Regarding Slenderman

June 11, 2014 § Leave a comment


For those of you who haven’t heard from The Media, the internet is currently being stalked –STALKED!– by a mythological creature with origins dating as far back as ancient Egypt (i.e. 2009 on the Something Awful forums), who has already claimed…well one victim for sure, but maybe two depending on whether or not this mother is correct in assuming that the reason her daughter tried to stab her was because of something the daughter read about on the internet and which the mother then read about on the internet, thus putting the pieces together.

There have been some interesting takes on the story, like this Slate piece in which journalist Katy Wladman frames Slenderman as the perfect metaphor for how we describe (and -erroneously- decry as aberrant) acts of violence, and I like certain sections of this Verge article as well, particularly the bits where author Adrianne Jeffries debunks the idea that there’s such an easy relationship between people who do crazy things and their media engagement practices (although it also does what most of the articles on the subject do and speak of the Slenderman character as if it has its own agency, which is weird because it’s a meme).

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April 27, 2012 § Leave a comment


I think Courtney Stodden is in danger you guys. What if she falls and scuffs her knee? What if she’s unable to escape the dragon that appears to be chasing her? What if she’s being cyberbullied by a 14 year old on Twitter AS WE SPEAK? At 17 years old, Stodden is in constant hypothetical danger. Good news though, a beefed-up CISPA just passed in the House, including revised language subsuming “the children” under “cybersecurity.”  You can breathe a sigh of relief, CourtCourt, now anybody who so much as thinks a nasty thing about you could be subject to limitless government search. Per Techdirt:

Previously, CISPA allowed the government to use information for “cybersecurity” or “national security” purposes. Those purposes have not been limited or removed. Instead, three more valid uses have been added: investigation and prosecution of cybersecurity crime, protection of individuals, and protection of children. Cybersecurity crime is defined as any crime involving network disruption or hacking, plus any violation of the CFAA.

Basically this means CISPA can no longer be called a cybersecurity bill at all. The government would be able to search information it collects under CISPA for the purposes of investigating American citizens with complete immunity from all privacy protections as long as they can claim someone committed a “cybersecurity crime”. Basically it says the 4th Amendment does not apply online, at all. Moreover, the government could do whatever it wants with the data as long as it can claim that someone was in danger of bodily harm, or that children were somehow threatened—again, notwithstanding absolutely any other law that would normally limit the government’s power.

This is excellent news. Nothing is more precious to us than OUR CHILDREN, particularly of the teenage child bride variety. But Courtney Stodden won’t be the only beneficiary of Congress’ largesse. We ALL stand to win,  particularly given the difficulty of knowing exactly how old people are online. You hear that, anyone who’s ever said anything rude to anyone on the internet? THEY MIGHT BE 17. In conclusion, CISPA is an excellent piece of legislation designed to provide legal avenues of pushback against political dissent protect our children and make the internet as locked down safe a place as possible. You guys are the worst best!

Pot Meet Kettle

April 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

No Country for Democratically Elected Trolls

So Arizona thinks trolling should be a Class 3 Felony, because some legislators watched the ABC Family movie Cyberbully and have decided that no one should be allowed to say mean things on the internet, to anyone.

This is stupid for all kinds of reasons, and I’m not even talking about issues of Free Speech. Other people can talk about Free Speech all they want, that’s the obvious concern I suppose. For me, the issue is less about white boys’ unalienable right to say racist things on the internet and more about the precedent these kinds of laws set.

The problem, and it is a tale as old as time, is that lawmakers don’t know what the hell they’re talking about and end up throwing their weight behind statutes that either have (or in this case, will have) absolutely no effect on the intended targets (they’re called proxies you idiots) and/or end up making the internet a more oppressive place for regular users, since this sort of language effectively dismantles the notion of context and gives the State the power to decide what qualifies as profane. To say nothing of what counts as being “annoying,” dear god. Again, this is not about protecting white boys’ right to be racist shitheads on the internet — it’s about allowing for dissent and pushback in ALL corners of the internet, including pushback against said shitheads.

This isn’t to say that bullying and other forms of aggression –online or off– isn’t a problem. It absolutely is. But why don’t we address the root of that problem, starting with homophobic lawmakers whose platforms are predicated on institutionalized bigotry, oh excuse me, “protecting the children,” children who for some reason can’t stop being hateful towards each other, particularly the gay ones, who for the record shouldn’t be allowed to adopt or marry because EW GROSS, but really you kids should stop saying such mean things to each other, I know, let’s call that trolling and make it illegal.

A+ you guys.

Meanwhile in Romania

March 28, 2012 § Leave a comment

No arguments here

This Internet IS a dangerous place, and now we have the ad campaign to prove it! (probably NSFW)


They’re Still Talking About This, On the Teevee?

November 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

“Now it has quite the following among certain cartoon enthusiasts.”



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