We Will Find You

Posted on by MarcusB and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Greece, New York

It’s obvious what’s going on in the video. Some of you may have already seen it on Reddit, the news, etc. It has already gone viral, very unexpectedly. And of course, people want revenge, rightfully so. And in 2012, if you want revenge, all you have to do is look in the right places.

Because right now, just a little over 24 hours after the original video was posted in facebook, which spread to Reddit, and eventually the news, this information has already been found:

The school, bus number, names of the kids/bus monitor involved, the facebook pages of the kids and their parents and their siblings, their personal phone numbers, their parents’ work, their coworkers numbers/emails, and pictures of the kids. Their facebook profiles have already been deleted and I’m sure their phones have already been disconnected. In just 24 hours.

Of course, this is to be expected from the internet. I always wonder what’s gonna happen in the next 50 years, but now I wonder, what are we gonna be able to find in the next 5? 

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About MarcusB

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15 Responses to We Will Find You

  1. frugalstoic says:

    The irony is that internet vigilantes are no better than those they go after. But of course this never occurs to the internet justice brigade. The correct response if one is so moved is to channel that fire into something positive. In this case I think over $70,000 was raised to send her on a vacation – or maybe help her to retire. Of course this sort of thing is ripe for abuse, but sometimes it works.

    Also, not to hijack but I have created if folks want to subscribe, comment, or submit your favorite PO or TLP posts in reddits formats. Hopefully that’s not too meta/recursive.

    • MarcusB says:

      Thanks frugalstoic, I read on Reddit that people were planning a vacation for her, but didn’t know it was $70,000. That’s awesome. To me, the internet is a neutral tool, how it’s used is another matter. I just think it’s important to be aware of the magnitude of what it can do.

      Thanks for creating those reddit links.

      • JohnJ says:

        There’s actually over $300K now.

      • thestage says:

        what is interesting* is that the answer is always money. see something; throw money at it. feel better about yourself, go back to facebook. whatever the problem actually was remains, the system is still preserved–but someone gets rich.

        and isn’t that good enough?

        *not interesting

        • Gabe Ruth says:

          Tru dat. Maybe the lynch mob should visit their own grandmothers.

          • BHE says:

            Indeed.

            This is a video of people who are, essentially, anonymous. They are unknown to almost everyone. We have no back story, we *know nothing about anyone involved in this video except what we see*. So why do people choose this and things like this to care about?

            Because the lack of background knowledge allows us to project whatever story onto this suits us psychologically. This blog is called partial objects for a reason. And it’s because we live in a society where people treat other people as partial objects–we see only what we want to see and we use that to serve ourselves. And although there is an essence of humanity in wanting to help out a person who has been mercilessly teased, the underlying psychological phenomena that lead a person to click a ‘donate’ button and feel good about themselves are all a part of the problem. The motivation for revenge even more so. But they are two sides of the same coin.

            Visiting your own grandmother, reaching out to those around you, asking your own kids about bullying and getting involved, *impacting the lives of people you know and for whom your concern and interest would actually make a difference* is true activism and true moral action. I would argue that almost anything else is strictly self-serving.

        • Supastaru says:

          @thestage
          what’s really interesting is that it’s not always money. I remember maybe 2 years ago when people on 4chan found a flyer with “Wanted! People for birthday party” and a picture of an old man from a retirement home. They sent him candy and beef jerky (yeah, you just buy those), but also a bunch of birthday cards, happy birthday phone calls and some even showed up to wish him happy birthday in person.
          http://www.urlesque.com/2010/09/07/followup-operation-birthday-boy-william-lashua/

    • Or says:

      I definitely think we’ll start to see these kinds of incidents being staged. I imagine a lot of people would put up with a few weeks of nasty voicemails if their “victim” is sharing the jackpot with them. It only takes a small group of conspirators to act it out, and even if your cover is blown it’s not exactly fraud if some anonymous fool sets up a fund for you without your involvement; you could say you were doing it for lulz, not money. It could be a new era for con men: crowdsourcing the mark.

      • frugalstoic says:

        Exactly, but again even if this sort of fraud is exposed, what should our response be? If we yet again turn to internet justice, what happens when it happens to be an innocent person that really was trying to do good? That has also happened on reddit before, if I recall correctly a young woman that cut her hair and was raising money for a cancer non-profit and ended up harassed online and in real life.

        Personally, I think if you are riled up by something, try to turn it into something positive. If that something doesn’t work out, just find something else to do that’s positive. We should never lower ourselves to the level of fraudsters or bullies. If you are worried about them getting negative justice, you don’t have to worry. Anyone who would commit such a heinous act of taking advantage of the good nature of others lives in their own private hell already.

    • Guy Fox says:

      The Reddit thing is your call. Nobody has to participate, and it’s not the tool that matters, it’s what you do with it. But might it not be relevant that this particular tool is owned by Advance Publications, which owns Condé Nast(y), whose catalogue includes such pearls as Vogue, Teen Vogue, GQ, Brides, Golf World, and Vanity Fair? Are you sure you want to be feeding that particular monkey … I mean ape … I mean King Kong that has climbed up your tallest building and has affixed itself to your medulla oblongata?

      • frugalstoic says:

        I think reddit is a little more subversive than that, for one thing Conde Nast didn’t create it, and I think largely they don’t understand what they have. For subreddits, the mods (in this case, me since I created it) have a little bit of control and then there are adds in the sidebar. That’s it in terms of any influence the site has on a subreddit, the rest is up to the users. I’m sure some shenanigans happen in subreddits with over 100,000 users, but under 5,000 I don’t think anyone sophisticated enough to game the system will bother.

        So I don’t see any reason an individual subreddit can’t be as useful as Partial Objects itself. One can self-post, link to any website, comment and vote on all of it. I like the comment layout better than anything else I’ve come across. How do you feel about the advertisements on here? How is it different in your mind?

  2. Guy Fox says:

    You don’t even have to extrapolate from this case. If you want to look into the near future, it’s already happening. Here’s the story: an 11 year-old girl is abducted in a parking garage, molested and murdered. The police release the CCTV footage from the garage and arrest a 17 year-old boy/man. An 18 year-old from the same town thinks he recognizes the guy in the video and starts calling for vengeance over Facebook. Within less than a day, there’s a lynch mob waiting outside the police station where the suspect is being held. Thing is, the suspect is innocent, and the police arrest the real guilty party within a few days. After receiving death threats from their friends and neighbours, the family of the falsely accused young man feel the need to leave town and their identities are still tainted.

    If you haven’t clicked that link yet, this may surprise you: it didn’t happen in Oklahoma or east Missouri. It happened in northern Germany near the Dutch border. So whenever your progressive friends look wistfully across the Atlantic towards lost Avalon, you can tell them that, with the right narrative, even well-behaved Europeans transport themselves back to Dry Gulch c. 1885.

  3. vandal says:

    Eh, I mean what more could you want? Facebook and threatening calls and donations all in the name of social justice. Enforced by anyone with wifi connection. No longer enforced by laws or police or the government. Just anyone…well, everyone. This can’t be done with a few hundreds, or even a thousand, it needs millions of views. Maybe 1-10% of those millions are the ones causing anything. But they’re backed by that 90%, whether that 90 wants it or not. In the minds of the 10% the others want them to do it, they’re a part of that larger picture, they’re the leaders of that picture.

  4. Jentham says:

    Didn’t Alone say something about looking to China to see the future of the West? Well, this is that.

    In China there is a growing trend for “human-flesh searches”, or as we would say, a man hunt, or really, vigilante justice – which probably boils down to justice simpliciter.

    Go read China Smack for fun, but watch out – it will suck you into a nihilistic abyss. China is a kleptocracy that is corrupt as fuck and human flesh searches are a positive development, in my opinion. When the State won’t help, you always have neighbours.

    “Human-flesh search engines — renrou sousuo yinqing — have become a Chinese phenomenon: they are a form of online vigilante justice in which Internet users hunt down and punish people who have attracted their wrath. The goal is to get the targets of a search fired from their jobs, shamed in front of their neighbors, run out of town. It’s crowd-sourced detective work, pursued online — with offline results. ”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/07/magazine/07Human-t.html?pagewanted=all

  5. jschnapp42 says:

    At the same time, innocent people get hurt in the fallout. I’m from Rochester, NY (just minutes away from Greece, where this happened). My girlfriend’s parent’s phone number was posted as belonging to the parents of one of the harassing children in the video and they are now receiving an onslaught of phone calls.

    “We will find you,” yes, but the “you” may not be the right “you.”

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