Human Nature Is Revealed Online
The incident at fanhome presented a unique view of human stupidity, ignorance, and the power of both propoganda and group identity, as well as the spiral of silence. The situation is as follows:
A controversial member of the message board had been getting into "flame wars" with several posters on the site, as well as a few on other websites. He tended to be in the center of these, and most of the regulars on this website (there are about 20 regulars) didn't particularly care for him. Some of them downright hated him. In a span of two years, many grew tired of him, as he also grew tired of them, yet neither could resist the chance to blast each other on various message boards (which are basically chat rooms that have a more permanent nature).
Things remained pretty much status quo until one fateful day, this abrasive member correctly guessed one of the moderator's passwords to log onto the board (which is required in order to post). Upon checking the format of this message board, you will note that all activity aside from reading the premium articles advertised at the top is completely free of charge. There isn't a single source of information about oneself that must be accurately provided in order to obtain a free user account and post on this message board. In addition, the moderators are all appointed to their job. Those who appoint them are merely volunteer administrators, who are not paid for their services, but rather have other jobs (or are bums living in their parents' basement) and a lot of free time on their hands.
Upon logging in under his account, the person, for whatever reason (we have many theories and probabilities related to this issue), decided to delete several threads on this message board. In other words, he simply deleted people's messages to one another. This went largely unnoticed for a period of about a month and a half, until one day he made a series of deletions that caught the attention of someone. But as we will see, the attention it caught was not even a specific recollection of what the threads were about, but just the general understanding that there were once threads that no longer were there.
What you are about to witness is a scary display of human idiocy, stupidity, and virtually every fault with human nature you will ever see. While what the abrasive individual did was not something that would be recommended practice, it is most certainly not a severe infraction, nor anything more than a harmless prank. Yet through misinterpretation of facts and language, the obviation of pertinent and crucial information, and false interpretation of the United States legal system and what actually took place, this 21-year-old student was made into a taget of hatred, misunderstanding, misconstruing, inaccurate personal analysis from unqualified individuals, and false stories. In addition, he was portrayed as a representation of everything wrong with today's youth and used symbolically for a genre much larger than the narrow and petty incident that took place would place him in. Believe me, the words "blown out of proportion" do not even begin to describe what took place. So as you read this, I have one word of caution: Do not take anything written as fact until commented on by myself, a qualified speaker with regards to this incident.
My qualifications are as such: I was not only there at the time this all transpired, but I was following it closely and doing a fair bit of research on the kid, his family, and those involved in the accusations. Upon seeing what took place, I was shocked, disgusted, and dismayed, as well as disheartened by the entire human race. But through my own attributes of self-awareness that coincides with a desire to provide relief to the rest of the World and help others deal with both their own problems resulting from this, as well as individuals who become part of the source of the problem that you will see before you, I have decided to undertake this bizarre situation and help rectify the reputation of one individual. An individual who was really the victim of the dangerous phenomenon known as "groupthink," as well as various other human "group identity" faults.
Now right off the bat, you can see the thing that sets this group apart--the stupidity. 9erMan would later take extreme offense to the deletion of various threads (and then once being insulted by the administration, he would declare "war" of his own and attempt to join forces with the student in order to achieve a feeling of just revenge against his perpetrators), yet when the situation is first discussed, he meets it head-on with the thought that the missing threads had simply gotten out of hand. In other words, he is about to become worked up about a situation in which threads he didn't know anything about were removed. Only through second-hand information did he gain the perspective he would soon have.
Notice where my red arrow is pointing. As you can see by 9erMan's statement, he has a very odd relationship with this forum. Simply by pointing out that threads are missing, he feels the need to apologize. This apology seems completely inappropriate for the situation.
Why apologize? Why would he, just for pointing out an observation, apologize? Well, thinking about this a bit more critically, it becomes a somewhat understandable action, rather than merely one of a deranged lunatic.
Perhaps this member has had issues with the website's management before. And perhaps these issues pertain to him feeling that posts have been unrightfully deleted. In other words, in the past he has written posts he found completely appropriate, and they were removed for reasons that don't suit him.
As we will see in the future, there is further evidence to support this theoretical history for 9erMan, and it really underscores the role and influence one's personal history plays in their interactions and effect on other people.
Note right away the lack of trust between the administrator, "joemontana," and the moderator, "funkzilla." The administrator, who is the one who approves the moderators (although in this case, he was really approved by the other administrator of this forum) immediately assumes that the moderator is responsible. In addition, this is the first instance of "probing" and "violation of privacy" taking place in this thread. Make mental note of these instances, as in several posts, the student's rights to privacy will be violated by the public display of personal information such as this.
Also note how easily and with reckless abandon this administrator calls out his subordinate moderator. It's almost as if he doesn't know the guy at all, but merely works with him begrudgingly.
Omitting a couple of simple posts with emoticons that often contained the word, "wow," we now have some more interesting-yet-subtle developments.
First I direct your attention to the OTHER administrator, CraigRMassei. He isn't as quick to jump all over funkzilla as joemontana was, however, he does not immediately jump to his defense, but rather begs the question, "why?" He seems to feel as though he's guilty, yet he still has a little bit of doubt.
Contrast that with higherwarrior, who immediately does not believe that what took place was the work of funkzilla. He immediately realized that the actions did not fit the personality of this member. In other words, he clearly had more knowledge regarding the poster than either of the administrators, yet he is not the one who appointed him in the first place. A strange bit of irony.
NOTE: For the purpose of protecting the identify of this individual, he will from now on be referred to as "John Doe."
This is our first glimpse at the personality (at least the online version) of the moderator who was "used" in this incident. If he is telling the truth, then there should really be no reason for 9erMan to have a problem with him, unless it stems from an incident from a great deal of time ago.
However, immediately he suspects the correct person. So he can't be that bad a guy, right? Wrong.
All of a sudden he comes up with a bogus story (and we will soon see just how bogus it is) about a pop-up being responsible for someone else getting access to his user account. It could *never* be largely his fault for being irresponsible with his log-in credentials, but rather it *must* be someone else playing a nasty trick on him. Not only that, but a very time-consuming one as well, as programs creating key-loggers take hours to create. The kind of time that even a student with no social life who never does any homework would not likely have. Given what is learned in the future, though, I'll hold off on commenting any further, but know this much--his story is completely fabricated in a "the dog ate my homework" fashion.
Also note the comment, "I don't think (Doe) is that smart" from the following poster, "Jayob1." Jayob1 immediately reveals that:
A. He believes that hacking requires a high form of intelligence
B. He does not believe that (Doe) has this sort of intelligence. In other words, he has made judgments on the student's level of intelligence being low based on his posts, but further research showed the student backing Jayob1 down in an argument through an unrelenting assault using statistics and factual argumentation that got him to not only concede the point, but simply drop the matter altogether. It is almost as though Jayob1 still has some resentment for this student following that incident.
What 9erMan points out should be so incredibly obvious that it reveals another possibility regarding his attitude--he has a very low opinion of the intelligence of others. His "see-spot-run" explanation of a concept that should be common knowledge to everyone and their grandmother is indicative of the type of community in which one member feels that he has to talk "down" to everyone in a ridiculous matter in order to get points across.
Instance two of probing and violation of privacy, as (Doe)'s IP address was posted here, along with the area the IP address came from. Even given all of these facts, joemontana does not exonorate funkzilla, but rather say there is a little bit of "evidence" that he did not do it, even though the IP address is completely different. In other words, he's STILL not sold, even though all of the evidence points to it being someone else. It is almost as if he believes in infallability of user account PASSWORDS on free internet message boards.
9erMan perhaps demonstrates that the aforementioned instances of "talking down" to members is actually just his own stupidity--as though what he just said is knowledge that people would not immediately look into and recognize.
And yet another ridiculous "A-B-C" logic example. Normal people would be somewhat insulted by this sort of attitude towards them. If it's not an attitude, it is his own stupidity, but further events (which will, of course, take place further in this line of analysis) suggest that he knows exactly what he is doing, and it is for the purpose of making sure that none of the people he perceives as "morons" are confused and fail to interpret his meanings.
As you see here, some SERIOUS probing is being done here, with him posting the details of a background check on an IP address. These are only supposed to be done by government officials in cases of espionage, although IP tracing devices are so popular in this day and age of internet non-anonymity. Still, POSTING the results of these findings could be considered a criminal offense. Ironically, researching this (Doe's) alleged "crime" is a crime in-and-of itself.
And now he diagnoses this (incorrectly) as a crime. With the new internet law that was passed in January (well after this incident took place), it might be considered one given that the language of the statute is that you simply have to "annoy" someone on the internet. However, at the time this was committed, no such law was in place. Using someone's password with nothing monetarily involved...and no actual controls to the website involved is not a crime. The key is not the "using someone else's password" premise, it's what is behind the password that matters. Nothing of value was protected by this password--only an account with the power to delete worthless threads on a free message board. However, the cyber-lawyers were in full-effect in this case. This is only the beginning, though.
If one reads the law, it's based on intention and value. Did the person INTEND to commit a crime when he used the other person's password, and what things of value could be accessed by knowing this password? In both questions being answered, we find out that this is really closer to a topic for a Saturday Night Live parody, yet very few individuals got the joke.
Also, make special note of joemontana's post. Notice his intentions.
1. Doe's busted
2. He's taking this as far as he can
3. He's looking to have him removed from the University
4. He's looking to have him prosecuted
Don't EVER forget what he just said, because I will refer to this in the future. Trust me, you won't want to miss this.
Now we start to see the intelligence, or lackthereof, of funkzilla...in particular with the line "he does go to Kansas, though." As if that has anything to do with the subject matter he was just discussing prior.
In addition, he apparently doesn't know that Kansas and Missouri border each other. Why not? His excuse? Because he lives in CANADA. Either he's knocking the education system there, or he somehow thinks that he is so far removed from American culture that he doesn't need to know the location of the states.
In addition, note the line "It was a few days ago." He got this pop-up a few days before they discovered it, yet further research showed that the student had logged in under the "funkzilla" account over a month and a half ago. So unless his definition of "few" is around 80, this alleged "pop-up" was not the means used.
And his form of probing is both redundant and obvious--he simply entered his name into google and obtained the following information, as those are the things that come up first. In addition, the website he found and posted there (#2) wasn't even his real website, but a different (John Doe). He also laughs at the picture he falsely believes is (Doe), obviously premeditating that he's going to mock him if he thinks that it's him regardless of what he looks like for his own personal agenda of making himself feel less inferior.
Apparently he's now causing "headaches" with his online behavior in a chat room, yet higherwarrior refers to the student as a "loser." In other words, he's citing personal grief over arguments and behaviors that took place over the internet, has over 6,500 cumulative posts on this user account alone (he had several prior accounts, and likely is over the 10,000 mark for the past two-three years), and yet seems to be implying that the student has "no life." The hypocrisy in that statement is delicious.
Also, a very interesting development occurs with the paradox known as "9erMan." He suggests the incident not be pursued. Why? Not because he feels that it would be out of bounds and ludicrous and a waste of time, but rather because he thinks the student too smart to get caught. He figures he's already covered his tracks, so it's unlikely they would be able to do anything as a result of his ability to sense the impending "danger."
9erlover clearly finds this more amusing than anything else, citing a "feud" with him. As you can see by the general brevity in this post, he merely had insult-laden arguments with him rather than any personal disgust, but he doesn't really feel bad for him.
GameSix also doesn't seem to care--he merely provides "props" to the moderation team for "doing their job," and subsequently shows his support in that courteous American way.
Now we have the first mention of "viruses." Somehow, because the word "hacking" was used with regards to this situation, "49ersJT" immediately jumps to the conclusion that there must be worms/viruses/other hacking devices used. All of a sudden, this student with no connection to hacking whatsoever is being lumped in with that group. He suggests "virus scans," as though that's going to be involved in getting someone's password.
9erMan apparently had a conversation with John Doe (note that he used John Doe's full name in this thread, almost as if to further draw attention to his full name and violate his privacy) and now is beginning to change his mind on the matter. "It makes things easier" is a telling line, as you will soon see what he means. He's gone from "I wouldn't recommend it being pursued any further because he's covered his tracks" to..."Oh, he didn't cover his tracks...OK, pursue it." AND, he defines it as a crime, and will procede to rationalize it with ridiculous arguments/metaphors/analogies in an effort to further his agenda.
I just wanted to point this out--notice how he edited his post over a day later. Originally, this post told him not to "drop the soap." Yet when the stated rationale behind going after the student was changed to appease the many newcomers (to try to construe it as a positive thing designed to get him "help" rather than punish him excessively), he was forced to edit it. In other words, the administration put pressure on him to cover things up for presentation in much the manner that fast food chains work very hard to conceal the everyday filth from health inspectors. It was really a sad, telling state of affairs.
Note the administrator/writer for the website laughs at this semi-inappropriate joke.
The first and only appearance by (John Doe) is made right there under the handle "LOLHilarious," in an attempt to make others see the light--that this sort of thing is ridiculous. That students at his University have done things that are of a far more serious nature and been merely put on probation, yet those involved in this message board are talking as though he's going to be expelled, criminally prosecuted, and sentenced to time in prison. Remember, this is the ONLY post of his that is on the entire message board. 60 of the 66 first-timers (newcomers) to follow soon have never even encountered him before on another forum, yet somehow talk about his "posts" and "messages" being egregious and proving that he is a menace to society, socially under-developed, and making all kinds of judgments with regard to his personality based on "groupthink."
Joemontana comes through with a perfect example of his vindicative nature, sarcastically addressing him as "buddy" and then trying his hardest to deliver the ultimate insult--that his father is ashamed of him and then bragging about the University allegedly telling him they were going to expel him. There's also further intended violation of privacy by stating his father's full-name and place of work. There's also the arrogant line, "we are in contact with the University at this time." Really? So are you talking to them right now as you post? This line is obviously being used in an attempt to further intimidate him, as well as to talk in an effort to give the impression that he has much more backing in his plan of attack than he really does...almost the way Adolph Hitler did. There's no "that is an option" in regards to expulsion. He is telling (John) it WILL happen. Remember this. I keep repeating it, but I want you as the reader to pick up on the flip-flop effect. I want you to notice how quickly they alter attitudes and rationale, how much bullshit they spew, and how much strategy is at work to create the ultimate propoganda and groupthink effects.
Skipping over a couple of posts, one by funkzilla declaring that this "is better than Christmas morning" after they allege that the post by "LOLHilarious" is a legitimate confession (read the language and see if you can find a clear confession in it...not to mention, there is no way to prove it was him, other than to allege that it was the same IP address as the alleged perpetrator's alleged IP...if you see what I'm getting at), you will now note that joemontana declares the idea that his password was guessed to seem "unlikely," without knowing what his password was. Then he procedes to ask what it was in order to gauge whether ot not it seems like a reasonable idea. But yet in his prior post, he said it didn't matter how he got it. It doesn't matter, yet 9erMan, who clearly is involved heavily in the matters pertaining to this, is right there telling him it IS important. So why, then, would they tell (John) it didn't matter if not to simply cause him more stress and anxiety? The intention was not to protect the website (as they would later use as part of their reasoning), nor was it to help (John) (and yes, believe it or not, as disgusting as it sounds, they would soon be using this line of reasoning for their actions and intended/proposed actions). Clearly, it was because they despise him, and they despise him for what they feel he has "done" to them in an internet setting. They clearly are so caught up in their life on the internet that they are unable to disassociate themselves from the internet being their "life." Yet while they are talking about taking this to real life, the question as to whether they actually have the gall to do it is another story. While they will gladly e-mail or even call someone on the phone to complain, to actually go to the real life "hassle" of punishing him for this is a bit too real for any of them to handle, and we will see cop out excuses for not getting involved in a physical sense in the future.
And we have an alleged behind-the-scenes e-mail(probably intended to be somewhat private if true) in which Doe wants this to just end, basically citing that he's got more important matters at hand. Right away, you see 9erMan give indication that he's half-heartedly considering it, at least from casual observation. Could he be simply testing the others, or is he starting to think that this incident is excessive and that maybe they all bit off more than they can chew? 9erMan has proven to be somewhat of a difficult read, but this message hints at something that will take place later on. He is not merely trying to drum up a big fat "NO!!!!," but rather is testing the waters to see just how negative the sentiment is for Doe. However, make no mistake about it--this is not a genuine moment of "conscience" for 9erMan. He's only trying to gauge the overall attitude, but does not have realistic plans to abandon his position. However, if he were to find that people felt that this had gone beyond the call of duty, he would likely soften his stance; in essence, he's riding the tide.
Now you see a side of funkzilla come out that we haven't seen in its entirety yet. This is the side that was once described by another member of this message board as a "full-fledged babbling idiot."
This is a San Francisco 49ers message board. He admits that his password was the last name of the quarterback of his favorite team. In guessing passwords, this would probably be one of the first things anyone would try regardless. Yet when you know a little more about this member's particular history, it becomes even more amusing. This guy was a fanatic about this particular quarterback. Nearly every post of his was designed to defend him, oftentimes against the student under investigation here. On a scale of 1-10 in obviousness, this was a 67 1/2. He might as well have started a thread that said, "here's my password everyone!!!" It would be like a stalker making his password the first name of his victim on a "stalking tips" forum.
Remember, this is the moderator of the forum. He's admittedly "computer illiterate." Not just some random member. He's responsible for an account that has the powers to delete all of the posts on this message board. Yet for some reason, there's no apology from him for having such an obvious password--only the pretended disbelief that anyone could possibly guess one of the most obvious passwords imaginable.
The irony is, so many on this website complain of the student not taking any responsibility, yet the fanhome administrators and moderators are guilty of the exact same thing. They put a blind man behind the wheel of a NASCAR. He was a blind man who went behind the wheel of a NASCAR and then proceeded to drive it with no steering wheel. When it crashed, he blamed it on the wall.
In addition, this quarterback hadn't been the team's quarterback for two years, as he was released following the 2003 season. Plus, it was discovered that an old account of his that he hadn't used in nearly 2 years had the exact same password, "garcia." So he changes it "quite frequently?" What, every 5 years is frequent for him, while 80 or so constitues a "few?" Am I missing something? Do they speak a completely different language in Canada?
This post right here is the turning point in the entire incident. It has gone from what seems like a minor and trivial issue that even the members of this forum can't completely get into--into an enormous campaign of vengeance and distortion of actual intentions.
Notice first the language used by this moderator. "Attack," "hack," "pages worth of posts." It's gone from purely a matter of missing threads to implying that this guy has launched a one-sided, all-out assault on their "community."
And with that, our first instance of bringing up "death threats" and "death wishes" occurs. Note the fact that this is a delayed reaction. When this post deleting incident first took place and they caught him, there were nearly 3 pages of posts in this thread, and not once was any of this (death threats/death wishes/anything else) mentioned. But this administrator clearly starts to realize he needs to build this into something greater in order to give it wings. The thread deleting issue alone would most certainly draw only laughter from any outside sources viewing this thread--but in order to get anyone outside of this very small group to take it seriously, he needs to build and portray a villain. That's where the spinning of stories and misrepresentation of two-sided verbal arguments between Doe and others was turned into a libelous portrayal of the former. Now we have mention of what he supposedly did in the past. Things that were at one point considered trivial enough to not only ignore at the time and forget for months and even years, but ignore for nearly the entirety of the first 3 pages of this thread once it was discovered he was responsible.
Now this administrator, who has violated laws of privacy, has taken it upon himself to condescend to him; he attempts to talk to him like a parent would their child. Certain phrases like "we have tried to live with your disruptions" and "this time you have crossed the line," as well as the very disturbing "there is no excuse for your actions. None," signify someone who is clearly getting a somewhat sick, twisted enjoyment out of scolding the student. Perhaps he's merely making up for his own childhood memories by acting them out on another.
In addition to the the implications of the language, this post marks a major turning point in the issue as it is presented. It is no longer simply misappropriating a free user account or some sort of "minor hacking," but rather a severe form of hacking (without any actual evidence of such), and an attack on the "community." All of a sudden we see the phrase "good, honest people," as though this is some sort of serious venue. Merely reading this message board, you will see the oftentimes complete juvenility and insignificance of this chat room, yet Joemontana is trying to place premium value on it. Now it isn't just some stupid, poorly managed, free "junk board," but rather a vital congregation of "good-hearted, hard working, honest Americans." Do you see what he has turned this into? The mere implications of this thread lead one to believe that Joemontana is either a Hitleresque genius, or a very disturbed, psychologically troubled individual. Without knowing fully the true intentions of this individual, it is impossible to say for sure, but it is most likely somewhere in-between those two extremes. He most likely has, at the very least, a "sense" for what he needs to do as a spinnster. But is he fully cognizant of the fact that he is using methods pertaining to the theories of "groupthink" and "propoganda?" Given the fact that he's merely an electrician without a college education would lead one to believe otherwise.
And he tries to hint that Doe's "death wishes" toward him are what has caused a personal vendetta. And yet, paradoxically, while he intentionally hints at a personal vendetta by bringing up the student's "death wishes" toward him, he's trying to play the "this is going to hurt me more than it's going to hurt you" card.
Finally, note the shift in pretended attitude. He has gone from wearing his emotions of joy, vindicativeness, and excitement over what he thinks can be done on his sleave, to trying to play the "parent." What's really interesting and oftentimes distrubing about this trend is the fact that many parents play this same sort of mind game, as it has a form of errogenous "power" over the one they are manipulating. When they make the statement that they do "not enjoy it," in most cases, this is merely a statement that belies their true emotions. It is not often that you will find one who does not get any sort of pleasure out of exercising their perceived "power."
Now we get the first outsider. Notice--4 posts on this forum. This person, KCSkin, was obviously just linked to the board, as this was their first post on this forum (they posted 3 other times on the forum FOLLOWING this post). But we are seeing something here that one might not pick up on casual observation--this person suggests calling the police, as if there's some sort of danger involved. While it can not be proven, there is evidence here that KCSkin read Joemontana's last post, saw the words "death threats," which the latter alleged took place, along with his other portrayal of Doe as the "villain," and this completely warped his view of what took place. Notice how all of the subsequent posts pertain to a much broader issue. And that most of the people who join in will take the stance that "hacking sites is the least of this kid's issues" without ever having seen what it is Joemontana was actually referring to with regards to "other issues", nor the context in which his actions took place.
Joemontana now feels the need to brandish his ammo. He's pretending that he has lots of useable evidence stored away, and that he holds all the cards. It seems pretty safe to say that this is another attempt to make himself feel more significant. He's an electrician, doesn't make a whole lot of money, and his hobby is running a message board that is overrun with juveniles and is one in that nobody really takes seriously. And of course, he now is a liscensed E-psychologist. Two can play at that game, as you have just seen.
He had diagnosed a person with a clinical illness. One who not only has he never met in person, but a person who has apparently posted very little to reveal his true personality on this website. All he has to go on is he:
A. Deleted posts (allegedly)
B. Told him he wishes he'd died in Iraq (and who could blame him?)
C. Has gotten into arguments with many people and at some point, made "death threats" (and we will get into the "type" of death threats these were, and believe me, you'll scoff when you see what he's actually referring to)
A very interesting post just because it shows the ignorance of this one individual. First of all, notice how he has a misconception of what the definition of "consequence" is. A "consequence" is merely the result of an action. Most people realize that their action will have a RESULT. What he MEANT to say (and this is a common mistake, but one that I think everyone should learn not to make) is that violating rules or committing crimes will result in punishment. Consequence is simply too broad a term to refer to the concept that people need to be accountable for their behavior.
However, note the conflicting information given here. higherwarrior has already admitted he knows NOTHING about American law, computer law, or computers in general. Yet now he's stating that he should be punished for this, for some reason. As though this incident is simply unforgivable, but things that other people do wrong in life are not.
And to make my point regarding consequences, consider the following: Let's say someone cheats on their wife. Sure, there are CONSEQUENCES--the wife MAY divorce the adulterous husband. He may lose some of his assets when the divorce papers are filed. Yet he will not lose his job (unless his wife is his boss or something along those lines, of course) nor will have have to serve a prison term. He will not be kicked out of his University, if he is enrolled in one.
Yet for some reason, deleting posts from a forum and insulting people (who oftentimes initiate the personal insults) on that forum is commensurate with being expelled from a University and being criminally prosecuted?
Which is worse--cheating on a spouse or deleting posts from an internet message board? The mere QUESTION seems utterly ridiculous, yet what you are witnessing is the portrayal of a "menace to society." If it weren't such a sad representation of society, it would be humorous. For this reason, it is a very good illustration of unintentional "black comedy."
Finally, note higherwarrior's ignorance in the intended rhetorical question, "does a judge ever let you off the hook just because you're sorry?" In one word--yes. It happens all the time. Even in far more serious cases than this one, there have been numerous judge's to take into consideration the guilty party's conduct after the action, as well as the general remorse they have shown, and that can affect their ruling. Oftentimes, it will result in merely a slap on the wrist.
At this point, Doe fails to realize he's talking to a brick wall. He's not going to convince them otherwise--they are completely deluded and in awe of their own power.
It is interesting to see that Joemontana just contradicted what he said earlier. At first he started to express "sympathy," now he's saying "It's not that I feel sympathy for him." Which is it?
It's also laughable that he makes reference to a "less educated John Doe," when it is clear that Doe is substantially better educated than he is. This also hints at a bit of jealousy--Doe's in college and clearly far superior to Joemontana, intellectually speaking. The numerous spelling and grammatical errors that Joemontana makes are not uncommon for someone who comes from a poor educational background. So perhaps removing Doe from his University is his way of trying to "even things out." He has yet to make any reference to what he thinks Doe's financial resources are, but simply knowing what I know on Joemontana, being that he never went to college and is struggling to make it as an electrician, it stands to reason that perhaps there's a bit of envy here. The fact that he has yet to say anything on this matter isn't really all that important; perhaps he's simply hiding his feelings.
In this case, we have a slip of the tongue...or fingers in this case. higherwarrior talks about how he "made their lives hell." So in other words, he's essentially equating this forum with his life. Seeing the large quantity of posts he has, it's not all that hard to believe.
And he justifies the intended punishment (although at this point, absolutely no one knows whether the Univesrity actually told Joemontana they were going to kick him out of college or not) as befitting of the crime. As though kicking him out of school is a fitting punishment for simply annoying them on an internet forum.
And once again, we have a diagnoses about his mental health being made from an internet message board member. Now he needs to be monitored by a "PO" (police officer) because he might go on an internet message board and annoy some people.
I really hope that you, as a reader, are noticing the sheer lunacy of this.
AHA! Our very first example of flip-flopping. Politicians would be outraged. Let's take a little trip down "memory lane" here for a moment:
Oh wait a second, what's this? You were looking to get him what? But you just said--?
Clearly somebody has a problem keeping their facts straight. You should also note that he now thinks he has the "right" to contact the student's father. He's well past the age required to be considered a "legal adult," yet it's time to get his family involved. This is not just a minor violation of privacy anymore--he has taken this thing to a level at which the family of the student could file a legitimate lawsuit.
Finally, you'll see the nature of this individual when it comes to "threats." The student wrote to him, "you'll forever regret it." Joemontana interpreted this as a threat of violence, as did a few other members on the board following this post. How could anyone take seriously his accusations that the student made threats of violence given that he interprets something like THIS as a one?
A new regular arrives to share his thoughts. Well, basically just to regurgitate what others have been saying and to claim that he has a "death threat" written to him. Also, you see further usage of both his first and last name, as if to make a clear violation of privacy in his post.
What we see here, though, is a user who goes by "scott4949" claiming that he threatened him on this site. OK--how could anyone legitimately think that he could find someone named Scott4949? Is Doe simply going to go to the phone book and look up everyone with the first name Scott, and then somehow figure out which one he is? He apparently considered it serious enough to save it, however, let us not forget that he did nothing about it when he received it (and many others)...yet now wishes to act like he took it seriously. So in essence, him saving it (allegedly) was more out of his own stupidity than any fear that it might be a legitimate threat. Also, as we will see by his actions later on in the thread, he is lying about possessing this, as he shares everything he finds, and none of them were from the website or threats made toward him, but rather to other individuals on other forums, and they were obviously sarcastic and "snappy" ones made for effect.
Just to clarify the required criteria for "death threats," though, I thought I'd post the law surrounding them (in the jurisdictions in which they can even be prosecuted):
"That the defendant threatened to kill another person;
2. That the threat was made with the purpose to put the person in imminent fear of death; and,
3. That the threat was made under circumstances which reasonably caused the person to believe that the threat was likely to be carried out.
There is absolutely no way one could reasonably believe a threat was going to be carried out if they knew the other person didn't know their real name or where they lived. In essence, all he would be guilty of, if true, is threatening a username. Let's say, just for the sake of argument, that Scott's last name is Smith. Scott Smith could not then go into a court room and make a legitimate case against Doe for criminal threatening. He would be unable to prove that he put him in a reasonable fear of imminent threat. One, he completely ignored the threat for, at the very least, several months, implying he was not put in reasonable fear of it being carried out. Two, it was "Scott4949" who was threatened, not Scott Smith. Three, there is no way to believe that any threats could be carried out based on the facts presented in two.
Now the "tide rider" known as 9erMan chimes in, fresh off sensing that people are really serious about making a huge deal of this. Now he's 100% committed to them (for now). Now he speaks of some inherent "responsibility" to get him for all of the other websites where he got into arguments with people. And, he thinks the University should be made aware of "these threats." What threats? Well, the only ones mentioned here so far were "you'll forever regret it" and some alleged, unposted ones that Scott4949 just mentioned. But why should they be made aware now, months after the issue? Why would you want to bring it to their attention now? Of course, it's self-explanatory: They don't feel that they have enough of a case with the mere deletion of threads (notice how Joemontana claimed he'd only asked that his internet be removed after originally intending to get him expelled, hinting that the University perhaps said something completely different from what he told John in an effort to scare him), so it's time to collect anything else you can find in order to build a case against him. You must keep in mind, this was before the recent law was passed regarding "annoying" people on the internet. At the time, the thought of suing someone for mere "annoyance" on the web, especially in a chat room, was thought outrageous.
But the main point I want to get across is that the "crimes" themselves aren't what they're outraged about--they are outraged about John Doe himself. Just his personality. They didn't care about the "death threats" at the time. They don't really care what it is they nail him for. As you will see, the list of accusations of what he supposedly has done without any evidence whatsoever grows to something that stops just short of murder. And in many cases, the lists will repeat the same things an unlimited number of times just to make it sound like there's a long list of grievances, when in actuality, they have only two things that could even be considered remotely in violation of any rules or laws.
You have just witnessed one of the most outrageously idiotic things ever written. Not only does this outsider Redskins fan somehow imply that the government's billions of dollars a year to crack down on cyber terrorists, thiefs, and REAL hackers (people that break into websites and steal personal information, code, and money) is somehow related to a kid deleting a few threads on a message board, but he draws the analogy of using someone else's free user account to stealing someone's car. If it weren't so sad, it would be hilarious.
But it's a great analogy, as long as you leave out the part where a car actually belongs to someone, is worth thousands and thousands of dollars in value, and also has an important and vital everyday use. Other than that, though, it's absolutely wonderful.
It's also quite humorous to read him make a completely false statement about how the law works. Trespassing with "intent to commit a crime" is classified as "burglary," whereas tresspassing without any criminal intention is classified as merely "trespassing," and is not considered a criminal offense unless it violates a restraining order.
Of course, this guy immediately assumes that this kid is a large-scale hacker of some sort because of the incompetence and lack of intelligence from those who started this thread, so he goes into completely irrelevent details about "security measures" and the like. Maybe the government should be spending dollars on getting moderators who don't create passwords that are the last name of the quarterback of their favorite team, instead. Of course, that's implying that the government is actually thinking about kids who log in under moderator accounts and delete posts on free sports message boards. Something tells me that's not on the radar.
It is not all that surprising to see the excuse that "they're all gone" when referring to the "death threats." That should give you some indication of just how "serious" these things were. When you see what they are talking about in a little while when they reveal what little they can actually find, you'll get a better sense of the absurdity.
Of course, 9erMan "sees the light" after the ridiculous post by CounterTrey. I would not be surprised, however, if he thought it was a bunch of crap. But after carefully waiting to see which way the stream is headed, he arrived at the decision that he should hop on the bandwagon with them. Now even an insanely idiotic post like the one CounterTrey just made meets with his approval. So now they intend to attach a "righteous cause" to this.
Now the stupidity comes pouring in. Actually, it is mind-boggling that someone would be so idiotic as to classify a FREE message board as a "business." The only money being made on this network is for reading the content in the premium articles advertised up at the top when you visit the network, but the student didn't do anything to any of that. He only deleted posts on the free message board, which is for anyone who wants to use it.
Not to mention, the money made off those articles borders on nothing at all. There are simply not enough people paying for the premium content. At most, for the entire network with all of the sports and teams involved, we're talking about a couple thousand dollars in revenue per month. But that is all irrelevent in this case anyway.
And take a look at ChapelHillMatt's "analogy." Let's see if we can match this up:
1. The free user account=the key
2. The message board=the bank
3. The threads on the message board=wads of cash
4. Deleting messages is the same as stealing cash
Really, what more needs to be said? There are people like this out there, and this is the proof.
This is really analogous to a little boy "playing doctor." According to the SCANNNNNnnnnn...what scan? We have someone here playing around with fake jargon in an attempt to sound like he's someone important. This idiot (and that's putting it nicely) came over from the Redskins board. The only thing remotely close to a "scan" that was shown was the security log showing that the person who deleted the threads was supposedly not the same person who registered the account. In other words, all that was proven was that the person with that IP address was using the account, rather than the one who registerd it (supposedly). DUH.
Now we have someone who took a look at that information, tried to pass himself off as an expert, and state emphatically, "looking at the scan, he did hack it." Downright terrifying. This person is either mentally disturbed or a complete buffoon. Probably a little of both. He clearly has no idea what he's talking about whatsoever, as well as a need to be thought of as an "expert" on a random subject matter.
To illustrate for those who do not know a whole lot about computers, this would be analogous to finding someone else's jacket in your house. You determine that I entered your house somehow, and then it is proposed that I must have broken in. But then you find that the door was left unlocked. Still, some moron comes in off the street and claims that "briefly by looking at the jacket he left behind, the door was not left unlocked and he DID break in."
In other words, the evidence has NOTHING TO DO with what he's trying to claim took place. The conclusion does not follow from the premises. It is utterly ludicrous. But this entire thread has been to this point, so why should the insanity stop now?
Now we see a very intelligent point made (allegedly) in an instant message to ChapelHillMatt by the student. But it is poorly received, despite the fact that he pretty much nailed it. Message boards are merely electronic bulletin boards. The only difference is that these bulletin boards are for conversation. But there is nothing of monetary value or anything business-related in message board involvement, and it's ridiculous to even hint that there is anything of the sort. Yet when apparently befuddled by this brilliant analogy, higherwarrior now resorts to the death threats tactic.
And make special note of THIS - much like you will see in the future from Joemontana, notice that he repeats the same offense by rewording it. "Threatening messages" and then "personal threats." And it's not like he had a long string of OTHER offenses to distract him and maybe make him forget that he listed it already. He repeated it because he subconsciously knows he has absolutely nothing. And then note the intermediate "offense," "ones littered with profanities." Take a good look at this message board, if you get the chance. Or any message board for that matter. All of a sudden, profanities on the internet are illegal? Higherwarrior is a regular church goer who NEVER swears? We're supposed to believe that a message board like this, which CENSORS swear words by replacing letters with *s, was overridden with legitimate profanity by John Doe and ONLY John Doe? No one else ever swears on this board (even though funkzilla used profanity in this very thread on several occasions)? Higherwarrior is reeling here. Big time. It's almost as if all of the steam has been sucked out of him in one indirect fell swoop by Doe.
But all he has here are profanities and threats. And even in the analogy, if someone were writing profanities and "threats" (as they like to call them) on a bulletin board, it would not be a very serious matter. Numerous people write threatening graffiti all the time and they usually wind up with community service and/or fines, unless the damage is so widespread and/or the actions are repeated to the point where more serious sanctions are deemed appropriate.
Enter Walsh's Momma. He has some story that Doe contacted his employers about him and tried to get him fired. Perhaps one of the most disturbing things in this entire thread is how he tries to play the "victim" throughout it. Look at the reason he gives for Doe contacting his employers--that he "cussed him out." But one look at the forum he's referring to, and you'll notice that all he ever DOES is cuss him out. So I dug deeper, and I turned up the reason for his "boss" being allegedly contacted; the following were the two messages that Doe sent to a member of the board of directors for Walsh's Momma's job:
Yes, your eyes do not deceive you! Those are...um, how should I say it? THREATS! Do you see the delicious irony? Of course you do! Here is Walsh's Momma pretending to be all disgusted about threats, when he made threats himself to Doe. Not only that, but he made them months before this incident broke.
Now I can hear you saying, "those aren't really that big a deal." And I would agree. But keep these in mind when looking at the clearly idle, sarcastic threats they accuse Doe of having made. And keep the hypocrisy in mind as well. What's more, the student didn't go to the police with these threats and try to put together a criminal case. All he did was forward these to a member of the board of directors where Walsh's Momma worked, and tried to cause problems for him.
Now you might be saying, "that's crossing the line. He shouldn't have crossed the internet/real life barrier." That's true. But then I learned something else about this scenario. Again, you don't realy know the half of it until you ask the other half.
The reason Doe sent these to his boss, per his own statement on this very message board, is because Walsh's Momma had just e-mailed his father to complain about him and cause problems with his home life. His father apparently did not approve of his conduct online, and what really should be none of his business (since he's an adult and wasn't breaking any laws in inciting anger against him) turned into more stress for him at home. In essence, Doe did this out of revenge, and when you look at the big picture, it seems only fair. Walsh's Momma was the first to cross the internet/real life boundary, and Doe even asked him not to do this. He went ahead and did it anyway, and the angry response by Doe is more than understandable. Should he have done it? Maybe not. But it is more than a reasonable reaction, and an avenue many people would take if they found themselves in the same or a similar situation. One could also make the argument that someone who is older, as Walsh's Momma surely is, should know better than a (at the time) 20-year-old college student, and thus he's truthfully much worse for putting himself at risk of losing his job for internet threats than is the student for putting himself at possible risk of expulsion. College students do a lot of dumb things. Middle-aged adults who supposedly have "seniority" with a company should not be so foolish.
Also posted here is another "newbie," this time someone who makes a hilarious contradiction. On one hand, he is saying that he is a "wannabe hack who makes real hackers look bad," but on the other, he is talking about his "unacceptable online behavior." In other words, he's implying that hackers have ACCEPTABLE ONLINE BEHAVIOR. Real hackers somehow have some sort of code of ethics with regard to internet usage that he just violated? News to me. I would agree that hackers may not like him making them look bad, as he got caught and did incredibly little damage, but to say that they'd be angry at him for being disrespectful is laughable, and a direct reflection of the intelligence (or lackthereof) of this individual.
And the plot thickens. Apparently, Doe has broken a federal law WITH A POSSIBLE MAX OF 10 YEARS. That's right, folks. We are expected to believe that logging in under someone else's user account on a message board carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison...and being that it's federal prison, one must serve the entirety of that sentence if it is appropriated. What a drama queen. Anyone who actually knows the legal system realizes that the federal laws with that kind of penalty are for "protected computers"...such as FBI and CIA servers and other important government resources. But let's not let facts get in the way of a good argument. NFL message boards--serious business.
What's scary is, this person actually believes what he wrote.
Shouldn't be at all surprising that he "already knows all his info." Can you say "stalker?" In addition, he is playing the "kiss ass" game (I'll be more careful...yeah, right) in order to better help get revenge on Jordan for not reciprocating his homoerotic fantasies.
Then we have a humorous final post by ClemsonInMD..."HE NEEDS TO BE SHREDDED!!!!!"..."but you guys are idiots for wasting so much time on this nonsense." Now, here come a couple of worthless "support" posts from a couple of nobody's.
So a couple of dimwits show up who know nothing about the student or his situation, don't bother to read the thread and just show support, and now higherwarrior mentions how "shocked" he is by how he's affecting SO many people he was unaware of. The only person from outside this board to come in with any prior history with Doe is "Walsh's Momma," an idiotic internet stalker. It's clear that everyone has already made up their minds that anything negative they can invent will immediately be attached to the student (and at a later point, well...I'll save it as a surprise, but you'll be blown away by how ridiculous it was) as though it is fact, regardless of how inane it is.
The part I underlined in Walsh's Momma's post is just something I found amusing.
And then we see what "type" we're dealing with here with the last individual--GIG HIM!!! How could anyone NOT take this thread seriously with such important and articulate individuals?