Internet uses us for good and for harm
March 26th, 2008

Two very different, personally powerful ways of using the internet for collective action are the subject of this well-done blog post:

Two datapoints for your consideration:

Digg Recovers a Stolen Xbox. A guy in Philadelphia gets back from SXSW to find that his house has been burgled and his Xbox stolen. He gets a new Xbox and receives a message via Xbox Live asking for a ransom to get his old console back. The message comes from an actual valid gamertag. The guy calls the police, but they don’t care. So he blogs about it, publishing the offending gamertag, and the blog entry gets Dugg. Readers trace the gamertag and relentlessly harass the Xbox-napper till he gives up and returns the hardware.

Crazed Craigslisters Steal Everything a Guy Owns. Somebody posted a Craigslist ad saying that such-and-such a house had been abandoned and that everything in it was free for the taking. The ad was a hoax, but people actually turned up at the house in question, raided it and stripped it. Needless to say the actual owner was not best pleased when he got home.

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