How to Exact Online Revenge, As Taught by the Wall Street Journal

The internet is turning us all into nasty, vengeful monsters, according to a Wall Street Journal columnist's trend piece. And you can become one of those monsters, by using the eye-opening tactics outlined in the article. Service-y!

Columnist Elizabeth Bernstein says technology is to blame for an alarming surge in sweet, refreshing revenge, since the internet makes vengeance way too easy. That it does, in part because it contains Elizabeth Bernstein's article. Here are some neat tricks she uncovered:

  • Dumped by a boyfriend? Try anonymously emailing dozens of his new girlfriend's MySpace buddies, claiming she's a tramp and a home-wrecker. This might happen: "Family members called her and questioned her morals. Co-workers whispered about her behind her back. Several friends cut her off completely."
  • Cheating husband? Just delete his Facebook privacy settings, and set his status to, "Moving back to my mom's because my wife caught me cheating with a woman from work." Answer his friends questions, as him, and then have "him" disparage his own physical attributes. He might even come crawling back and later tell the Wall Street Journal he's totally OK with what you did.
  • Get a tacky email from the ex? Post it to your blog, with some snark. Warning: Mild future guilt a definite possibility.
  • Just straight-out hate some lady? You can always spam Google with tons of pages about how she's a kidnapping child-abusing con artist. You just have to be ready to pay the $11 million-ish court-ordered restitution.

Of course, you might get in big trouble for doing one or more of these things. In that case, just ring up one of the psychologists quoted by Bernstein, who can back up your claim of suffering from "online disinhibition effect." That's a fancier name for what used to be called the Greater Internet Fuckwad Theory.

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