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Thread: The New York Times (Magazine) - Malwebolence: The World of Web Trolling 7/31/08

  1. #1
    mydeathspace
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    The New York Times (Magazine) - Malwebolence: The World of Web Trolling 7/31/08

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/03/magazine/03trolls-t.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

    [size=15pt]Malwebolence: The World of Web Trolling[/size]
    By: Mattathias Schwartz

    One afternoon in the spring of 2006, for reasons unknown to those who knew him, Mitchell Henderson, a seventh grader from Rochester, Minn., took a .22-caliber rifle down from a shelf in his parents’ bedroom closet and shot himself in the head. The next morning, Mitchell’s school assembled in the gym to begin mourning. His classmates created a virtual memorial on MySpace and garlanded it with remembrances. One wrote that Mitchell was “an hero to take that shot, to leave us all behind. God do we wish we could take it back. . . . ” Someone e-mailed a clipping of Mitchell’s newspaper obituary to MyDeathSpace.com, a Web site that links to the MySpace pages of the dead. From MyDeathSpace, Mitchell’s page came to the attention of an Internet message board known as /b/ and the “trolls,” as they have come to be called, who dwell there.

    /b/ is the designated “random” board of 4chan.org, a group of message boards that draws more than 200 million page views a month. A post consists of an image and a few lines of text. Almost everyone posts as “anonymous.” In effect, this makes /b/ a panopticon in reverse — nobody can see anybody, and everybody can claim to speak from the center. The anonymous denizens of 4chan’s other boards — devoted to travel, fitness and several genres of pornography — refer to the /b/-dwellers as “/b/tards.”

    Measured in terms of depravity, insularity and traffic-driven turnover, the culture of /b/ has little precedent. /b/ reads like the inside of a high-school bathroom stall, or an obscene telephone party line, or a blog with no posts and all comments filled with slang that you are too old to understand.

    Something about Mitchell Henderson struck the denizens of /b/ as funny. They were especially amused by a reference on his MySpace page to a lost iPod. Mitchell Henderson, /b/ decided, had killed himself over a lost iPod. The “an hero” meme was born. Within hours, the anonymous multitudes were wrapping the tragedy of Mitchell’s death in absurdity.

    Someone hacked Henderson’s MySpace page and gave him the face of a zombie. Someone placed an iPod on Henderson’s grave, took a picture and posted it to /b/. Henderson’s face was appended to dancing iPods, spinning iPods, hardcore porn scenes. A dramatic re-enactment of Henderson’s demise appeared on YouTube, complete with shattered iPod. The phone began ringing at Mitchell’s parents’ home. “It sounded like kids,” remembers Mitchell’s father, Mark Henderson, a 44-year-old I.T. executive. “They’d say, ‘Hi, this is Mitchell, I’m at the cemetery.’ ‘Hi, I’ve got Mitchell’s iPod.’ ‘Hi, I’m Mitchell’s ghost, the front door is locked. Can you come down and let me in?’ ” He sighed. “It really got to my wife.” The calls continued for a year and a half.

    Click here for the rest of the article.

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    Senior Member Elegantly_wasted's Avatar
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    Re: The New York Times (Magazine) - Malwebolence: The World of Web Trolling 7/31/08

    This kid was only like 12, right?  I always thought that story was so sad.    :-(

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    Re: The New York Times (Magazine) - Malwebolence: The World of Web Trolling 7/31/08

    I wish people who think this site is so cruel, would read this article.  There are insensitive comments now and then but nobody is calling/emailing and terrorizing the families/friends of those who died. 

    Some of these trolls are fucking evil, man.  I mean, how little and empty someone's life is to go around trolling in other people's lives. 

  4. #4
    mydeathspace
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    Re: The New York Times (Magazine) - Malwebolence: The World of Web Trolling 7/31

    Look what I found!

    This blogger talks about the NY Times article here: 

    http://sexoffenderissues.blogspot.com/2008/08/ny-nyt-mag-goes-trolling-for-trolls.html

    He goes on to talk about "Weev" (who looks like a troll IRL):

    Weev was a bit less charitable on his livejournal page (livejournal? For this omnipotent Troll of Trolls?). Here's his beef :

        I while ago I met with Matt Schwartz from the New York Times Magazine, under the explicit condition that I would be covering philosophy and history and not my personal business. I feel I didn't really get what I want out of this exchange, as the important philosophy I conveyed to him was only conveyed in short bits that I think were taken out of context. What I feel was most important and totally untouched in the mainstream media so far, the history troll organizations, was not covered at all.


    ...and here's his pitch:

        If any members of the media (old or new) would like to give the real story Matt passed over some coverage, they can contact me by sending an email. Also, if you agree with my vision of the future, are an "accredited investor" according to the SEC's regulations or just an investor who is not a US citizen and would like me to start you a private investment trust, you can email gluttony@gmail.com to chat (minimum startup capital, 700k).
    $700K? What a joke!

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    Re: The New York Times (Magazine) - Malwebolence: The World of Web Trolling 7/31

    [quote author=mydeathspace link=topic=15453.msg954992#msg954992 date=1217894926]
    Look what I found!

    This blogger talks about the NY Times article here: 

    http://sexoffenderissues.blogspot.com/2008/08/ny-nyt-mag-goes-trolling-for-trolls.html

    He goes on to talk about "Weev" (who looks like a troll IRL):

    $700K? What a joke!
    [/quote]

    He got a little publicity in the Times, now he thinks he can just ask for money.  :lol:
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    I'm not very nice. Karalicious's Avatar
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    Re: The New York Times (Magazine) - Malwebolence: The World of Web Trolling 7/31

    [quote author=deathbecomesme link=topic=15453.msg953301#msg953301 date=1217738613]
    I wish people who think this site is so cruel, would read this article.  There are insensitive comments now and then but nobody is calling/emailing and terrorizing the families/friends of those who died. 

    Some of these trolls are fucking evil, man.  I mean, how little and empty someone's life is to go around trolling in other people's lives. 
    [/quote] I have a feeling that some people think that a lot of the /b/tards also post here.
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  7. #7
    the color nine
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    Re: The New York Times (Magazine) - Malwebolence: The World of Web Trolling 7/31/08

    The same article-Chinese

    虚拟世界中,最讨厌的人大概就是“网络巨魔”(Trolls),他们专门在公共论坛中用侮辱性语言 挑起骂战,并从中获得莫名的快感。他们的行为表面上看无伤大雅,但可以导致大量无关和攻击性信息,破坏公共 空间。此外,网络混战也可能蔓延到现实中,造成无法挽回的伤害。不过,研究者在探讨“巨魔 文化” 的深层心理和社会原因后发现,“巨魔”们虽然可憎,却也有你想不到的积极意义。

      那是2006年春一天下午,明尼苏达州七年级学生米歇尔·汉得森从父母卧室拿了一把.22口径的手枪 ,自杀身亡。第二天,他所在的学校举行了悼念活动,他的同学在MySpace上面开了一个追悼页面,缀以种 种怀念的词句。其中一人写道,米歇尔是个“英雄”,“他把我们留在了身后,虽然我们希望能够挽 回……”还有人将报纸上登的米歇尔讣告发给了专门记录MySpace用户死亡消息 的网站MyDeathSpace就是在这里,米歇尔的事引起了一个名为“/b/”的论坛的注意。

      /b/是4chan.org的分论坛之一,4chan.org每月吸引200多万人浏览,分为旅行、健身乃至色情 等多个板块。但无论从哪方面讲,/b/都与众不同,它更加堕落,就像高中男生盥洗室,或是色情电话热线,充斥着下流评论。

      在/b/上面的人看来,米歇尔的事情十分有趣。他生前提到自己曾经丢过一台iPod,结果激发了这帮人的灵感。他们 认定米歇尔是因为丢了iPod而自杀。几个小时内,这些匿名网民就把米歇尔的悲剧变成了一场荒 唐闹剧。
    more
    http://epaper.nddaily.com/C/html/2008-08/24/content_552928.htm

  8. #8
    the color nine
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    Re: The New York Times (Magazine) - Malwebolence: The World of Web Trolling 7/31/08

    The same article in Russian

    The intro-the characters in the language makes it too long to copy

    .Одним прекрасным весенним днем в 2006 году Митчелл Хендерсон, ученик седьмого класса из Рочестера, Миннесота, по неизвестной никому причине взял с полки шкафа в родительской спальне винтовку 22-го калибра и выстрелил себе в голову... Новые технологии, похоже, могут не только «объединить мудрость масс», но и усилить массовую же ненависть...

    http://www.cripo.com.ua/?sect_id=3&aid=72690

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    I'm not very nice. Karalicious's Avatar
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    Re: The New York Times (Magazine) - Malwebolence: The World of Web Trolling 7/31/08

    This still make me lulz:

    (from encyclopedia dramatica)

    “The phone began ringing at Mitchell’s parents’ home. “It sounded like kids,” remembers Mitchell’s father, Mark Henderson, an 44-year-old I.T. executive. “They’d say, ‘Hi, this is Mitchell, I’m at the cemetery.’ ‘Hi, I’ve got Mitchell’s iPod.’ ‘Hi, I’m Mitchell’s ghost, the front door is locked. Can you come down and let me in?’ ” He sighed. “It really got to my wife.” The calls continued for an year and an half.
      „


    The NY Times, quoting someone who never thought to change his phone number.
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  10. #10
    the color nine
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    Re: The New York Times (Magazine) - Malwebolence: The World of Web Trolling 7/31/08

    [quote author=Karalicious link=topic=15453.msg1343677#msg1343677 date=1248472982]
    This still make me lulz:

    (from encyclopedia dramatica)

    “The phone began ringing at Mitchell’s parents’ home. “It sounded like kids,” remembers Mitchell’s father, Mark Henderson, an 44-year-old I.T. executive. “They’d say, ‘Hi, this is Mitchell, I’m at the cemetery.’ ‘Hi, I’ve got Mitchell’s iPod.’ ‘Hi, I’m Mitchell’s ghost, the front door is locked. Can you come down and let me in?’ ” He sighed. “It really got to my wife.” The calls continued for an year and an half.
      „


    The NY Times, quoting someone who never thought to change his phone number.
    [/quote]


    That reminded me of Joe Dirt not realizing he could cut his mullet wig.

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    Re: The New York Times (Magazine) - Malwebolence: The World of Web Trolling 7/31

    I was just thinking about Mitchell the other day ... in the shower nonetheless lol.

    Does anyone else remember the picture of Mitchell that they put into one of the profiles, where they bugged his eyes out ? That gives me the chills still. Uber creepy, it was. 
    Bwahahahaha !!!

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    Re: The New York Times (Magazine) - Malwebolence: The World of Web Trolling 7/31/08

    Article was fascinating.  Rather frightening.

    But as for these little punks who did that to Mitchell's family - what fucking assholes.  I cannot even express how angry that makes me.  It's one thing to make fun of idiots.  It's another to pick on the grieving family of a dead child.  There is absolutely no justification for that.  Dicks.

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