Taking 'Flamewar' A Bit Too Seriously: Man Drives 1,300 Miles To Burn Down Home Of Online Critic

from the yeah,-maybe-let-that-one-go dept

Online flamewars certainly can get nasty at times, often boiling over into quite a bit of rage -- but it's still pretty rare (and amazing) to see that anger then boil over into the real world. Last year, we wrote about a case in the UK where someone drove 70 miles to attack the guy he was sparring with online. The press referred to it as "web rage," though, rage doesn't tend to last that long. Or, perhaps it does. Here in the US we do things in bigger ways, apparently. A guy in Virginia who got into a flamewar online decided to make it a bit more literal, and drove 1,300 miles to Waco, Texas to burn down the home of one of this online enemies from a (no, this isn't a joke) picture sharing community. Not only that, but the attacker took photos of each "Welcome to State X" signs and shared them online as he made his way across the country -- to let others in the community know he was serious about going after the other guy. What did the one guy do to piss the other guy off? Apparently he had different political views and posted a silly photo claiming the other guy was a nerd. Nerd or not, he's now a convicted arsonist. He's been sentenced to 7 years in prison for burning down the other guy's home -- but it doesn't sound like the intervening time or pending jail time cooled this guy down. As the sentencing was happening, the arsonist used his cameraphone to take snapshots of the guy whose home he tried to burn down, apparently to post online as well (though, the court ordered the photos destroyed). So, while the typical admonition to those engaging in flame wars is to remember that it's a real person on the other side, we'd also like to add "who may be so crazy that they'll come burn down your house."

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  1. identicon
    Very Nice, 27 Jul 2007 @ 11:31pm

    Burning down the house

    I find it sad, however funny as hell at the same time. As I tell my son: "You think you know the faceless people, but you really don't. I ask questions such as; who is father, mother, what is the hair color hair of this person mother. All these people you convert with are preditors in way one or others. There is an old quote "keep your friends close and your enemies closer" - (revised) and keep you online associates as far away as possible and reviel nothing.

    I been an IT professionly for 14 yrs and I can tell you don't know these people, you may think you do, but you don't.

    One more piece of advise - Be careful who you F with, they may be smarter than you think. Example: A young boy decided exploit an hole in an application I was running on my Linux box web server. Not very smart. Had issue resolved in 15 to 20 min. Than I begin my trace on him. I found a lot if info within 3 hour. I knew where he lived, his home phone number and his email address and I even found the name of his girlfriend (haha). I had a converation with him on MSN Messager. For 15 min the boy had no idea who I was and then I let the bomb on him and informed him of the information I had on him and I was very aware of his action against me and I have a mass amount of data prove it.

    Remember, any body can be who ever you want to be, behide a keybrd.

    Peace all

    And Brett is correct: they only have a few items when going into court: jump suit (no pockets), shoes, underwear and handcuffs. Makes one wonder where he hide the cellphone?

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