stories filed under: "mafia"
There have been plenty of "mafia" or "mobster" related games available these days: on gaming consoles, on mobile devices and (especially) on social networks. It kinda makes you wonder what real mobsters think of them all. Well, at least in one case, we have an idea. Glyn Moody points us to the news that Gerlandino Messina, described as "Sicily's no.2 boss," was arrested last weekend and when police showed up to take him away, he was playing The Godfather game on his Xbox. The game, of course, is based on the movie of the same name and is all about the mafia. You see, in the virtual world, you don't actually go to jail (or get shot). Seems safer.
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Sep 30th 2010 11:24am
from the humor-sensors? dept
btr1701 passes on the news of how Italy's tourism minister apparently has absolutely no sense of humor. There's an app in the Apple iTunes store for iPhones and iPads called "What Country," which summarizes every country in quick stereotypical snippets. It's meant to be amusing. For example:
Britain is characterised by "tea, weird sense of humour, football hooligans and rain", while Germany is summed up with "beer, discipline and autobahns". China is reduced to "overpopulation, kung fu, Great Wall, Tibet and tea ceremony", while the most defining characteristics of the US are "melting pot, hamburger and the American dream".As for Italy, well, it's summarized as "pizza, the Mafia and scooters." And, apparently, Italy's tourism minister, Michela Vittoria Brambilla, has such a lack of humor that she declared the app "offensive and unacceptable," demanded that Apple remove it from the store and (most ridiculous of all) is asking the state's attorney to take legal action against the author. Apparently, someone thinks it's illegal in Italy to make a joke about Italy.
Wed, Jan 21st 2009 8:34pm
from the social-networking,-Sicily-style dept
Sicilian police are moving into some new territory in their ongoing fight against the Mafia: Facebook. They're keeping tabs on several groups devoted to convicted Mafia members, suspicious that they're online gathering places for people interested in more than just some harmless social networking. There have also been calls in Italy for Facebook to shut down the groups, which it hasn't yet done, while Facebook groups protesting the Mafia groups have also sprouted up -- illustrating that the ideal response to speech some people find offensive is more speech. But the groups are also exposing the dangerous path that Facebook and other site owners start down if they begin removing material that some people find offensive, but isn't illegal. One of the anti-Mafia groups is called "Yes to Breasts, No to Totò Riina," highlighting the fact that Facebook recently removed pictures of breast-feeding mothers, but has let the pages touting the Mafia members stand.
by Mike Masnick
Mon, Sep 29th 2008 4:20am
from the nice-profile-you-got-there...-wouldn't-want-anything-to-happen-to-it... dept
Over the years, of course, there have been plenty of stories about potential dates and potential employers reviewing social networking profiles to learn more about someone. Then, we just had a story about some universities reviewing social networking profiles as part of the admissions process. But the latest story is that organized crime may be getting into the game as well. A former FBI agent is claiming that both the Italian and Russian mobs are using social networking profiles to "launch attacks" on individuals and businesses. Of course, the details seem really, really slim. About the only thing the guy says is that if your CV/resume is online, that can be used against you -- but that's hardly a "social networking" problem. Plus, in many cases, that's pretty public information. This sounds like a lot more scare mongering than anything to necessarily worry about right now. In the meantime, though, are we going to start seeing Twitter messages from mobsters? "Nice list of followers you've got here... wouldn't want to see anything happen to them..."
by Dennis Yang
Tue, Jan 15th 2008 10:49am
from the take-the-cannolis dept
One of the Sicilian Mafia's oldest and most steady revenue streams, protection money, called "pizzo" in Italian, is now at risk a new website that now provides extorted businessmen the support with which to stand up to the mob. Traditionally considered a death sentence to stand up to the Sicilian Mafia, Addiopizzo.org, which means "Goodbye Pizzo," voluntarily lists 230 businesses who openly defy the payment to the Mafia. There is safety in numbers, and the tide of pizzo payments is indeed starting to turn. Perhaps what the website organizers should offer next is the ability for the pizzo-paying business owners to list what they are each paying for "protection." That way, perhaps they can lend some transparency to the Mafia's business. After all, why pay 500 euros a month if your neighbor is only paying 100 euros a month for his "I-hope-nothing-bad-happens-to-you" policy? Or, perhaps, once again, the web has brought an end to an outdated business model, and the Sicilian Mafia needs to adapt with the times. From spam to porn to gambling, the Internet is rife with shady schemes in which the well-organized gangster can participate.