The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'griefers'
Thanks to technological advances, real life is starting to imitate Second Life (not to mention Robert Anton Wilson novels); Russian government loyalists disrupt a Gary Kasparov speech using a flying penis, apparently made from a miniature radio-controlled helicopter. Kasparov, a former world chess champion, is one of the leading figures in the opposition in Russia. The stunt is believed to have been in reference to a griefing attack in Second Life. There's video and a photo here.
(via Boing Boing)
Australia has apparently outlawed laser pointers after some griefers decided to aim them at aircraft for lulz. (Maybe they hoped that they'd get lucky and bring one down and get to see lots of cool flames and shit.) And so, thanks to the actions of a few cretins, the nation's cats are deprived of one more source of amusement.
Griefers attack epilepsy forum, post flashing GIFs, trigger seizures, showing that they've totally pwn3d those epileptics (who presumably deserve it because epileptics are totally ghey or something). Looking further into it, the following detail emerges:
Circumstantial evidence suggests the attack was the work of members of Anonymous, an informal collective of griefers best known for their recent war on the Church of Scientology. The first flurry of posts on the epilepsy forum referenced the site EBaumsWorld, which is much hated by Anonymous. And forum members claim they found a message board thread -- since deleted -- planning the attack at 7chan.org, a group stronghold.A lot of people are saying that this attack was actually planted by Scientologists seeking to discredit Anonymous, an utterly cynical and callous course of action that, given the Church of Scientology's "Fair Game" policy, does not seem entirely inconsistent with the organisation's history. Though others (in threads such as this one) are pointing out that, before Anonymous took up the anti-Scientology banner and restyled themselves as champions of those victimised by sinister cults, they were essentially a collective of sadistic sociopaths who did a good line in griefing less publically acceptable targets, going well beyond spamming forums with Goatse images and into actual stalking (massively distributed), death threats and highly targeted psychological warfare.
Another possibility: what it the rabbit hole goes deeper, and the whole Anonymous anti-Scientology campaign was engineered by the Church of Scientology to reclaim the moral high ground, discredit critics of their organisation by association, and perhaps even undo some of the damage to their image that Tom Cruise's increasingly bizarre behaviour has done? If so, then it was impeccably timed; the anti-Scientology protests hit the media, latching onto adorably innocuous internet memes (LOLCats, rickrolling) to get maximum traction, and overshadowing a decade of boringly thoughtful criticism of the CO$; with the church's feeble anti-Anonymous campaigns being little more than tinder to parodists, soon Anonymous was equated in the public's eye with criticism of That Weird, Creepy Celebrity Religion. Enough time passed for this to sink in, and then this, and looking into Anonymous/4Chan's history reveals that, actually, they are sadistic sociopaths. Suddenly, rubbishing the Church of Scientology (however justifiedly) seems in rather poor taste, much in the way that toothbrush mustaches were after 1945.
The internet, with its detachment between online and offline actions and its lack of a private register, has spawned the phenomenon of griefers, or highly organised subcultures of people (mostly young men) who delight in ruining other people's online fun:
Consider the case of the Avatar class Titan, flown by the Band of Brothers Guild in the massively multiplayer deep-space EVE Online. The vessel was far bigger and far deadlier than any other in the game. Kilometers in length and well over a million metric tons unloaded, it had never once been destroyed in combat. Only a handful of player alliances had ever acquired a Titan, and this one, in particular, had cost the players who bankrolled it in-game resources worth more than $10,000.
So, naturally, Commander Sesfan Qu'lah, chief executive of the GoonFleet Corporation and leader of the greater GoonSwarm Alliance — better known outside EVE as Isaiah Houston, senior and medieval-history major at Penn State University — led a Something Awful invasion force to attack and destroy it.
"The ability to inflict that huge amount of actual, real-life damage on someone is amazingly satisfying" says Houston. "The way that you win in EVE is you basically make life so miserable for someone else that they actually quit the game and don't come back."
To see the philosophy in action, skim the pages of Something Awful or Encyclopedia Dramatica, where it seems every pocket of the Web harbors objects of ridicule. Vampire goths with MySpace pages, white supremacist bloggers, self-diagnosed Asperger's sufferers coming out to share their struggles with the online world — all these and many others have been found guilty of taking themselves seriously and condemned to crude but hilarious derision.Griefers defend their behaviour by claiming that they're merely giving those who take the internet far too seriously a reality check. The implied subtext is that anything that happens online is just a game and doesn't count. Though, given how the internet has become a mainstream part of many people's lives (witness, for example, the rise in social networking websites), this assertion makes about as much sense as Tom Hodgkinson's call to kill your Facebook account, throw away your email address and instead socialise in the pub with people near you. There's not a great leap from asserting that anything that happens online doesn't really count and absurdly ludditic claims like "if you don't know what someone smells like, they're a stranger".
On the other hand, there is no such thing as the right to be respected, or even to not be ridiculed. If one posts a web page detailing one's peculiar political views, conspiracy theories and/or sexual fetishes online, one can expect to be laughed at and even snidely remarked about. Though there is a distinction between demolishing someone's homepage in a blog or discussion forum and actively gathering a posse and going out to hound them off the net.
Griefing happens in the real world, though it's usually called other things, such as bullying. The difference is that the internet has democratised bullying. In the real world, in more conformistic societies, bullies can typically only be those either of or contending for alpha social status, enforcing an exaggerated version of majority values by picking on those perceived to not conform to them (witness the use of the word "gay", sometimes semi-euphemised as "ghey", as a general-purpose term of derision), and in more liberal or pluralistic environments, even that is frowned upon. Online, anyone can find a group of like-minded misfits, make up a cool-sounding name, set up a virtual clubhouse and start picking on mutually agreed targets, with little fear of social consequences.
LJDrama.org hax0red, by someone who left a message written in a mixture of h4x0r-d00d-l33t5p33k and hip-hop-thugese.
SHOUTOUTS: The #insub CReW, POUND EL, all my HOMIEZ in the CLINK, the SFIMC K1DZ, yourmom, ...
"all my HOMIEZ in the CLINK"? Word, you must be a bad-ass gangbanger, dog.
YOU HAVE B33N SK00L3D. THE INT0RW3B IS NOT UR PLAYGR0UND
Looks like ljdrama.org picked on the wrong angstpuppies for once or something.