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Recent Society articles from Daily Dot

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    Word to the wise: If you're a sports team's "social media expert" retweeting photos of merchandise that fans got for Christmas, you might want to make sure there aren't any drugs in the image.

    The Carolina Panthers put out a call to fans to tweet photos of gifts related to the NFL team. Several of the best were retweeted on the Panthers' official Twitter—including this photo, sent in by @Steeele_, showing a bag of marijuana next to a Panthers cap.

    The team has since deleted the retweet, but here's a screenshot (via Deadspin):

    Steele confirmed that the bag contained "Christmas kush," and claimed, "I couldn't ask for two better Christmas gifts!!"

    Photo by @Steeele_/Twitter


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    Subscribers to Reddit’s r/secretsanta subreddit are used to receiving many things in time for Christmas: gag gifts, well-wishes, a Macbook Air, etc. Redditor brocklese, on the other hand, received something far more unexpected from his Secret Santa: a Yuletide trolling.

    The recipient, whose Secret Santa failed to send him a gift last year, opened a package to reveal an old, worn shoe and its accompanying note;

    Hey I looked at your profile and your basicly an asshole, here’s a shoe FAGET,

    Secret Santa

    Fuck You, your probly a drunk driver!

    Less than thrilled, brocklese took to Reddit to air his grievance on Dec. 21.

    “Wow thanks for the 'gift' … ,” he posted, linking to the note.

    His fellow redditors offered their condolences and shared his shock. Then, what to brocklese’s wondering eyes should appear but none other than his Secret Santa (minus the miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer).

    “Look under the sole!” commented redditor solidus-flux.

    Curiosity replacing his displeasure, brocklese did as he was told. A second note was uncovered.

    Photo via brocklese/Imgur

    “First, I apologize for the homophobic slur. I was just “playing the part”, so to speak,” the note began. Secret Santa/solidus-flux explained that brocklese’s real gift was still in production and that it should arrive in time for Christmas.

    Sure enough, he came through. brocklese became the overjoyed owner of several beer steins engraved with three different variations of Snoo the Reddit alien

    brocklese posted the entire story to r/secretsanta, where it earned over 2,600 upvotes.

    Photo via brocklese/imgur

    “What a great gift that we will enjoy for years to come!” brocklese wrote at the end of the Imgur album detailing the journey. “First thing I had to do was fill two with my own brewed beer. SS you really overdid yourself this year! CHEERS and Merry Christmas!!”

    Photo via Vilde Lauritzen/Flickr


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    Here at the Daily Dot, we swap GIF images with each other every morning. Now we’re looping you in. In the Morning GIF, we feature a popular—or just plain cool—GIF we found on Reddit, Canvas, or elsewhere on the Internet.

    It’s over. The Mayan apocalypse and all of the holidays came and went (well, except for Kwanzaa, the annual festival of mocking Sandra Lee, and New Year’s, the annual celebration of liver abuse and bitter regrets), and we’re all still here.

    Oh. Yay.

    As the last of the holiday turducken or tofurkey grinds it inexorable way through your gastrointestinal system, it’s time to mull over the special moments, both good and bad, that the holiday season has brought.

    Because no way will your heartburn let you sleep anyway.

    We’re not too sure how you’re doing, but we, particularly once we notice the eggnog is almost gone, are overwhelmed by all the feels at the close of the holidays. This subtly emotive GIF from GIF Movie expresses it better than mere words ever could. Tears, beauty, innocence, hope, regret, and dyspepsia: our 2012 in a nutshell.

    GIF via GIFMovie/Tumblr


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    It’s allledtothis.

    There are an endless number of contenders for the top spots of this year’s top 10 fandoms list. Throughout the last 12 months, a number of fandoms have been vocal, passionate, and rambunctious. If we had room, we’d love to put fans of such media juggernauts as The Hunger Games, Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, Glee, and Twilight.

    Instead, as we’ve done throughout our end-of-year series, we focused on fandoms that seemed to be part of cultural shifts that happened in 2012 or were exceptionally active in advocating for their cause. These communities shaped the way we thought about all fandoms in 2012—largely for the better.

    1) K-pop

    Six months before “Gangnam Style” took over the universe, Rolling Stoneattempted to predict which K-pop idol group would be the one to hit it big in the U.S., but no one predicted the runaway success of Psy.

     


    Exo caricatures on an artist easel at Disneyland. 

    Photo by exocomical/Tumblr via Deviantart

    Many Japanese and Korean pop artists have tried and failed to push through the culture barrier to succeed in the American market. Yet despite tours of Korea’s best talent, including legendary pop vocalist and dancer BoA, nothing took off. Prior to 2009, if Americans knew anything about K-pop, or its passionate fans, it was probably due to solo artist Rain’s repeated appearances on the Time 100 list and his stint on TheColbert Report—all of which was treated more as offbeat humor than part of a growing trend.

    In 2009, however, the world got its first glimpse of K-pop’s global potential when Girls’ Generation’s “Gee” went viral, pulling in roughly 30 million YouTube hits within a year. Three years later, it’s normal for K-pop groups on YouTube to rack up tens of millions of views. (“Gee” is approaching 100 million.) And while Psy’s success has made Korean pop artistry more visible, K-pop groups were already doing great on their own: In August of last year, Billboard added K-pop to its weekly Top 100 roundup lists; in April, Girls’ Generation ranked 123rd on Billboard’s Top 200 album list, the highest for any K-pop group up to that point; and in June, the boy band Exo was the second most-popular tag on all of Tumblr, right behind One Direction.

    So while Psy may have seemed to have come out of nowhere, his success was arguably made possible by steadily increasing interest in K-pop from around the world. Post-Psy, K-pop really seems to be everywhere, from orchestral arrangements of Super Junior to Glee using Big Bang’s “Fantastic, Baby” and “Gangnam Style” on a recent episode.

    We may not be able to predict what 2013 will do for K-pop as an international export, but one thing is certain: K-pop fandom is here to stay.

    2) Sherlock Holmes

    The 100-year-old fandom proved its staying power in a big way this year, as fans of the original novels and its infinite spinoffs came to the forefront of our cultural imagination. Robert Downey’s Christmas sequel to his 2009 Sherlock Holmes reboot took in over half a billion dollars worldwide, while Benedict Cumberbatch became a household name—on the Internet, at least—as his portrayal of the irascible modern-day detective in Sherlock got an even more widely hyped second season. In the wake of that show’s finale, Sherlock fans everywhere gave us what may be the first-ever viral fan campaign to spread into real life; I believe in Sherlock Holmes and Moriarty is real became slogans you could spot everywhere, from sidewalks to university bathroom stalls—a subcultural statement that found its way into the mainstream. Sherlock fans also jumpstarted what seemed to be endless memes on Tumblr, from Red Pants Wednesday to Superwholock to, er, Fawnlock. They also invented an entirely new fandom phenomenon—fandom tea.


    Spotted in Italy? 12 months after the meme began.

    Photo via inutrimentiterrestri/Tumblr

    On the U.S. side of the pond, Fox gave its own hugely successful version of Holmes and Watson, House and Wilson, a series sendoff that included a major plot twist taken from the original Holmes canon (spoilers in the link). And CBS announced the creation of Elementary after Sherlock’s creator, Stephen Moffat, declined to reboot the show for a U.S. audience. CBS decided to do it anyway, casting Lucy Liu as Watson and Jonny Lee Miller, who played Cumberbatch’s literal doppelganger in last year’s Frankenstein, as Holmes. The conflux of sharp overlap and sharp dissonance between the two shows promptly started a war between the two subfandoms that continues without letup.

    Meanwhile, the real Sherlockians want you to know that they (cheekily) wash their hands of this whole fandom business, adding their voices to the noise proving that, as always, the biggest drama of the Sherlock Holmes mythos lies, not within the pages of Arthur Conan Doyle, but within the fanbase. Even in 2012, it truly is always 1895.

    3) Marvel

    To date TheAvengers film franchise has made a Hulk-sized $3.8 billion worldwide. Almost half of that gross comes from a single film, this year’s The Avengers. The film is the culmination of Marvel’s gamble that building the film universe over time, just like a serial comic, would pay off. Calling on the ever-growing fandom of director and Buffy creator Joss Whedon may have sealed the deal. The fandom’s penchant for swallowing websites whole—last spring the new influx of Avengers fanfic writers crushed servers at the Archive of Our Own—and dropping memes that even non-fans can enjoy, most notably Avengers’ New Groove and the Hawkeye Initiative, hasn’t hurt either.

    Marvel also had several other aces this year: Spidermancurrently ranks as the seventh most-profitable film franchise, despite only having four films total. (James Bond, at No. 4, has 24.)  Further down the list is X-Men, which despite a lagging box office in recent years has remained a huge staple series for Marvel’s fanbase. Apart from a trio of mainstay comics series, Marvel has another edge: a commitment to evolving. We’ve come a long way since the days members of The Avengers could also beat up their wives: Last year’s Thor was hailed as a thoroughly feminist film, and this year Marvel gave us a popular female superhero series with a female writer, Captain Marvel. We also got Marvel’s first gay wedding, as X-men member Northstar, whose coming out in the AIDS-ridden ‘80s was also highly politically charged, tied the knot.

    Illustration by Dustin Weaver via bbenjamin610/Blogspot

    But perhaps most significantly, 2012 ushered in the era of Phil Coulson. From his role as a side character in the first Iron Man film to his unforgettable role in this year’s The Avengers, Coulson and his actor Clark Gregg have stayed dear to the hearts of Marvel fans. After his presumed demise in The Avengers, fans launched an entirely homegrown campaign to bring him back, taking to the streets like the Sherlockians and broadcasting their support for the character: Coulson Lives. After months of buildup, Marvel saved the big announcement for Comic Con in October: Gregg would be starring as Coulson in the new Avengers spinoff television series S.H.I.E.L.D. Though the move had been planned before the fan campaign, Coulson Lives almost certainly boosted the project’s stature and importance within the Avengers franchise, and proved that the Avengers fanbase may just be earth’s mightiest superfans.

    4) One Direction

    What can we say about One Direction fandom this year that hasn’t been said? Directioners emerged onto the international scene in 2012 with all the chaos and drama of Beatlemania, most of it channeled through online social media, especially Wattpad, Tumblr, and Twitter. Mick Jagger summed up the whole dynamic between fans and band nicely when he told CNN that when he’d seen the band, “[T]hey were like, floating above the audience, and they looked like, really distinctly uncomfortable... I remember feeling that same uncomfortable feeling of being pushed around in this very weird place.”

    Illustration by lifeditonsoriginal/Deviantart.com

    It’s a statement that could easily describe how many members of the 1D fandom may have felt this year as well. But despite the constant in-fighting, the harassment of other fans, girlfriends and would-be girlfriends, the extreme scrutiny paid to the band members, the horrifying ideation of suicide and suicide threats, and the pervasive belief that Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson are trapped in a homophobic conspiracy that only the truest of fans can discern, Directioners have shown time and again that they can stay positive, upbeat, and tremendously loyal, no matter how much drama rages on. It’s the kind of passion that truly drives home the spirit of a fandom, and at the end of the year, with the band’s new single coming out and the 1D craze showing no sign of stopping, we’re grateful for the sheer energy and enormity of the fandom. These fans won’t stop til we’ve surrendered—and given them our love.

    5) Avatar: The Last Airbender/Legend of Korra

    The fandom for the beloved Nickelodeon animated franchise Avatar: The Last Airbender (AtLA)/Legend of Korra had a banner year in 2012: First Gene Yang’s Avatar series of graphic novels became No. 1 bestsellers and sold out in many locations. Then fans of the franchise won an early online preview of the first two episodes of Legend of Korra after they pushed the show to over 100,000 Facebook likes within a week. But in this case, the “like” probably translated more nearly as, “Oh, thank god.”

    Illustration via FanPop

    In 2008, M Night Shyamalan’s film adaptation of the series, The Last Airbender, caused massive unhappiness from almost everyone involved with the original production, as well as countless fans worldwide. At issue was the production’s choice to search only for white actors to play most of the main cast and to obliterate the carefully researched, separate ethnic identities of the four fictional nations at the center of Airbender’s epic three-season plot—none of them white.

    Everywhere the beleaguered production held a casting call, AtLA fans showed up by the hundreds to protest the casting decisions. The website Racebending.com, borrowing a term from the series, began as a media site to publicize the fandom’s attempts to get the film production to reverse its decision and steadily grew into a watchdog for Hollywood whitewashing and other issues of race. The word “racebending” itself became a mainstreamed term to talk about erasure of ethnic identity in the media. Meanwhile, members of the original animated series distanced themselves from the Paramount film. But although the controversy raged and spread, igniting and uniting the AtLA fandom in outrage, Shyamalan’s production went ahead as planned, only to be universally panned when it finally premiered in 2010.

    On the back of two years of frustration and bitterness on the part of fans, series creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko announced in the summer of 2010 that not only would Avatar get an entirely new series as a sequel, but it would have a female avatar as the main character: Korra. It was the beacon of hope that the fans desperately needed, and the nearly two-year wait that ensued before Legend of Korra finally became a reality was characterized by increasing eagerness. The jubilance of fans reached a frenzy this spring that has yet to wane: The fandom was the fourth-most popular fandom on Tumblr according to a June tag count.

    Nickelodeon’s investment paid off: Korra became the highest-rated U.S.-produced animated series of 2012. And fans finally reaped the rewards of their loyalty for the first time in over four years.

    6) Homestuck

    If you didn’t know what Homestuck was at the beginning of this year, you’re probably no less confused now than you were then; but it’s equally possible that the million-strong fandom might include fans you know. If so, they’re probably all too eager to tell you about Homestuck. And given the utter brain-breaking phenomenon that is this epic, labyrinthine webcomic that frequently gets over a million visitors a day, has been compared to Joyce’s Ulysses, and racked up over $2.5 million from its fans in a Kickstarter campaign this fall, learning about Homestuck, in all its obfuscating, addictive glory might be one of the best things you do in 2013.

    Photo via fenyxdesign/Deviantart

    7) Teen Wolf

    Teen Wolf fans were busy this year. They got their showrunner to acknowledge their favorite non-canon ship—a fan-driven relationship not in the original storyline—and tease them with the possibility that it might actually become canon. They racked up half a million votes at AfterElton’s slash tournament. They wrote over 10,000 fanfics for MTV’s fanfic contest. They pushed the hit counts of popular Teen Wolf fanfics into the hundreds of thousands at Wattpad and the Archive of Our Own. They baked 600 cookies for Sterek, shipped them to the show’s crew, and set their sights on adopting over 40 endangered wolves in a wolf pack.

    Illustration by dhauber/Deviantart

    If just reading that sounds exhausting, consider that nearly all of those efforts were all done on behalf of one queer relationship, Derek and Stiles, ubiquitously known as Sterek. If Teen Wolf fans are willing to expend this much energy just to make Sterek a viable relationship that actually appears on the show, rather than just in the wishes of all who ship it, what other awesome things can they achieve?

    We don’t know, but we have a pretty good guess that in 2013, we’re going to find out.

    8) My Little Pony

    Bronies, adult fans of the animated program My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic were at the center of widespread media attention, as well as widespreadcontroversy, in 2012. They raised thousands of dollars to spread their message of goodwill, they shilled for political parties, and they came under fire for excluding women and fans of the original My Little Pony franchise. Not to mention accusations of physical assault.

    But all in all, the bronies, just like every other fandom, spent much of 2012 in a state of evolution, in both positive and negative directions. And in every direction, they made their mark.

    Or perhaps we should say, hoofprint.

    Illustration by gali951/Deviantart

    9) Neon Genesis Evangelion

    In Japan, the biggest film event of 2012 was not The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, or The Hunger Games. It was the newest addition to a franchise that’s been first enthralling, then scarring its fans since 1998. Introducing new plot to the franchise for the first time in over a decade, Neon Genesis Evangelion, affectionately known to fans worldwide as Eva, has spent the last few years steadily releasing a four-part film series that attempts to reboot the series with an entirely new ending—the one director Hideaki Anno planned all along. Last month, the third film of the four, Neon Genesis Evangelion 3.0: You Can (Not) Redo premiered to the highest weekend box office of the year.  

    Eva’s troubled production is the stuff of legend: After winning critical acclaim, the series, which launched in 1995 and is considered one of the greatest and most influential anime of all time, took a total mindbending turn near the end, leaving an entire generation of fans to grapple with the fallout of the production’s tight constraints. But despite the unevenness of the series, Eva’s stature has only grown over time; now almost two decades later, the final 2 films in the reboot—and at last, a real ending—are finally here.

    The love fans have for Evangelion makes it noteworthy any year. But in 2012, fans showed that even 20 years after it last aired, Eva is and will continue to be a cultural phenomenon.

    Photo via Japanator

    10) Community

    Everyone loves an underdog, and it’s impossible not to love this show and the fandom that has supported it through lackluster ratings, vacillating network support, and the removal of its creator and producer Dan Harmon earlier this year. Through it all, Community fans have made #sixseasonsandamovie” the rallying cry for everyone who’s ever loved a TV show only to see it fail to win the hearts of the mainstream, or even its own network. Though NBC seems determined to give Community a graceful exit, all signs point to Season 4, which only has a half-season on order, being its last.  But if any fandom can pull out an 11th-hour miracle, it’s this one: After last year’s mid-season hiatus, the familiar hashtag, targeted advertising from NBC, and an intense word-of-mouth campaign boosted the show to respectable ratings—albeit briefly.

    And if that fails to happen this year, the fans are still determined to go out in style.

    After all, at least we’ll still have Inspector Spacetime.

    Illustration by muffinpoodle/Deviantart

    Honorable Mention: Assassin’s Creed

    The five-year-old game franchise was already a huge success. This year, the newly released Assassin’s Creed 3 features a half-Mohawk protagonist fighting for the colonies during the American Revolution while struggling with his own identity as an outsider. That’s pretty heavy political stuff (there’s even a homesteading feature), but it’s nothing new to a franchise whose first installment dealt with a Middle Eastern hero during the Crusades. It certainly hasn't kept the franchise's massive fanbase away. And it hasn’t deterred the game from garnering praise and becoming the fastest seller in producer Ubisoft’s history. And with gameplay that includes epic tree-climbing, it’s no wonder the latest edition has sold over 7 million copies in under two months.


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    Major Hollywood studios who campaign relentlessly against Internet piracy are often guilty of pirating movies themselves, according to a TorrentFreak study.

    And while the methodology used in the study is flawed, it's the same methods that those studios' industry representative, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) uses to crack down on users, angering Internet rights activists.

    Using a website called ScanEye, TorrentFreak looked at a wide swath of computers that were using the peer-to-peer filesharing service BitTorrent to simultaneously upload and download movie files from competitors' studios. The site cited 22 examples of piracy at five major studios, but reported that "what we show here is just a small fraction of the files that are actually being shared. It’s the tip of the iceberg."

    Some of those examples? Employees at Paramount studios shared Happy Feet Two, owned by competitor Warner Brothers. Someone at Sony Pictures pirated Despicable Me, property of Universal Pictures. 20th Century Fox downloaded Jeff, Who Lives at Home, distributed by Paramount.

    TorrentFreak's study is based on a simple, problematic fact: Everyone's computer is assigned a unique Internet protocol (IP) address, which can be used to track the user's location. That's at the root of most anti-piracy efforts, ranging from how a Finnish music company identified the 9-year-old whose laptop was confiscated because she downloaded a single album, to how, starting next year, the MPAA-backed Copyright Alerts System will know to send you mandatory "education" if you're suspected of piracy.

    IP addresses can be an inaccurate way of reporting individuals for a host of reasons: They're easy to fake, it's easy to hijack them, and methods to see where an IP address is coming from simply aren't always accurate: ScanEye, for instance, thinks this article is being written in Ripley, W. Va., 88 miles away from this writer's actual location.

    Of course, noting that IP addresses aren't a foolproof indicator of an individual just might be TorrentFreak's point.

    Photo via Wikimedia Commons


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    The impostor behind a Twitter account posing as Hailie Mathers has finally stood up and revealed herself to be a "fat, ugly, loser."

    In a rambling note posted Sunday to Tumblr, a 15-year-old girl named Lucy confessed to running @hailiejade_x, a Twitter account pretending to be Eminem's daughter.

    The account received global attention and duped the media when it posted harsh words directed at Taylor Swift's relationship with One Direction singer Harry Styles.

    Lucy says she created a Facebook and Instagram profiles with pictures posing as Hailie, but her cover was blown when a representative from Eminem's camp debunked claims that Hailie used Twitter.

    With her hoax exposed, Lucy finally came clean. She blamed her self-esteem issues from being bullied in school for her obsession with following celebrities on Twitter, which started with Paris Jackson, Michael Jackson's daughter. The two began direct messaging each other and Lucy thought the pair was developing a relationship.

    "I was so shocked when I realized Paris followed me back on twitter. I felt so special because she was so pretty and she was the daughter of the King himself !," wrote Lucy. "Me and Paris began to DM each other and she was such a kind person, I felt so special to be speaking with her and I smiled every time she sent me a MSG."

    However, someone tweeted at Lucy saying the Paris Jackson account she was interacting with was a hoax and that teenaged girl wasn't on Twitter.

    "I was so upset and felt I had just lost a friend. I began to research more about Paris and I almost was obsessed with her. I missed speaking with her and I wanted to speak with her so badly," wrote Lucy. The account was deleted.

    So Lucy, looking for attention, created her own Twitter account pretending to be Paris Jackson. She admitted that she knew it was "wrong" but the attention she received from it gave her the validation she was desperately seeking.

    "I got 100 followers in a day and I felt so popular and I got so many compliments ! I had never had this feeling before [because] i was used to girls at school hating me and bullying me," wrote Lucy. "After a few days I was addicted to Paris and I felt so happy when people said nice things to me , even though they weren’t [complementing] the real me it made me feel pretty and special."

    Thanks to the positive attention the account was receiving, her addiction to being Jackson grew. But the jig was up when Paris Jackson herself joined Twitter, and received a verified checkmark from Twitter.

    "I had lived her life for many months and I couldn't stop being her," wrote Lucy.

    Feeling invigorated by the attention, she targeted the Twitter account to Hailie Mathers, an unassuming, blonde teenaged girl from Michigan. She researched her life, crawled the Internet for pictures of Hailie, and concocted a fake, digital persona of the rapper's daughter.

    The real Hailie doesn’t keep much of an online presence, which proved to be a problem for Lucy. She ran out of pictures to use on the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts she created for her project. So Lucy found a random girl on Twitter named Becky and befriended her.

    "I looked through her tweets and her pics and it was strange because I thought she looked so much like Hailie!," wrote Lucy. She conferred with Eminem fans who agreed that Becky looked very similar to Hailie.

    So Lucy friended Becky on Facebook and siphoned pictures from her account.

    "I added Becky and her friends on facebook and got all the pics of her I could find. Then I made accounts under the name Hailie on many different websites and used Beckys pics," admitted Lucy.

    A friend of Becky told her that Lucy was using her pictures, which made her feel guilty. She lambasted Lucy on Twitter for stealing her pictures but the public shaming wasn't enough to make Lucy stop.

    “I felt guilty when I saw her write this but then another person would compliment me on my Hailie account and I stopped feeling bad," wrote Lucy. "My twitter account of Hailie made it to the news and it made me feel so special ! I got so many more followers and I forgot all about my real life and the bullies."

    Lucy immediately noticed when Becky deleted her Facebook and Twitter accounts, as she aggressively stalked them so she could post new photos. Lucy then began looking at Becky's friends’ Twitter and Facebook profiles to see if she could steal pictures that Becky was tagged in to use.

    Lucy then found Becky's new Twitter account and began the vicious cycle of stalking, trolling, and stealing photos all over again.

    "I know this is sick and twisted but I thought it was funny when she would say something like this," confessed Lucy. Realizing that she was hurting Hailie and Becky, she tried stopping, but found she couldn’t.

    That brings the saga to Dec. 4 when Lucy sent out a tweet telling Swift to quit "whoring around." (Lucy said she was "mad and jealous" of Swift's relationship with the One Direction singer.)

    "My account was all other the news and I though i felt so popular that I had done this. Many people were tweeting me and I loved all this attention," wrote Lucy.

    Eminem's rep soon denied the account, and Lucy was afraid of getting in trouble.

    "I was so upset but I knew I had to delete the account."

    After a few weeks of social media silence, Lucy said she was going to restart the accounts and troll for more attention. But one problem prevented her from doing that: Becky's Twitter account had been deleted.

    "Then it hit me that she has deleted her account because of me. I was so angry and upset when I had to delete my FAKE account so imagine what she felt," she wrote, admitting she had damaged the reputations of two innocent girls.

    Today I felt so guilty and I was crying. My mom heard me crying and asked what was wrong with me. I told her the truth and it felt so good to tell some one [sic]. After more than 3 years of making fake accounts on the internet I had told some one [sic] the truth. My mom is dissapointed [sic] in me and told me I must face the concequences [sic]. My mom advised me to apologize to the girls i faked but I thought I would do this publicly because I have not just hurt them, but I have lied to many people as well."

    Lucy said her mom took away her electronics and she is now seeking help from a psychiatrist. She vows never to repeat what she did.

    "So once again I want to apologize to Paris for what I did a few years ago, to Hailie for stealing her identity and damaging her reputation and to Becky for stealing her pics. I now realize that I began this because I was being bullied and I now realize I have turned into a bully myself and for that I am truly, truly sorry."

    Photo via hailie_mathers/Instagram


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    Even the Zuckerbergs don’t quite understand Facebook’s ever-changing privacy settings.

    Mark Zuckerberg’s sister Randi found that out the hard way after one of her private Facebook pictures ended up on another website, The Atlantic Wire reported.

    The former head of marketing for Facebook and the executive producer for Bravo’s Silicon Valley took VoxMedia marketing and projects director Callie Schweitzer to task after she posted a candid photo of Zuckerberg’s family reacting  to Facebook’s new Poke app to her public Twitter feed.

    In a now-deleted tweet, Schweitzer posted the photo with the caption, “.@randizuckerberg demonstrates her family’s response to poke. #GAH.”

     

    Photo via Topsy

    Zuckerberg didn’t like her personal photos going around the Internet, so she quickly got snappy with Schweitzer on—what else?—Twitter.

    “@cschweitz not sure where you got this photo. I posted it to friends only on FB. You reposting it to Twitter is way uncool,” Zuckerberg wrote in a tweet she has since deleted.

    Schweitzer explained that it was an accident and that she thought the photo was public. Some grade-A snooping from Zuckerberg revealed the reason that Schweitzer was able to see the photo despite it being marked friends-only (as well as a flaw in Facebook’s privacy settings): Schweitzer is Facebook friends with Zuckerberg’s sister, and saw the post because her sister was also tagged in the Poke reaction photo.

    The Atlantic Wire explains that the friends-only setting is not enough to hide photos from other prying eyes. The standard setting is that friends of friends tagged can also see the photos unless you change the setting on the actual album in which the photos are located.

    Schweitzer deleted the tweet and photograph at the request of Zuckerberg but requested that the Facebook founder’s sister make it public so that more people could see and enjoy the photo.

    “@randizuckerberg fwiw, i thought the photo was incredibly endearing which is why I liked it. We never see humans on the Internet!” Schweitzer tweeted.

    Zuckerberg has yet to respond to Schweitzer on Twitter, but she did post a passive-aggressive message for her followers to note, leaving many who missed the previous conversation to wonder what happened.

    “Digital etiquette: always ask permission before posting a friend’s photo publicly. It’s not about privacy settings, it’s about human decency,” Zuckerberg tweeted.

    Image via Facebook


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    Watching a Space Shuttle launch on YouTube, playing with a Lego space set, or visiting the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum is as close as most children get to becoming a real-life astronaut.

    That's unless you are the son of Reddit user Jeremiah Gorman. Gorman, who’s been on the social news site for three years, turned old TV parts, a joystick, and random buttons into a makeshift spaceship underneath his son's bed.

    "I have to give my wife the credit for this one," Gorman wrote Saturday on Reddit Saturday in a post featuring a slideshow of the construction. "She had the idea, I just built things."

    The photos of Gorman's son Finn playing with his NASA-inspired control panel collected 2,000 comments from envious redditors.

    "You're adopting me. don't argue," whose_butt_hurts commented. "Edit: I'm 49 but it'll work."

    Photos by Jeremiah Gorman/Reddit


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    Picture the scene: It’s Christmas morning. Rubbing sleep from your eyes, you join the rest of your family around the tree; its drugstore-brand lights and a crackling fire are the only illumination in the room. You're handed a package with your name on it. You tear it open, expecting to find clothing, a book, or possibly a Wii U.

    Instead, you wind up with a fish tank made from an old acoustic guitar.

    Photo via Tubmug/imgur

    Redditor Tubmug’s photo is just one of many photographs taken by members of the lulz mother lode known as Reddit during the Christmas holiday. A unique bunch, redditors are never fully satisfied with traditional Christmas gifts. Only the truly remarkable items find their way onto the site—often to the tune of hundreds of upvotes.

    Here is just a small sampling of the items with which Reddit will close out 2012:

    1) Handerpants

    Redditor Paintjockey was thrilled with his gift of “handerpants,” even though the “fly” is sewn shut. This winter, his hands will no longer have to go commando under his gloves.

    Photo via Paintjockey/imgur

    2) Dinosaur pajamas

    Redditor doctawafflez explained that her family’s Christmas tradition included opening up news sets of pajamas on Christmas Eve and wearing them immediately. Despite being a 20-year-old college student, she was very excited for her latest set.

    Photo via doctawafflez/imgur

    3) Success Kid 3-D model

    Qstrike5 was a participant in Reddit’s wildly popular “Secret Santa” program this year on the r/SecretSanta subreddit. His redditor Kris Kringle decided to send a gift that could literally not have been more successful at winning Qstrike5's heart: a custom-made model of the “Success Kid” meme, created from a 3-D printer. 

    Photo via Qstrike5/imgur

    4) Dog painting

    When Deseptikons joked that he wanted a painting of his dog, a 10-year-old dachshund-chihuahua mix, he received just that as an early Christmas gift. The painting, done by an artist named Jenicha, perfectly captured not only the dog’s stance, but also its innermost thoughts.

    Photo via Deseptikons/imgur

    5) Santa's replacement

    Redditor callitparadise participated in a game of “white elephant” at school shortly before Christmas. She admits that the gift she wound up with left her feeling “slightly disturbed.” Hey, Santa is gone all night in the middle of winter and is likely busy in the weeks leading up to Christmas; that doesn’t quell the needs of Mrs. Claus!

    Photo via callitparadise/imgur

    6) Sexy ugly Christmas sweater

    “Ugly sweater” parties are huge social events during the Christmas season. Sensing that everyone at the latest affair would be competing for “most gaudy” yet again, redditor aburdine decided that his cousin should be decked out in something a little more on the naughty side. Hey, just like Mrs. Claus, reindeer also have biological needs to be met!

    Photo via aburdine/imgur

    7) Purple brick

    From chimneys to fireplaces, brick structures feature quite prominently in Christmas. When Santa stands near such structures, his dark-red suit allows him to blend in, chameleon-style. A friend of zesha's decided to start a trend that would rob Mr. Claus of this trick and gifted the redditor with a brick colored bright purple.

    Photo via zesha/imgur

    8) Wrapping paper with your face on it

    Who says that personalized gifts must be underneath the wrapping paper? While not technically a gift, redditor PeteGrammarman discovered a unique way to abolish the to/from tag system once and for all: by ordering special wrapping paper imprinted with his face. 

    Photo via PeteGrammarman/imgur

    9) Battle axe?

    What is Christmas without a little bit of medieval weaponry? Redditor TheVidNerd was rather convinced that his brother bought him a battle axe for Christmas—and he had no mace or lance in exchange! Upon unwrapping the package, it turned out to be a cane, which is far less effective against armored knights.

    Photo via TheVidNerd/imgur

    10) Fraudulent Dark Knight script

    Not all gifts given or received resulted in laughter and joy. On Dec. 25, redditor admiral_awes0me posted a picture of a Dark Knight script given to him by his fiancée that was supposedly signed by the entire cast. His fellow redditors immediately revealed that the signed script was actually a $200 fraud.

    Photo via admiral_awes0me/imgur


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    Sexually frustrated students at New York University are finding their release on a new Facebook page.

    Called NYU Hook Ups, the service is like Craigslist's Casual Encounters section—just with a higher IQ. "Looks are a must. Looking for a hookup—friends with benefits minus the friends part. We're all busy nowadays, so if you're clingy go on to the next one," reads a Dec. 22 post.

    "I recently got a tattoo on my side so I don't really wear bras anymore :) ," a female student writes. "I’m looking for a beautiful black man, not too dark and not too light. Kind of like Shemar Moore, but I can compromise and go for a Trey Songz kind of guy. I want rough sex and maybe some cuddling if you're hot and you smell good, but don't expect to sleepover and get breakfast the next morning."

    "Many of you cold and lonely teenagers will be returning to the suburbs for a month of sexless slumber in your childhood bedrooms, so there is no better time to lose it than now," the page advertises. "What else are you going to brag to your friends about?"

    Administrators verify that the users are students at the New York school and then posts a message with about a dozen stats such as sexual orientation and on- or off-campus housing.

    "Be as descriptive as possible!" the page emphasizes. "Our goal is to get you hooked up in less than 24 hours but you must do your part!"

    NYU Hook Ups said it provides to keep 100 percent anonymity for the poster. If students see someone they like, they post a message from their personal Facebook account. If interested, the original poster will respond. 

    Even on holiday break, frisky students are still posting on the site this week. It's attracted 1,600 likes since it launched two weeks ago. 

    There's a self-described"pretty chill" girl looking for "smart guys," a female Jew whose turn-offs are "drugs, dumbasses, and jerks," and a straight Russian dude who said he looks very Russian, just not "bear riding while drinking vodka from the bottle Russian."

    Then there's this: two "AZN" girls just looking for a casual threesome. They're looking for "anyone athletic with cocky attitude and not afraid to man handle us. let's be real, we love being told what to do in the bedroom so please teach us a lesson or 2 ... or 3.…" 

    Apply within.

    Photo via teammcdreamy/Hashgram


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    Before we even knew who the Republican candidate would be, the 2012 presidential race was dubbed the “Twitter election.”

    Candidates batted online and off, hurling criticisms on Twitter just as they did in televised debates. To a certain extent, it was the Twitter election: During the first debate between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, more than 10.3 million tweets were sent as users debated and created parodies out of candidates’ comments.

    As things got more serious on Election Day, more than 20 million election-related tweets were posted by 10:16pm ET, making it the most tweeted-about U.S. political event.

    The election wasn’t the only thing happening on Twitter in 2012, as the community became the world’s watercooler more than ever before, an intrinsic part of our daily lives as we look to follow and discuss events with greater accuracy and speed.

    The Olympics took over Twitter as much as it did TV for two weeks this summer. FBI raids, presidential press conferences, ear implant surgeries, and obscenity trials were all live-tweeted.

    Hurricane Sandy brought people together in a time of great need. Ongoing revolutions in the Middle East were organized and self-policed through Twitter. Extremists recruited using the network.

    Most astonishingly, the Israel Defense Forces and Hamas issued stark warnings to each other as the sides engaged in conflict in the Gaza Strip, bringing a stark dose of mortality to followers’ timelines.

    The one-to-many social structure of tweets helps thoughts spread rapidly. A tweet can be seen by millions within seconds depending on your personal reach and who retweets you.

    At the heart of the community is its users, the 500-million-strong horde sharing musings on life, love, and everything hundreds of millions of times a day. There are those who stand out from the pack, due to their ability to inform, lead the conversation, and make others care. Their messages often extend beyond the Web, leading to tangible real-world change.

    Here, the Daily Dot spotlights the 10 people we felt were most influential in shaping the conversation on Twitter in 2012. What do you think of our list? Who did we miss? Who shouldn’t be here? Let us know in the comments, or tweet us your thoughts @dailydot.

    1) Cory Booker // 1,328,643 followers

    America’s superhero was all over Twitter this year. Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker stock increased when he saved a neighbor from her burning home in April, but he continued to show on Twitter just why he’s perhaps the country’s most accessible public official by routinely replying to followers and offering advice.

    When Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast in October, Booker used Twitter to orchestrate clean-up crews and get help to those who needed it most, while doing what he personally could on the ground to assist those who were affected. Lately, he challenged a follower to join him in living off food stamps for a week. Of course, Booker used Twitter to document his experience.

    It isn’t all about policy and public service for Booker, however, which makes following him on Twitter entertaining as well as informative. When a tweeter apparently from Ireland asked Booker to fix a pothole in his street in the aftermath of Sandy, Booker hit back with this gem:

    2) IDF Spokesperson // 209,869 followers

    When the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) killed a Hamas military leader with a surgical strike, it broke the news on Twitter. Welcome to the new warfare.

    Through its @IDFspokesperson Twitter account, the IDF gave constant updates as it prepared for military action on the ground and Hamas (and other militant groups) launched rockets towards Israel from the Gaza Strip. The IDF used the Twitter account, along with its Tumblr, YouTube, and Pinterest profiles, to try to control the narrative of events from the region during the weeklong conflict. Hamas gave its side of events as well, offering a stark, rounded look at the action as it unfolded.

    It was astonishing to view the back and forth between the IDF and Hamas on Twitter as both sides used their Web presences for propagandapurposes. At one point, Israel told its residents not to share information about rocket attacks on Twitter or Instagram, as militants would have been able to use that information to calculate rocket targets.

    In a world where we post almost everything online, sharing the details of military action as it happens is a bold new frontier for the Web, let alone Twitter.


     

    3) Rob Delaney // 708,544 followers

    Rob Delaneytold the Daily Dot in July that he “had to be good at Twitter.” It took him from being a clichéd struggling comic in Los Angeles to one with a number of sell-out standup shows and a popular standup special behind him in 2012. 

    However, Delaney doesn’t shy away from sharing his personal beliefs and opinions in the community. He frequently opined on women’s rights and how they pertained to election season, claiming that“I was considering voting for @MittRomney, but then I remembered I ENTERED THE WORLD THROUGH A VAGINA.”

    In the latter half of the year his attacks on and jokes about Mitt Romney intensified, leading to Businessweek calling him Romney’s Twitter nemesis. With almost three-quarters of a million followers, Delaney may have had a tangible impact on the election amid all the fart jokes.

    4) Mars Curiosity Rover // 1,247,727 followers

    In early August, people around the world watched a NASA livestream with bated breath as news trickled in of the Mars Curiosity Rover’s careful descent onto Mars. All sorts of things could have caused the problems for the rover, but eventually, it safely reached the surface, and the team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) erupted in joy.

    While the JPL team was heralded for its achievement and the Internet fell in love with one engineer in particular, it is through the @marscuriosity Twitter account that we’ve continued to follow the rover’s exploits on the Red Planet.

    The account’s handled by a team at NASA, which emboldened the feed with personality and life as the rover beamed back images and analysis of Mars. Even as it shared news that it had not found organic material (the cornerstone for life), it was relentlessly upbeat.

    5) Lolo Jones // 336,774 followers

    Lolo Jones narrowly missed out on taking home an Olympic medal this summer as she finished fourth in the 100-meter hurdles final in London, but she handled her disappointment with trademark self-deprecating humor.

    Following the athlete on Twitter this year as she moved into a new career as a U.S. national team bobsledder, has been fascinating. Following her first bobsled crash, for instance, she joked on Twitter about her personal life.

    While she’s been working hard to gain success in her profession, she’s refused to turn away from her fans. She frequently shares photos from her daily life and often responds to her followers’ questions and comments. She uses Twitter better than perhaps any other athlete to chat with fans, and there’s even a Twitter account for her dog, Boudreaux Jones.

    6) Neil deGrasse Tyson // 858,858 followers

    Neil deGrasse Tyson may very well be the Internet’s favorite scientist. A popular podcaster, somewhat active redditor, and even the focal point of at leasttwo memes, few faces and voices are better recognized online than Tyson’s. It is through the written word on Twitter, however, where the former host of PBS show Nova ScienceNow is perhaps most accessible.

    The platform allows its users to share thoughts with a large audience quickly, and Tyson does so with great aplomb and humor. His quips make learning about the universe more fun. He has a knack for making even the most banal parts of life infinitely more interesting as he tries to get more people interested in science.

    7) Anonymous

    By turns a force of good and trolling, Anonymous remained in the headlines this year as the hacktivist collective grew in stature. The group tends to use Twitter more than any other platform to share news of its movements.

    Those associated with the collective often use Twitter to organize themselves. In two notable instances this year, they worked to force a pedophile off Twitter and help prevent a teen’s suicide. Child exploitation is a bone of contention for many Anons, and they’ve hit Twitter pedophiles hardthis year.

    Your Anon News (827,981 followers) is perhaps the collective’s main mouthpiece, tweeting news both related to Anonymous and other major world events, largely related to Internet censorship and human rights. YAN, and Anonymous at large, never shies back from pushing forward its agenda, issuing rallying calls to stop legislation that could have a negative impact on the Web and to support Bradley Manning in his WikiLeaks legal battle.

    8) Megan Amram // 321,136 followers

    It can pay to be funny on Twitter. With her off-kilter brand of comedy, Megan Amram snagged more than 320,000 followers. By her own admission, she’s an “Internet personality” who writes “weird things.” She told Last Call with Carson Daly earlier this year that she was thankful for Twitter’s existence, since her sense of humor is as “condensed as you can get it.”

    Amram’s often dark, always distinctive brand of joke-telling helped her land a writing gig on Parks and Recreation after writing for the Oscars and a Disney Channel show.

    9) Weird Twitter

    The term “Weird Twitter” refers to a blurrily connected group of Twitter users who use the platform to experiment, largely with humor and surrealism. It is a subculture where form and function become playthings for its participants. It’s not quite clear how or why the term Weird Twitter was coined (nor is it certain that those linked with the grouping are fans of the phrase), though it gained increased attention after a graduate student hypothesized about the community’s affinities for “sexting,” Twitter tracking service Favstar, and surrealism. Oh, and it’s usually hilarious.

    Among the most notable of those linked with the term are @cool_pond, @80want, and @dril. Participants are also stellar curators of Twitter banality, finding the oddest tweets from others and retweeting them for followers to see. This map, by @tropikoala, gives an idea of how Weird Twitters are linked.

    10) Donald Trump // 1,972,786 followers

    Forget Violentacrez: Donald Trump is the biggest troll on the Web. He goaded Obama with the Internet equivalent of a sharp stick to encourage him to hand over his college transcripts and passport information. He angrily ditched a newspaper subscription in a public forum. He attacked a director who made a documentary about his attempts to build a Scottish golf course.

    If there’s something happening, you won’t be hard pressed to find Trump tweeting—and irate tweeters hurling mud back at the oddly coiffed tycoon. Even if you don’t follow the brazen billionaire and his frequently nasty tweets, it’s difficult not to see others discussing his antics.

    Honorable Mentions

    Photo by Abigail Silvester/Flickr


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    In Britain, crime reports involving Twitter and Facebook aspects have shot up 780 percent in the past four years, according to police figures released Thursday.

    Between 2008 and 2012, nearly 5,000 complaints involving the social media sites were registered by more than two dozen police forces in England, Scotland, and Wales. The most common allegations involved sexual offenses, fraud or impersonation complaints, racially charged messages and harassment.

    In 2008, police investigated 556 cases, charging 46 people. In the last four years, 653 people have faced charges resulting from 4,908 complaints. Citizens fear that the flurry of social media crime is pushing police resources to the brink.

    Greater Manchester Police registered the highest number of complaints, with 115; while Lancashire Police said the force received six threats of murder on social media. Tayside Police in northern England received 66 reports this year involving Facebook and Twitter complaints. 

    At the Daily Dot, we've reported on numerous cases involving the popular websites: a teen being fatally stabbed at party after the invite went viral on Facebook, a 17-year-old harassing British diver Tom Daley, and even a British cop who admitted to trolling on Facebook.

    Chief Constable Andy Trotter, a senior official with the Association of Chief Police Officers, told U.K. broadcaster Channel 4 that forces might need dedicated squads to investigate Facebook and Twitter crimes.

    "It is a new world for all and we could end up in a situation where each constabulary needs a dedicated Twitter squad," said Trotter. "In my opinion, that would not be a good use of resources in difficult financial times."

    Trotter said police need to prioritize cases that require police involvement; some crimes would happen regardless if they were discussed on Twitter and Facebook and not to curb free speech.

    "In many ways, online communities can be self-regulating and good at weeding out unacceptable behavior," said Trotter, according to BBC News. "We need to find a way of distinguishing between that type of behaviour and that which requires police intervention."

    Photo via gomench/Hashgram


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    Canadians who found themselves with nothing to do on Boxing Day had the chance of a lifetime as an NHL star sought out a pickup game on Twitter.

    With the NHL lockout rumbling on, Montreal Canadiens player Josh Gorges was seemingly at a loose end. In need of some action, the defenceman took to the Web to arrange a Boxing Day face off with fans of the team.

    Dozens of players turned up at a neighborhood rink in Montreal's Verdun neighborhood for a the opportunity to play with one of their heroes.

    "I haven't played outdoors in a long time, but I figured we've got some time and I've got nothing else to do," Gorges told the Canadian Press.

    Gorges, 28, put the word out to his 23,000 followers on Saturday that he was looking for a game.

    He informed followers of the time and place on Christmas Eve, stating that people of all ages and skill levels were welcome.

    Last year, Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant sank 66 points in a Harlem pick-up game and showed up at a flag football game as the NBA remained locked out.

    Gorges told ESPN he hopes "more than anything" that the impasse between the NHL and the players' union comes to an end so the season can start soon. Until then, he might be best placed to continue delighting fans in the great outdoors. Let's just hope someone remembered the coffee and hot chocolate.

    Photo by @istvan_92/Instagram


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    The ecosystem for online fraud is growing more complex by the season. A proponent might call it a jungle, but the rest of us would probably think of it as a cancer. And this cancer is more penetrative and adaptable than ever, according to Brian Krebs.

    In a new report on his blog, Krebs on Security, the former Washington Post reporter outlines how “computer crooks are extracting and selling a much broader array of data stolen from hacked systems, including passwords and associated email credentials tied to a variety of online retailers.”

    Most people are aware that credit card numbers are stolen and resold. What may be less well known is how logins receive a similar treatment.

    Botnet creation kits come pre-packaged, and users use them to pull together systems of infected computers and extract the information from them. This includes, usually by default, interception and recording of website logins and passwords.

    The denizens of the “Underweb” as the Internet demimonde is sometimes called, use hidden fora to advertise their stolen goods. Like a virtual chop shop, the parted-out bits of people’s online lives are offered for sale.

    When it comes to ecommerce materials, the login/password combinations are offered either in bulk, or by retailer. So if you want, for instance, to make off with tons of electronics, you might elect to buy logins and passwords for Amazon.com.

    A bulk buyer can find some real super deals, if they’re willing to root around a bit. “One Andromeda bot user was selling access to 6 gigabytes of bot logs for a flat rate of $150,” Krebs reported.

    If you want to target a specific online retailer, however, you still aren’t going to pay much. At one site, Krebs found “usernames and passwords for working accounts at overstock.com, dell.com, walmart.com, all for $2 each.” He found fedex.com and ups.com accounts at the same site for sale at $5 each.

    Among the dozens of other sites for which Krebs found $2 logins were Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Macy’s and PayPal.

    That’s not the end of the “ecosystem,” however. As Cory Doctorow points out on Boingboing, anyone using these accounts on a large scale will probably have “access to a stooge who does freight forwarding. The freight forwarder acts as a dead-drop for some other crook who's wholesaling to dirty retailers, and so on.”

    “(N)early every aspect of a hacked computer and a user’s online life can be and has been commoditized,” Krebs concluded. “If it has value and can be resold, you can be sure there is a service or product offered in the cybercriminal underground to monetize it. “

    Photo by Daniel Oines/Flickr


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    Yesterday Amazon banned author R.J. Ellory and other writers from being able to review books in their own genre, in order to prevent authors from leaving negative reviews of others in their field.

    Less than a day later, Wikipedia has dropped the banhammer on the bestselling British crime novelist for, ironically, attempting to erase his history of flaming other authors from his own entry on the website.

    The Daily Telegraph reports that Wikipedia banned Ellory after finding that he had repeatedly attempted to delete contributions to a "Controversy" section on his profile page detailing how he frequently used fake accounts—”sockpuppets”—to flame other authors until being caught and exposed this fall.

    A look at the page's history reveals that Ellory also attempted to add several unsourced biographical paragraphs, including the following:

    Aside from reading a great deal of fiction, Ellory then pursued an intense study of philosophy, religion, psychoanalytic techniques, psychology, drug rehabilitation techniques and associated physiological and mental therapies, including, amongst many others, the works of Socrates, Plato, Kant, Adler, Schopenhauer, Freud, Sartre, Kierkegaard, Gibran, Descartes, Dewey, Hubbard etc. He also studied the works of Guatama Shakyamuni, Guatama Siddartha, Krishnamurti, The Tibetan Book of the Dead, the Bible and the Bhagavad Gita. He undertook courses in many aspects of these studies.

    ...

    Ellory stopped writing for eight years, but then resumed in late 2001, citing as his motivation a quote from Benjamin Disraeli that "Success is entirely dependent upon constancy of purpose.

    In one respect, at least, Ellory's purpose has remained constant: despite apologizing for his behavior on Amazon, he has continued to attempt to erase his sullied Internet history from Wikipedia, allegedly using sockpuppets to do so there as well.

    "Roger - Please stop adding unsourced material to your own article.." reads an edit from Wikipedia user Esowteric in September. A few days before that, the same user reverted one of Ellory's unexplained deletions with the note: "Revert unexplained, repeat blanking of content by [Roger Ellory] and a couple of IPs. Content dispute or [Conflict of Interest]?"

    Esowteric repeatedly attempted to undo Ellory's deletions of references and links to controversial articles about himself on the website. Other users had "removed unsourced burbling" and instances where Ellory had praised his own works—for example, describing his fifth novel as "an epic accomplishment."

    By the end of September, Esowteric was done trying to repeatedly correct Ellory's edits: "Can someone try to get Roger Ellory in 2-way conversation or escalate this to [Wikipedia's Chief Information Officer] or [the Administrators' noticeboard]?" they asked on the author's profile edit page. "I've had enough."

    Apparently, so had Wikipedia. The website informed the Telegraph that they'd pinpointed at least a dozen instances when Ellory subjectively edited out information on his page, sometimes using his own name, sometimes using sockpuppets.

    Old habits must die hard: Ellory confessed to having used sockpuppets over at least a ten-year period to leave negative reviews of other authors and glowing reviews of his own works.

    But from now on, on Wikipedia, at least, he'll have to content himself with reading what other people have to say for a change.

    Art by Jason Reed, with elements from Wikimedia Commons


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    One blogger needs your help to make his dream of bringing a real-life stage show of Portal to life—and it'll only cost a cool $25 million, The Mary Sue reported.

    Gordon Knott pictured the spectacular as being similar to "Cirque du Soleil" but better and would be willing to take the show to Las Vegas, Disneyland and Universal Studios. It would be a theme park-style stage show using scenes found in Portal and Portal 2 full of portals, GLaDOS, Chell, robots and crazy stunts.

    Knott also promised cake—although that might be a lie.

    He wrote out a proposal on his blog where he listed the supplies he would need to make the show happen, including several cannons, trap doors, trampolines, bungee cords, lighting and special effects and have portals all over the auditorium where the show would take place.

    Some of his supplies may be harder to obtain if the show were to happen. Knott wants to build an animatronic GLaDOS, use music by Daft Punk, use a script—which would be a prequel to the first Portal—written by Ricky Gervais and get Gervais, Stephen Merchant and or Karl Pilkington to provide voices.

    Knott doesn't exactly break down where that $25 million will go, but he hopes to break even in about two years with the help of merchandising and making a 25-minute show so that he can process more customers.

    "This is a one off fee to develop and build the first set," Knott wrote. "After that we can replicate it at theme parks around the world for a fraction of the price."

    He didn't make a Kickstarter campaign but put his idea out there in hopes that people will contribute to his dream.

    To give people an idea of what a $25 million Portal stage show might look like, Knott linked to a video from the fan-made short film Portal: No Escape.

    Knott also posted his idea to Reddit, but he has received a lukewarm response so far.

    "Would you not be entertained?" Knott asked after a redditor called him an overzealous Portal fan.

    We certainly would.

    Photo via seantyler/Flickr


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    How crazy was the year in the Internet rights movement? Thousands of websites went dark to protest Stop Online Piracy Act, a controversial bill that critics charged would threatened the Web as we know it. The move prompted untold numbers to call Washington and led to Congress stalling on the issue like a 404 error.

    That show of democratic force kicked off an utterly unprecedented year for a new breed of Internet activism: A bus—John McCain's decommissioned Straight Talk Express no less—campaigned across the country to discuss Internet freedom. A cat signal literally lit up the sky in New York, San Francisco, and London, a warning that a coalition of Web luminaries would fight if their home was threatened again. Activists in over 100 cities in Europe physically, and successfully, protested a trade agreement they feared would wreck online copyright enforcement. And a few well-known activists drafted the Declaration of Internet Freedom, which supporters translated into 70 languages.

    But rest assured: This is only the beginning. The front is sure to be constantly shifting, but SOPA rang a bell that can't be unrung. While the Internet rights movement is not a game, with clear winners or stats, these 10 activists led the charge and made the biggest impact in 2012.

    1) Alexis Ohanian The People’s Champion

    Though he actually left in 2009, Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian remains the site’s most visible mascot (well, at least after Snoo, the Reddit alien, which he created). But in 2012, as Congress prepared to vote on SOPA—which, he said, would have precluded Reddit's creation—Mr. Ohanian went to Washington.

    There, he testified before Congress about how SOPA would unintentionally affect a significant portion of the Web. He spoke from experience: Since Reddit's lifeblood is user-submitted links, he said, SOPA, which allowed the government to shut down a website that even inadvertently linked to pirated sites, would have kept Reddit from ever being created.

    Then Reddit, backed with Ohanian's visibility, became the first major site to promise to go on strike for SOPA, creating a domino effect of some of the most visible sites on the Internet, including Wikipedia, the Cheezburger Network, WordPress, and Google.

    Ohanian's crusade didn't stop in January. He's popped up at nearly every popular Internet freedom movement of 2012. In May, he brought SOPA's most vocal critic in the House of Representatives, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) to explain himself for voting for the Cyber Intelligence Security Protection Act (CISPA), the most Internet-hated bill since SOPA. In July, Ohanian helped draft the Declaration of Internet Freedom, then gave the keynote speech at the unveiling of New York City's "cat signal" to warn of dangers to the Internet. Then in August, upset that neither presidential candidate talked about Internet freedom, Ohanian commissioned a political campaign bus—INTERNET 2012 emblazoned across the side—and toured America's heartland to campaign for the Internet himself.

    2) Josh Levy The Scribe

    There have been plenty of times over the years that Internet activists came together and penned  documents that echo the Declaration of Independence. But 2012’s Declaration of Internet Freedom, written by some of the day’s most promising Internet activists, did something special: it actually became popular. Simple and plain by design, the five-point plan has been signed by more than 50,000 people, including six members of Congress.

    Though it was a joint effort, the mastermind behind the Declaration was Levy, the Internet campaign director for advocacy group Free Press.

    3) Senator Ron Wyden The Insider

    Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oreg.) has a pedigree unlike any other: He’s been fighting SOPA’s sister bill, the Protect IP Act (PIPA), since before it even existed. As far back as 2010, PIPA’s author, Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), wanted a bill that would aggressively fight Internet piracy but could threaten the architecture of the Internet. So he created the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act (COICA), PIPA’s precursor. Wyden argued vociferously against both PIPA and COICA, and became an early warner about SOPA.

    To date, he’s the sole senator to sign the Declaration of Internet Freedom and he’s done plenty more for the Internet since January. Most notably, he’s been a vocal critic of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a massive trade agreement, negotiated in secret, whose standards could affect the ‘net without being vetted by the public.

    4) Erik Martin The Bus Driver

    Reddit’s general manager and often Ohanian’s right-hand man, Martin was the unsung hero for the biggest stunt the U.S. has yet seen: the Internet 2012 campaign bus, which drove across America this fall to remind people that Internet freedom is a political issue. Martin helped orchestrate the itinerary, loaded with stops at startup companies and small businesses.

    5) Amelia Andersdotter Pirate Partier

    2012’s other massive trade agreement that had the potential to rewrite how countries deal with the Internet through secret trade agreements was the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), which was signed with ease by plenty of countries, including the U.S., where the Trade Representative’s office stamped the country’s approval without asking Congress for permission. This summer, the stage was set for the European Union, ACTA’s final major player, to sign on.

    Except, amazingly, it didn’t. Committee after Committee in the European Union (EU) recommended against ACTA. None played a bigger part in convincing her colleagues of the agreement’s dangers than 25-year-old Amelia Andersdotter, the youngest member of the EU parliament. A Pirate Party member from Sweden, Andersdotter lobbied relentlessly against ACTA, which the EU, when finally called to vote after months of deliberation, overwhelmingly rejected.

    6) Rainey Reitman The Great Rabblerouser

    When it comes to fighting for and protecting digital rights, Electronic Frontier Foundation’s team of lawyers and activists for digital rights is second to none. And nobody on their team does more than Activism Director Rainey Reitman. From detailing the potential problems with cybersecurity in the Senate to pointing out how a law designed to penalize sexual predators in California is actually a threat to online anonymity, Reitman is always on the frontlines.  

    Reitman’s also a founding member of the Internet Defense League, a colorful coalition of activists who have pledged to always be prepared for the next major threat to the Internet after SOPA.

    7) Jimmy Wales Encyclopedic Advocate

    Wikipedia’s founder might have introduced scores of users to SOPA by putting a banner over his English-speaking sites on that fateful January day (to the dismay of a few unknowing students), but his activism goes past that.

    In June, Wales made a pet cause out of Richard O’Dwyer, who was arrested and seemed set to be extradited to the U.S. for founding the website TV Shack, which linked to streamed, copyrighted videos. Wales was at least partially responsible for popularizing O’Dwyer’s case, setting up a petition on his behalf that gathered more than 250,000 signatures. It’s unclear how much direct impact Wales had, but O’Dwyer’s fortunes turned: He accepted a settlement to avoid extradition in November.

    8) Vint Cerf Father of the Internet

    Vint Cerf did so much for the Web before 2012 that he could sit on his sidelines and still deserve an honorable mention for years to come. (He’s the only one on this list to receive a Presidential Medal of Freedom for creating the Internet, for instance.) But Cerf, whose many tasks include serving as Chief Internet Evangelist for Google, uses his influence to thoughtfully anticipate problems that the Web faces.

    Most recently, Cerf has taken the initiative against the possibility that the U.N.’s International Telecommunication Union (ITU), which governs communications standards (think, for instance, international country codes for telephones), might try to claim authority over the Internet. While activists are universally opposed to even the possibility of this, when Vint Cerf, who actually designed the Internet’s architecture, speaks out, people listen.

    9) Tiff Cheng Future Fighter

    Though she told the Daily Dot she shares this award with Fight For the Future cofounder Holmes Wilson, Cheng, the organization’s codirector, gets a spot on this list for sheer volume alone. While the activist group had warned the Internet about PIPA with a 2011 video, FFTF really took off in 2012. First, it organized people to tweet about SOPA and PIPA and to call their representatives in Congress to stop it (which, amazingly, really worked).

    But the group didn’t stop there. FFTF has created an entire campaign about nearly every threat to the Internet de jour since then. Whether the issue’s the government’s ability to read your email without a warrant (vanishingrights.com), the ITU, or the implications of the Cyber Intelligence Security Protection Act (CISPA) (doyouhaveasecret.org), nobody’s as active or more creative in the fight.

    10) Sebastian Radtke ACTA Activist

    Almost certainly the most effective Internet freedom fighter no one in the U.S. has ever heard of, Radtke first learned about ACTA in 2011, soon after joining the Pirate Party in his local Germany. Upon hearing the party didn't have any big plans to stop the trade agreement, he partnered with fellow German Pirate Thomas Gaul and promptly declared a Europe-wide protest. He set up a Wiki page to help others to organize locally, enlisted pirates across the continent, and spent two weeks utterly devoted to the protests, which included "~10.000 emails" and "2-4 hours every day" on the phone, he told the Daily Dot.

    The end result? An estimated 120 cities, an estimated 120,000 protesters, and 3 million petition signatures leading to what the EU called an "unprecedented" display of Democracy. ACTA was resoundingly defeated in the EU Parliament with a vote of 478 to 39.


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    Misogyny and surveillance: Has sexism driven out the founder of the CryptoParty movement?

    According to tweets sent late Thursday night, Asher Wolf has quit the movement known for enabling citizens to protect themselves from unauthorized surveillance of their communications.

    "Quitting wasn't easy for me, it was immensely painful. It was a project I put countless hours of my time and resources into," Wolf tweeted to her 19,000 followers. "But go ahead, call it 'drama.' Next you'll call it hysterical. Oh wait, you already did that too. Also anyone who thinks you need to be physically present to experience misogyny - try running an online global movement."

    From Wolf's tweets, it is unclear what sort of mistreatment she has experienced, but she claims to have experienced misogyny "at every fucking tech/hacker conference."

    The CryptoParty movement was started in August. These parties are places where Internet users gather to discuss privacy and "introduce basic cryptography tools - such as the Tor anonymity network," said CryptoParty on its Wiki page. These "Tupperware parties for learning crypto" were started by Wolf in response to Australia's controversial Internet surveillance bill.

    The Daily Dot has reached out to Wolf for a comment, but did not hear back by time of publication.

    To date, CryptoParty meetings have been held in hundreds of cities in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and North America.

    Wolf vows to no longer organize CryptoParty meetings, but hopes the community continues to grow.

    "CryptoParty won’t go anywhere. It’s up to the ppl who care to continue it if they will it," she tweeted.

    Photo via Asher Wolf

     


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    Pop quiz: How many times have you been called a ho? How many times has someone claimed, so colloquially, that you accept money for sex—that you're a call girl, a bawd, a hooker, a prostitute?

    Now, how many times has that improper denotation played out over the Internet? And how many times has a record of your whorishness been plastered onto a website where your name and its factually inaccurate association will stand in infamy until you pay that site an upfront cost of $100?

    If it hasn't happened to you yet, it very well could.

    That's because there's a new slut shaming site on the Internet called Potential Prostitutes, a hybrid Busted! Mugshots-cum-IsAnybodyDown-style site that allows anonymous individuals to submit personal information for third parties they'd like to connote as prostitutes, a profession that's illegal in 49 of America's 50 states.

    The site does little more than implicate individuals—almost exclusively women, though nothing on the site says that a submission has to involve a woman—as prostitutes, and it’s getting a lot of heat for the role it’s playing as a potential facility for libelous speech. If you think about it, I could personally submit a name, photo, location and phone number for free for any individual on my Bad List and forever—or until they pay up—label that person a prostitute, something that would affect the way they go about getting new jobs, foster new relationships, and basically live a normal life.

    How's this even possible? According to Potential Prostitutes, the answer lies in the Communications Decency Act, which protects site owners from legal action based on what its users submit. It's the same act that allows sites like IsAnybodyDown and Hunter Moore's IsAnyoneUp to exist—and, as Forbes law blogger Kashmir Hill has explained, it's the same law that protects sites like Facebook and Twitter from being liable for everything their users post—so long as the posted subjects are 18.

    The law implies that individuals can't sue the owners of Potential Prostitutes for anything that shows up on site. They can only go after the submitters. But as the site's submission page quickly shows, there's absolutely no need to submit your own personal information when you're indicting another individual as a prostitute. Submissions can be made anonymously.

    So what can you do if your name and mug shows up the site? If you want it removed, your only option is to pay up. Site admins—who registered the domain under the name of imprisoned Pirate Bay founder Gottfrid Svartholm, apparently as a joke—will remove your name and information from the site within 60 minutes.

    Of course, that does nothing to help the fact that your listing will still show up on search engines until site spiders stop tracking your entry. And that could take weeks, months, or even years.

    In other words, good luck out there. And don't cross anybody who's ever called you a ho.

    Potential Prostitutes did not respond to the Daily Dot's request for comment.

    Photo via Potential Prostitutes


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    As 2012 progressed, well-known names from all walks of life unfortunately took their last breaths. Entertainers, politicians, cultural figures, athletes, and even Internet memes waved goodbye to some of their own.

    We at the Daily Dot have commemorated those celebrities' contributions to popular culture with an assortment of memorial GIFs.

    Etta James, Jan. 25, 1938–Jan. 20, 2012

    Etta James was a singer whose style spanned everything from blues to rock 'n' roll. Her best-known songs include the 1960s singles "At Last" and "I Just Wanna Make Love to You."

    Don Cornelius, Sept. 27, 1936–Feb. 1, 2012

    In the 1970s, Don Cornelius became a major driving force in the exposure of soul music with his creation of the musical variety program Soul Train. While the program continues to air, Cornelius resigned from hosting duties in 1993. The program helped entertainers like Aretha Franklin, the Jackson 5, and others reach a larger audience.

    Whitney Houston, Aug. 9, 1963–Feb. 11, 2012

    Whitney Houston's rise as a pop singer throughout the 1980s hit a peak in 1992, when she co-starred in The Bodyguard with Kevin Costner. The movie birthed her signature song "I Will Always Love You" and launched her into other film projects like Waiting to Exhale and The Preacher's Wife. Her personal life was marred by drug use and a tumultuous relationship with R&B singer Bobby Brown.

    Davy Jones, Dec. 30, 1945–Feb. 29, 2012

    Davy Jones was an actor and musician who became famous as a teen idol during his tenure with 1960s pop group the Monkees; the band starred in a popular sitcom of the same name. Among Jones's other credits: a popular cameo as himself in an episode of The Brady Bunch and guest roles in everything from My Two Dads to Spongebob Squarepants.

    Mike Wallace, May 9, 1918–April 7, 2012

    News junkies fondly recall the work of longtime television journalist Mike Wallace. In 1968, he became one of tne of the original correspondents of CBS's 60 Minutes, a role he assumed for almost 40 years. During his tenure, Wallace interviewed such prominent figures as Malcolm X, the Ayatollah Khomeini, and Vietnam War Gen. William Westmoreland, who sued both Wallace and CBS for libel.

    Dick Clark, Nov. 30, 1929–April 18, 2012

    Dick Clark transitioned from his native radio to television via the dance program American Bandstand in the 1960s. Dubbed "America's oldest teenager" for his unchanging looks, Clark went on to host several television game shows, notably Pyramid, throughout the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s; began the production company Dick Clark Productions; and was a New Year's Eve television staple since 1973.

    Adam Yauch, Aug. 5, 1964–May 4, 2012

    Rapper Adam Yauch was best-known as one of the founding members of hip-hop group the Beastie Boys, in which he went by the stage name MCA. In addition to his musical work, Yauch dabbled in independent film as a director and producer and was a major voice in the Tibetan independence movement.

    Donna Summer, Dec. 31, 1948–May 17, 2012

    Pop singer/songwriter Donna Summer was a defining voice of the 1970s disco era. Among her best-known singles are "MacArthur Park," "She Works Hard for the Money," and "Hot Stuff." Summer also doubled as an actress, appearing in the 1978 film Thank God It's Friday (which popularized her single "Last Dance") and two episodes of the sitcom Family Matters.

    Robin Gibb, Dec. 22, 1949–May 20, 2012

    Robin Gibb was a singer-songwriter with pop music group the Bee Gees, which he co-founded with his brothers in 1958. The group, which became steadily popular throughout the 1960s, gained widespread fame in the 1970s as a staple of the disco era.

    Richard Dawson, Nov. 20, 1932–June 2, 2012

    To fans of game shows and television sitcoms alike, Richard Dawson is a household name. Following his role as Cpl. Peter Newkirk on the 1960s sitcom Hogan's Heroes, Dawson graduated into television game show work. While well-known for his panelist duties on Match Game throughout the 1970s, Dawson was best known as the original host of Family Feud, gaining popularity for his on-screen physical affection toward female contestants.

    Eduard Khil, Sept. 4, 1934–June 4, 2012

    Singer Eduard Khil was relatively unknown outside of his native Russia until very recently. Video of his 1976 performance "I Am Glad, 'Cause I'm Finally Returning Back Home," sung without lyrics, went viral on YouTube and other sites in 2009. He will always be remembered online as the "Trololo Guy."

    Ray Bradbury, Aug. 22, 1920–June 5, 2012

    Dedicated fans of horror and science fiction likely have numerous titles from author Ray Bradbury on their bookshelves. Perhaps Bradbury's most revered work was Fahrenheit 451, which narrated a dystopia in which books are banned and burned. Other notable works of his include Something Wicked This Way Comes and The Illustrated Man.

    Rodney King, April 2, 1965–June 17, 2012

    A brutal videotaped assault by four police officers made Los Angeles resident Rodney King an unexpected voice of early 1990s race relations in the U.S. The incident, for which the officers were initially acquitted, is generally understood to have led to the violent 1992 L.A. Riots. King's line "Can't we all just get along?" became his trademark.

    Andy Griffith, June 1, 1926–July 3, 2012

    Television star and singer Andy Griffith was an icon in the realm of idyllic Americana, thanks largely to his popular 1960s sitcom The Andy Griffith Show. In the 1980s, he again won the hearts of television viewers in the starring title role of the legal drama series Matlock.

    Ernest Borgnine, Jan. 24, 1917–July 8, 2012

    Ernest Borgnine rose to prominence in the 1950s and 1960s, including as an oddly cast leading man in films such as Marty and titular character Quinton McHale in the sitcom McHale's Navy. In addition to appearing in several other television series and films, notably Airwolf and ER, he also voiced retired superhero Mermaid Man on Spongebob Squarepants.

    Sally Ride, May 26, 1951–July 23, 2012

    Sally Ride's 1983 trip aboard the space shuttle Challenger launched her not only into low-earth orbit, but also into the record books as the first American woman in space. She also holds the record for being the youngest American to travel to space (she was 32 at the time of her journey) and is also the first known LGBT person to travel to space. Following her career with NASA, Ride co-authored six children's books and founded Sally Ride Science, which provides grades K-12 with a host of science education supplies.

    Sherman Hemsley, Feb. 1, 1938–July 24, 2012

    Sherman Hemsley was best known for his portrayal of the lovable loudmouth George Jefferson, first seen on the 1970s sitcom All in the Family and later headlining the program's successful spin-off, The Jeffersons. Hemsley also starred as Deacon Ernest Frye in the 1980s sitcom Amen and played a supporting voice role as B.P. Richfield, Earl Sinclair's Triceratops boss on the program Dinosaurs.

    Gore Vidal, Oct. 3, 1925–July 31, 2012

    Gore Vidal was an author whose works reflected his dissatisfied take on American foreign policy and political issues including sexuality. In addition to novels detailing historical figures, such as Abraham Lincoln and Aaron Burr, Vidal also penned the screenplay to the Oscar-winning 1959 epic Ben-Hur. Witty and argumentative, Vidal, a lifelong Democrat, also unsuccessfully ran for political office twice.

    Phyllis Diller, July 17, 1917–Aug. 20, 2012

    Phyllis Diller was a longtime comedienne known for her wild hairstyle, raspy laugh, and multiple plastic surgeries. Kicking off her famous "unsatisfied housewife" act with Bob Hope on his USO tours, Diller received steady work in TV and film up to her death. Among her credits are A Bug's Life, The Aristocrats, and even Robot Chicken.

    Jerry Nelson, July 10, 1934–Aug. 23, 2012

    Since Sesame Street's 1969 debut, generations of children grew up learning about numbers and counting from Count von Count, voiced by actor and puppeteer Jerry Nelson. Herry Monster, Sherlock Hemlock, and various other characters on the show were also brought to life by the longtime Jim Henson collaborator. Nelson also assumed the role of lead character Gobo in the 1980s series Fraggle Rock and performed as several minor characters in The Muppet Show.

    Neil Armstrong, Aug. 5, 1930–Aug. 25, 2012

    Fulfilling a promise made by President John F. Kennedy at the height of the "space race," NASA wound up putting a man on the moon just a few months shy of 1970. That man, Neil Armstrong, took mankind's first steps on the lunar surface, followed by fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin. A legendarily humble man, Armstrong reluctantly accepted his "American Hero" status and refused invitations from both parties to join the world of politics, opting instead to teach.

    Michael Clarke Duncan, Dec. 10, 1957–Sept. 3, 2012

    Larger-than-life, deep-voiced actor Michael Clarke Duncan gained immediate fame alongside Tom Hanks as death row inmate John Coffey in The Green Mile. His other notable roles include Armageddon, Daredevil, and Kung Fu Panda.

    Sun Myung Moon, Feb.  25, 1920–Sept. 3, 2012

    Sun Myung Moon was a religious leader and activist from South Korea. A self-proclaimed messiah, he was responsible for starting the Unification Church in 1954. Since then, the Christianity-based religion has spread to all corners of the globe and is best known for its mass marriage ceremonies.

    Andy Williams, Dec. 3, 1927–Sept. 25, 2012

    Andy Williams was a pop singer, television host, and businessman whose most renowned single is "Moon River." In the 1960s, he served as host of the variety show The Andy Williams Show. In the early 1990s, he opened the Moon River Theatre in Branson, Missouri.

    George McGovern, July 19, 1922–Oct. 21, 2012

    George McGovern was a former Senator and U.S. Representative, both times representing his home state of South Dakota. His name was brought to national prominence during the 1972 Presidential election, in which the Democrat ran against President Richard Nixon. McGovern's campaign suffered from a high degree of mismanagement and he lost to the Nixon in a major landslide.

    Larry Hagman, Sept. 21, 1931–Nov. 23, 2012

    Larry Hagman won acclaim as the charming yet conniving oil tycoon J.R. Ewing on the drama series Dallas, which ran from 1978 until 1991; he reprised the role in TNT's 2013 continuation of the series. Prior to that, he had spent 5 years as Tony Nelson, "master" of Barbara Eden's title character on the 1960s sitcom I Dream of Jeannie. Hagman was also a longtime advocate of marijuana legalization.

    Hector "Macho" Camacho, May 24, 1962–Nov. 24, 2012

    Puerto Rican pro boxer Hector Camacho (often referred to as "Macho") was renowned for not only his various featherweight and lightweight championships, but also his exceptionally flamboyant personal style in the ring. Camacho fought almost 80 matches as a professional and bested opponents like Todd Foster and Sugar Ray Leonard.

    Ravi Shankar, April 7, 1920–Dec. 11, 2012

    Ravi Shankar was an Indian musician who popularized his instrument of choice, the sitar. He gained worldwide acclaim after befriending, and teaching alternative musical stylings to, George Harrison of the Beatles.

    Jack Klugman, April 27, 1922–Dec. 24, 2012

    Jack Klugman's contributions to acting spanned almost every major genre. He popularized the role of lovable slob Oscar Madison in the 1970s sitcom The Odd Couple, first made famous by actor Walter Matthau. His dramatic roles included that of Juror #5 in the 1957 film adaptation of 12 Angry Men and the titular character in the 1970s medical series Quincy, M.E.

    Charles Durning, Feb. 28, 1923–Dec. 24, 2012

    Character actor Charles Durning has been credited in over 100 movies and was nominated for two Academy Awards. His best-known works include roles in The Sting, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, and Tootsie. Prior to his work in Hollywood, Durning served in World War II, where he participated in the Normandy Invasion in France.

    Norman Schwarzkopf, Aug. 22, 1934–Dec. 27, 2012

    General Norman Schwarzkopf was a key figure in the Persian Gulf War in the early 1990s. A veteran of the Vietnam War, the hot-tempered figure dubbed "Stormin' Norman" outlined strategic plans for the conflict, including the successful Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

    GIFs via Tumblr and Reddit; main photo via Takeshi/Flickr


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