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Recent Society articles from Daily Dot

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    As you might have noticed, there's been a bit of a movement on Facebook over the past day: Users across the globe are changing their profile pictures to support universal rights and gay marriage.

    The Human Rights Campaign's logo, an equals sign that's traditionally yellow on navy blue, transformed to pink on red yesterday as the Supreme Court began hearing arguments on Proposition 8, which defines marriage in California as between a man and a woman only.

    Today, the court hears arguments on the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law that restricts certain benefits from same-sex marriage.

    But it's not all so stoic over on Facebook, where almost as soon as the pictures began cropping up, there were remixes and re-remixes galore.

    Check out some of our favorites below.

    1) Standard Fare

    2) Abstract

    3) Abstract II

    4) "No Bones About It"

    5) Spelling It Out

    6) School Supplies

    7) Bacon Rights

    via The Oatmeal

    8) Black Flag

    9) Fabric of a Union

    via Emmanuel Winston

    10) Celebrity Couples I: Mario & Luigi

    11) Celebrity Couples II: Liberty & Justice

    12) Celebrity Couples III: Bert & Ernie

    13) Paula Deen, Y'all

    14) Corgis

    15) Grumpy Cat

    All photos via Facebook. If you know the original source, please let us know below.

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    Given rare access to a Times Square billboard, a Brooklyn band is asking the world to throw down its stance: should musicians support or fight Internet piracy?

    Little-known Ghost Beach was given access to 15,000-square-foot ad space for two weeks—a benefit of licensing their 2012 song "Miracle" to American Eagle. It asks Twitter users to use a hashtag to vote: either #artistsforpiracy or #artistsagainstpiracy. 

    To highlight the debate, they've created a website,, where visitors can either buy the band's album for $5 or download it for free.

    It recalls Radiohead's 2007 In Rainbows album, which the band offered on their website on a "pay what you want" model. It's unclear how successful that was; Radiohead's sales numbers, and how many users chose to pay, were heavily contested. What is clear, though, is which side is winning the battle of sentiment on Twitter. As of this writing, only 122 users have used the hashtag opposing piracy; 2,833 offer their support.

    Ghost Beach's Twitter account has gone on a retweet spree, mostly illustrating artists who are on the pro-piracy side. "The exposure artists recieve thru file sharing is a fair trade off," tweeted @noosamusic. "A record sale is a plus, but fan is a fan!"

    The band itself, however, bucks that trend, even though singer Josh Ocean claims their music has always been available for free.

    "We are #artistsagainstpiracy," @GhostBeach tweeted bluntly, after filling their feed with opinions to the contrary. "We believe in using new music sharing platforms to combat illegal downloading."

    Photo via @GhostBeach/Twitter

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    The man seen raping a young child in a video that went viral across Facebook last week was no stranger to the FBI. The bureau has a name for the man, John Doe 8, and has been looking for him since 2005, when the video first appeared online, an FBI spokesperson told Fox News. 

    About 32,000 people shared the video and more 5,000 clicked the "like" button on March 20, ensuring that the violent act spread across tens of thousands of timelines. Angry Facebook users who posted outraged comments on the link enabled to spread even further, as did hundreds of users who took to Twitter to complain. Facebook, which relies on obviously faulty software program to detect child porn, took eight hours to remove the clip.

    In screen grabs from the video posted to the FBI website, you can see a profile of John Doe 8's face. He looks in his early 30s, with light brown hair and a quarter-sized circular mark on his right hand. He has a gold-colored ring on his left hand.

    Earlier this week, another child porn video spread across Facebook, this time thanks to a virus that disguised the video as a innocuous link from a friend. Clicking that link exposed you to the video, but also gave the virus control over your account, allowing it to post links to the clip on all your friends' walls.

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    A man in North Dakota is in trouble this morning after police learned that he used Facebook to request that someone burn down his old bosses' home.

    Fargo, N.D., native Cass Mortensen was fired from his job at O'Leary's Pub last moth after bosses Michael and Karyl O'Leary, who operate the bar remotely from their home in Mesa, Ariz., discovered that he was lying about the amount of hours he'd worked behind the bar. 

    Mortenson evidently did not take the firing very well. Two days later, a picture posted on Facebook that found the 35- or 36-year-old man and another former O'Leary's employee burning a bar T-shirt over an open flame. 

    According to court records, the post included a message from Mortensen that read "they fired me jefe … can you drive over to Mesa and burn their house down? I'll give you the address…" 

    Police report that one of Mortensen's friends responded to the plea, writing "Cass lemme know the address" a few posts lower in the thread. 

    The O'Learys are reportedly "terrified" about the idea of their former employee hiring a buddy to burn down their house and have requested that local authorities spend more time patrolling their neighborhood than usual.

    Mortensen is charged with a single count of terrorizing, a class C felony in North Dakota, which carries a penalty of between 5 and 10 years in prison.

    Photo via Detroit Rap Videos/YouTube

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    Hacktivist collective Anonymous has taken on the Church of Scientology, the CIA, kitten-abusing teens, and the security think tank Stratfor with great success. The one target it has never been able to reach, despite numerous attempts, is Facebook.

    So instead of trying to take the world's largest social network offline or hack its servers, Anonymous plans on flooding Facebook with "uncensored material" as part of a campaign called #OpTruthForce.

    "In past years we have seen a growing force around the world," Anonymous wrote on "Governments and corporations are working strategically to stop free speech by the people. In more recent months we have witnessed an increased number of account blocking and deletion by Facebook, of users who dare to ridicule, mock, satirize, or speak out against political leaders or corporations heavily involved with politics."

    The bombardment is planned for April 6, the same day Mahatma Gandhi disobeyed British law through civil disobedience. 

    "All anons WORLDWIDE hit facebook with uncensored material. We shall continue this bombardment of material as long as we can—hopefully 24 hours," an Anonymous rep added. "We will flood their system—their admins won't be able to keep up. THEY CAN'T BAN US ALL AT ONCE!"

    They may have a tough time of it. Threats of attack against Facebook in the fall of 2011 and 2012 never quite panned out. But this may be a good time to exploit the site's lax security: In the last week, two child pornography videos went viral on the social network, accumulating thousands of likes before being removed. 

    Image via utne; art by Fernando Alfonso III

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    An Anonymous hacktivist claims to have proof that Craig Brittain and Chance Trahan, the two individuals behind revenge porn site IsAnybodyDown, are creating false identities and extorting victims whose nude photos appeared on the site without their consent.

    Not surprisingly, the evidence comes down to localizing IP addresses.

    Funny Bear, a self-described anti-bully advocate "with a peculiar set of skills," attached tracking codes to naked pictures of two women and sent them to Brittain and Trahan’s website, Copying the model made popular by revenge porn site IsAnybodyUp, IsAnybodyDown publishes nude photos once deemed to be private.

    The photos are sent from third parties to the site's administrators and posted online, where their presence is protected by the Communications Decency Act, which protects a site’s owners from legal action based on what its users submit.

    Funny Bear basically reenacted what any other submitter would do, except that the photos he sent came packaged with these tracking codes, codes that, Funny Bear attests, send a report every time someone opens an email containing the pictures.

    Those codes would also, according to Funny Bear, reveal the IP addresses of anyone who took the bait opened the nudie-pic emails.

    Funny Bear believed that if could tie the IP address behind Brittain's email account to the IP address of David Blade, the supposed New York City attorney behind Takedown Hammer—the "independent third party team" responsible for removing pictures from Brittain's site for $250 a pop—he could implicate Brittain and his partner in a case of extortion.

    Brittain would be Blade, essentially. There would be no New York lawyer.

    Funny Bear's first email, which contained "pictures pertaining to Shalanna Dong Ekis," was sent from a personal address to, an address that, despite its ambiguity, purports to be managed by Craig Brittain on the website.

    "I knew I had his home IP but I wanted to make sure since I knew he was in hiding from his previous home address," Funny Bear wrote. "So I made the email and sent another set of pictures 'borrowed' from [another revenge porn site] of Sandra Gregor to"

    "2 weeks later they have been opened by the same home IP address and uploaded to the site," Funny Bear concluded. Brittain's home IP address was confirmed.

    "Now for the good part."

    The hacktivist’s next move involved making an email address for Shalanna Dong Ekis and submitting a takedown request to Takedown Hammer.

    What he discovered was that the email was opened from the same IP address in Colorado Springs as the two previous emails containing the stolen photos.

    "It MUST be the same person reviewing both submissions, and takedown requests," Funny Bear concluded.

    If Funny Bear’s evidence is genuine, it appears David Blade does not reside in New York City.

    Funny Bear attached the entire string of emails sent between his pseudonyms and those belonging to Brittain to a Pastebin document, which you can read here. What's most notable is that the individual sending the emails from the Takedown Hammer account refuses to provide Funny Bear with any name at all, even Blade's.

    The Daily Dot has reached out to both IsAnybodyDown and TakedownHammer via email, but we have yet to receive a response.

    Photo via IsAnybodyDown

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    Today the Daily Dot is pleased to present the first InterActs round table. A partnership with the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture (NAMAC), InterActs is a series of conversations with various members of the world of online media creation.

    Through this series of hosted, live-streamed discussions, we hope to explore a number of topics and questions related to online creation: the way the Internet is shaping how we create, what we create, and who gets to create; how online creative communities are forming and evolving; and the many practical, sociocultural, and legal challenges of creating within a boundless and ever-changing Internet.

    Today, InterActs continues its series of round tables with a look at the DMCA and current copyright law as it pertains to digital rights: the confusing, the frustrating, and the hopeful. Moderated by David Cooper Moore, the discussion will feature creators, fans, educators, and tech and legal experts who have felt the full impact of DMCA on their work. We'll discuss the victories and challenges in Fair Use across media arts disciplines and fill you in on how to join the community that is staunchly and successfully advocating for protected forms of creation in an increasingly restrictive world.  

    The conversation starts at 3pm EST. Tune in right here!

    How to interact with us:

    • You can participate in the conversation by commenting here, on YouTube, at the mirror, or by tweeting during the broadcast with the hashtag #InterActs.#DMCA

    • Check out our discussion resources and panelist bios here.

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    A plague is striking Chinese officials in the southeastern county of Shuangfeng. One by one their photographs are being nabbed from government websites, their faces cut out and then pasted into pornographic movie stills—explicit Photoshop mashups that would surely horrify the morality of any good Communist.

    The Chinese Photoshop masters share the photographs with their victims, along with a threat: pay up, or we'll post these all over the Internet.

    Local officials are desperate to stop the blackmailers. In February they held a convention to tackle the problem. The committee's solution, though not subtle, was exactly the type of response you might expect a group of Chinese bureaucrats sitting in a room to come up with: Big signs. They're plastering the whole county with billboards. Massive, red and yellow placards exhorting the local population to please, please, please stop photoshopping their faces into pornos.

    One sign reads:

    "To create a good image of Shuangfeng, decisively crack down on the crime of exploiting Photoshop technology to blackmail people with composite images.”

    To be fair, authorities have tried more direct methods. Last year alone, after 127 of the cases were reported, Shuangfeng police went gangbusters. They busted more than 37 people, and confiscated dozens of computers and hundreds of credit cards. All told, police estimate the Photoshop extortion racket—which involved four separate gangs—pulled in nearly $7 million before the arrests.

    Shuangfeng isn't alone. Comrades across the country have fallen victim to the scourge of porn Photoshop blackmailing. Others have been extorted after starring in very real explicit photographs, thanks to hidden cameras that captured their romps with mistresses and prostitutes.

    You gotta feel bad for these guys. The Internet sure has complicated political life in China. Being a member of a giant autocratic apparatus just isn't as easy as it used to be.

    H/T France 24 | Photo via

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    For those who like maps and morbid stuff (and who doesn’t?), a website titled simply Famous Death Locations is the place to be. It offers visitors a Google Street View trip to the addresses where 34 famous people took their last breaths. Many–like Whitney HoustonJanis Joplin andJohn Belushi–are deaths caused by drug overdose. A few others, Kurt Cobain among them, are suicides.

    And there are, of course, a handful of murders as well. Listed is Gianni Versace, murdered in 1997 by spree killer Andrew Cunanan. Notorious mobster Bugsy Siegel is there, as is rapper Biggie Smalls, whose protégé group the Junior M.A.F.I.A. was instrumental in the coastal hip-hop feud that killed Tupac Shakur.

    Famous Death Locations Website

    Life on the Street as Captured by Google Street View

    Website Tracks Suicides at Tampa Bay’s Skyway Bridge

    105 Lea Avenue in Nashville, where football star Steve McNair was fatally shot by his mistress on July 4, 2009.

    2101 South Gramercy Place in Los Angeles, where Marvin Gaye was shot to death by his father on April 1, 1984.

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    If you're a child of the ‘90s, chances are you grew up watching Nickelodeon Guts. The program pitted kids against one another in a series of physical and athletic challenges, eventually culminating in the climbing of the Aggro Crag.

    In short, it was awesome.

    But what became of the kids featured on the show?

    Stalking Guts has the answer.

    The single-serving Tumblr offers a "where are they now" gallery that shows how cruel time has been to the show’s young athletes.

    The blog was created by Kyle M.F. Williams, a 32-year-old designer and artist from New York City. Matthews went through old footage of the show, took screengrabs of the contestants, and then looked them up online.  

    According to Williams, tracking them down was easier than it sounds.

    "Because Guts showed full names for the contestants, it was really easy to find them just by a simple name search on Facebook," he wrote to the Daily Dot. "It also helped that the majority of these kids lived in Florida (where Guts was filmed), so their hometown was also a clue."

    This isn't Williams's first voyeuristic enterprise. Last year Williams purchased a bulk of old and used Motorola Razr phones with the intention of creating a Razr scooter art installation. When he got the phones, he realized that some of them still worked and that they contained pictures and text messages from the previous owners. Wilson took this content and self-published it in a book called Razrs.

    The collection garnered attention from popular sites like Gizmodo and Buzzfeed before it was pulled from Amazon, due to a cease-and-desist letter from a lawyer purportedly representing an individual whose content was featured in the book.

    Williams has had no such trouble with Stalking Guts. In fact, he started the Tumblr because he "thought it was interesting that in the pre-Facebook '90s no one really knew the potential of what knowing someone's full name could have in the future on the Internet."

    So, how did the Guts kids turn out? Some fared better than others. Below are nine of our favorite "then and now" images taken from Stalking Guts.

    1) The Ragin' Cajun

    2) Cougar

    3) The Tiger

    4) Magic

    5) Little Dynamite

    6) The Destructor

    7) The Brain

    8) Cheetah

    9) The Exterminator

    Photo via Kyle M.F. Williams/Stalking Guts


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    Rather than dwell on the incident that cost her a job, Adria Richards wants to move on from #donglegate.

    Quick background: After overhearing off-color jokes from the men behind her at developer conference PyCon, Richards tweeted a photo of them. The pic led to one of the men losing his job at mobile game monetization firm PlayHaven. Many responding to Richards on her blog, Twitter, Hacker News, and elsewhere sent abusive and threatening messages. 

    After her employer, SendGrid, suffered downtime as a result of a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack, it terminated her contract last Thursday.

    Richards was radio silent for much of the last week, save for a tweet thanking supporters. But on Wednesday, she issued a statement to AllThingsD, in which she advocated for inclusivity and diversity in the technology industry.

    Those who know me well in the the developer and tech community recognize that I have always tried to conduct myself in a way that builds bridges for everyone. My central aim is to do everything I can to help create new, inclusive inroads for all, no matter who they are, where they come from or what they believe. Development is about innovation, creativity, and in a grand sense, the betterment of human society through technology. So, it stands to reason that everyone should have a seat at the table, and everyone involved in this vital community should feel welcome, safe and respected. In essence, the worldwide community of developers can and should function as a reflection of what our wider society strives to be.

    I cannot comment at this time on the specifics of what occurred at PyCon on March 17, and the subsequent events of the following days, but I can offer some general thoughts. I don’t think anyone who was part of what happened at PyCon that day could possibly have imagined how this issue would have exploded into the public consciousness the way it has. I certainly did not, and now that the severest of consequences have manifested, all I wish to do is find the good in what has been one of the most challenging weeks of my life.

    And I do believe there is good to be found in this situation. Debate and recrimination can and must give way to dialog that explores the root causes of these issues in the tech industry. As developers and members of the startup community, we can welcome newcomers, women and people of color who, as of now, are under-represented in our ranks. And, all of us can learn a great deal from those who are well-established in the field. We can solidify the values of our workplaces (yes, conference spaces are workplaces!), and set new, positive and inclusive examples for other professional disciplines.

    What happened at PyCon has cast a spotlight on a range of deep issues and problems in the developer world. As ugly as this situation has become, all of these issues have reasonable, and, I think, easily reached solutions that will help us cast conflict aside and construct a more cohesive and welcoming professional environment based on respect, trust and open communication. I do not, at this time, wish to concentrate on the fallout of the last several days. Instead, I want to be an integral part of a diverse, core group of individuals that comes together in a spirit of healing and openness to devise answers to the many questions that have arisen in the last week. Together, we can work to make the tech world a better place to work for everyone, and in doing so, we make the wider world a better place for all.

    Meanwhile, Richards is among the lucky few to be offered an early version of Google Glass. In February, Google ran a contest where those who wanted the wearable computing device would need to explain what they'd do with it.

    Now all she needs to do is pay $1,500 for the privilege. 

    H/T Mashable | Photo via adriarichards/YouTube

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    When the robot uprising occurs—and preparations for this eventuality are already underway— perhaps our metallic overlords will be persuaded to spare our lives thanks to the kindness once shown by a noble Best Buy employee.

    This week, one of the few remaining R.O.B. (Robotic Operating Buddy) units from Nintendo's golden era has been given a new lease on life. At one point destined for destruction in an electronic recycling bin, this kitschy 1980s video game accessory was saved by the quick actions and subterfuge of one nostalgic Best Buy employee.

    On Reddit, the employee explained that the robot was brought into his store to be recycled as part of the company's "Renew Blue" program. Though R.O.B.'s production life span was short (on shelves for little more than a year in the mid-’80s), the employee had fond memories of this inanimate video game companion. But when he asked his employer if he could take R.O.B. home and spare him an untimely death, he was denied and told he would lose his job if he tried to abscond with the robot.

    But the employee (who goes by the unfortunate Reddit handle "ipoopinthesink"), wouldn't take "no" for an answer, he hid the robot in the Best Buy warehouse as a stalling tactic while he took the story public. He shared pictures of the soon-to-be-recycled robot.

    "After I tried everything I could to get my manager to let me take it, I posted the picture so at least some people could share the nostalgia and sadness of it potentially being destroyed. After I saw and realized how much R.O.B. meant to a ton more people than just me I decided I needed to rescue it. After I posted I was going to plot a way to get it, it kind of blew up."

    To see what all the fuss is about, check out R.O.B. in action with the gang from CollegeHumor.

    The Reddit response was overwhelming, many started lobbying Best Buy to spare the robot. Others offered suggestions for how the employee might steal it away. Snowangel223 recommended having a friend pose as the customer who dropped off R.O.B. in the first place.

    "Have a friend walk into the store and say, 'My dad dropped it off. It was mine. It was a total accident. I want it back.' And then let them cry and huff until they get it back," the user wrote.

    More cavalier Reddit users, like Center6701, went so far as to suggested that saving the toy was worth more than the job.

    "Carry that sh*t out like a boss and tell them to sod off," the user wrote. "I worked at Best Buy for five years it got me nothing."

    Ultimately none of these plans had to be put into action. The public response to R.O.B.'s plight convinced Best Buy to spare the robot and put him on display at corporate headquarters.

    "We recycle virtually any consumer electronic device out there, but as you can imagine an item like this is fairly unusual and we can see why it captivated our employee’s imagination," Best Buy senior specialist Jeremy Baier told Business Insider.

    Although R.O.B. is safe, it's unclear if the employee who rescued him will be so lucky. The company is currently looking into the employee's actions to see if he violated any policies. The employee told Reddit that he expects to hear back about his employment status by the end of the week.

    H/T Business Insider | Photo by Order of Tyr / Flickr

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    Aw, nuts! Behind bars again?!

    Beloved Internet figure and former Republican candidate for Alabama Agriculture Commissioner Dale Peterson was arrested Wednesday afternoon after authorities reported that he'd shoplifted from a Sam's Club located somewhere along the Alabama highway. 

    According to, the 68-year-old, "a farmer, businessman, cop" and "marine during Vietnam" whose 15 minutes of fame came two years ago when his ad campaign for Alabama Agriculture Commissioner became the most beloved ad on the Internet for a week, ate a can of cashew nuts, put the empty can back onto the store shelf, and then walked out of the store without paying for the cashews he ate. 

    It's altogether harmless, but it's altogether theft. Police booked the man at 3:27pm on a charge of third-degree theft of property. He was released three hours later after posting a $1,000 bond. 

    A Sam's Club security guard told Hoover, Ala., police spokesman Capt. Jim Coker that he'd seen Peterson eat the cashews and tried to stop him as he walked out the door, but that his attempt was unsuccessful.

    In his defense, we've heard it's tough to stop Dale Peterson.

    Peterson took to Twitter shortly after posting bond to explain the situation to his 2,000 followers. 

    "How, exactly, did @YHPolitics know about my day & my handful of cashews before my wife did?" he asked.

    It's worth noting that Peterson has somewhat of an alarming discount-shopping track record. In October, employees at a local Walmart stopped him after he aggressively pushed his shopping cart past a row of cash registers without paying for the beer and paper towels in it.

    Peterson later told a radio station's morning show that he planned to pay for everything, but "nature called." He was headed towards the bathroom, he said. 

    Probably to poop out some cashews.

    Photo viaVictoria L/YouTube

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    Just hours into notifying the first recipients of Google Glass, Google realized a few of their ideas didn't quite comply with their terms.

    "We need honest feedback from people who are not only enthralled and excited by Glass, but also people who are skeptical and critical of it," Project Glass wrote on Google+. "That said, it’s become clear that a few applications that don’t comply with our terms have slipped through the cracks, and we’re going to have to disqualify applications like these."

    So far, the only two ideas to be disqualified belong to Le Queen and Nikki Graziano.

    Google's Guidelines for the #ifihadglass contest specifically stated that ideas can't contain any content that is "inappropriate, indecent, sexual, profane, indecent, tortuous, slanderous, discriminatory in any way." 

    Graziano, for her part, didn't even realize that she had entered a contest when she sent her tweet.

    "I saw the trend and didn't understand so I joked about it and now people are pissed at me," she wrote.

    The contest was launched last month, and Google encouraged people to tell them what they would do if they had Google Glass on Twitter and Google+ in order to gain early access to the glasses, which offer Google capabilities, photo sharing, video recording, access to Hangouts, and other perks. On Thursday, Google is began tweeting, "You're invited to join our #glassexplorers program,"

    Back when the contest started, we saw a number of ideas that probably wouldn't make the cut. It makes us wonder if perhaps Google chose a few winners at random.

    Like these. These were all winners. Really.

    1) People weren't aware that New Mexico existed?

    Hey, whatever works. Project Glass liked it.

    2) The answer is 42. You just saved $1,500.

    3) No, they're supposed to look cool!

    4) But that's so mainstream.

    5) But where's the idea?

    6) For some reason I don't see this going according to plan.

    H/T: The Verge | Photo via Robert Neff/Flickr

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    Warning: Images in this post contain some potentially NSFW language.


    “Don’t just quench your thirst. Kick its ass!”

    So says Dr. Thug of the Thug Kitchen (motto: “Eat Like You Give a F*ck”) which does for nutrition what the late Onion columnist Herbert Kornfeld (R.I.P.) did for accounting: make it badass, interesting and funny as hell.

    Dr. Thug founded the Thug Kitchen blog in August with the following“Mister Miyagi sh*t”:

    The blog has mainly vegan recipes; on his FAQ page Thug notes that his diet is mostly vegan food “but every once in a while, I enjoy the f*ck out of a good steak or some ice cream.”

    He joined Facebook last October with the announcement, “Thug Kitchen all up in this Facebook. Ready to drop some nutritional knowledge on some fools.” Whether on Facebook, Twitter or the original blog, Thug Kitchen offers straightforward nutritional advice and a smattering of healthy recipes along with a take-no-sh*t attitude that kicks bad nutrition’s ass.

    Dr. Thug shares the smoothie recipe for this smoothie, for fans who want to “make this sh*t at home and tell Jamba Juice they can go f*ck themselves by not paying for their high calorie sugary sh*t.”

    Thus far the Thug Kitchen’s blog has only two pages’ worth of entries stretching back to last August, and his Facebook page is cluttered with commenters begging for more frequent updates. Dr Thug said on his FAQ page, “I TRY [to post] ABOUT ONCE A WEEK BUT I HAVE A F*CKING JOB AND BILLS.”

    Photo via Thug Kitchen/Facebook

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    Matthew Bent shared the feeling of frustrated parents all over the world this week when he detailed how his son was targeted by a school bully.

    After taking his story to Facebook, where it's been shared more than 357,000 times to date, Bent was able to sway school administrators into handling the situation.

    Here's Bent's story, in his own words (originally posted in all caps):

    Yesterday, my son was bodyslammed 3 times by a bully, the same bully that has been making my son's school year a nightmare, including stealing a necklace I gave my son as a special gift for his first year of Little League. Last night, I called the cops to put a stop to this, and when the cop came over, he said the school police officer would handle the case. When I got a call today from the [River View Middle School] [Police School Liaison Officer], he told me that because my son voluntarily walked into the area that the bully was, that it was my son's fault for going "into the lions den" and there was nothing he would do about it.

    When I told the officer that this bully had been bullying my son all year, he said he only takes one issue at a time and the past was done, and the necklace was the bully's because the bully was able to name a store where they sell them. The Kaukauna area schools is protecting bullies and ignoring their victims! Please share and send a message to every school district that protecting bullies and doing nothing about their actions is wrong!! My son has been bullied all school year by this group of thugs, and not 1 teacher, administrator, councillor or officer will do anything to make it stop, they only offer excuses and blame the victims!!! Please help me in the effort to stop bullying!!!

    Bent, of Kaukauna, Wis., claimed the bodyslam incident took place in the school gymnasium, according to WBAY. He claimed he himself was bullied as a youngster. "It's heart breaking and the hard part is hearing your son go through it."

    School district officials addressed the matter in a press conference following calls from concerned parents.

    "Kaukauna Area School District does not protect bullies," Superintendent Mark Duerwaechter said, according to WBAY. "We are committed to providing a safe and enjoyable place to work and to learn. Although, very difficult, we do look forward to working with the families that are involved in these situations that are unresolved."

    Duerwaechter countered Bent's claim on where the incident happened, saying instead it took place in a classroom away from a teacher who was present. School officials told WBAY the alleged bully and victim were previously embroiled in name-calling incidents, though they didn’t say whether either student had been disciplined.

    Duerwaechter has spoken to students and a teacher about the matter, and wants to talk with Bent. He claimed it was unfair to accuse the school and school district of protecting bullies and overlooking victims. He added the district follows up on every bullying report.

    Police looked into the incident, but decided it was a school matter. No charges are expected.

    Bent's post struck a chord with a large number of people, and the issue of bullying is one that's felt worldwide. Bullying comprises issues like a young boy being slammed by a peer. It's seen in cases where teens pledge to harass others until the victim's deaths. The plague might be encapsulated in a beatdown video shared for the world to see. Bullying is a curse that affects many of us, no matter where we might be.

    Bent's actions resonate far beyond his own son's torment, and highlighting the issue led to a hundreds of comments. Bent said he never imagined his post would take off in the way it did, and was glad his post was able to help others.

    He shared one story in particular on his Facebook profile, from a junior at a school in the same town. The student thanked Bent for posting his story, and explained they were a victim of theft at school that very same day with another girl regularly bullying them.

    Thank you for taking a stand against this, because it's something I've never been able to do for myself. Thank you for giving me the courage to stand up for myself. I never thought that I was worth enough to stand up for but you changed my mind about that. We're all important in some way and we're all equals. I needed a good pick me up after the day I had today and your story actually made my night a whole lot better. Thank you for standing up for what you believe in. It's nice to see that there are still good people in the world and you just proved that one person really can make a difference. It's so inspiring. Thank you for being an inspiration.

    If nothing else, Bent might be able to help others open up and share their own stories of, as he put it, "a worldwide problem that needs to stop."

    Photo via Matthew Bent/Facebook

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    According to a new study, American gangs are on the Internet. Not surprising.

    But instead of engaging in cybercrimes, like their European counterparts, or using various social media to find and kill dissidents, like Mexican drug cartels, American gang members are using the Internet much like teenagers do: to brag about their exploits and to pimp themselves out.

    The study, titled "Criminal and Routine Activities in Online Settings: Gangs, Offenders, and the Internet" and published in the latest issue of Justice Quarterly (it's behind a paywall), was conducted by David Pyrooz, an assistant professor at Sam Houston State University's College of Criminal Justice. Pyrooz also received assistance from Arizona State University professor Scott Decker and ASU doctoral student Richard Moule Jr. The project was funded by the "think/do tank" Google Ideas.

    Pyrooz and his colleagues spoke with nearly 600 gang members across five U.S. cities—Cleveland, Ohio; Fresno, Calif.; Los Angeles; Phoenix, Ariz.; and St. Louis, Mo.—and interviewed them about their online habits. 

    So, what did they find?

    For starters, 56 percent of all individuals noted that they watch gang-related videos on sites like YouTube and WorldStarHipHop. The respondents said that they mostly watch fights and music for entertainment, much like they would with a boxing or UFC match.

    A quarter of all respondents also claimed to have used the Internet to do some cursory research about gangs. According to the study, a common answer was to "Google rival gang names, see what shows up."

    Unsurprisingly, gangs don't conduct much organizational activity online. Only 19 percent of participants said their gang had a website, 9 percent claimed that their gang organized online, and 8 percent stated that their group recruited online. 

    These numbers could be attributed to a variety of factors. As one gang member put it, referring to their usage of social networks, "[We] don't talk about it [gang business] because the police is on there."

    "That's a no no," said another. "Only idiots do that. Why would you do that?"

    What's apparently not a "no no" is uploading videos. Of those asked, 46 percent said that their gang posted footage online. This figure is incredibly high when you take into consideration the fact that authorities have used online videos to arrest suspects in the past. 

    Photo via Shane T. McCoy/Flickr

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    Before the Steubenville verdicts had even been announced, a hauntingly similar case was already emerging in the small town of Torrington, Connecticut. Two four high schoolers were arrested on charges of sexual assault, but the 13-year-old alleged victims' ordeal was far from over. Instead, she quickly became became the target of horrifying online harassment, much of which seemed to originate from her school-age peers. 

    Two 18-year-old alleged rapists, Edgar Gonzalez and Joan Toribio, have received a surprising amount of support from students at Torrington High School. In a photo posted (and now deleted) by Instagram user aalyahhx, a group of Torrington students posed in cheerful support of Gonzalez, using hand gestures to spell out his jersey number: 21. 

    Since then, the number 21 has become a symbol of solidarity for friends of Gonzalez, along with the #FreeEdgar hashtag on Twitter. 

    While many of the Twitter accounts involved in Torrington’s recent cyberbullying case have now been deleted, there are plenty of seemingly genuine new messages on the #FreeEdgar hashtag—along with a fair few accusations of rape apologism. Tweets like“now a days girls like that girl stay opening there [sic] legs just for the D so yea ! #FreeEdgar” may be receiving direct backlash from outsiders, but Gonzalez’s friends and supporters seem undeterred. 

    Advice from Twitter users such as @ArielKG (“I know they're your friends but they committed a horrible crime... Any rape is still rape.”) seems to be falling on deaf ears, but the teenagers of the #FreeEdgar hashtag may have more to worry about than a few sharp words from strangers on social media. Several people have been tweeting hacktivist account @AnonyOps with suggestions such as “get those #freeedgar dummies,” and it’s rarely a good idea to attract the attentions of Anonymous. (You can follow Anonymous's Twitter campaign at #OpRaider.)

    Image via Flickr/Dougtone 

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    Someone on the Internet was tormenting her. Men from all over the United States would drive miles to her farm in Marshall, Virginia, looking for sex. She set up hidden cameras and a security gate and plastered signs all over her property, urging them that the ads were lies and they were trespassing, but that didn't help—the flow of visitors was constant, relentless. Some just wouldn't leave, no matter what she told them, and she had to call the cops, sometimes multiple times in a single day. She spent hours of her day searching Craigslist for the ads and flagging them, in ultimately futile bids to slow down the flow of men.

    She was 64 years old.

    The woman lived in a constant state of "fear and distress," according to a federal indictment filed March 21 in a Virginia court. Federal prosecutors allege that her stalker is a former lover: 61-year-old Library of Congress staffer Kenneth Kuban. They dated for six months in 2011. He was arrested March 22 and charged with a felony count of stalking. He could face five years in prison if found guilty.

    Prosecutors Kuban used his computer at the Library of Congress to post advertisements to the casual encounters section of Craigslist, in which he'd pose as the woman (a "senior lady") and ask for sex with a "hung man" who can "give me some pleasuring."

    Here's one of the ads copied shown in the indictment:

    Investigators launched an undercover sting on Kuban. Search warrants issued to Craigslist revealed the IP address used to post the advertisements came from two locations: Either a Library of Congress computer, where Kuban works as a film preservationist, or his home address in Reva, Virginia. 

    The harassment and stalking campaign began after the couple broke up in early 2011. The woman filed a restraining order against Kuban, at which point he took his campaign online and began posting the phony Craigslist ads. He's currently sitting in jail, while he waits for an April 1 preliminary hearing.  

    You can read excerpts of the indictment at The Smoking Gun.

    H/T The Smoking Gun | Photo via

    0 0

    Boxing fans: Don't you just hate it when your local bar shows the big fight? Don't you wish you could help shut them down?

    If so, there's a job opening for you.

    It sounds unbelievable, but a Texas-based firm actually hires people around the country to search for and report bars that show unlicensed pay-per-view boxing matches.

    Called Audit Masters, it works with a simple promise. Pay-per-view companies will provide a list of venues in a given city that have purchased a big event. Anyone who signs up for Audit Masters can search for a bars pirating the stream (meaning they're showing the fight, but aren't on the list). Sign an affidavit, head out to the bars, and boom—you can expect a check for $250 in seven to eight weeks.

    If its testimonials are to believed, the company hires people who liken themselves to bounty hunters. The company says many of its auditors are off-duty police officers or “PD related.”

    "The 1st time I went out, I caught 7 pirates," according to Jeff Mallow, of Miami Dade, Florida. He elaborated the thrill of the job:

    I know two things are going to happen:

    1. I am going to bust some bars engaged in illegal activity

    2. I am going to make some decent money for the night

    I also get a personal satisfaction from the fact that some of these bars will be closing and when a bar that was a detriment to the community is closed, the community as a whole is better off, to me, as a law enforcement officer, it is a win, win situation.

    Audit Masters wasn’t open on Friday, and therefore unable to respond to the Daily Dot's questions. It did, however, apparently post an ad to Philadelphia Craigslist Thursday, which promised "undercover" work on behalf of the "owners of the rights to the HBO/Showtime Pay Per View signals."

    The ad specifically referenced two big fights, Canelo versus Trout in April and Mayweather versus Guerrero in September.

    Screengrabs via Audit Masters


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