Internet phenomenon…

This is a boring story, but I had already started the post, so I decided to finish it.  It does show how crazy the internet is though.

I’m a member of Digital BlasphemyYesterday April 6, something interesting happened:

Ryan Bliss, the artist of Digital Blasphemy, posted on his site that another artist, Bob Hall, had accused him of copyright fraud.

Hundreds of his fans swept on Hall to see what the accusation was.  Hall had art hosted at, and Australian company that allows artists to sell their art on cards, prints, and even t-shirts.  RedBubble has a journal feature, similar to a blog.  It was there that Hall accused Bliss of copyright fraud.

In mere hours, RedBubble had hundreds of new members.  Each one commenting on Hall’s post and also on the page offering the image.  The comments pointed out that Bliss’s image was dated 2007, while Hall’s was dated 2008.  Either this was a case of copyright fraud in the other direction (Hall copying Bliss’s image), or a coincidence.  Either way, Hall had wrongly accused Bliss of fraud.  Instead of doing some quick research, he publicly slandered Bliss.  He also contacted sites selling Bliss’s works in print, keeping them from selling the image.

Sadly, Hall then entered the hospital and missed all of the excitement.  He no doubt returned home today Wednesday to an inbox full of messages scorning him for his behavior.  He issued an apology today.

This story doesn’t sound that exciting, but it was crazy.  I think everyone involved, fans included, learned a few things:

  1. Don’t do something stupid on the internet.  It’s an easy way to make a lot of people mad.
  2. A few hundred angry fans can make a big splash.
  3. Do a little research before you publicly defame someone.  Libel is illegal.
  4. It’s easy to get a hot head, and it’s usually not until we’ve already done something stupid that we realize that it was stupid, and then we regret it.  (Even fans started getting personal.)

However, my favorite part of the whole ordeal was when a RedBubble member threatened to use his federal agent connections, use “a whole floor dedicated to finding people [on the internet]”, and give a person a personal phone call–all because someone called them an idiot on the internet.  Honestly…

Currently listening to: “Strange” by Tokio Hotel and Kerli

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