Thursday, July 19, 2012

The myth of online anonymity

You've heard this story before:
  • Moron, typically a restaurant worker, does something gross.
  • Moron posts evidence of grossness, usually a photo, a video or some description, online.
  • Moron does so anonymously, thinking he/she (though, who are we kidding, it's usually a he) will never get caught.
  • Some intrepid souls online, bless their geeky, crowdsourced hearts, use Scooby-like sleuthing skills to zero in on said moron.
  • Moron is found.
  • Moron is fired.
The only things that tend to change from one of these instances to the next are 1) method of edible defacement, 2) the restaurant where said infraction took place, and 3) the city where it's located. Today, it's some doofus stepping on lettuce intended for customers in a Burger King in Mayfield Heights, Ohio. The main story link is here. The real fun sub-story of how the social-savvy Scoobynauts caught him is here.

Yes, he was fired. No, he was decidedly not anonymous. And, no, I have no intention of eating at a Burger King anytime soon.

Seriously, you'd think people would learn. But I'm guessing if you're going to play this game in the first place, you're not predisposed to learning much of anything.

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