Press Tries To Pin High Profile Killings On The Web & World Of Warcraft

from the not-this-again dept

And, here we go again. The press and "cultural commentators" absolutely love to blame new technologies for someone who does something bad. The latest is that in response to the crazy Luka Magnotta case (involving the guy in Canada who killed and dismembered someone, filming the whole thing, eating some pieces and sending others to politicians) a "cultural critic" in France is arguing that without the internet, Magnotta would not have committed his crimes.
Without the web, “the butcher of Montreal would not exist,” Mr. de Boni concludes. “This killer character is a narcissistic and deviant avatar, one of many virtual identities he invented in order to create celebrity.”
Because, of course, prior to the internet and Facebook, there were no such things as psychotic people who killed others and ate them. While the internet may have influenced the specifics of how Magnotta went about his crime, it seems ridiculous to jump to the conclusion that absent the internet, none of this would have happened. Magnotta was clearly a very sick individual. If anything, it's worth pointing out that unlike the other examples I linked to in this paragraph of sociopathic killers who dismembered and ate their victims, Magnotta was actually caught after just the first victim -- in part because he provided all sorts of evidence of his guilt online.

Meanwhile, over in Norway, where the trial of mass murderer Anders Breivik is going on, we had already noted that the press was having a field day with the claim that Breivik played a lot of World of Warcraft. That seems pretty silly considering the millions of people who play the game. However, bizarrely, the prosecution has brought it up in the trial, letting the press grandstand on the issue yet again. Even Breivik found that line of questioning to be stupid, declaring (correctly) that "it is not relevant to this case whatsoever."

But it is relevant to reporters who want to build a story about those crazy video games...

Why is it so hard to believe that there are psychotic/sociopathic people out there who do harm, and that's got nothing to do with their internet or gaming usage? These things aren't "triggered" by surfing the web or playing games. I recognize that people feel the need to look for a "reason" that these people exist and do such horrible things, but it should be pretty clear that it's a problem with them -- not their use of technology.

Of course, if we should be concerned about video games at all in the Breivik trial, perhaps it should be over the fact that a judge in the case was spotted playing solitaire on his computer during the trial:


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    Alana (profile), Jun 8th, 2012 @ 7:01pm

    Video games?!

    VIDEO GAMES ARE THE DEVIL! ABOLISH ALL VIDEO GAMES! You people and your pokemans and your diablo and your warcraft... CAN'T YOU SEE THIS IS TEARING APART SOCIETY FROM THE SEAMS?!

    Please don't blame the defendant, World of Warcraft made him do it!/sarc

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2012 @ 7:44pm

    Mike, as much as you don't like it, the reality is that the internet has created a stage for some people, and they will use it for all it is worth.

    Youtube, Facebook, and other social media sites allow the deranged people to stroke their ego in full on public mode, with what for them is the potential big prize of "trending" and becoming famous.

    Does it make them kill specifically? Nope. However, just like exposure via newspapers and TV did for criminals in the 60s and 70s, the internet does for those same sort of people today.

    WoW didn't make him do it. Social media appears to have been his drug of choice, that's all.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2012 @ 7:54pm

      Re:

      You can't say that wasn't possible without the internet, at least in the terms of "becoming famous". It's not the internet's fault there are deranged psychopaths.

       

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        TasMot (profile), Jun 9th, 2012 @ 1:11pm

        Re: Re:

        This just in, Boston Strangler not guilty, its the Internets fault. Oh wait, the internet didn't exist then. So, is it TVs fault? Telephones? Video Games? Oh my, what ever can we blame it on, its certainly not his fault, right?

         

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2012 @ 8:20pm

      Re:

      People on drugs who do violent things probably had preexisting conditions beforehand. If someone is going to kill someone because of the Internet then they probably had a preexisting condition that caused them to kill someone. If not the Internet what would you blame, violent/horror movies? Oh, wait, the govt. established media cartels benefit from violent movies. Cigarettes? No, the govt established tobacco cartels benefit from that. Gambling addictions? No, wait, the govt established media cartels benefit from all that. If not for the Internet, many Internet users might be addicted to the above and, if anything, the above is more likely to cause violent behavior than the Internet.

      What, can their drug of choice be compulsively turning on and off the light switch over and over? Lets ban light switches. Could it be driving? Cars even provide them with a weapon. Lets ban cars. What about music, some people could be addicted to (violent) music. Lets ban all music, it could be an addiction that could lead to bad things down the road.

      No, you don't ban the tool because someone misuses it. and you don't blame the tool. Someone who is willing to misuse something and uses it a lot, to the point of addiction perhaps, and ends up doing something violent, probably had a preexisting condition that caused them to do it. Light switches don't cause people to obsessively turn them on and off and make them violent, neither do video games, neither does basketball, neither does anything. People do bad things either because they made bad choices or because they have a preexisting condition. You don't blame dumb behavior on everything that might have influenced it because if you did that you must ban everything because anything could potentially be a cause for someone's bad behavior.

      It's not hard to see how violent movies and music can cause people to become violent. Gambling can cause people to lose all their money which can potentially make them go nuts. You won't criticize them because they benefit from govt. established monopoly power and so these govt. established cartels profit from this behavior. You only criticize the Internet because it allows someone besides purely self serving govt. established monopolists to compete and gain recognition.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2012 @ 8:22pm

        Re: Re:

        the govt established gambling cartels *

         

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2012 @ 10:56pm

        Re: Re:

        (and I'm not saying that people should do illegal drugs. I absolutely discourage anyone from doing harmful drugs or doing anything to harm themselves. I have mixed feelings about the extent that it should be outlawed, both sides seem to present good arguments. Either way, I do think we need a better anti-drug policy than what we have now).

         

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          art guerrilla (profile), Jun 9th, 2012 @ 3:31am

          Re: Re: Re:fraidy cats rule the roost...

          and I'm saying that people should do 'illegal' drugs... i absolutely encourage anyone to do harmless drugs and touch themselves in that special way... i have mixed feelings about the extent that ignorant people should be outlawed, i can present good arguments; either way, i do think we need better pro-drug policies than we have now...
          there, makes more sense that way...
          no thanks necessary...
          art guerrilla
          aka ann archy
          eof

           

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2012 @ 6:01am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Perhaps you could point out what the "good" arguments are that the feds have for their "war on drugs"

           

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      JarHead, Jun 8th, 2012 @ 10:19pm

      Re:

      I have to agree with the original AC's post, in a sense that the internet is not the proximate cause of violence, but might be a contributing factor, just like newspaper and TV in 60's and 70's like s/he said.

      However, how much contribution does the internet gives to the violence is variable and case dependent. The internet does give an easier access to fame and information unlike we ever seen before. But again how much the perpetrator use it for those goals, or even made them their primary driving force will vary widely.

      Blaming the tools, or in this case a game, is disingenuous. I still haven't heard of anyone claiming a violence induced by Mortal Kombat, which IMHO much bloodier than WoW.

       

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        PaulT (profile), Jun 9th, 2012 @ 2:42am

        Re: Re:

        "However, how much contribution does the internet gives to the violence is variable and case dependent. "

        In other words, it depends on the individual, not the game or the medium. WoW has over 10 million players worldwide, and has done for many years. Hundreds of millions of people use the internet every day.

        If it were the game or the medium rather than the individual at fault, there would have been many more cases. Violent crimes would have risen exponentially since these media became mainstream, but most studies show that it has dropped.

        The fact is that it's easier to point the finger at an external influence rather than consider the many social, political and economic forces that lead to these crimes, as well as the many warning signs that may have been missed leading up to the tragedies occurring.

        "I still haven't heard of anyone claiming a violence induced by Mortal Kombat, which IMHO much bloodier than WoW."

        http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-201_162-4729049.html

        Think of a game, movie, book, even musical genre that people might be able to blame for a person's negative actions, it will have been. Some people would rather pick an easy scapegoat rather than face difficult realities - a practice we se here daily from some people, unfortunately.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2012 @ 6:24am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Paul, once again you are trying to hard to take an extreme position.

          The medium isn't the only thing at fault here, that is clear. However, this guy is a very specific case of someone using the media available as a significant part of his criminal persona.

          Would he have killed without the internet?

          Well, considering how much the internet was part of the build up, part of the crime, and part of the conclusion, I would say that without it, he might have done something different. His build up (suffocating kittens in an online video) required the audience to be outraged for it to have value. Just killing kittens without anyone knowing likely wouldn't have meant anything to him.

          In the same manner, he even put the actual murder online. Why? Because without the audience, his need for attention was not fulfilled. Killing and dismembering the victim wasn't enough, it had to be truly public and covered overwhelmingly by the media for it to have any real value to him.

          Mailing the body parts to high profile destinations is all part of trying to get the attention.

          So the media is part of the deal, without it he may not have ever gotten to the point he did, because there would be no reward on his scale that meant anything to him.

          Now, do you blame the media for it? Nope. It's no different from a copyright troll or a patent troll or someone used DMCA to try to shut down an opinion they don't like - they are using something to their own advantage, but it really isn't a good reflection of the entire system. Just as you defend "the internet" here, you need to realize that the other outrages you rail against really are in the same league. You may not like it, but there is reality for you.

           

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            TtfnJohn (profile), Jun 9th, 2012 @ 7:24am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Pyscopaths and sociopaths have used available media since time immemorial to make themselves known.

            Jack The Ripper, The Hillside Strangler, Clifford Olson and many others have used whatever methods have been available to make themselves known and, often, to taunt police and the public.

            Blaming the medium used doesn't change it. If WoW and Facebook weren't there Magnotta would have used another means. And he did by mailing bits of his victims to one federal political party and had plans for others. The medium isn't the issue it's the need to taunt authority and to become known so that they can instill fear. Heck, Caligula and Nero didn't need any of that, they got to run a whole empire and toy with it.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2012 @ 7:38am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Please don't use the fake Roman propaganda image of Caligula and Nero. The myth about their character and rule has been going on for far too long.

               

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                The eejit (profile), Jun 9th, 2012 @ 3:31pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Okay, then, how about Vladimir Tepes III? Caligula and Nero weren't psychopaths or siciopaths: rather, they were just completely indifferent to their populace's needs.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2012 @ 3:54pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Funny you should mention Tepes, one more historical figure who was a target of such propaganda. Myth has once more slatted our understanding of history is seems. (In direct benefit of the tourism industry).

                  "rather, they were just completely indifferent to their populace's needs."

                  Congratulations, you just understand how the ruling class works. Yes, rulers of past and present rarely gave a shit about the people they ruled/rule over. However, historians have developed better scientific methods these days, by relying on the evidence, and not on centuries old propaganda.

                  This isn't the 18th century.

                   

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                    The eejit (profile), Jun 10th, 2012 @ 8:33am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    When I say "indifferent", I mean they just did not care above and beyond typical ruling Úlites. And Tepes had a reputation amongst his own men of the time as being a ruthless sumbitch.

                     

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                TtfnJohn (profile), Jun 9th, 2012 @ 6:17pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                For fake propaganda images, they've been quite enduring, particularly Caligula's image.

                Nero, as has been noted was, by and large, indifferent to the people of Rome particularly after the fire. Which, I agree, he did not start. He'd have been happier in many ways as a performer rather than the emperor of Rome.

                I won't disagree, either, that both ran into trouble with the Roman Senate and the ruling elite of Rome. Still that "Little Boots" reputation as a nasty bit of goods, unpredictable and more than a little off his nut doesn't seem to have much to counter it. I'll go see what I can find.

                Nero was self-possessed at worst though a lot of his later reputation including the notion that he started the fire appears to be a later charge.

                For now, both serve as examples of what I was talking about though there are many more historical figures to draw from.

                 

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                Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2012 @ 3:04pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "What about all the GOOD things Hitler did?" -Seen on a T-shirt

                 

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            PaulT (profile), Jun 10th, 2012 @ 2:45am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Paul, once again you are trying to hard to take an extreme position."

            No, I'm doing something that's an alien concept to trolls - stating an honest opinion. An opinion that can be openly discussed, cited, is based on fact and may even be changed in some way if faced with evidence that undermines my own opinion's basis. Every word I type in every thread is my honest opinion. I'm not "trying" to state anything other than the truth, unlike some ACs who lie and distort in order to get a reaction.

            It's not my fault that you people ever want to honestly discuss my opinions, let alone present any facts to back up your own.

            "Would he have killed without the internet? "

            Lacking a crystal ball, I don't know for sure, but I have no doubt that the underlying mental and social issues affecting him will not have changed. Maybe he wouldn't have latched on to the particular brand of extremism, or committed the exact crime he did at that exact time. Maybe he would. But to scapegoat one of those things while ignoring all the other factors is the way of reactionary fools, not intelligent people who might be able to make a difference by understanding the real causes.

            "Now, do you blame the media for it? Nope."

            As is your forte, you've moved the goalposts somewhat. "The media" is very different to WoW or the overall internet. Try to understand why, it's pretty obvious.

            "Just as you defend "the internet" here, you need to realize that the other outrages you rail against really are in the same league."

            Would you like to explain why? Your essay above did nothing of the sort, and lost direction halfway through.

            "You may not like it, but there is reality for you."

            I love how you consider your uncited, baseless assumptions to be "reality". Perhaps you would like to discuss my actual opinion with me rather than accepting your own opinion as the only "truth". You do seem to make a lot of assumptions about me that have nothing to do with my actual opinions. Try addressing the ones that exist in "reality"...

             

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            nasch (profile), Jun 10th, 2012 @ 1:33pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Just killing kittens without anyone knowing likely wouldn't have meant anything to him.

            This, and pretty much everything else you wrote about the killer, is pure speculation. You have no idea whether he would have done any of these things without an audience.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2012 @ 8:03pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I got that opinion direct for a psychologist, who was commenting on the case. They will admit that without interviewing the guy personally they cannot be 100% confident, but it appears that it was all done online for a reason.

              It adds up to his desire to be a model, to do porn, or even appear on a plastic surgery show. His entire persona was about public exposure, nothing more and nothing less.

              The internet appears to have been his location of choice for escalation. That means that each time he did something "more serious", he had to put it online otherwise it didn't mean much.

              It's his personality.

               

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                nasch (profile), Jun 11th, 2012 @ 8:17am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                His entire persona was about public exposure, nothing more and nothing less.


                That is plausible, and the internet was his chosen vehicle. To state that without the web, he wouldn't have killed anyone is nonsensical. There have been other killers pre-web who needed attention, and they found ways to get it.

                 

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          Wally (profile), Jun 9th, 2012 @ 8:36pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Think of a game, movie, book, even musical genre that people might be able to blame for a person's negative actions, it will have been. Some people would rather pick an easy scapegoat rather than face difficult realities - a practice we se here daily from some people, unfortunately."

          An American film known as "The Deer Hunter" comes to mind.

           

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        art guerrilla (profile), Jun 9th, 2012 @ 3:39am

        Re: Re: not to pick on you...

        since you ultimately expressed your reservations about -you know- CENSORING just *one* more thing for the chilluns, i won't pick on you too much...
        *HOWEVER*...
        substitute "tee vee", "tabloids", "radio", "magazines", or "cave paintings" for "inertnet" in these situations, and you will see how stupid these types of CENSORSHIP campaigns are...
        (of course, there are sheeple who *do* want to CENSOR everything, 'cause they are scairt authoritarian dumbos; being vapid, grown-children, they can safely be ignored...)
        art guerrilla
        aka ann archy
        eof

         

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      That Anonymous Coward (profile), Jun 9th, 2012 @ 2:26am

      Re:

      "Youtube, Facebook, and other social media sites allow the deranged people to stroke their ego in full on public mode, with what for them is the potential big prize of "trending" and becoming famous."

      Yes and the politicians are so crappy at it they can't seem to make anything out of it.
      They gnash, flail, then fail. They decide the net is the problem, because they can't make it work. :D

      The other portion of the equation you seem to ignore is that these things have always happened, but with focused media attention they become the huge problem.

      Media near Detroit is running an K2/Spice is murdering children campaign. They very carefully select sound clips to make it sound like the stores where you can buy it are skirting the law by not checking IDs and other things. Until they turned the drama up, there were no laws stopping it.

      Media pointed out why we needed to spend billions on NY because of 9-11, when factually more people die in drunk driving accidents.

      Media pointed out all of these great plots the FBI stopped and play up the they were on the internet searching for support aspect of it.

      Could it be that it isn't the platform that is the problem, but the actual problem is trying to assign the blame to an outside force rather than just accept the person who did the horrible thing is responsible for their own actions.

      A gun can save someones life, or be used by someone to end a life. After all of the lawsuits and wasted commentary we still have guns available, and most people don't consider suing the gun makers for producing something someone else took and used for bad things.

      Bad people are bad, Facebook and YouTube didn't make them bad and should not be blamed for someone making the decision to do more bad. We don't need to curtail Facebook, WOW, etc because some bad people used them, any more than we should limit cars more because they were used in a bank robbery, hit & run, road rage, etc... they are just a tool and tools are neutral.

      Ever notice the media points to things on the net as being the problem, but never examine their own if it bleeds it leads policies?

       

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      Failboat, Jun 9th, 2012 @ 7:33pm

      Re:

      There are other ways to get your social fix on the Internet besides murder. How many videos have you seen like "The Star Wars Kid" and "I Like Turtles" that went viral? I don't think there was murder involved and they clearly made fame. These folks had it in them with or without the Internet, it is just more visible this way.

       

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      chris (profile), Jun 10th, 2012 @ 4:27pm

      Re:

      Does it make them kill specifically? Nope. However, just like exposure via newspapers and TV did for criminals in the 60s and 70s, the internet does for those same sort of people today.

      so the internet is no different than TV and newspapers in this regard, but it's worse because it's the Internet?

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2012 @ 7:56pm

    I love the irony in the "This killer character is a narcissistic and deviant avatar" line before blaming it on the internet.

    Clearly before the 90's and the advent of the internet, there were no such things as narcissistic personalities.

    Except, you know, the guy that it was named after, lol

    So I guess the "cultural critic" hadn't heard of Greek myths. Clearly they weren't an important factor in Western Civ, right?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2012 @ 8:04pm

    The LAPD is actually looking into a possible second victim that was killed at the same time he was in LA.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2012 @ 8:06pm

    Crime rates have been steadily falling in the last few decades and during this time Internet usage has been increasing. The internet must be responsible for less crime.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2012 @ 3:41am

      Re:

      Exactly - it's just more sensationalist to pretend the trend is going in the opposite direction of the facts.

      Besides - Jack the Ripper born today may have a facebook page, but he would be a killer in either century.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2012 @ 8:11pm

    Why is it so hard to believe that there are psychotic/sociopathic people out there who do harm, and that's got nothing to do with their internet or gaming usage?

    People that hate technology are more than happy to assign any number of unrelated problems to it, irregardless of facts, logic, or common sense.

     

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      Wally (profile), Jun 8th, 2012 @ 9:00pm

      Re:

      It's not about hating technology. Most people don't realize that there is an actual human being that they are playing against. Just read my response to the article you'll see what that statement translates to in detail. Simply put, some people get so into it, they become obsessed and psychotic with no face to face human interaction. It's sort of like isolation, you go nuts over a period of time. Sometimes it turns out clinical. No, the game isn't to blame...but on the flip side, not taking breaks from gaming causes this psychos where it is hard to establish reality from fantasy.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2012 @ 9:21pm

        Re: Re:

        It doesn't help when you are split off from your opponent and can't communicate with them.

        That's one of the things I always hated about PVP in World of Warcraft. Not being able to effectively communicate with my opponent whom the game wanted me to treat as an enemy, though personally I had nothing against the person playing other than they were on the opposite team and trying to kill my character.

        It was a nice reminder that they were a real person though when they'd come over to my faction and talk to me about the PVP battle we just had.

         

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      varagix, Jun 8th, 2012 @ 9:32pm

      Re:

      Need a 'Sad But True' button over here...

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2012 @ 8:22pm

    He is absolutely right, without knives this travesty never would have happened. He is the embodiment of the modern killer using tools to eviscerate and desecrate other humans for his own pleasure and notoriety.

     

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    Wally (profile), Jun 8th, 2012 @ 8:48pm

    Video Game Psychology

    Other games, I'd say meh...but most social psychologists agree that certain people who have certain onset psychological conditions....should not play ANY MMORPG. This is especially true of you have trouble determining video game reality vs reality. As a gamer and a psychologist, I have seen this once or twice and usually, it involves a person with borderline personality disorder (look it up). The problem is that the user subconsciously believes that no actual human being with feelings or sensitivities are playing against them. This type of psyche is dangerous because they then learn to establish fantasy with reality. In gaming, that's only about 10% of us. Mix that with a borderline personality disorder and being a sociopath....it's a very reactive mix. It's not the game's fault, but it's not entirely the person's fault...though most cases like this, the patient is quite well aware of his actions...he just doesn't care.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2012 @ 7:41pm

      Re: Video Game Psychology

      These sorts of people shouldn't be playing any game that takes them out of reality. That would include any RPG or 'make believe' game, regardless of the medium. If you're truly a doctor you would mention this instead of focusing on the MMORPG, alone.

       

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        Wally (profile), Jun 10th, 2012 @ 7:23am

        Re: Re: Video Game Psychology

        In the case of MMORPG's, the casess get much worse. I play First Person Shooters and platformers and all sorts of video games. Even at an early age it has never influeenced me to kill people. Think for a bit how many save points are in MMORPG's where you can just pick up on the raid later. Not many people realize you can in some, but even then, that's HOURS of isolation from contact with others in the real world. MMORPG's take forever to finish quests now a days. All that isolation amounts to something dangerous. In this case it's sort of disturbing.

         

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          PaulT (profile), Jun 11th, 2012 @ 1:08am

          Re: Re: Re: Video Game Psychology

          "All that isolation amounts to something dangerous. In this case it's sort of disturbing."

          Just out of curiosity, would you apply the same metrics to people who play offline videogames excessively, watch excessive amounts of TV or DVDs or any other activity that involves even less human interaction (albeit virtual) than MMOs? You do seem to be addressing MMOs as if they are somehow unique in this respect, but is there really anything unique about them in terms of people with mental issues that demands they be treated separately?

           

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      KingofDarkness, Jun 12th, 2012 @ 12:58pm

      Re: Video Game Psychology

      That is kind of an unfair portrayal of borderlines... the vast majority of which are not psychopaths. My gf has BPD and is the sweetest woman you could ever hope to meet. Because of this I have done some substantial research into the disorder and your assertion is irresponsible and ignorant.

      Did you say you're a psychologist? ...are you sure?

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2012 @ 9:28pm

    What is a "cultural critic"? Is it Nomenklatura speak for "Some useless waste of a skin to whom we ensure that money is funneled."?

     

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    Liz (profile), Jun 8th, 2012 @ 10:34pm

    Every time I see an article where a group tries to blame video games makes me think of someone who goes into a video store, slips behind the curtain in the back room, then says the entire medium is bad because of what they see there.

    Honestly, these people need to stop going into the back room for once.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 8th, 2012 @ 10:52pm

    The usual BS by the usual group that thinks they know how to live your life better than you. One time it was comic books that were causing all the violence. Then another time it was the evil rock n roll.

    In all this none of these people that want to tell you how to live your life and make laws to make it so, ever stop to consider individual responsibility. Someone that can not tell that real life has no reset button has more problems than a video game. Taking the video game away will not solve those problems.

    Now really, how would you plan an attack using the World of Warcraft? It doesn't exactly represent the real world. This is another excuse to use something...anything...as a reason to add controls to what someone or some group doesn't like.

    ...and the rest of you should live your lives according to how they see you should.

    RIGHT. /sarcasm is alive and well.

     

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    Brent (profile), Jun 8th, 2012 @ 10:55pm

    video. was. epic.

     

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    rofl, Jun 8th, 2012 @ 11:09pm

    He's right without the web people like Jack the Ripper,John Wayne Gacy,Ted Bundy,Jeffrey Dahmer,Gary Ridgway,Charles Manson, and many more would not exist.

     

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    Josef Anvil (profile), Jun 8th, 2012 @ 11:33pm

    WTF?????

    Without alcohol there would be no drunk driving fatalities. Banning motor vehicles would achieve the same thing. Maybe politicians should look into banning alcohol and cars and they could save hundreds of thousands of lives.

    Yep, that's forward thinkin'

     

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    Anonymous Cowherd, Jun 9th, 2012 @ 12:50am

    Here's waiting for the inevitable calls for banning judges using computers...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2012 @ 1:07am

    obviously the judge playing solitaire thought that the trial was just a need to 'go through the motions, that he didn't need to listen to any evidence and that the outcome was a forgone conclusion'. what Breivik did was unforgivable and he should be punished in the most severe way the court deems, but for the judge to be playing cards on a laptop during evidence sessions etc? that puts the judicial system to shame.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2012 @ 5:15am

    The fact that one of the judges was playing a game on his computer is irrelevant, Breivik has admitted to, will be found guilty of and will be sentenced to what ever the maximum punishment is for his crimes in Norway.

     

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    Jon Bains, Jun 9th, 2012 @ 5:16am

    If a serial killer, kills (repeatedly) in the woods...

    and nobody is around to hear / tweet / media to exploit him - is he still a serial killer?

    Would the Zodiac killer would have kept killing if the press at the time ignored him and hadn't kept publishing his cryptograms and gaining sales?

    When it was finally agreed that the Tsunami damaged reactors in Japan, *weren't* going to meltdown did you stop watching?

    The Dow jumps a few points in anticipation of another country collapsing

    We have our fingers silently crossed that the trouble in Syria will escalate.

    All things being equal the key factor here nothing to do with technology really - that largely affects speed of delivery.

    It's called the News, or more specifically, Bad News. People watch it, talks about it and unfortunately once in a while will do anything to get in it, and history tells us, that is simply not news.

    As a society we are obsessed by horror, dispair and destruction and we'll good pay money for it. That really requires a 'Sad but True' button.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2012 @ 6:07am

    I guess he doesn't use Linux.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2012 @ 6:08am

    "I recognize that people feel the need to look for a "reason" that these people exist and do such horrible things, but it should be pretty clear that it's a problem with them -- not their use of technology."

    Certainly is not a problem of technology. It can be used for Good & Evil.

     

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    benjamin roberts, Jun 9th, 2012 @ 6:09am

    Obviously any one capable of thinking critically and objectively can see that the point of the article (it's called reading between the lines) is that the internet (along with all mass media) makes such deviant behaviour so easy to commit and perform that YES, the internet/mass media is responsible for probably more nutcases than we'll ever know submitting to their urges. Would terrorists be taking so many people hostage and beheading people on Youtube if the Internet didn't exist? Er... no. They want to be seen. The average terrorist (I'm assuming) doesn't have access to expensive TV or radio broadcasting equipment, but he most likely does have a camera phone or a cheap little video camera and a computer nearby. The internet makes it possible for literally ANYONE with a smartphone to commit all kinds of ghastly acts and broadcast them to the planet within minutes. The internet, like it or not, is indirectly responsible for the death of self control. Any need or urge can be satisfied within minutes. Would the guy have been so eager to do what he did if he had to take polaroids and post them out to millions upon millions of people? True, there will always be pyschos who are going to do horrible things.. but the complete ease with which information flows these days has made it possible for many more lunatics to do things they may not have done in a pre-internet world. The Internet is like fire: it can cook your food and keep you warm, but it can also rage out of control and burn your house down.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2012 @ 3:32pm

      Re:

      "Obviously any one capable of thinking critically and objectively can see" can see that I'm right. Nevermind that I have no objective facts or reasoning to support my viewpoint, if you can think critically and objectively you would know I'm right.

      Proof by assertion is bad logic and employing bad logic to assert your position is likely to result in people taking you much less seriously.

      "makes such deviant behaviour so easy to commit and perform that YES"

      How does it make bad behavior any easier to commit. If anything, it makes getting away with bad behavior more difficult and it deters people from engaging in bad behavior in fear of getting caught. IE: police being recorded or even regular people in public who worry that someone with a camera phone might record them doing something illegal.

      "the internet/mass media is responsible for probably more nutcases than we'll ever know submitting to their urges."

      [citation needed]

      There is no data to show this. Violent crime rates have been steadily declining while Internet usage has been on the rise.

      "Would terrorists be taking so many people hostage and beheading people on Youtube if the Internet didn't exist? Er... no."

      To suggest that 'terrorists' haven't been taking hostages before the advent of the Internet is ridiculous. and by 'so many' how many exactly? Far less than a hand full.

      and when these terrorists do take people hostage they usually do it for ransom money, or to get a govt. who has their members to release those members. They don't need the Internet to get the message across, these sorts of ransom and trade ordeals have been going on long before and will continue without it.

      So when you say "Er... no.", you are making things up. What terrorists are doing has nothing to do with the Internet.

      and regarding your assumption that terrorists are taking so many people hostage ... [citation needed].

      I know, I know, lets blame 9/11 on the Internet. and Hitler too. That was the Internets fault. Would have Hitler killed so many people without the Internet. What about the U.S. with their atomic bombs? Would they have?

      Not only have you failed to prove causation, you aren't even providing correlation. So your evidence/argument is ... a lack of correlation = causation?

      "They want to be seen. The average terrorist (I'm assuming) doesn't have access to expensive TV or radio broadcasting equipment"

      The average terrorist ... because there are so many poor terrorists out there that work alone. /sarcasm

      and where do you get this crazy idea that terrorists want to be seen. Really? They want to make it that much easier for law enforcement to catch them? If they did that then they wouldn't even exist, as scarce as they are.

      Terrorists are insanely rare, very very rare. There are insanely few of them. You really need to stop assuming and making things up when when you have no clue what you are talking about. It doesn't give credence to your position.

      It's not like there are a huge amount of individual terrorists. Terrorists work in organizations and these organizations can very well afford broadcasting equipment. What keeps competing broadcasting businesses and individuals from forming is mostly government established broadcasting monopolies (ie: the FCC) not the cost of broadcasting equipment. A terrorist organization would have no problem ignoring these if they had reason to.

      "The internet makes it possible for literally ANYONE with a smartphone to commit all kinds of ghastly acts and broadcast them to the planet within minutes."

      and get caught.

      You assume that there are so many 'ghastly' acts being distributed on the Internet. What is the number of these acts and do you have a citation.

      and then you need to provide evidence that the Internet is responsible for an increase in ghastly acts.

      "The internet, like it or not, is indirectly responsible for the death of self control."

      So, wait, no one has self control now?

      Someone without self control likely doesn't have it with or without the Internet. It's not like the Internet exists and all of a sudden no one has self control.

      If anything, knowing that wrongful behavior can easily gain a lot of public attention easily provides people with more self control, especially cops and govt. officials. Isn't that why the govt wants to place surveillance everywhere? and stores and malls and banks, etc... By your logic we should ban red light cameras, mall cameras, etc... because they can better enable terrorist organizations to communicate their message to others (ie: the govt, mall authorities, etc...).

      "Any need or urge can be satisfied within minutes. "

      I have the urge to slap you in the face right now for saying such silly nonsense. Dang it, I can't satisfy this urge within minutes.

      "True, there will always be pyschos who are going to do horrible things.. but the complete ease with which information flows these days has made it possible for many more lunatics to do things they may not have done in a pre-internet world."

      No, these things were just as possible before.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2012 @ 3:54pm

        Re: Re:

        Now I suppose you might try and argue that the Internet can be used by terrorists to recruit new members, but if al-Qaeda put an ad on Craigslist that says

        "Help Wanted - Terrorist Assassin

        Qualifications:

        * Minimum of 5 years experience
        * 25 previous assassinations
        * Cyberwar Experience
        * Must speak several languages
        * Must be able to lift heavy weaponry across battlefields

        Job Duties:

        * Communicating with various government officials in different languages
        * Kidnapping the children of rich executives for ransom money
        * Blowing things up

        If you are interested in being a part of a top notch terrorist organization with great morale, flexible hours, competitive pay, and great benefits, submit your resume to terrorists@gmail.com"

        the feds should be all over it.

         

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    hfbs (profile), Jun 9th, 2012 @ 6:58am

    Yes, the internet, the very medium that identified, tracked and helped capture the murderer, is a bad thing. Let's ban it at once, because clearly, it's just evil.

     

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    Bengie, Jun 9th, 2012 @ 7:09am

    Society

    And here I thought it was societies fault. If society didn't exist, his parents probably would not have been born because an alternate future would have happened.

    We should go back in time and destroy all of society so his crimes could not have happened.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2012 @ 9:24am

    If only he had listened to heavy metal music, he might have killed HIMSELF instead.

     

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    Watchit (profile), Jun 9th, 2012 @ 9:42am

    Wow. This hoopla, again!? *sigh*

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2012 @ 10:01am

    Ah, The Irony...

    But, luckily, the press had the Internet to tell us the Internet was bad.

     

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    Some Guy, Jun 9th, 2012 @ 10:24am

    When I was growing up, everyone just blamed Ozzy for society's problems. At least technology has evolved to the point where we can now blame technology. Looks like Ozzy is off the hook!

     

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    That One Guy (profile), Jun 9th, 2012 @ 2:04pm

    BREAKING NEWS: MILLIONS OF WoW PLAYERS DIDN'T KILL ANYONE YESTERDAY!

    Yeah, it just doesn't quite have the same kick...

     

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    skinny poppy (profile), Jun 9th, 2012 @ 3:55pm

    Without volcanoes, we would never have had obsidian. Without obsidian, we would have never had glass knives. Obviously, volcanoes should be banned.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2012 @ 4:05pm

      Re:

      Oh god! When ever I read obsidian, I get the flashbacks of being deep underground, and the all too familiar 'ssssssssssssssssssssshhhhhh...." as hours of hours of mining goes BOOOOOM!

      CURSE YOU NOTCH!

       

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    orbitalinsertion (profile), Jun 9th, 2012 @ 7:13pm

    Bad journalism has done far more damage than video games could ever hope to.

     

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    kamereon (profile), Jun 9th, 2012 @ 10:51pm

    "if people were influenced by video games, the majority of facebook users would be farmers by now"

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 9th, 2012 @ 11:35pm

    Does it work conversely?

    I don't play WOW or use facebook, twitter or similar any other social media, yeah, wierd huh. If I go out and kill someone in a similar fashion, would we be required to play video games to take out our aggression online?

     

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    Kevin (profile), Jun 10th, 2012 @ 12:41am

    Blame Someone or something else

    It has been a trait of humans as far back as recorded history to blame anyone or thing than taking responsibility.
    Mental illness has existed forever but alas the last few decades have shown a reduction of the care of these sufferers which, in so many cases, lead to loss of lives.
    Governments underfund health world wide. The private health providers are not interested because there is no profit in caring for the disabled.
    I am not saying increased funding in mental health would eliminate all the crazed actions in this world but it would go a long way in reducing them.
    Blaming the internet is simply a cop out for failure.

     

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    ethorad (profile), Jun 10th, 2012 @ 2:16am

    mistrial?

    Oh dear, I'm guessing the defence lawyer will be moving for a mistrial if things go against him. Giving Breivik yet another chance to spout forth and waste public money.

    Seriously, that judge needs to be disciplined - sounds like a clear case of contempt of court.

     

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    Overcast (profile), Jun 10th, 2012 @ 3:26am

    But others blame music for murderers. Some blame TV, I'm sure long ago many blamed books.

    Now, we just have the same set of fools blaming the internet. There will always be fools that will seek to blame something other than the murderer themselves. But they need to get a clue - the murderer in all cases, is the one that chooses to kill. Internet, Music, TV, Video Games, or none of that - some will still seek to kill.

    But just don't expect some of the more 'small minded' humans to understand that.

     

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    Christian, Jun 10th, 2012 @ 6:09am

    Blaming

    Many people like to conceal the truth that violence is part of human nature.

    It is much easier to blame unnatural things like internet, video games, music etc. for disgusting deeds than to confess that we all are able to be atrocious.

    It is hypocritical and fatuous to understand acts of violence as perversion. Humankind has already proven that "perversion" is part of us.

    The rise of artificiality and the departure from being an animal by creating virtual worlds to circumvent our instincts is the only thing that protects us from much more violences that lies within us.

    Virtual worlds as rule based information systems (e.g. religious beliefs, constitutional state, video games and other fiction) help us, to understand and to control the wild beasts within all of us.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 10th, 2012 @ 11:44am

    Seriously... go to any blood/gore site and search for beheadings. How many Mexican cartels or Middle-Eastern-related videos are there? Just because it's Montreal everyone makes a fuss out of it. But for those of us that enjoy that sort of stuff, this was nothing that extraordinary...

     

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    whatever, Jun 10th, 2012 @ 7:18pm

    murder

    It seems to me while everyone is focusing on video games and youtube and saying that is his platform for his sickness.

    the news media is all they need to air bullshit.
    just look at the way they handle the political process.

     

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