature.
posted by agregoli at 12:22 PM on March 12, 2007 [6 favorites]


Heaven nose appears to have made less than 100 posts in its stupid little life. How could they get anyone shut down? More importantly, how could they muster the aggrandizement of ego that allowed them to do it?
posted by boo_radley at 12:29 PM on March 12, 2007


Parhaps one day all the fuckers will wreck and devour each other.
posted by nanojath at 12:39 PM on March 12, 2007


“The point of this blog was to take Trainwrecks down and the purpose of generating traffic to our site was to serve this cause.... We got rid of Trainwrecks just because we could.”

Hmmm...not sure they’re up on the ‘free speech’ concept.

It appears they shut the sites down - not simply used words. That is disturbing. I mean was it a DOS attack or something? (I’m not joe hacker). In addition to posting personal information. Way out of line if those things are indeed the case. Otherwise it’d be just a slap fight.

Any other links or info on this? It’s hard to discern the entire circumstances and therefore tough to formulate a solid opinion.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:42 PM on March 12, 2007


bloggers get in pissing war ... flush at 11
posted by pyramid termite at 12:43 PM on March 12, 2007


Reported to blogspot, too.
posted by boo_radley at 12:44 PM on March 12, 2007


I remember middle school as being populated by certain girls who would engage in this type of Machiavellian jousting, as evidenced by sites like Trainwrecks, Heaven Nose, etc. Most of them grew out of the desire to hurt and manipulate others for their own entertainment. Those who did not, grow up and start sites like these.

I used to read Trainwrecks, occasionally they were funny, oftentimes just mean-spirited. Sorry I missed The Insult, though. Sounds like fun.
posted by msali at 12:56 PM on March 12, 2007


What the hell is going on here? I am not immersed deep enough in the internet rectum, so I need a succinct summary pls.
posted by chrismear at 1:06 PM on March 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


No LJdrama drama?
posted by klangklangston at 1:21 PM on March 12, 2007


That looked like a cool site. I wish I had known about sooner than this.
posted by zorro astor at 1:28 PM on March 12, 2007


I am genuinely concerned that some of these so called cyber-bullies will never get to experience the deep level of personal satisfaction that comes from pinning the shoulders of a kid two grades below you to the asphalt of the school parking lot with your knees and beating him silly with his own hands.
posted by The Straightener at 1:36 PM on March 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


I guess they haven't visited bash.org yet.
posted by concreteforest at 1:39 PM on March 12, 2007


How do people have time for this much drama (the calling people at work variety, I mean)?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:42 PM on March 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


The article on cyber-bullying talks about those kids these days bullying other people that they actually KNOW, just doing it online as opposed to writing "Whore" on their lockers. So, what does that have to do with Trainwrecks and Heavens Nose or whatevs? Are these guys all in the same junior high and they're going to start posting about how the other site looks fat in their gym shorts?
posted by grapefruitmoon at 1:44 PM on March 12, 2007


Thanks for posting this, humanfont. I have been so curious about how and why this happened, for the same reasons Smedleyman states.
posted by juliplease at 1:46 PM on March 12, 2007


Man the Internet is a lame place. I can't believe all this drama. Just like ThePinkSuperhero said, it's almost unbelievable that someone would have time for this.
posted by dead_ at 1:47 PM on March 12, 2007


It appears they shut the sites down - not simply used words. That is disturbing. I mean was it a DOS attack or something? (I’m not joe hacker). In addition to posting personal information. Way out of line if those things are indeed the case. Otherwise it’d be just a slap fight.

They apparently tried to divine the authors of the site, and then started calling them at home, at work, harassing them, etc. The trainwreaks people claimed that the harassment targets were not them, but pulled the site anyway.

The whole thing is extremely childish. These blogs are in the 400k rank on alexa, very low traffic levels.
posted by delmoi at 1:48 PM on March 12, 2007


The end of the Internet, it has been reached.

No, this is the beginning again. We doubled back when we reached the end in 1993.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 1:49 PM on March 12, 2007


Man the Internetour society is a lame place

Fixed that for ya.
posted by davejay at 2:02 PM on March 12, 2007


the "sustained attack" link failed to elucidate the nature of the attack, whether it was an organized denial of service or merely a steady stream of taunts and ridicule.
i had never heard of "trainwreck" or "the insult" before five minutes ago, and i do not mourn their passing. the interwebs is full of loonies, many of whom are hissing and spitting at other loonies at any given time, and if one or two hundred vanish at once, don't worry amigos, they will very soon be replaced.
posted by bruce at 2:08 PM on March 12, 2007


"It appears they shut the sites down - not simply used words."

They made Trainwreck keep hitting themselves.
posted by klangklangston at 2:12 PM on March 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


The owners of Trainwrecks and The Insult acutally went beyond taking their sites down. They put up "noarchive" robots.txt entries to get the sites out of Google and archive.org. I don't know if this was done for because of concern for future legal exposure, or just as a condition to stop the counter-harassment. Given the fact that a specific technical remedy was put in place, I assume there was some kind of legal action taken beyond what has been publically disclosed.
posted by humanfont at 2:14 PM on March 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


The sustained attack appears to have consisted of following every trainwreck link, and posting the personal information (including some employeer info) of the Trainwrecks sites' alledged owners. This allowed trainwrecked individuals and their fans to take their own action. Though I can't say for certain since the HN site is mostly full of crazy talk.
posted by humanfont at 2:20 PM on March 12, 2007


too much TMI

I think you meant "too much TMI information", right?
posted by freebird at 2:23 PM on March 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


FUCK YOU GUYS! YOU ARE ALL GOING TO HELL!
posted by joelf at 2:27 PM on March 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Given the fact that a specific technical remedy was put in place, I assume there was some kind of legal action taken beyond what has been publically disclosed.

There's no reason to conclude that. Unless they were saying something untrue and damaging, there's not really much that anyone could have done to Trainwrecks or The Insult. Frankly, if these sites are encouraging people to make harassing phone calls, they can and should be litigated out of existence.
posted by oaf at 2:41 PM on March 12, 2007


(And as crappy a website as I'm sure Trainwrecks and The Insult were, it's clear that Heaven Nose is in the wrong, and clearly the people behind those sites weren't in it for the long haul, because they could easily have chosen not to stop until the harassing parties were behind bars, paying them damages, or both.)
posted by oaf at 3:06 PM on March 12, 2007


I'm with Smedleyman. Can we get a little more background? Timeline maybe?
posted by HighTechUnderpants at 3:11 PM on March 12, 2007


Well done, old chaps. Good show.

But if you even think of laying a finger on MeFi and related spinoff sites, or bash.org, you'll have an entire world of delicious hurt all of your own. And I'll be standing there making sure you eat every last molecule of it.
posted by loquacious at 3:17 PM on March 12, 2007


I wouldn't worry, loquacious. As far as I can gather from reading the HN site (and it was a thoroughly baffling read, btw) these guys are only interested in poking around other people's online catfights. I think even the most glorious MetaTalk flame-out would be a tad too heady for them.
(But please, feel free to attack my site! The only readers I get are survivalist types googling for squirrel skinning tips. God, I'm lonely.)
posted by maryh at 3:34 PM on March 12, 2007 [3 favorites]


I loved trainwrecks, despite belonging to the demographic most often bashed there. The mods did not tolerate commentors posting the contact information of the trainwrecked targets or going to those sites to harrass the victim in their own comments.

One of the things Heaven Nose would do was post offensive comments on Trainwrecks, using the names of well-known commentors. (one of the many drawbacks of Haloscan is that you can use someone else's id quite easily.)

After Trainwrecks disappeared, a bunch of fans gathered at The Zero Boss to discuss what happened. That's probably a good place to get some backstory.
posted by Biblio at 3:43 PM on March 12, 2007


Man, Encyclopedia Dramatica is down, too! Coincidence? I think not!
posted by Coventry at 3:44 PM on March 12, 2007


Hey, you get reporters too! To judge by the comment on this hilarious post, anyway.
posted by languagehat at 3:47 PM on March 12, 2007


maryh: Only five posts since April 2005 on your site. So its got that going for it. But really, I think everyone prefers you here, anyways.
posted by YoBananaBoy at 3:47 PM on March 12, 2007


That was a response to maryh. Damn, you guys are talkative.
posted by languagehat at 3:48 PM on March 12, 2007


Was the Church of Scientology involved?
posted by miss lynnster at 3:56 PM on March 12, 2007


So this site was sort of like the various messageboard threads that take the piss out of John Byrne, but about other people too?
posted by Artw at 3:58 PM on March 12, 2007


Metafilter: immersed deep enough in the Internet rectum.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:05 PM on March 12, 2007


I wouldn't worry, loquacious.

I'm not particularly worried. Except, maybe, about squirrel-skinning... survivalists? WTF?
posted by loquacious at 4:16 PM on March 12, 2007



gulp... a trainwrecks link was the second time I visited this site. They were making fun of a MetaTalk thread wherein a member had used AskMe to find out what was wrong with his e-mail, specifically regarding an away message or auto-response or something. The overwhelming majority of people were saying it was user-error. The asker got REALLY mad and took it to Meta and then got even angrier. Or something. I can't find the link but damnit, it was funny.

posted by juliplease at 4:19 PM on March 12, 2007


Metafilter is immersed too deep in the in the internet rectum. We're already swimming in stomach acid.
posted by tehloki at 4:23 PM on March 12, 2007


juliplease, hotmail is in ur email, changing ur settings. Words to live by.
posted by maxwelton at 4:29 PM on March 12, 2007


Y'know what's really pathetic? I doubt Trainwrecks or Insult ever actually even bothered to harass me, and I mighta actually appreciated the attention. I been journalling (I predate blogging) since 1997 dangit. No one's bothered to bully me since the 20th century. I'm just such a small fish in such a big pool, it'd be like pushing over a zombie.

I'm a fossil that nobody ever bothered to dig up. *sniff*
posted by ZachsMind at 4:31 PM on March 12, 2007


(loquacious- yes, well. I suppose naming a blog "How To Skin A Squirrel" was bound to attract, then disappoint, people interested in skinning squirrels. Obviously I am not really 'getting' the blog thing.
& thx languagehat!
)
posted by maryh at 4:32 PM on March 12, 2007


That's the one, maxwelton. That's the one. /derail
posted by juliplease at 4:39 PM on March 12, 2007


The end of the Internet, it has been reached.

Can we retire this one and all its variants?
posted by itchylick at 4:58 PM on March 12, 2007


I read a bit of Heaven Nose. That is some insane shit. Thank you Jesus for the Internet, because without it the authors of Heaven Nose would be coming home from their shifts at Arby's to torture dogs or kill hookers or something. Just to show how powerful they are.
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:25 PM on March 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Hey ZachsMind, you suck!
posted by ODiV at 5:33 PM on March 12, 2007


*tear*

Thank you ODiV!
posted by ZachsMind at 5:37 PM on March 12, 2007


I knew someone who had a lady friend that was a complete drama queen. She'd post all the little details of her life (and by extension love life) to the "notes" section of Facebook. This, of course, showed up on all our front pages, due to how the Facebook privacy settings default. Each of her notes ended with excruciating drama about trivial things ("I just couldn't handle my car no starting, nothing ever works for me! I cried for an hour!"). No one could tell if that was really her or if she was just an attention whore.

I decided enough was enough ("I don't think anyone likes me! :'( I have no friends" only to receive 25 replies from gay friends telling her she's amazing), and Isent her a nicely worded e-mail explaining that perhaps she did not realize that we would all see her notes on our front pages even if we weren't "tagged" and mentioned how I did not know if she knew about these new privacy settings (at the time Facebook would not let you filter out seeing notes on the front page, so the onus was really on her).

The point being the fallout reminded me of Hiroshima. And I learned who in my extended network of people were friends I would ever like to hang out with. So in a roundabout way the Internet solved very quickly what usually takes several months to figure out, if you are like me and give people the benefit of the doubt they are not crazy.

On a separate note: I remember googling a girl that was interested in me only to discover her myspace page had literally hundreds of entries on every single of her ex boyfriends and guys she hooked up with. So thank you Heaven Nose, give these people a false sense of security and let them continue posting.
posted by geoff. at 5:48 PM on March 12, 2007


Where does free speech end and cyber-bullying begin?
I don't know, but I do know this:

Not at the same point.
posted by Flunkie at 6:17 PM on March 12, 2007


Er, this is a really o-l-d spat, isn't it?
posted by dash_slot- at 6:48 PM on March 12, 2007


lost for all time...
posted by blue_beetle at 6:52 PM on March 12, 2007


I want the five minutes back that I spent reading this FPP. Not even any useful links? This is a non-event as far I'm concerned, except for that core of people involved in the whole thing.
posted by zek at 6:52 PM on March 12, 2007


I'm not sure why folks are so confused by this post. This bit from the 3rd link seems pretty clear:

We were never contacted by google or an attorney for we have violated no laws. The ip addresses that were published in the comment section of our blog were not put there by us. However, the information is definitely correct. FYI: We never contacted these women or their employers at home or at work. We never crossed the line into their "real lives" in any way but apparently, some of you did. As far as what exactly went on between Heaven Nose and Trainwrecks: none of you know jack shit and none of you ever will.

Except for that last sentence, but still.
posted by mediareport at 7:26 PM on March 12, 2007


And in case you missed the news flash: neither do we give a syphillis whore's cunt about popularity.

Oh the ironing.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:48 PM on March 12, 2007


She'd post all the little details of her life (and by extension love life) to the "notes" section of Facebook.

I HATE this. HATE HATE HATE. Especially when girls would post about the new douche they're dating, and be all coy, oh, I don't really want to talk about it, blah blah blah. THEN WHY DID YOU MAKE A POST, BIYATCH. I ended up removing almost half of my "friends" on Facebook because I couldn't stand seeing their pathetic lives on my feed.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:01 PM on March 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


so this is what happens when someone uses the internet for something other than porn?
posted by duality at 8:44 PM on March 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


She'd post all the little details of her life (and by extension love life) to the "notes" section of Facebook.

I HATE this. HATE HATE HATE.


Oh - the irony.
posted by Sparx at 9:17 PM on March 12, 2007


Never read or heard of Heaven Nose, but I'd occassionally check Trainwrecks when there was a particularly juicy argument on MetaTalk to see if they'd noticed it; generally, they had.
posted by Bugbread at 9:39 PM on March 12, 2007


Why am I just finding out about Trainwrecks now? Oh well, I guess it's back to Fandom Wank to get my daily dose of crazies.
posted by LeeJay at 11:16 PM on March 12, 2007


I followed Trainwrecks briefly after it was linked in a thread here. I wish I could say a small part of my heart had been torn out when it was shut down, but not really.
posted by drezdn at 7:16 AM on March 13, 2007


Are there really more than 5 people on the whole series of intartubes who gives a rat's ass about this? The "I'll call your boss in real life" stuff seems so 1997.
posted by Ynoxas at 7:51 AM on March 13, 2007


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