A Psychopathic Poet, The Devil's Bastard Son. (curefreak) wrote in blog_sociology,
A Psychopathic Poet, The Devil's Bastard Son.

I've just come across an epic case of the internet, LJ in particular, changing a person's behaviour and enforcing social/moral standards.

Many of you may have seen a reference to this post, as it appears to be spreading across LJ like wildfire. I'm not going to name the original poster, or provide a link to the post, however it was in one of the more popular LJ communities.

It begins with a question, complete with a chip on the shoulder:

"a classmate has propositioned me- she wants me to write two papers for her african american history class. one is a 2-3 pager, the other 4 pages. i've never performed such a service before, can anyone tell me the going rate for solid academic writing? she said i would be well compensated but we haven't discussed an amount yet.

any comments condemning my (or her) actions will be ignored or ridiculed. ty.

The original poster is then berated for cheating.

Then certain community members do online research on the poster, both on LJ, Google and MySpace and get the poster's name, the school, the teacher's name etc.

The poster denies this, saying they have the wrong person. Then they claim they have the wrong school etc.

Then, after receiving 200 plus comments on the post, most of which were negative, though a few claimed not to see what all the fuss was about, the original poster admits "defeat" and in reaction to people saying they will personally report them, edits the post to read:

"alright- you win. no seriously. you've scared the motherf*cking shit out of me and now i'm going to turn the offer down as well as delete this account or do... something. please don't turn me in- i haven't done anything wrong yet, and i actually have never cheated (some of you say i am dumb, and perhaps i am, but i am a very good student) before.

if your intentions were to get me to go the right thing, bravo. if they were to scare me, congratulations, if they are to f*ck up my life-i hope karma gets you."

To me it was an amazing example of the power of society to make a person alter their actions and society in this case being the cyberspace community.
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I had not heard of this. There's nothing like a million faceless strangers to tell you when you're doing something stupid or immoral. Although, imo, the stupid part wasn't necessarily being willing to help someone cheat, it was putting it out there as evidence so you'd get caught (maybe that makes me immoral, too?).
Read about Foucalt's panopticon concept... I wrote a little on this a couple years ago.
I don't understand why the poster thought he/she'd get into trouble. Admission of thinking about doing something isn't the same as admitting to having done it already... this was a simple request for going rates. And the people threatening to turn the poster in for cheating obviously have too much time on their hands and like to meddle. Give people an internet connection and anonymity and bullying ensues.