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Righteous indignation or scary mob mentality? - The Fucking Bluebird of Goddamn Happiness [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Zoethe

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Righteous indignation or scary mob mentality? [Nov. 5th, 2010|02:30 pm]
Zoethe
Judith Griggs and Cooks Source deserve to be sued, their business model destroyed, and their scummy little magazine stomped into the ground. And the outrage expressed by the internet over the handling of the situation is completely justified.

But.

But that's not what we're seeing now. If you visit the Cooks Source Facebook page, the comments have degenerated into heaps of inanity, interspersed with the occasional ugly personal threat. It doesn't read like genuine outrage anymore; it reads like a bunch of drunken college students who think they are incredibly clever.

I was right in there at the beginning, looking to publicize the copyright infringements and outright plagiarisms as they came to light. But I'm deeply uncomfortable when the behavior of the outraged falls lower than the behavior of the source of outraged.

Yes, I believe that a serious internet reaction to this magazine's behavior was completely justified, and making sure it got publicized and that informing other affected writers and companies was a good idea. I hope the company is dismantled by Food Network, Disney, and others whose intellectual property was stolen. But the I.Q. level of the mob is dropping fast, and I am not really comfortable with that.
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: stripedsocks
2010-11-05 06:32 pm (UTC)
I think that's a general problem with mobs; their IQ drops dramatically and quickly.
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[User Picture]From: mamculuna
2010-11-05 06:35 pm (UTC)
And as NPR said, what if something like this happened to someone who is innocent?

Not that there's any doubt in this case, but it is scary to see what happens, and how fast.
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[User Picture]From: theferrett
2010-11-05 06:48 pm (UTC)
To be fair, it wouldn't have gotten THIS far if there wasn't a continual stream of evidence. But it could go significantly less far and still do damage to someone.
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[User Picture]From: hugh_mannity
2010-11-05 06:35 pm (UTC)
That's why I didn't join the dogpile.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-11-05 06:51 pm (UTC)
I was there on the ground floor, I admit. But when it was still about the issue.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-11-05 06:52 pm (UTC)
People will lose jobs, the magazine will die. It's not undeserved, but I am not keen on the dancing on graves.
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[User Picture]From: sacramentalist
2010-11-05 06:47 pm (UTC)
I wonder how many of these people bittorrent books.

(I'm not without sin)

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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-11-05 06:53 pm (UTC)
Really good point.
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[User Picture]From: jeffpalmatier
2010-11-05 07:09 pm (UTC)
Whenever we have a new topic that becomes a subject of outrage, I do see people who appear to me to be sincerely outraged. However, I always seem to see people who appear to use whatever topic of outrage to make themselves look good: "See how outraged I am? It's obviously evidence of moral superiority." I'm guessing they're the same type of people clamoring for witches to be burned four hundred years ago.
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[User Picture]From: merle_
2010-11-05 08:05 pm (UTC)
Or the same trolls who were on BBSes decades ago, or.. yes. The mob generally deteriorates into something painful to watch.
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[User Picture]From: ba1126
2010-11-05 07:39 pm (UTC)
Reminds me of my brother and his friends playing a 'pick-up' game of football years ago. One or two tacklers would bring the ball carrier down, then ten more guys would 'pig-pile" just because they could without penalty.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-11-05 10:38 pm (UTC)
I don't even mind the piling, if it's intelligent. Sometimes it takes volume if the people involved are pig-headed.
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[User Picture]From: anivair
2010-11-05 07:39 pm (UTC)
What's happening to them is not justice (though you're right, they deserve to be stomped) and it's not even mob mentality. What you're seeing is a large scale example of what happens when you piss off The Internet (tm). usually this is individuals, like the girl that did those stomp videos with kittens or someone who is a politician.

But these people are as open as possible, desperate for customers and fans and when the internet gets mad it goes into full hulk rage, 4 Chan style.

Tits or GTFO. Unless you make us mad. Then your life is over. it's what the internet is. This is modern cowboy justice. It's the price we pay for the internet being a free digital frontier.

And I'm all for it.

the internet should be free. It should be open. It's meant to be that way and it functions best that way.

If we start locking down this sort of behavior, then we lock down the positive stuff, too, and the net becomes as restrictive as the rest of the world.

You know what didn't happen to these people? Nobody hit them. Nobody killed them. Nobody laid a single finger on them.

they abused freedoms and their business model was destroyed overnight and now they're basically getting hate mail. Wah. They can always log off, go for a walk, and go get dinner (ideally not a stolen recipe) and pretend it's all not real. Because it's not. It's the internet. In the end, it's all communication and communication never hurt anyone.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-11-05 10:40 pm (UTC)
I guess I just want the outraged to be better behaved than the person at whom the outrage is aimed.
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[User Picture]From: sapphirescarlet
2010-11-05 07:56 pm (UTC)
Wow. This has been enlightening. I'm not a bit surprised by the decline in intelligence as the ordeal drags on. Those people want a "bang" - some huge mea culpa and evidence of retribution, and I wonder if it will come. I have my doubts.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-11-05 10:42 pm (UTC)
Food Network is already on record as investigating the site. There will be some retribution.
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[User Picture]From: ccr1138
2010-11-05 08:25 pm (UTC)
I think the facebook page is full of LULZ at the moment. "Cooks Source peed in my Wheaties." Silly, yes, but hardly the harbinger of the fall of western civilization.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-11-05 10:43 pm (UTC)
I guess I just want the outraged to be better behaved than the person at whom the outrage is aimed.
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[User Picture]From: meyerweb.com
2010-11-05 08:32 pm (UTC)
I actually expected this to happen; it's a pretty regaular phase. After everyone jumps on the dogpile, vents their spleen, and runs off, a few people stick around to crack wise with fellow dogpilers. Eventually, a small community of wise-crackers forms. They may be there for days or weeks making jokes and trying to one-up each other in their personal memetic garden. One that, yes, they find very funny and clever, the same way lots of us find LOLcats funny and clever.

This is what always happens with netpiles. I will admit I'm a little bit surprised by the speed at which this phase has come to pass, but it was always coming. The real question is what's happening on that Facebook page a month hence. Will they still be japing, or will they have moved on to the next garden?

So when you participate in a netpile, never doubt that this phase will come along, like the fires that burn after the initial explosion's shockwave has long faded. It is yin to the yang, if you like. You really can't prevent it. You can only choose not to participate in the first place and thus avoid responsibility for whatever happens as a result.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-11-06 04:39 am (UTC)
Nothing lasts a month on the net. This will be taken down, if it is at all, by the companies from which she's stolen.
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[User Picture]From: mariadkins
2010-11-06 01:11 am (UTC)
i'm not either. it went downhill very quickly.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-11-06 04:41 am (UTC)
It's naive of me, but I want to outraged to behave better than their target.
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[User Picture]From: lady_guenievre
2010-11-06 01:27 am (UTC)
I'm told that at this point, the lulz are mostly from 4chan. So yeah, that's the level of ... whatever, the whole thing's at.
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-11-06 04:51 am (UTC)
Ugh.
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[User Picture]From: usmu
2010-11-08 09:56 am (UTC)
Any group has the IQ equal to the IQ of its dumbest member. Specially when it goes into (a kind of) mob mentality mode. Which means how bigger the group how bigger the chances are you're getting crap. It's not only a fact of the net, but of life as well. Unfortunately.
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[User Picture]From: fitfool
2010-11-13 03:40 pm (UTC)
I thought of that as the internet version of having Cooks Source
tarred and feathered and was greatly amused by much of the fuss. I am, however, still mulling over posting to explore what IS considered acceptable use on the internet. I mean...it's true that it's common practice for one person to post a recipe and have lots of other people swipe the recipe and repost it on their blog, so long as you credit the original author. I don't think people are asking for permission first. Granted, I assume most people understand that these recipes are not public domain but that doesn't stop them from using bit torrent or wherever they get their free music from. What was the difference here? The fact that Cooks Source collected ad revenue? Or the fact
that Griggs replied with such an obnoxious email?
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[User Picture]From: zoethe
2010-11-13 05:29 pm (UTC)
One cannot copyright ingredients, so passing on the basics of a recipe is not a violation. That's not what happened here. What was stolen was Monica's research and writing of an article about the history of apple pie. That combined with this being a professional publication and the obnoxious response doomed her.
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