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photos by Lara Shipley


April 1st, 2003 · No Comments

Ok, I’ve got to confess, this makes me a touch uncomfortable. Seems some ignorant yahoo has a website where he posts photos of antiwar protestors, calling them “pathetic,” “un-American,” and even “traitors.” His hope, apparently, is that some of them will get fired.

That’s stupid and thuggish, but it’s not the only thing that makes me uncomfortable. What makes me uncomfortable is that, prompted by the A-man’s suggestive “I wonder what his bandwidth limit is,” people flooded there, held down their “refresh” buttons, and (since it’s hosted on Tripod, which has bandwidth limits) were able to take the site offline—where it remains as of this writing. Basically, it’s a DOS-attack launched via media power rather than hacker savvy. Now I dig Atrios (despite the fact that we wouldn’t agree on much if there weren’t a war on) but that seems not quite Hoyle. After all, what’s particularly objectionable about this dunce isn’t just that he uses mindless, McCarthyite language—you can find boatloads of assholes like that over at Free Republic—but that he’s trying to silence people via intimidation. Even then, though, his method is itself a form of speech: he hasn’t (as far as I know) threatened to beat people up, or snatched away their signs and megaphones. He’s just posted photos of people who show up at a public event, where any journalist could presumably snap a shot of them as well, with his own commentary. He’s obnoxious, but within his rights. Deliberately trying to keep him offline seems like the wrong response.

Update: Atrios notes that the line about bandwidth was meant (though perhaps not intepreted by all his readers…) as a joke, not a call to a takedown, which, even if the effects are similar, is quite different. So, err, ignore the above.

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