In July The Washington Post published a story about men who post phony ads to make it appear as if their ex-wives or girlfriends are soliciting sex. One man, Michael Johnson II of Hyattsville, Maryland, published an ad titled “Rape Me and My Daughters” and included his ex-wife’s home address. More than 50 men showed up to the victim’s house. One man tried to break in and another tried to undress her daughter. Johnson was sentenced to 85 years in prison. His victim was physically unharmed but these ads can be lethal. In December 2009, a Wyoming woman was raped with a knife sharpener in her home after an ex-boyfriend assumed her identity and posted a Craigslist ad that read, “Need an aggressive man with no concern or regard for women.” Her ex and the man who raped her are both serving long prison sentences.
We wanted an internet free from oversight, an environment where ideas could be exchanged freely. In many important ways, the web has achieved that idyllic vision. Individuals have the ability to communicate with large audiences, a power that in the past belonged only to media tycoons and governments. A lack of gatekeepers means frictionless communication, but it also means the quality of that communication can’t be controlled. And too often on the internet today, no consequence means no class. The internet experience is being degraded by those bent on settling scores, intimidating enemies, or simply silencing those with whom they disagree. The social networks say they’re powerless to stop it. Police say they’re overwhelmed. For these reasons, many people find the web a hostile and dangerous environment.
Image source and article: http://www.theverge.com/2013/9/12/4693710/the-end-of-kindness-weev-and-the-cult-of-the-angry-young-man