While you were sleeping…

It’s a funny thing, the Internet. Online communities can become like mobs, united in opinion and righteousness over an idea. At midnight last night, the forumers at ytmnd.com launched a raid on the ebaumsworld.com forum, massively posting on their forums and generally causing a ruckus. Why? Well, it’s complicated. I think to start with, you should check out this flash show (warning, contains explicit lyrics). The gist of it is that Eric Bauman is accused of stealing other peoples creative works, slapping a ‘hosted on ebaumsworld.com’ watermark and making loads of cash. So it seems that many are unhappy with his apparent piracy, and when an image created on the ytmnd.com site was ‘stolen’, the above stated righteous fury took over and mob mentality ruled.
It’s an interesting phenomenon though when you think about it. Is it not akin to the villagers taking up the pitchforks and torches and going to slay the monster that lives on top of the hill? Is electronic vigilantism an ethical and moral way of dealing with the ‘lawless’ internet? I know there are other types of vigilante’s out there who take it upon themselves to target child pornographers, and some record companies seed p2p networks with bogus mp3 to stem rampant downloads, so the question is do the ends justify the means? Did they break the law, because technically, the were committing a DDOS (distributed denial of service) attack on another server. Is this kind of thing something we’ll see more of in the future? As online communities draw together and split apart, will ‘opposing’ forums be seen as the battlefield of the future?

7 thoughts on “While you were sleeping…”

  1. I have been thinking about starting a new movement. The “Do No Harm!”movement.
    I am pilfering it from the Hippocratic Oath, as I do not understand why this simple idea should be reserved only for doctors. I am beginning to think most of our problems in this world are the result of not teaching our children do no harm to others.
    If we look at just about any endeavor our species has been involved in, it would seem we are oblivious to the harm we do to others, and to other creatures, or we intentionally do harm for our own gain, and in some cases for our own pleasure and enjoyment!
    Since we haven’t been instructed otherwise we see no harm in doing harm. Even our media glorifies the harm we do to each other to such an extent it’s treated as “slap stick” or a practically joke. We cause harm and laugh about it. We cause harm and brag about it to our friends.
    Terrorist are not born, they are bred, and instructed that causing harm is the means to achieving their own ends. They are taught these things by others who were never taught to do no harm.
    How many schoolyard bullies would there be if “Do No Harm” hung over the doorway of every school and institution in the world?
    Doctors are asked to first do no harm, why not lawyers, businessmen, religions leaders and politicians?
    We seem to be living in a world were our culture keeps getting meaner every day. Everyone is only out for themselves, and we are either ignorant, our we ignore the harm we cause. Could it be simply because no one taught us otherwise?
    Could it be simply because no one ever asked or instructed us to Do No Harm?
    I think I will start asking everyone I know to either start or end their e-mails with “Do No Harm,” and see how many web masters I can enlist to place these words at the top of their web sites.
    If we are to become a more evolve species we must begin to make better choices, and we simply must begin to treat not only each other better, but all the other creatures who we share this planet with.
    If we cannot do good, the very least we can do is to attempt to Do No Harm!
    I know it sounds like a simple idea, but it just may be effective over the long run. At least it is a place to start attempting to change the increasing meanest in the world.
    Do No Harm!

  2. Greetings Dear Chef:
    As a spiritual person and writer, may I commend to you my book, Master of the Jinn: A Sufi Novel, a mystical adventure tale on the Sufi path of Love. I think you will like it.
    You can view the book and read an excerpt at http://www.masterofthejinn.com
    In the name of the Merciful, 10% of all profits go to charity.
    Peace and Blessings,

  3. Sam,
    You can still be evil as long as the evil results in no harm. (Which may prevent you from being evil). Thin line. But it’s an incredible concept: simple enough for anyone to understand and powerful enough to actually cause change. We need bumper stickers ala “Oh God II”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *