Meet Erik. Erik loves Justin Bieber, hates those who don’t, and—in a quickly spreading online video—has threatened to ruin the lives of unrepentant non-Beliebers. Unfortunately for Erik, though, 4chan may have already turned the tables on him.
Here’s the video (titled “Declaration Of War Against Justin Bieber Haters”) that Erik—a 14-year-old Canadian—uploaded two days ago (The Daily What reports that it’s the most discussed video on YouTube today), during which he gave a 14-day ultimatum to Bieber haters (a summary of the video’s salient points will follow):
So—for those unable/unwilling to sit through five minutes of a kid pontificating and making threats in a highly arrogant/grating tone—what does Erik say in his video? Basically:
* He loves Justin Bieber.
* He hates those who do not love Justin Bieber
* He will give Bieber haters 14 days to remove all Bieber hate from the Internet
* Those who do not comply will be exposed on a web site that he’s created for that express purpose.
* The information he’s threatening to release about each Bieber hater includes his/her IP address, photo, phone number, and home address. He also threatened DDoS attacks against his targets.
* He’s very connected and will have no trouble getting all of the aforementioned information—in fact, his uncle works for the FCC! (Sigh.)
Obviously, Erik made this video of his own volition and—even though he’s only 14—had to know that it would make him a ripe target for those looking to give him a reality check about what one shouldn’t do/say on the Internet (*cough* Jessi Slaughter *cough*), right?
If so, then what would you say if I told you that people on 4chan’s /b/ image board (among many other individuals/groups on the Internet, I’m sure) has already—for the past few hours, at least—gone to work on gathering all of the information about Erik that they can in order to, presumably, teach him a lesson?
Because they have.
In the past hour or so alone, I’ve come across and combed through several threads on /b/ (some of which boasted a few hundred replies) dedicated to Erik—with everything from his purported personal information, to comments like, “dude, this kid is even more fucked up than jessi [slaughter],” to claims that certain people have already begun to troll him/attack the web site he set up (which currently appears to be down)/attack his home computer, to arguments about whether or not /b/ should be engaging in the aforementioned information gathering (and assumed dissemination of it to mess with him) after what happened with Jessi, and much, much more.
So, is Erik the next Jessi?
When trying to answer that question, it’s important to note the similarities and differences between the two. Here are just a few things to consider:
Jessi is 11. Erik is 14.
The video of Jessi’s that sparked the Internet backlash against her was highly obnoxious and included threats, but those threats were superficial/vague ones and didn’t target certain people beyond those she deemed “haters.” Erik’s video is also highly obnoxious and includes threats—specific ones, directed at specific people.
The trolling of Jessi included dissemination of her personal information online, prank calls to her home, and things of that nature—something that Jessi herself never threatened against others, but essentially what Erik is threatening to do to the Bieber haters who don’t “convert.”
This is where things get even more complicated. If /b/—or anyone else, for that matter—ends up disseminating/using Erik’s personal information in order to troll him in the same way he’s threatening to troll others, would they be less guilty—even if it’s only slightly so—than they were when they trolled Jessi? Are they simply giving Erik a taste of his own medicine? Teaching him a lesson?
That’s the million dollar question (questions?), and I’ll leave it up to everyone to answer it—in the comments section, preferably!—for themselves.
Honestly, though? This is all so effing stupid.