Emma Roller’s laughable defense that she was “trolled” into becoming the source of slander that led to libel (the slur heard round the world) in the Independent UK and Israel’s Ha’aretz, two widely recognized and respected international media sources is only the latest successful media hoax by the trolls at 4chan.
The history of media hacking by the collective (composed, legend tells, of neck-bearded hackers & other assorted basement-dwelling antisocial miscreants) reveals a stunning exponential increase in the sophistication in means, as well as speed and scope of exposure mustered in each advancing media hack/hoax . In a sense, the supposed “Anonymous” may be growing to rival Wisner’s Wurlitzer in it’s heyday. Frank Wisner was a former CIA operative involved in amassing the international rolodex of media contacts, influence makers, artists and front organizations to coordinate all these contacts. The volume “A MIghty Wurlitzer: How the CIA played America,” by Hugh Wilford takes its title from a supposed “quip” by Frank Wisner, who described his rolodex and the ensuing “media organ” that resulted as a “mighty Wurlitzer” that was “capable of playing any propaganda tune he desired.”
Interestingly enough, mass media seems to always (intentionally or not) get 4chan completely wrong. Perhaps the perfect illustration being the initial coverage of /b/ by a Fox news affiliate back in 2006. During the Fox news coverage of the “hackers on steroids” the piece begins with the sad tale of a “former anon” as well as interview with a “current anon.” (If you ask me, most likely they’re in fact the same troll, but that’s purely conjecture).
“I believe they’re domestic terrorists,” a woman exclaims. Immediately cut to a scene of stock video of an exploding van. The video itself flashes for just under three seconds & most eyes would be drawn to the blast rather than the “demonstration” disclaimer in the upper left hand corner of the screen. From originating the digital update to the classic bait and switch, the rick-roll to convincing Oprah to spout a meme from Dragonball Z, 4chan has been for years slowly creeping into the mainstream.
4chan’s mass media hoaxes continued to grow culminating in Marblecake Day, the commemoration of the precision hack of Time’s 100 most influential people (moot, the 4chan admin was at the top of the list and the top below him spelled out “marblecake, also the game”). For Marblecake day (which spread out for a week or two at least) Youtube was invaded with a stream of pornography. The YT invasion, like many of 4chan’s exploits had to be brought to the attention of the media by anon themselves. 4chan’s hoaxes are generally personally embarrassing to the “hoaxed” themselves.
The NSA failing to advise hospitals of a patch that would have prevented their systems from being shut down when a vulnerability their back door allowed was exploited was kept quiet for the same reason, shame.
“I was trolled” is a laughable defense according to Richard Barnes, pro bono attorney for Cassandra Fairbanks. It’s a sure admission that due diligence, journalistic integrity and commitment to broadcasting the truth was lacking when Emma Roller fell for the 4chan “OK hoax.”
Doubtful though, CNN didn’t even know 4chan wasn’t a single person last time I checked…
Emma Roller didn’t even retract her statement or delete the tweet once the ADL none too subtly entitled article, “No, the “OK” gesture is not a hate symbol” was published May 1, just days after the April 28th tweet by Roller which resulted in the Independent UK article (shared over 40,000 times) of the 29th. Barnes and Fairbanks may pick up a suit against Independent as well. Cassandra, who is half Puerto Rican, had used the “OK” hand gesture regularly long before the February 27th initiation of Operation O-k-k-k.