internet story of the day

step one: guy foolishly buys a $3000 camera from one of those internet rip-off camera stores and, what do you know, gets ripped off. and then he blogs about it.

step two: guy’s blog gets dugg on digg.com.

step three: all hell breaks loose.

it’s really interesting reading, especially the first blog about what happened to the guy. and the readers on digg.com are really getting their jollies planning their revenge against the photo store that wronged this guy so wrongly.

they are writing scripts to redial the camera store’s toll-free number. they are initiating denial-of-service attacks. they are flooding the store’s server with email messages. they are faxing looped black paper to the camera store’s fax machine.

all kinds of creative revenge.

and, i must say, these stores are a complete ripoff. everyone knows they are. anyone with a modicum of intelligence is a mouse click away from reams of online reviews of these businesses.

and, if you believe the guy, he was definitely ripped off.

which is exactly my point.

if you believe the guy.

what better target for a made-up story than a dicey online business about which people are instantly ready to believe the worst?

i have no proof that this is the case. for all i know, the guy’s story is 100% true, and the odds are that it is. i think it’s probably a true story.

this time.

but what happens next time? someone with an unjustified hard-on for some poor small business owner is going to use this same methodology to unfairly target said small business. that’s what.

there are ways to rationally deal with these situations. mail bombing, denial-of-service attacks, and phone phreaking is not among them.

the internet can be a powerful place. assuming that his story is true, i think this guy had good initial intentions, had every right to publicize his story in any way he could in order to get appropriate attention paid to what would be an unscrupulous business, and didn’t do anything that was inappropriate that i can see.

if i were him right now, though, i’d be a little sick about how people were using me as an excuse to justify their bad behavior.

update: all’s well that ends well. however, from reading the comments, it seems that the lunatics and conspiracy theorists have plenty of fodder.