Beta

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Online Vigilantes, Or "Crowdsourced Justice"

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the when-internet-detectives-attack dept.

Privacy 339

destinyland writes "The Chinese credit the 'human flesh search engine' for successfully locating 'the kitten killer of Hangzhou' from clues in her online video. But in February, the same force identified a teenage cat-abuser in Oklahoma — within 24 hours of his video's appearance on YouTube. 'Netizens are the new Jack Bauer,' argues one science writer, and with three billion potential detectives, 'attempts to hide will only add thrill to the chase.' But China's vigilantes ultimately turned their attention to China's Internet Propaganda Office, bypassing censorship of a director's personal information using social networks, including Twitter. The author suggests there's a new principle emerging in the online world: 'The Internet does not forget, does not forgive and cannot be stopped. Ever.'"

cancel ×

339 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

So the Internet is like.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28281867)

...the Terminator of electronic communication tools?

Re:So the Internet is like.... (4, Funny)

Captain Splendid (673276) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282143)

So the Internet is like ...the Terminator of electronic communication tools?

"It cannot be reasoned with" - yeah, sounds about right.

Re:So the Internet is like.... (1)

Stealth Captain (1495523) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282703)

No, this [rackmountparts.com] is the terminator of electronic communication tools.

Beware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28281883)

The interwebs cannot be trusted.

Internet? Or Terminator..? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28281899)

Sounds about the same...

No (4, Insightful)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 5 years ago | (#28281903)

This is less about the vigilantism of the Crowd, and more about the utter stupidity of [some] criminal/deviants.

Stupid criminals shoot video of their crimes. Incredibly fucking stupid criminals put the video on youtube.

Re:No (1)

JumpDrive (1437895) | more than 5 years ago | (#28281931)

Man don't tell them that.
I was hoping this would be a good way to get rid of half of those kitten killing crap moderators.

Dickwad (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282041)

you're a cum-guzzling bitch..

Re:No (2, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282195)

Why can't it be both? The criminals are indeed stupid for shooting a video of their crime, and even more stupid for posting it on the internet for the world to see. But does their stupidity mean that the faceless masses on the internet can harass them until they lose their jobs or scrawl death threats on their doors? Those stories are nothing more than a return to anarchy and lawlessness dressed up as something noble by the article. The only story with redeeming qualities is when they found the name of an official that was bragging about his ability to censor the internet, but you'll notice the end result of that story wasn't anywhere near as dramatic as the others.

Re:No (3, Interesting)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282741)

Those stories are nothing more than a return to anarchy and lawlessness dressed up as something noble by the article.

Vigilantism is the backlash against lawlessness; in this case the lack of a justice system capable of convicting and punishing sadistic animal abusers has been corrected by a band of on-line judge/jury/executioners. To say that it's the height of civility is a stretch, but 'lawless' it certainly is not either.

...and justice for all (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282765)

The government isn't going to waste time and money going after these people and thus far it sure seems like these are some fuckers who really deserve whatever the government can do to them. People who participate in hunting these people are just filling a void.
It sounds like nothing illegal was done by those participating in the hunt, at least nothing obvious. It's not like they are hunting the person down in order to physically assault them, they just all want to express their opinion at the same time to that person and make sure that everyone who knows them is aware of what they have done. Is it really a lynch mob if the noose is nothing more than information?

Re:...and justice for all (4, Insightful)

geobeck (924637) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282911)

Is it really a lynch mob if the noose is nothing more than information?

Unfortunately, it only takes one nutjob to turn a peaceful demonstration into a 'dangerous mob'.

Re:No (4, Interesting)

panthroman (1415081) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282235)

The internet-justice connection is also about making information easily accessible to the public. And sometimes the public know what the police don't.

Ted Kaczynsky was identified by his brother somewhat due to his reversed (though also correct) use of the phrase 'you can't eat your cake and have it too.' [wikipedia.org] I imagine many aspects of a crime could be identified through that kind of esoteric data, if only the right people saw it.

Re:No (1)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282553)

But that was a written letter from one man to a family member.

Over the internet, we see mannerisms and memes spread virally, evolving and being adapted by the collective. Good luck tracing internet vernacular to its sole originators.

It's also possible that mannerisms and memes emerge concurrently because they're just part of the zeitgeist, the time is right. A seemingly non-related example would be that the two-handed tapping guitar technique was used by Queen's Brian May years before Eddie Van Halen used it. Though EVH is credited for inventing it, it just gradually emerged concurrently because "the time was right".

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282849)

Don't forget about also posting to MySpace. http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-10251862-93.html

urm... (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 5 years ago | (#28281909)


'human flesh search engine'

RedTube? [redtube.com]

.

NSFW (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28281971)

At least have the decenecy to tag the above link NSFW.

Re:NSFW (4, Funny)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282919)

You must be new to the internet. You also must not watch much porn. Turn in your geek card.

Re:urm... (1)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#28281985)

Perhaps. But maybe more like Stile project? ;-)

=Smidge=

NSFW link. (4, Informative)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282109)

Just in case someone here...by some freak chance...doesn't know that RedTube is basically YouTube for Porn, don't clicky the linky if you're at work...y.

Re:urm... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282343)

pornotube.com

SFW

The Author (4, Insightful)

Niris (1443675) | more than 5 years ago | (#28281923)

"The author suggests there's a new principle emerging in the online world: 'The Internet does not forget, does not forgive and cannot be stopped. Ever.'""

So the author came up with that? Seriously? Pretty sure that's been a main line (well, at least a version of it) for the groups for a long while.

Re:The Author (1)

SpooForBrains (771537) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282005)

I am reminded of this [imageshack.us] .

Re:The Author (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282097)

The Simpsons said it more eloquently, I believe:

"We've given the word 'mob' a bad name!"
- Dr. Hibbert

This is really just mob justice but 'On the Internet' (tm). Sometimes mob justice is right... sometimes it's wrong. But either way it's powerful.

Re:The Author (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282131)

I think its somewhere in the ebaums code [encycloped...matica.com] :

Anonymous is Legion.
Anonymous does not forgive.
Anonymous does not forget.

Re:The Author (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282365)

Yeah, it sounds a lot like Anonymous to me.

Re:The Author (2, Informative)

Goaway (82658) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282567)

Also, the internet forgets in about a week.

Re:The Author (4, Funny)

geobeck (924637) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282945)

Also, the internet forgets in about a week.

Forgets what?

I have a very bad feeling about this (3, Interesting)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 5 years ago | (#28281951)

it is not a good thing,

Re:I have a very bad feeling about this (4, Insightful)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282089)

I also have a very bad feeling about this. If it is ok for kitten killers then it will be ok for whatever topic X society doesn't like as long as there is enough of society to make an impact in their personal lives.

Re:I have a very bad feeling about this (4, Insightful)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282215)

I'd rather not live in a society in which 51% can arbitrarily sentence the other 49% to death.

Re:I have a very bad feeling about this (4, Insightful)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282405)

The examples in the article didn't even need that much. It could have been as few as a few hundred who tracked these people down and the results were the targets losing their reputations, jobs, etc. It is a scary scary thought indeed. Every reasonable human should always keep in their mind that if they wish to be treated above average as a majority, they must accept being treated equally below average when they are the minority. If you wouldn't want to lose the amount of life/liberty/pursuit of happiness you want to push on someone else, then you shouldn't try.

Re:I have a very bad feeling about this (4, Insightful)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282951)

I'd rather not live in a society that thinks impaling a kitten through the eye socket with high heels until the kitten dies is considered a good thing. Fortunately, I don't and neither do most people.

Re:I have a very bad feeling about this (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282227)

Yeah, imagine if there were people who didn't believe that Jesus was our lord & saviour. (I don't know of any)... if such people existed and they were trackable on the Intertubes we could "correct" their wrong thinking.

Re:I have a very bad feeling about this (1)

stephanruby (542433) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282443)

I don't like it either. Now that they're going after the Chinese internet censor, they're likely to be completely unstoppable after that. Who will be next then? Internet censors in Australia? The history revisionists in Japan? Fox News? It's a slippery slope I tell you. They're going after the easy targets first, and then they're slowly ramping their way up to include everyone. It will be complete anarchy.

Re:I have a very bad feeling about this (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282633)

Same problem with any Vigilante justice.
Except Batman.

Considering how biased large groups of people can be and the fact that their belif becomes so entrenched into who they are and with no checks in place, innocent people will get killed.
You see then in Homeopathy, Anti-Vaccines, Acupuncture and a mess of other belief systems.

Re:I have a very bad feeling about this (1)

Presto Vivace (882157) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282659)

It would be easy enough to for the real kitten killer to point the finger at someone else to divert attention. Mob justice is injustice.

Re:I have a very bad feeling about this (5, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282291)

The author of the article doesn't get it

Fortunately, human flesh search engines don't end the lives of their victims, like the witch-hunts or lynching of the past.

No, they just make it impossible to ever live a normal life ever again. They ruin your career and alienate your friends and family. They force you to live through humiliation and shaming every day, often for weeks or months at a time.

All based on a single, often easily fabricated, piece of evidence. That isn't justice, it's just a mob being a mob and harrassing other people for the fun of it.

Re:I have a very bad feeling about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282497)

No, they just make it impossible to ever live a normal life ever again.

How is that any different than going to jail and having a criminal record follow you around?

They ruin your career and alienate your friends and family. They force you to live through humiliation and shaming every day, often for weeks or months at a time.

Welcome to the life of any ex-convict. While the mob way was definitely the incorrect way to do this, all the people mentioned in the story got exactly what they deserved. Killing kittens, cheating on your spouse, etc should be cause for you to have to get humiliation and shame from others.

All based on a single, often easily fabricated, piece of evidence.

And yet in none of the cases mentioned where the pieces of evidence fabricated.

That isn't justice, it's just a mob being a mob and harrassing other people for the fun of it.

Yeah it couldn't be because these people did something bad and someone else thought they should be punish. No, it was clearly just all fun and games.

Re:I have a very bad feeling about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282789)

All based on a single, often easily fabricated, piece of evidence.

And yet in none of the cases mentioned where the pieces of evidence fabricated.

Just because evidence does not look fabricated, does not make it real either. I could be a VERY good fabrication.

Re:I have a very bad feeling about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282941)

No, they just make it impossible to ever live a normal life ever again.

How is that any different than going to jail and having a criminal record follow you around?

Going to jail is the result of a rigourous process designed to attempt to prove your guilt. Mob justice is the result of a bunch of people assuming you're guilty.

They ruin your career and alienate your friends and family. They force you to live through humiliation and shaming every day, often for weeks or months at a time.

Welcome to the life of any ex-convict. While the mob way was definitely the incorrect way to do this, all the people mentioned in the story got exactly what they deserved. Killing kittens, cheating on your spouse, etc should be cause for you to have to get humiliation and shame from others.

But the ex-convict at least got a fair trial. These people did not.

All based on a single, often easily fabricated, piece of evidence.

And yet in none of the cases mentioned where the pieces of evidence fabricated.

But how long until we start having innocent victims due to fabricated evidence? It's much easier to fabricate evidence for a lynch mob than to fabricate evidence for a criminal trial.

That isn't justice, it's just a mob being a mob and harrassing other people for the fun of it.

Yeah it couldn't be because these people did something bad and someone else thought they should be punish. No, it was clearly just all fun and games.

A lynch mob is still a lynch mob, even when they're after the right people. One of the problems is that lynch mobs all too easily go after the wrong people. Another problem is that, rather than a punishment that fits the crime, lynch mobs issue a punishment that fits their rage. That is not justice.

Re:I have a very bad feeling about this (1)

Random2 (1412773) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282645)

Welcome to the American legal justice system?

Re:I have a very bad feeling about this (5, Insightful)

scubamage (727538) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282905)

You obviously haven't been to law school, through a corrections course, or seen what happens to people who have ever been convicted of a crime. There's a reason we have higher recidivism rates than nearly any other country on earth. We destroy the lives of our convicts, often off of shreds of evidence that are flamboyantly paraded by charismatic lawyers while denying evidence that could change the verdict because of legal technicalities. Good luck getting a job if you've been convicted.

These groups only really pursue people who do one of two things - 1) try to make information that is free unfree (the antithesis of the internet), and 2) do things so abhorrant that they rouse the majority to action against them.

Grace Wang (5, Interesting)

xplenumx (703804) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282721)

it is not a good thing.

I'm sure Grace Wang [nytimes.com] would agree with you.

In brief, Grace Wang [npr.org] was an international student at Duke and dared to try an initiate a discussion between the pro-Tibet and pro-Chinese sides of a protest. After being attacked on forums such as mitbbs.com "Online Vigilantes" decided to bring these attacks to the real world by posting her personal information (her student visa application) and providing maps to her parents' house (which was defaced, causing her parents to go into hiding).

Defending kittens are one thing, but as with "think of the children", it rarely stops there.

Ooops. (2, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#28281955)

See, this is why you can't trust free speech and open information. One minute it's saving kittens, and then next minute it's BITING YOU IN THE ASS! I can has truth plz? kthnxbye!

Always nice to see the Chinese circumventing the Great Firewall. There is no way you'll get good information if all you get is government information.

Re:Ooops. (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282391)

Your first paragraph makes no sense whatsoever.

This has nothing whatsoever to do with bypassing the gfw, it's entirely domestic. Chinese people actually consider it patriotic to track down miscreants this way. The phenomenon is known as the 'human flesh search engine' and they are scarily good at posting a person's full info. Then, the serious creeps start working on you - calling your boss, your mother, the principal of your old high school. Of course, charlatans can be exposed this way, too. One essay from a Chinese girl extolling the pleasures of foreign men and denigrating Chinese men was found out to the the work of a dickless virgin male university student who was pissed off that he couldn't get any.

Re:Ooops. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282547)

One essay from a Chinese girl extolling the pleasures of foreign men and denigrating Chinese men was found out to the the work of a dickless virgin male university student who was pissed off that he couldn't get any.

I imagine finding out that it was written by a foreigner would have been too obvious.

Re:Ooops. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282959)

link (original) [pchome.net] and link (translated) [chinasmack.com] for the citation.

Yay for Anon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28281959)

So are you saying that we should embrace 4chan and Anon?

Re:Yay for Anon (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282009)

I thought this was a great article - though I thought there assumption that this is a brand new thing outside China is mistaken because of what's been going on at reddit or with /b for some time now. The stuff you mention is a perfect example of how this kind of stuff can be great, or terrible depending upon your point of view.

Cats (2, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#28281961)

Maybe the internet can catch this guy [google.com] . I hope so, and am glad he doesn't live here.

the intertubes - my new favs (2, Funny)

pha7boy (1242512) | more than 5 years ago | (#28281965)

"The Internet does not forget, does not forgive and cannot be stopped. Ever." that's why I'm adding the internet to my Fav5.

It's great! ...until... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28281981)

The crowd makes a mistake and some random dude gets beaten down for something his lookalike neighbour did.
Do a news.google.com search for: vilgilante mistake
read
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1357909/Man-beaten-to-death-by-mistake.html

Re:It's great! ...until... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282171)

That sucks. I want to see animal abusers beaten to shit, though. Does that make me as bad as they are? Whatever. Take that feel-good stuff somewhere else. Two wrongs often do make a write, and eye for an eye does make me feel better. I don't care what Gandhi says. It's simple justice.

Animals don't invite violence against themselves. People who commit atrocities do. Give them a taste of their own medicine.

Re:It's great! ...until... (4, Insightful)

internerdj (1319281) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282325)

Ooops. Sorry we killed an innocent man. We'll get it right next time. The reason we have (admittedly a very broken) justice system is the crowd is not at all capable of making reasonable and consistent judgments on the guilt and severity of a crime. The crowd doesn't demand punishment for the guilty; the crowd demands a scapegoat in retribution for a wrong whether the guilty party can be reached or not(Sorry Iraq).

Re:It's great! ...until... (4, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282971)

There is a reason why people still want vigilante justice today, because when someone who is obvious guilt of something like child rape, gets one year in jail, it pisses even the most level headed of us off.

No, it doesn't make it right, I'm just saying.

Suffice it to say, justice in this world is not perfect. And it will always be imperfect.

master of philosophy (4, Insightful)

Onymous Coward (97719) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282989)

Whatever. Take that feel-good stuff somewhere else. Two wrongs often do make a write, and eye for an eye does make me feel better. I don't care what Gandhi says.

Ah, it makes you feel better. Hm... Basing morality on urges is kind of a bad sign, isn't it?

I might suggest we all try to find ethical wisdom from different sources, rather than some anon online forum commenters. I know, kooky.

Re:It's great! ...until... (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282211)

A STREET vigilante was jailed for six years...

Six years? For what should have been murder? Six years is even light for manslaughter.

Sheesh.

Re:It's great! ...until... (3, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282605)

Re:It's great! ...until... (5, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 5 years ago | (#28283013)

Right, rules of evidence, jury trials, right to appeal, right to have legal representation, none of these make any difference.

The question isn't "which system never screws up". There's no such system. The question is which system screws up the least. I think that a system that relies on some random idiot saying, "Hey, that must be the guy!" isn't even close to the top of that list.

Re:It's great! ...until... (2, Interesting)

Xelios (822510) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282609)

While I'm not too thrilled about people taking the law into their own hands, lets try to keep some perspective. How many innocent people have been jailed or executed by our 'proper' systems of justice? More than a few, I'll bet. Judges and juries are prone to making mistakes just like the rest of us. Most of these internet vigilante cases so far have ended in personal information being made public, threats against the suspects and evidence being sent to local authorities who take it from there (unless the person didn't actually commit a crime in his country). I'm hoping the internet gives some sense of separation from the issue that keeps people from doing anything too rash, but I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Re:It's great! ...until... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282829)

How many innocent people have been jailed or executed by our 'proper' systems of justice?

Any system that's in the habit of executing people is hardly a "proper system of justice because"...

Judges and juries are prone to making mistakes just like the rest of us.

Exactly. Enlightened societies have worked that out by now. What sort of hell hole are you living in?

And as to how being jailed compares to being beaten to death by a mob... uh, jail is correctable to some degree when a mistake is uncovered.

Re:It's great! ...until... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282843)

Yeah, right. Like the police never make a mistake and beat down some innocent man. (They beat and kill deaf people for "not obeying our commands" all the time. Google it.) And the courts never make a mistake and convict an innocent man. But crowds, they can't be trusted, because they make mistakes!

Re:It's great! ...until... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282993)

Agree. And the justice system make mistake too, but with due process, hopefully, the number is mistake is reduce. The due process is just not there with a crowd. No one want to listen to the person who said "stop hitting him, we got the wrong guy."

Hell yeah... (-1)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#28281987)

Glad the pricks from Oklahoma are going down.

Hope the vigilantes take it offline against that Chinese cunt though, or she's gonna walk.

Netizens are the new Jack Bauer (1)

sakdoctor (1087155) | more than 5 years ago | (#28281993)

Except online vigilantes go after the softest of soft targets.

And why cats? Sounds like the Chinese version of btards.

Re:Netizens are the new Jack Bauer (1)

nstlgc (945418) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282275)

If it sounds like a btard and acts like a btard...

FAIL at quoting Anonymous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282043)

"We do not forgive. We do not forget." (and they have over 9000 penises that are all raping children! Just ask Oprah!)

Umm... (1)

SlshSuxs (1089647) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282105)

"...cannot be stopped" Unplug it? ... but then people may be forced to go outside.

Democracy vs a Republic (4, Interesting)

kenp2002 (545495) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282107)

I offer this:

Look at history, and political science and take a hard look at why republics functioned beter then pure democracy. The Internet runs the same risk.

Take heed and good luck, crowd sourcing has a hidden downside people are forgetting.

Re:Democracy vs a Republic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282577)

I disagree.

Different forms of government flourish as conditions are suitable. No one form of government is ideal in all circumstances, and even now the idea of a direct democracy via sortition seems preferable to US republic hell bent on deficits and USSR type nannying its way to oblivion.

OK, Now if they can find... (-1, Troll)

meburke (736645) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282129)

Obama's real Birth certificate...

china and cats... too bad they do not protest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282173)

Remember the Olympics in China and how they rounded up stray cats to be used for
meat or sent to death camps on the edge of the cities? Where was the internet justice
mob in China to protest that enmasse? Oh... It was the government and therefore too
hard a target to take on. Yet a girl kills a cat in China and is hunted down by this mob
of internet citizens.

(I am a proud person owned by a Siamese cat named Salem).

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-528694/Olympics-clean-Chinese-style-Inside-Beijings-shocking-death-camp-cats.html
http://www.zootoo.com/petnews/chinakillsthousandsofcatsasoly-497

"BEIJING â" In an attempt to clean-up one of the world's most populous cities before thousands of foreigners flock there for the 2008 Olympic Summer Games, China has begun carrying out the round-up, and extermination of thousands of cats.

UK newspaper Daily Mail reported that the animals are being brought to government âoedeath campsâ where without food, water or health care they die of starvation and disease.

According to the reports, a Chinese government campaign has told Beijing residents to beware of stray and feral cats, as they may carry disease â" even attributing the spread of SARS in 2003 partially to the animals.

One result of the campaign has been mild hysteria, in one case two concerned kindergarten teachers were so afraid of potential illness reaching their students that they killed six stray felines by beating them to death with sticks."

Re:china and cats... too bad they do not protest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282297)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUFzfRn7vc0

Which is Worse? (1)

mdmkolbe (944892) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282175)

Which is worse, the internet developing an emergent technology based sentience (e.g. skynet) or the internet developing an emergent crowed based sentience like in these examples?

Personally I'm not sure which would scare me more.

Not really the new Jack Bauer (3, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282241)

More like the new mob. It's fine if you fit in, if you agree with whatever "the internet" agrees on. It's utter hell if you don't.

"The internet" is not much better than the average religious nutjobs picketing abortion clinics. They just picket different targets. Sure, today it's kitten killers and the Co$. But how long 'til the next groupthink target is a group you belong to? Will it take a lot to jump from hunting down criminals to hunting down people that dare to be different, that refuse to fit in, that did nothing really wrong but made someone feel "uneasy" thinking of what he does?

And I'm not even talking about sexual fetishes that make me (and probably a few other people) cringe.

It's a small step from vigilantism to harassment. From fighting a crime that the justice system ignores to beating people you just don't simply like.

Re:Not really the new Jack Bauer (1)

nstlgc (945418) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282503)

Has it ever occurred to you that the reason these specific 'raids' might be so successful is that the evidence against the target is overwhelming? Do you really think over 9000 Internet nerds would have taken it to the streets if it wasn't about something that deserved it? Sure, btards pull retarded shit. But the really backward retarded shit usually isn't done by large mobs.

Re:Not really the new Jack Bauer (1)

mrex (25183) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282785)

Do you really think over 9000 Internet nerds would have taken it to the streets if it wasn't about something that deserved it?

The social engineering is usually the easiest part of any hack.

Re:Not really the new Jack Bauer (1)

mrex (25183) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282581)

"Internet vigilantes", the kinds who do care about issues like cults and animal abuse, seem little more than pawns for the sociopathic trolls who enjoy nothing more than exerting power over their peers, particularly in ways that elevate their in-group status and justify their innate desire to inflict suffering on those peers.

"Cult like mentality" is an apt description.

Mob Mentality and Internet Rabble-Rousing (4, Interesting)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282249)

Many people will SAY anything. I've seen people on /. advocate the murder of people who hold views of copyright different from their own. Extreme positions get amplified on the internet because extreme people can easily interact with other like-minded extreme people. That's all fine and dandy, so long as it's just idiots saying stupid stuff. Freedom of speech, whatever.

The problem for me is that there is a very small minority of people who can be triggered to act by the incitement of others. These people will reach out and HURT people with little or no factual support. Unless stopped, people like this exert an evil influence all out of proportion to their otherwise insignificant place in society. Nazis did that kind of stuff in the 1930s and it really chilled the behavior of other law-abiding Germans. A real turd-Kultur was created there. That kind of history ought best not be repeated.

If people alter their behavior because they are afraid of being tormented by Internet-spawned wrongful "meat world" attacks, then they are not free. Balancing protection from such acts with the right to freely interact on the internet is a serious legal and moral challenge.

Re:Mob Mentality and Internet Rabble-Rousing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282475)

"The problem for me is that there is a very small minority of people who can be triggered to act by the incitement of others. These people will reach out and HURT people with little or no factual support."

These people will reach out and HURT people without others telling them to anyways. Some people are just dangerous. Welcome to humanity.

Re:Mob Mentality and Internet Rabble-Rousing (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282823)

...advocate the murder of people who hold views of copyright different from their own

Hmmm... do you have a link? I've seen all sorts of violence advocated on /. against scumbag organizations trying to destroy people's lives using illegal and unethical tactics in the name of copyright enforcement, but never for just a different view.

Spammers on the other hand must die horribly.

I, for one... (2, Funny)

SlovakWakko (1025878) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282451)

...welcome our new YouTube watching overlords!

Did the author just watch The Terminator? (3, Informative)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282463)

Sounds like he just watched The Terminator...

'The Internet does not forget, does not forgive and cannot be stopped. Ever.'

From the movie..

That Terminator is out there.
It can't be bargained with, it can't be reasoned with.
It doesn't feel pity or remorse or fear
and it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.

I did it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282467)

for the lulz!

My Hyperbole Detector... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282499)

...just exploded.

Please Detain This Dangerous Person +1, True (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282505)

for un-American activities [georgewbush.org]

Yours In Peace,
Kilgore Trout

ED (1)

Grithok (696050) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282621)

So basically this is a post about encyclopedia dramatica?

Yes, its 4chan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282623)

Its called /b/

Justice according to Wikipedia and Slashdot (4, Interesting)

bzzfzz (1542813) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282625)

The outcome ultimately is justice through online voting and consensus systems, like the moderation system here, or the various systems of community sanctions over at Wikipedia. The problem is not that these systems are unfair, since they are arguably no worse than traditional legal systems (whose track record is far from perfect). The problem is that they are open to manipulation by people who have the willingness and the knowhow to game the system.

NEDM Fad (1)

Maverick Hunter Zero (713335) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282629)

This reminds me of the whole NEDM fad on YTMND. Basically, if you don't know, it stemmed from a video that was put online of a guy stuffing a cat in a hamster cage, dousing it in gasoline, and burning it alive. The guys were eventually caught and put in jail thanks to the internet. More info on the fad: NEDM [ytmnd.com]

Anonymous' most recent missed target (4, Informative)

snarfies (115214) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282701)

http://encyclopediadramatica.com/Cheyenne_Cherry [encycloped...matica.com]

Anonymous hates people, but loves cats (as evidenced by Caturday and the entire "lolcats" phenomena). Their most recent target is the evil Cheyenne Cherry, who put a kitten in an oven and roasted it alive. Anonymous went through a lot of effort to get as much info as possible, but jumped the gun at first. The NY Daily News reported a 75-yo retiree with a similar name had her phone number posted, and the result? "They're all saying, 'You'll burn in hell,' 'Who the hell do you think you are?'" Bernadette Cherry, 72, said of the 75 calls from cat lovers."

There will always be something! (5, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282719)

My fucking god! Every time I turn around, there comes to my attention yet another sick thing I couldn't possibly have imagined on my own. "Kitten Killing Videos"?? Holy crap!! And no, nobody needs to list "things sicker than kitten killing videos" and definitely do not post links. To this day, I have not watched two girls and a cup. It was the Daniel Pearlman video that convinced me that if I am warned that I shouldn't see a video, I should probably heed the warning. It cured my "morbid sense of curiosity" forever. (Movie violence be damned, but for all my "kill the spammers" rants, I doubt I could actually stomach actually being the executioner... handing down the sentence is one thing, but actually killing another person? Probably more than I can handle.)

Not exactly a fit, but... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282729)

Someone clever could turn this into a Two Minute Hate, craft videos of crimes not really committed, wars not really fought, and enemies who don't exist. Congratulations, you can now harness the raw power of a hateful, vindictive crowd.

"The old civilizations claimed that they were founded on love or justice. Ours is founded upon hatred. In our world there will be no emotions except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything else we shall destroyâ" everything. "

No surprise (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28282737)

Wasn't this predicted years ago by Bruce Sterling in Makeki Neko [tqft.net] ? Use of the 'net to commit "death by a thousand paper cuts", or harassment by many, many small acts, each of which individually wouldn't be considered unlawful, but in aggregate become overwhelming? I'm not sure whether it is a good thing or a bad thing, but it almost certainly is going to happen.

but... (1)

n30na (1525807) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282771)

Didn't we already know about anonymous? This is just the different face of the same thing.

People already have tendencies for this sort of thing, the internet just lets them work together. You don't need a very large portion of the internet fighting for your cause to have a force to be reckoned with.

Anonymous (-1, Redundant)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282813)

'The Internet does not forget, does not forgive and cannot be stopped. Ever.'"

That line isn't exactly new... :P

"Crowdsourced Justice"?! (1)

Gravis Zero (934156) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282883)

"Crowdsourced Justice" is just a pretty name for mob justice.

scary (1)

n30na (1525807) | more than 5 years ago | (#28282973)

If two versus one is rarely a fair fight, what can be said for two million verses one? It's a scary reality.

Yet they do nothing aainst those in true power. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28283019)

Notice who the victims of justice are: people who have no power. Notice that for all of China's vigilante "might", they are powerless against the people who wield true power, the ruling Communist party. It's one thing to gang up on some weak female, but try doing that against those who control not only tanks, but the very weapon the vigilantes use: the Internet. The vigilante's sword comes with chains attached, not strings.

This is just the weak mob ganging up on the peasant. They dare not do that to the Emperor.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?
or Connect with...

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>