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July 2, 2009 7:33 AM   Subscribe

The 8 Most Awesome Examples of Internet Vigilantism. Contains a heady mix of justice and harrassment.
posted by mippy (62 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Now we're out of the editorializing zone...

Yes, poop on the subway is nasty. But after all the figurative shite that girl received, it doesn't surprise me that she was threatening suicide. I've never got the whole 4Chan mob detective thing (poor ol' Boxxxy).
posted by mippy at 7:34 AM on July 2, 2009


Awwwww. I thought Boxxxy was hilarious (in that, thank god I can turn her off any time I wanted to way).
posted by elfgirl at 7:40 AM on July 2, 2009


^Uh, wow. Tense fail. I can turn her off any time I want to.
posted by elfgirl at 7:41 AM on July 2, 2009


I thought an earlier version was the Karl Malden's Nose thing on usenet and Harvard dude hiding in law school. Meow.
posted by jadepearl at 7:47 AM on July 2, 2009


Where are the misfires, where an innocent was accidentally punished? These stories must exist.
posted by rokusan at 7:51 AM on July 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was gonna post some snark about "Cracked: 2 Ways to Recycle Internet Content to Sell Ads". But then I read the article which was like "meh" and it linked to the NSFW story of Chris Forcand and HOLY SHIT. Fake 15 year old girls on cam chat, lolitraps, pictures of a penis with a gold cross hanging from it. Creepy, awful, on both sides.
posted by Nelson at 7:55 AM on July 2, 2009


Oh, Anonymous, you thrill me and terrify me in equal measures and often at the same time.
posted by permafrost at 7:56 AM on July 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Must we suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous 4chan?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:00 AM on July 2, 2009 [190 favorites]


I'd like to see some bigger fish get internet vigilanted. Like, photos of Sanford in Argentina (before we knew about that) or Lieberman checking into a motel with McCain.
posted by DU at 8:01 AM on July 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


MeFi has a history of doing a bit of the "internet vigilantism", too. Kaycee Nicole was the first, but I'm pretty sure that's not the only sleuthing Mefites have done.
posted by elfgirl at 8:03 AM on July 2, 2009


MeFi has a history of doing a bit of the "internet vigilantism", too. Kaycee Nicole was the first, but I'm pretty sure that's not the only sleuthing Mefites have done.

Recently.
posted by Midnight Rambler at 8:08 AM on July 2, 2009


East Manitoba &c you just made my day.

To die, to sleep /
To sleep, perchance to lol?
posted by sixswitch at 8:14 AM on July 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'd like to see some bigger fish get internet vigilanted.

You mean like Fidel Castro's son?. Only there's no evidence of anything being vigilante-ed for.
posted by Nelson at 8:20 AM on July 2, 2009


I guess it's fine when the right people get just enough done to them -- a deserved outing to the authorities and maybe to the neighbors -- but I bet you could also make a page of The 8 Worst Examples of Misguided, Over-the-Top Internet Vigilantism if people were inclined to brag about such stuff.
posted by pracowity at 8:24 AM on July 2, 2009


MeFi has a history of doing a bit of the "internet vigilantism"

wha-wha-whibble?

The archetypal internet lynch mob (respect due to anyone who could wade through that horrible ugly website to expose that dude's plagiarism.)
posted by orville sash at 8:25 AM on July 2, 2009


East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94: "Must we suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous 4chan?"

this... oh my god this is... possibly the greatest thing anyone has ever said on the internet.
posted by shmegegge at 8:30 AM on July 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


Is there anything that Cracked can't rank? They've taken the "tailor-made for Digg" style to its limit, I think. I like some of their writing, but c'mon.
posted by dammitjim at 8:32 AM on July 2, 2009


Internet vigilantism wiki. It's basically a clearing house for this stuff.

Also interesting, articles on trolling, "Ruin Life" tactics, and some other stuff.
posted by hellojed at 8:38 AM on July 2, 2009 [5 favorites]


Can we somehow tie this into the Scientology "Fair Game" policy for maximum ironic effect?
posted by rokusan at 8:54 AM on July 2, 2009


This one came out a while ago. Still, I laugh whenever I think of the physical mail spamming of Alan Ralsky, and cracked's description:

"Snail mail, as the kids call it, started arriving at Ralsky's mansion by the truckload. Literally by the truckload, as tons of it was delivered to his house each and every day. Ralsky's reaction was to complain that he was being harassed and was going to sue. This lead to massive bouts of laughter and an unprecedented level of not giving a shit."

A nice turn of phrase, that.
posted by quin at 8:59 AM on July 2, 2009 [4 favorites]


Say what you will, but CRACKED has gotten a hell of a lot more interesting since it migrated to the web. You can take John Severin art just so far, after all. And it's not like they had much of anything else going for 'em.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 9:08 AM on July 2, 2009


I think Anonymous should become the new boogy man. Imagine telling your children to behave or else Anonymous will start a flame war over their bad behavior. How terrifying would it be to see that Guy Fox masked avenger looking right into your very soul... via web cam through your monitor. I myself am scared, because I am a snarky, immature jerk.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 9:09 AM on July 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94

One million internets for you, good sir.
posted by educatedslacker at 9:18 AM on July 2, 2009


Must we suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous 4chan?

Nowadays, Hamlet's father would just record something in advance for YouTube that said "if you are watching this message, it is because I was assassinated."
posted by oaf at 9:21 AM on July 2, 2009


Must we suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous 4chan?

Ah yes, the famous "To /b/ or not to /b/" soliloquy...
posted by Ian A.T. at 9:23 AM on July 2, 2009 [32 favorites]


SAGE SAGE SAGE
posted by jquinby at 9:25 AM on July 2, 2009


Unemployment in the US hit 9.5% today, I know you got time, sugar, give it your all.

Sadly not enough time for you to click my username and see I don't live in the US. But don't let that stop you feeling superior, it gives a nice rosy glow to the complexion.
posted by mippy at 9:29 AM on July 2, 2009


Of course now that I've said that, I'm sitting here waiting for my final bit of work for the day to come in...
posted by mippy at 9:32 AM on July 2, 2009


Must we suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous 4chan?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:00 AM on July 2


holy shit
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:33 AM on July 2, 2009


I just cracked my iPhone screen from favoriting East Manitoba ... so righteously.

I doff my cap sir.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 9:52 AM on July 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


If by 'awesome' they mean 'appalling', I agree.

I also like this comment,

"The Internet: Helping hypocrites spread the same hate that they cowardly decry, from behind computers, since 1989!"
posted by BigSky at 10:00 AM on July 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


I followed the link Midnight Rambler posted and got so absorbed in the whole Suzanne Somers/jakelala story that I completely forgot how I'd arrived in the thread.
posted by orange swan at 10:01 AM on July 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


But after all the figurative shite that girl received, it doesn't surprise me that she was threatening suicide.

Well, the internet is BIG enough to qualify as a chaotic system ... and the last thing you ever want to do is stir the wrath of a chaotic system. Kind of like taking on a Greek God. Even if you're in the right, it's not going to end well.
posted by philip-random at 10:02 AM on July 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


No one piss off East Manitoba...'94 OK? He just won the internet and if we piss him off he'll go home and take it with him.
posted by Elmore at 10:05 AM on July 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is it (technically) theft to keep the phone one finds in the back of a cab?
posted by applemeat at 10:07 AM on July 2, 2009


I'm all for internet vigilantism. Performed by the internet Batman.
posted by jabberjaw at 10:22 AM on July 2, 2009


There was a good post earlier on MeFi about the consequences of mobbing: Workplace Mobbing.
posted by shetterly at 10:23 AM on July 2, 2009


Is it (technically) theft to keep the phone one finds in the back of a cab?

It's a thorny legal issue all right. I'll need to refer to the case of Finders v. Keepers.
posted by mbd1mbd1 at 10:24 AM on July 2, 2009 [7 favorites]


Wow, I wish I'd been here to participate in the mobbing thread linked to by shetterly. I actually quit my job last year because of the successful efforts of one person at the job to turn the entire workforce against me. One of the worst things ever to happen to me, and I'm still reeling from it.
posted by hippybear at 10:31 AM on July 2, 2009


You know who was really awesome at internet vigilantism?

This really cool group of guys, I bet you would love them- they really zinged this one dude who TOTALLY deserved it. They called themselves "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth."
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:44 AM on July 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


Re: Mobs getting out of hand-- does anyone remember the whole Something Awful vs. Keyser Soze debacle here? (In which a MeFi user linked to one of the closed/locked SA forums and then the g00ns tracked him down and took pictures of his house) No?
posted by exlotuseater at 10:53 AM on July 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sadly not enough time for you to click my username and see I don't live in the US. But don't let that stop you feeling superior, it gives a nice rosy glow to the complexion.

1000 apologies. My comment was stupid, I'm so used to seeing cracked.com thrown around that I sort of take it for granted. Also feeling down about my current job prospects.

I do believe this is my first deleted comment. Hooray fo new experiences!
posted by hellojed at 11:05 AM on July 2, 2009


Is it (technically) theft to keep the phone one finds in the back of a cab?

A bit off-topic, but speaking as a cab driver, we generally WANT to return lost phones--either out of goodheartedness or the chance that we could get compensated for the effort--so make it easy on us: In your address book, make sure the first entry is something like _If You Find My Phone Call This Number or whatever. Just something that makes sense and comes at the top of the list.

'Cuz otherwise I'm gonna call the entry labeled "Mom."
posted by Ian A.T. at 11:20 AM on July 2, 2009


No one piss off East Manitoba...'94 OK? He just won the internet

With a pun? A good one, mind you? But it's still just a fucking pun.
posted by philip-random at 11:32 AM on July 2, 2009


awww, it's ok philip-random. we think you're special, too.
posted by shmegegge at 11:35 AM on July 2, 2009


I much prefer his Lobstercore link in the Crabcore thread.
posted by philip-random at 11:35 AM on July 2, 2009


"He started spamming back before anyone knew what spam was, in the late 90s."

Huh? Do you mean before YOU knew what spam was?
posted by Eideteker at 11:36 AM on July 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't get this whole 4chan thing. Can someone [seriously] explain it to me? For example, I didn't get East Manitoba...94's joke.

Does this mean I would need a __(?)__ to understand?
posted by CrazyLemonade at 11:48 AM on July 2, 2009


What no GiveWell scandal? MeFi gets so little credit.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:55 AM on July 2, 2009


Must we suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous 4chan?

You should /b/tard and feathered for a pun like that!
posted by harmfulray at 12:09 PM on July 2, 2009


Huh? Do you mean before YOU knew what spam was?

Yeah. Hell, Canter&Siegel (may they burn in hell) was in April of '94, and that was just commercial spam.
posted by Justinian at 12:10 PM on July 2, 2009


I can turn her off any time I want to

I can do this with all women.
posted by srboisvert at 12:15 PM on July 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't get this whole 4chan thing.

4chan is an internet messageboard dedicated to posting pictures of cats, giant robots and eye-watering Japanese hentai porn. It's occupants refer to themselves as Anonymous ('because none of us is as cruel as all of us') and have been responsible for numerous acts of internet vigilantism, as described in the OP.

4chan also sounds a lot like 'fortune', and is definitely NSFW.
posted by permafrost at 12:18 PM on July 2, 2009


"As with all great assholes, the taint of arrogance was right around the corner, under the ballsack of stupidity"

FTW. I forgive this for being a Cracked link.
posted by LMGM at 1:03 PM on July 2, 2009


BRB going to church.
posted by multivalent at 1:26 PM on July 2, 2009


No one piss off East Manitoba...'94 OK? He just won the internet

Apparently it was won previously.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 1:34 PM on July 2, 2009 [3 favorites]


East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion should know when, in disgrace with 4chan and Mefi, he all alone /b/weeps his outcast state.
posted by mattdidthat at 2:32 PM on July 2, 2009


I would really like to see East Manitoba &c's comment sidebarred. It's so worth it.
posted by sixswitch at 3:37 PM on July 2, 2009


AVENGE DUSTY
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:13 PM on July 2, 2009


orange swan: I followed the link Midnight Rambler posted and got so absorbed in the whole Suzanne Somers/jakelala story that I completely forgot how I'd arrived in the thread.

Me too. Sorry I missed that thread. Also, Cracked is okay sometimes. TOTALLY BEST OF THE WEB! (not a shill for Cracked, no internet vigilantism necessary).
posted by Barry B. Palindromer at 5:17 PM on July 2, 2009


"Is it (technically) theft to keep the phone one finds in the back of a cab?"

I don't know about the phone itself but it is definitely an indictable offence to make use of the cellular or other telecommunication service saccessible from the phone.
posted by Mitheral at 7:03 PM on July 2, 2009


I thought an earlier version was the Karl Malden's Nose thing on usenet and Harvard dude hiding in law school. Meow.

Late to this one, but there was nothing vigilante about that. They were just shitting in the swimming pool.
posted by dilettante at 12:19 PM on July 4, 2009


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