Saturday, August 2, 2008

New York Times - First Hand Report in Anonymous' Entrails

The New York Times has published an outstanding article, "The Trolls Among Us", that goes much further than the recent articles about 4chan published by the Wall Street Journal and the Guardian. It is a first-hand researched article where the author actually lived with the major hackers and channers for days to get into the whole scene.

Unlike the Maxim article, you won't find it much promoted by Anonymous because in fact it is quite damaging for them.

Some quotes:

"/b/ is the designated “random” board of, a group of message boards that draws more than 200 million page views a month"

"A post consists of an image and a few lines of text"

"Almost everyone posts as “anonymous""

"In effect, this makes /b/ a panopticon in reverse — nobody can see anybody, and everybody can claim to speak from the center""

"The anonymous denizens of 4chan’s other boards — devoted to travel, fitness and several genres of pornography — refer to the /b/-dwellers as “/b/tards."

"Measured in terms of depravity, insularity and traffic-driven turnover, the culture of /b/ has little precedent"

"/b/ reads like the inside of a high-school bathroom stall, or an obscene telephone party line, or a blog with no posts and all comments filled with slang that you are too old to understand."

"“You look for someone who is full of it, a real blowhard. Then you exploit their insecurities to get an insane amount of drama, laughs and lulz."

"Among /b/’s more interesting spawn is Anonymous, a group of masked pranksters who organized protests at Church of Scientology branches around the world"

"Technology, apparently, does more than harness the wisdom of the crowd. It can intensify its hatred as well."

"After all, I was examining a subculture that is built on deception and delights in playing with the media"

"Does free speech tend to move toward the truth or away from it?"

"When does it evolve into a better collective understanding?"

"Is the effort to control what’s said always a form of censorship, or might certain rules be compatible with our notions of free speech?"

"One promising answer comes from the computer scientist Jon Postel, now known as “god of the Internet” for the influence he exercised over the emerging network"

"In 1981, he formulated what’s known as Postel’s Law: “Be conservative in what you do; be liberal in what you accept from others.”

"Originally intended to foster “interoperability,” the ability of multiple computer systems to understand one another,"

"To build a robust global network with no central authority, engineers were encouraged to write code that could “speak” as clearly as possible yet “listen” to the widest possible range of other speakers"

"The human equivalent of this robustness is a combination of eloquence and tolerance"

"the spirit of good conversation"

"Trolls embody the opposite principle"

"They are liberal in what they do and conservative in what they construe as acceptable behavior from others"

"It’s tempting to blame technology, which increases the range of our communications while dehumanizing the recipients."

No comments: