The Drama with Encyclopedia Dramatica

Encyclopedia Dramatica, one of the last bastions of Internet nastiness, appeared to have closed its doors for good today. But is it really dead? It's founder and owner says no. Rejoice, trolls!

For seven years, Encyclopedia Dramatica has profanely detailed the darker side of web culture as the wiki-of-record for 4chan's hordes and the collective Anonymous. But today, Encyclopdia Dramatica went dark. A tweet appeared on the official Encyclopedia Dramatica Twitter account: "RIP." We began hearing rumors that the site was being shut down for good by its founder, twenty-something Sherrod DeGrippo: It was " too much for her to deal with anymore." 4chan users and bloggers began to mourn.

But when we spoke to DeGrippo today, she was as surprised by the shutdown as the rest of the Internet. "I feel like someone is trolling ME," she said. Encyclopedia Dramatica isn't dead—it was just down briefly because of a technical error. "I made a front end configuration mistake," she said." ED is back up now with a brand new blog post soliciting donations. (Whoops, the blog post is exactly one year old!)

As for the fateful tweet, DeGrippo said that as many 30 people have access to the official ED account. Why did they want to spread rumors that ED was dead? "Because they're dramatic and they think it's funny?" Degrippo said. "ED people are all about reaction, being provocative, etc. It makes sense."

DeGrippo wouldn't comment on future plans for the site, and it's unclear if ED's position is any more precarious than usual. ED is constantly under attack for its trollish content: Recently, administrators removed an article about Anonymous' pro-Wikileaks attacks on businesses after receiving a federal court order telling them to do so. (You can check out all of the mean things they say about me if you'd like.) DeGrippo claims she's been receiving death threats because of her role overseeing the user-generated site, and entire blogs have been devoted to exposing ED's staff as cyberbullies.

But for now it looks like ED is still around, for better or worse.