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Controversy Erupts Over Craigslist Prank 674

Posted by Zonk
from the only-half-funny dept.
An anonymous reader writes to mention something of an ongoing controversy over a recent Craigslist prank. Waxy.org has the full details: "On Monday, a Seattle web developer named Jason Fortuny started his own Craigslist experiment. The goal: 'Posing as a submissive woman looking for an aggressive dom, how many responses can we get in 24 hours?' He took the text and photo from a sexually explicit ad in another area, reposted it to Craigslist Seattle, and waited for the responses to roll in ... '178 responses, with 145 photos of men in various states of undress. Responses include full e-mail addresses (both personal and business addresses), names, and in some cases IM screen names and telephone numbers.' In a staggering move, he then published every single response, unedited and uncensored, with all photos and personal information to Encyclopedia Dramatica." The Wired blog 27B Stroke 6 has analysis of the prank, which author Ryan Singel views as 'sociopathic'. He then follows that up with responses to comments from his analysis, with further exploration of the weighty issues this juvenile prank has brought up.
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Controversy Erupts Over Craigslist Prank

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  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Monday September 11, 2006 @02:25AM (#16079329)
    I stole the picture I sent from another site! Ha Ha!
    • by kripkenstein (913150) on Monday September 11, 2006 @03:59AM (#16079553) Homepage
      I stole the picture I sent from another site! Ha Ha!

      This is exactly what I was thinking as I read the article. Who is being fooled here, exactly? There is certainly the possibility that

      1. Mr. Fortuny made up all the responses, to get publicity (which he indeed did).

      or

      2. Many of the responses were made up by whoever sent them. Just like Mr. Fortuny made up a fake listing for fun, other people may have sent fake responses for fun.

      In other words, what verification do we have that the posted information is real? None whatsoever.
      • Being a female geek isn't easy and so I've tried the on-line dating thing. (Dramatic Eye Roll) - All you ever get are a bunch of posers and losers. Most of them are married, many with children and none of them are shy about giving out personal details like employment (bragging), salary (bragging), work phone #, cell phone #, email address, etc. What you won't get from most of them is a photo that's taken in the last 20 years or a home phone #.

        2 cents,

        QueenB
        • by rossifer (581396) on Monday September 11, 2006 @05:10PM (#16084963) Journal
          I just married the woman I met on match.com three years ago. She was my 13th first date from match.com, which made it an exhausting but ultimately worthwhile experience. For the first two months I was on match.com, I didn't put up my salary because I didn't want to meet gold-diggers. Didn't quite work as I'd hoped, since match.com used to equate "don't want to say" as "less than $25,000/year". My wife didn't want to date the jobless and specified "at least $25,000/year", so she only found me when I finally went ahead and put my income on my profile.

          Some hints. If all you're finding are married men, posers and losers: you're using the wrong dating site and/or you're searching for the wrong criteria.

          Hint #1: Craigslist is the wrong site if you are looking for an actual relationship. One-night stand? Line forms to the left. Random sex in parking lots? Right over here, ma'am. Meaningful relationship? I'm sorry, but we're all out at the moment.

          Those women who perpetually date players (who then cheat on them) don't seem to be able to distinguish between arrogance and confidence, and seem to put more value on the car than the person (for the overly sensitive: this is an unfair generalization with a large dose of truth). Hint #2: Be different from those women in how you select partners, and you'll be different from them in the relationships you have.

          Hint #3: The trick with the photographs is to not put so much value on a photo and instead, value someone who can write a decent profile, respond well in email (articulate, decent spelling and grammar, possibly funny) and meet the guy quickly (but with a low investment). After two or three emails, meet at a coffee shop after work "for a quick cup" and make up your mind in person in 5-20 minutes.

          Fundamentally, don't pretend that dating sites are a replacement for the first date. They're a replacement for the club, activity, or job where you might otherwise see someone interesting, but not a whole lot more. All of the other work in meeting someone great is still up to you.

          Regards,
          Ross
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by sjwaste (780063)
      Obligatory...

      You have a woman dressed in leather, down on all fours, with a dog collar around her neck and some man is pushing a leather glove in her face. How is that not offensive?

      Look, you should've seen what they wanted to put on the cover. And it wasn't a glove, I'll tell you that much.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 11, 2006 @02:30AM (#16079337)
    "Send me a picture of your cock -- I'll suck the best one - w4m" got about 22 replies that made me very, very sad about Gmail autodisplaying images, and very, very sad that I was on the particular mailing list used to post the ad.
  • by Flying pig (925874) on Monday September 11, 2006 @02:32AM (#16079342)
    The risks they are taking with this kind of behavior: I mean the respondents, of course. It seems a lot of people still do not understand how the Internet works; for instance, when people post personal details to blogs and then are surprised that other people read them, as if they thought only "suitable" people would somehow have access. The more people understand that giving away personal information in an insecure environment is actually deeply stupid, the better for us all in the long term.

    Prank yes, sociopathic possibly, may get some people to think a bit more before giving away potentially embarrassing or expensive data, priceless.

    • by mano_k (588614) on Monday September 11, 2006 @02:41AM (#16079368) Homepage

      They did not understand how the internet works?
      They did not publish their personal information on some website, they sent it to someone who had published an ad in a suitable forum! This has nothing to do with "how the internet works" but is all about "how people work"!

      Of course I would not send my real name, official email-address and such in response to an ad, but this has nothing to do with me being a nerd, but with knowing that there are truly stupid people out there.

      • by Opportunist (166417) on Monday September 11, 2006 @03:24AM (#16079475)
        Excuse me, but sending very private information to someone you don't have the foggiest clue about pretty much means you don't know how the 'net works.

        It's funny how many people will even respond to fraudulent requests to surrender information to "da man", thinking that everyone pisses their pants before even considering imposing as federal agents, not thinking that it could be kinda hard to execute federal US law against someone located in a country ending in -stan.

        Then again, considering the anti-spam, anti-fraud, anti-bad-thing-done-through-the-internet laws passed recently, neither do politicians have a clue how it works...
        • by Southpaw018 (793465) * on Monday September 11, 2006 @04:10AM (#16079589) Journal
          I would say that this has nothing to do with the internet. Sending highly private, personal information to someone you've never met, know nothing about and whose identity you can't even be sure of (as in this case!) means you're just an idiot. There's really no way around that one.

          People do this through the mail, people do this through email. Hell, con artists have tricked people into doing this since cavemen were banging each other on the heads with clubs. Whatever way it occurs, it's the same thing.
          • by Opportunist (166417) on Monday September 11, 2006 @06:20AM (#16079886)
            People tend to be less wary on the 'net, though. When someone comes to your door, telling you he's from your bank to review your account data, would you believe him? If not, then why do so many people believe those mails they (allegedly) get from their bank, telling them to reply IMMEDIATELY with all their secret info or their accounts are closed?

            People simply let go all safeguards when going online. Why, I don't know, but they do.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by lawpoop (604919)
              "People simply let go all safeguards when going online. Why, I don't know, but they do."

              Your average, nuerotypical person is good at reading body language and understanding the signs of authenticity, such as clothing, vehicle, dialect, etc. However, they aren't the best readers, and their skeptical tools aren't as refined as they are for sniffing out con artists. They've been lied to and heard BS stories hundreds of times from all sorts of people all throughout their life. However, they've very rarely enco
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Vinnie_333 (575483)
            Sending highly private, personal information to someone you've never met, ... means you're just an idiot.

            Of course, these people were hoping to get laid. Which bypasses the brain and goes straight to other body parts.

        • by tacocat (527354) <tallison1 AT twmi DOT rr DOT com> on Monday September 11, 2006 @08:14AM (#16080327)

          I would disagree. I can have the same social effect if I were to do this via street fliers stapled to phone poles in the respective neighborhoods.

          The internet is different, but the people are the same. You can still meet some real jerks -- just faster and they're harder to spot because it's easier to pose on the internet.

          For all you know, I might be a hyper-intelligent shade of blue and not a carbon based life form.

    • by Tim C (15259) on Monday September 11, 2006 @02:46AM (#16079381)
      I agree with you to an extent, but this is not the same as people expecting blog postings to magically only be visible to the intended audience. This is people responding to an invitation to contact someone who is making that invitation under false pretences. There is absolutely no difference between this, and someone placing a personal ad in a newspaper, then publishing the responses in that paper (other than that this costs the guy nothing).

      I agree that there should be no expectation of privacy regarding information that is published on the web. However, this was *not* published on the web, and I think there is an implied expectation of privacy regarding personal communications (eaves-droppers notwithstanding).

      You're right, in that some of these people were perhaps a little foolish to supply personal contact details quite so readily, but that doesn't excuse the guy who did this. I'm certainly not a psychologist, but this guy pretty much fits my personal, layman's definition of sociopath, as he clearly has zero empathy or respect for the people he did this to.
    • Rawhide! Seriously though, this guy was just trolling, a well honed art here on /. In any case he appears to be an attention whore with personal issues, this hit fark a while back, and apparently on his myspace profile he describes himself as a "Ferris Beuller", and tells all the little people not to feel bad that they can't be him. Theres nothing deep here, no hidden agenda, no implications for the wider society, just a sad little man. I wonder will they sue him? Now that would be ironic - hey man, didn't

      • by Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) on Monday September 11, 2006 @03:43AM (#16079523) Homepage

        FTFA:

        September 10: Jason Fortuny modified his homepage to remove all references to his professional life: portfolio, resume, and references to past clients are all gone. (Compare to the older versions on the Internet Archive.) It also looks like he's been scrubbing his personal contact information from his Livejournal comments and homepage. For example, this link from my post originally went to a comment with his contact information, but it's been removed entirely. (Strangely, he didn't remove his home address and phone number from this entry.)

        Bwaahahah, nice one Ferris. Pwn3d.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          Exactly. He doesn't think /his/ friends and colleagues should be harassed as a result of his actions. Those lamers and their families and colleagues, hell, they're fair game, apparently. Gotta love double standards.

          Has there been any verification of his address/phone number (not to suggest anyone try anything against him, but I wouldn't be surprised if his "home phone number" is a voicemail service where he's just going to post verbal threats to his LJ, and if his "home address" is a maildrop).

    • by CortoMaltese (828267) on Monday September 11, 2006 @03:36AM (#16079509)
      It certainly is time for people to understand.

      You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say on the Internet can and will be used against you. You have the right to speak to an attorney, but he can't help you take back what you said on the Internet. Nobody can.

    • by allgood2 (226994) on Monday September 11, 2006 @05:14AM (#16079748)
      I agree that the "prank" (the word really isn't strong enough) should act as a cautionary tale for more people. But I've got to say, God, what an a-hole Jason Fortuny is. Not only was his posting of the response--possibly illegal: no you don't have the right to post private data just because it was sent to you; just like you don't have the right to use my image for sale, just because I was unlucky enough to walk in front of your camera--the guy is just being an ass about his responses. I clicked on the thread by the husband and wife, in an open marriage; and not only was he treating them with scorn, derision, and heaping helpings of unwarranted hatred; but he was encouraging others to do so as well. It was like a public stoning, and practically everyone there was saying, "well, you volunteered for it, you were going to cheat on your wife" or "you deserved it, did you really think any girl would want to be submissive". Ignoring the fact that they are throwing stones at a human being.

      I just have to say, I'm glad I don't do much work in that area of the country. Because, if I was ever asked if Mr. Fortuny should be hired, recommended, or even considered for a position; I'd have to state unequivocally, that I consider him to be untrustworthy, egotistical, uncaring, and highly likely to violate any private and or confidential data and materials, regardless of any policies he may have agreed to. He may be great at his job, but I, for one, would never recommend him.

      I imagine as an independent contractor in the web and networking business, that he's put his livelihood in jeopardy. Cause, I'm betting that as much as the arrogant responses of the youthful looking to draw blood are commenting on his efforts; individuals and companies more likely to pay for the privilege of his service will feel a great deal more hesitation--despite any agreement that they may or may not have on the morality of the responders.

      I hope that there are at least of few respondents willing to press civil charges against him (I'm not certain if any criminal charges can be brought).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 11, 2006 @02:32AM (#16079343)
    Exposing people who did nothing wrong and thereby at least embarassing them if not destroying their lifes is neither witty, nor funny, it's just disgusting.

    And to do this just to get your 15 minutes of internet fame is incredibly pathetic. What an asshole.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Precisely.

      And the arrogant little wanker is not exactly hard to find. I would not be surprised to read that he ends up suffering some form of retribution over this stunt; legal, physical, or otherwise. The little asshole thought it was funny to spread the respondents' personal info over the net, but now he is working overtime trying to remove his data.

      I expect this will affect his business. Character matters, and we've gotten a good view of his. Yes, the respondents should have used better judgement, bu
      • by legoburner (702695) on Monday September 11, 2006 @03:28AM (#16079487) Homepage Journal
        Yes, as good an idea as he thought it was, any company that ever googles his name now will instantly see pages associated with sex-related pranks, and see pages and pages of controversy and arguments. I read in one place that a couple of marriages are breaking apart because of his actions*, and he has been anything but anonymous in his 'prank' (his full address was available along with phone number and name on his site when he first did this and it has been reposted in quite a few places), so one wonders what will come either legally or illegally of him as a result of this.

        *Though they would probably have broken apart anyway as nobody can hide this sort of thing forever.
  • Legal Implications? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Alicat1194 (970019) on Monday September 11, 2006 @02:34AM (#16079347)
    Wouldn't this be some sort of breach of contract or communication? Since the guys who replied believed they were responding to an individual, and thus most likely consider it a private communication, would they be able to take legal action?
    • Wouldn't this be some sort of breach of contract or communication?

      Huh? They sent naked pictures of themselves to an unknown person on the Internet...(!)

      You have heard of the Internet, right? It's famous for publishing things that people don't want other people to see.

      The only people who'll be "staggared" by this are tiny minded newbies who have no idea of how the world works...

      (...and lawyers who are offering to sue the person responsible, but they're only pretending to be "staggared" so they ca

    • by rm999 (775449) on Monday September 11, 2006 @03:12AM (#16079443)
      from tfa:

      "But was any law actually broken? Fortuny obviously misrepresented himself under false pretenses, which is itself possibly actionable, but the privacy implications beyond that are very interesting. Does emailing someone your personal information act as an implicit waiver of your right to privacy? I'm not a lawyer, but as far as I can tell, no.

      If taken to court, he's at risk of two primary civil claims. "Intentional infliction of emotional distress," while notoriously hard to prove in court, is certainly easier here based on his own writings. The second, more relevant claim, is "public disclosure of private facts." This Findlaw article on the Washingtonienne scandal sums it up nicely:

              The disclosure must be public. The facts must be private. The plaintiff must be identified. The publication must be "highly offensive." And there must be an "absence of legitimate concern to the public" with respect to the publication.

      It certainly seems like this clearly fits the criteria for a tort claim, but I'd love to hear some legal interpretation from the law bloggers out there. Does volunteering your information in a private context somehow invalidate your privacy rights? I don't think so. (For more information, see the EFF's Bloggers' FAQ on Privacy.)"
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jcr (53032)
      Well, there are all kinds ofpossible tort actions here, but I would think that the guy's in the greatest danger of just getting beaten to death, considering that he was advertising for BDSM types..

      -jcr
  • Responses (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 11, 2006 @02:35AM (#16079351)
    RFJason_CL_Experiment [encycloped...matica.com]
  • by Mikachu (972457) <jjburke@NOSpam.hunter.cuny.edu> on Monday September 11, 2006 @02:35AM (#16079352) Homepage
    Why did he have to post all the information! I'LL NEVER WORK IN SEATTLE AGAIN :(

    Thanks a lot Jason, you jerk
  • by identity0 (77976) on Monday September 11, 2006 @02:41AM (#16079366) Journal
    With all the talk about "If you haven't done anything wrong, you have nothing to hide from the government", it's only natural that people will start to snoop on each other. After all, if you haven't done anything wrong, you have no reason to hide it, right?

    It seems like the Transparent Society [davidbrin.com] is coming closer all the time. I'm not sure it's a good thing, though.

    On the other hand, I'm suprised social conservative types haven't pulled more of this kind of crap before. Outing a few dozen gay men would make them hesitant to associate, and it's not like fundamentalist churches don't have lots of money and members with free time... Maybe they're afraid some of their own would be caught or something.
  • Here's the link to the Encyclopaedia Dramatica article in question, if anyone cares:
    http://pr0n.encyclopediadramatica.com/index.php/RF Jason_Craigslist_Experiment [encycloped...matica.com]
  • what's really remarkable about this prankster's behavior is that he has revealed his OWN personally identifying details attached to the results of his prank

    wtf!?

    so, in a way, the ad isn't a lie:

    he posted an ad for someone looking to be the submissive member in a sadomasochistic arrangement ...and if he embarasses/ ruins the marriage of the wrong kind of guy, he will receive a visit from a very sadistic type who wishes to dominate him and deliver this prankster a world of pain

    so the ad will result in a respo
  • by svunt (916464) on Monday September 11, 2006 @02:50AM (#16079388) Homepage Journal
    I once had a friend on IRC ask me to read a piece of erotic fiction she'd read and provide feedback. No problem, she links me to the story, which is at an erotic literature website, which requires me to register. Little did I know that a list of their users was online, and it only took a week until my name in Google yielded its first ever result, linking me to shitty home-made wank stories. The point is, you get burned, you learn your lesson. I just feel sorry for these poor saps who didn't learn their lesson in a lower-impact fashion. Regarding the guy who did this: There's clever, and there's easy. Guess which your joke is, cocksmoker?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 11, 2006 @03:36AM (#16079510)
      I learnt this lesson and stated to be careful around 10 (or more) years ago.

      I came across a link to a website that said something like 'click here for hot chicks'. Of course I clicked on it and the front page asked me to enter my name and email address to see hot chicks. There wasn't a big problem with spam back then and porn was still mostly confined to alt.binaries.sex, so I entered my details in out of curiosity (of course).

      The next thing I know, a picture of chicks (as in baby chicken) comes up with a message saying something like "Hope you enjoy these pictures of hot chicks. Here is the list of others that share your passion for poultry", followed by my personal details and a list of personal details of other people.

      I've been careful with my details ever since.
  • by IICV (652597) on Monday September 11, 2006 @02:52AM (#16079393)
    I really can't make up my opinion on this case, probably because it's 12:30 am here. Anyway, on the one hand, the people who responded to this with any information that's directly traceable to them are morons, and doubly so for the ones who were stupid enough to use their friggin' work e-mail. I mean, come on! Everyone likes a bit of the old misuse of company resources now and then, but asking for sex with your work address? It's probably a good thing your genes won't spread far.

    On the other hand, though, publishing their information in a public place isn't quite kosher. Although we all know that sending someone a plaintext e-mail is almost as bad as shouting from the rooftops should anyone actually want to intercept the message, it's not quite as bad as posting pictures of your stoned self on MySpace and expecting nobody to ever find it. There is at least a little bit of expectation that this is a private sort of thing; I would be a lot happier with him if he'd just quietly notified the people who replied that they'd been scammed, and only published the details of those who became abusive.

    One thing I don't really care about is the way the 27B-6 guy is complaining about marriages being destroyed because of this. It really makes no sense; if the guy is responding to ads online and his wife doesn't know about it, there's probably something deeply troubled in the marriage and it's likely to go to divorce soon anyway. Similarly with the public lynching argument: if you are so uncomfortable with your tastes that you wouldn't like to publicize them, why are you even taking the risk of replying to something on Craig's List? Yes, this is likely to be the first time such a stunt has been publicized, but still - you'd expect people would rather keep their activities a secret to take some reasonable precautions. Like not using their damn work e-mail.

    Which actually brings up an interesting point! How many times has this stunt been pulled on Craig's List, only instead of being put on some stupid Wiki, those who responded with useful information just got blackmailed? How much would you pay so that your wife doesn't find out about your animal bondage fetish?

    • by pavon (30274) on Monday September 11, 2006 @11:18AM (#16081695)
      Logically, the only reason to be torn is if you think that one of the parties needs to be declared the innocent good guy. Emotionally, I would be worried if you weren't torn.

      The men who provided sensitive personal information to an anonymous stranger were foolish and took a big risk. The guy who posted this private information on a public forum did commit an immoral and illegal act. The foolishness of the doms one does not absolve Jason of his offenses, and his violation of their trust does not change the fact that it was stupid of them to trust him to begin with, nor does it absolve the ones who were cheating on their wives. These men have faced the unfortunate consequences of their actions, now it is time for Jason to face the consequences of his.

      On the other hand, it is a good that you can feel bad for what happened to someone while recognizing that they brought it on themselves. I mean that for both sides - the ones that had their trust violated, and the one who was to immature to realize that what he was doing wasn't just a prank. It only becomes a problem when people turn empathy into whitewash, or recognition of guilt into an excuse to demonize.
  • by AaronLawrence (600990) * on Monday September 11, 2006 @03:13AM (#16079447)
    Whether or not it is illegal or ethical, some of those guys are going to want to damage him any way they can. If he's lucky, none of them will lose their jobs or marriages.

    Secondly, it's alarming to see the division in the responders: a HUGE percentage who think that it's OK or even cool, for various reasons. These people are themselves somewhat sociopathic. Some of them are obviously kids, but others are not, and those are scary.

    "They were married" - well, a few of them were. What about the other 150?
    "These guys are cruising for sex" - not a crime. Not even morally wrong for many people.
    "They used work addresses" - only a few of them.
    "They responded to a public posting" - but by private email.
    "Email is not private" - but you still can't post other people's private information in public without their permission. Yes, there really are laws about that. No, the "internet" doesn't make it different. Yes, there are ethical and social reasons as well.

  • I hate this guy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rm999 (775449) on Monday September 11, 2006 @03:18AM (#16079460)
    I really hate this guy. I don't know much about him, but I hope he spends some time in jail. I feel this way after reading about this guy who contacted him:

    http://www.encyclopediadramatica.com/index.php/RFJ ason_CL_Experiment [encycloped...matica.com]
    search for Part I: Email conversation with Jerry
    also look at parts ii and iii

    He has no empathy, and he is clearly trying to humiliate these people. Given the large number of people he angered (whose lives may be ruined because of it) and his very public profile, I am guessing he is going to have to go into hiding soon. In addition to a lack of empathy, he has a lack of common sense.
    • Re:I hate this guy (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rm999 (775449) on Monday September 11, 2006 @03:22AM (#16079469)
      In case it's taken down:

      The Saga of Jerry and "Wife"

      * Official thread

      Jerry has already contacted me by e-mail, demanding I remove all traces of him from my post. This appears to be an anonymous reply from him in my LJ: http://rfjason.livejournal.com/410835.html?thread= 7629011#t7629011 [livejournal.com]

      Jerry claims he has an open marriage. Can anyone confirm/deny this?

      Edit: Update. Jerry and his "wife" contacted me on AIM
      Part I: Email conversation with Jerry

      From Jerry@emailaddress.com
      > You will remove the pictures of me from your stupid craigslist experiment.
      > My wife and I have an open relationship, don\'t believe me? Contact her and
      > ask her. But you will remove me, you have no right to post this kind of crap
      > without first knowing the full details. Here is the bullshit i want you to
      > remove: http://rfjason.livejournal.com/410835.html?thread= 7600851..t7600851 [livejournal.com]

      From Jason
      Why should I?

      From Jerry@emailaddress.com
      Because I would appreciate it, because my wife and I have an open relationship
      and I would never "cheat" on her. Because we play with others to enhance our
      own relationship. Because she is fully aware of what goes on. And again
      because I'd appreciate it.
      I don't want to fight this out with you, I understand why you're doing
      this - to husbands that actually cheat, however, I wouldn't do that - my wife
      and I are fully participating swingers, now please remove the thread.

      From Jason
      Well, if anything, this should help you meet MORE people.

      From Jerry@emailaddress.com
      And it's not the way I want it done. So you have no intentions of removing it
      then? That's fine, I'll ignore it and move on with my life.

      From Jason
      Wait, I thought you were going to sue me?

      From Jerry@emailaddress.com
      I'll look into all my options, and if I choose legal recourse, it
      wouldn't be a
      lawsuit. It would be a criminal case, if that didn't work, then I imagine I'd
      have to settle for a civil suit. But either way, this is the last time I
      communicate with you. I have nothing more to say - by even responding in the
      first place I gave you what you want, and that was foolish of me.

      Part II: IM Conversation with Jerry

      [10:29] JrITadmin69: Just the man I was looking for.
      [10:30] RFJason: Hi Jerry. I just replied to your e-mail.
      [10:30] JrITadmin69: and i replied to yours
      [10:30] JrITadmin69: Look, I understand what you're trying to do with your experiment.
      [10:31] JrITadmin69: And I don't take offense, other then that you didn't attempt to get the whole story, and jumped to conclusions.
      [10:31] RFJason: I didn't jump to any conclusions.
      [10:31] JrITadmin69: And I learned my lesson as well, don't include my face anymore, assuming my wife and i decide to continue with our lifestyle.
      [10:31] JrITadmin69: Sure you did, you assumed I was cheating on my
  • FYI (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TheLink (130905) on Monday September 11, 2006 @03:31AM (#16079496) Journal
    He used to say in his website: http://web.archive.org/web/20050211124330/rfjason. com/contact/
    Privacy Policy:
    You are sending me direct contact information that is sensitive. I protect your privacy in the following ways:
    (1) I will never sell, rent, or give away your address to any outside party, ever;
    (2) I will never send you any unrequested e-mail, besides e-mail in the regular course of business; and
    (3) Your information is stored behind network address translation and a software firewall.

    But now he doesn't. ;)
  • by file-exists-p (681756) on Monday September 11, 2006 @03:34AM (#16079504)

    In his responses, the guy is arguing with a kind of rethoric that completely ignores the importance of social image, social relations, and more globally social existence. Because those concepts are alien to him, he can not grasp how much harm he has caused.

    Hopefully he will be sued. Maybe he will still do not understand what he did wrong, but he at least will understand that he did something wrong that he should not do again.

  • by MrPerfekt (414248) on Monday September 11, 2006 @03:38AM (#16079512) Homepage Journal
    At first, I was on the side of the guy that posted all the info. "It's their fault they gave their information out before knowing who they were giving it to.", I thought. Then I realized that despite how bizarre and fucked up I may find the S&M fetish, there are probably a thing or two I like that'd gross out other people and would I like that information broadcast? Probably not.

    This also brings up a good point about meeting people with particular "interests" online. Say I like feet. I don't. But say I did and I want to find people with the same interest as mine. The Internet is probably where I'd turn. It's not like you can go to Starbucks and start randomly asking people. Now, this guy finds foot fetishes objectionable and outs me. I'm not doing anything illegal but I'm sure my employer would look differently at me for knowing despite having an obligation to not do that. It's all about impressions and what you know about someone. You can't forget something like that. That's why people keep those things to themselves.

    So long story, short. I read what this guy posted. I read what the submissions were. I read how this guy is acting after the fact. He's his own moral sheriff apparently. Which is pretty lame considering there's alot of terrorists running about out there doing the same thing only instead of humiliation, they prefer death. So, it all goes back to: yes, you have a right to do something (and in this case, maybe not even then) but that doesn't mean you _should_ do it.

    What I think about what these people like to say to their sexual partners is irrelevant and it should be irrelevant to you to. If you feel otherwise, then you're just trying to play an authority figure and "stick it" to these people.

    Treat people like you'd want to be treated. This guy is just a douche bag.
  • Missing? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Omestes (471991) <omestes@gma[ ]com ['il.' in gap]> on Monday September 11, 2006 @03:42AM (#16079521) Homepage Journal
    Odd thing, the full Encyclopeida Dramatica [encycloped...matica.com] site is down, and even more strange is that the Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org] for it is deleted and protected, along with the talk page, and there is no explanation, it has been down since august. Does anyone have any idea why this is?

    Did it get slashdotted, or purposely removed? Also whats up with the Wikipedia page. I would like to at least know what the Encyclopedia Dramatica is, the only source I could really find was from Urban Dictionary, which really isn't the best source of anything.
  • Experement? Where? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Zadaz (950521) on Monday September 11, 2006 @03:48AM (#16079534)
    What's the hypothesis, and what was he trying to prove?

    Since he doesn't mention this on his wiki, I'll draw a conclusion:
    He's an idiot that thought it would be fun to prank some people he thought were deviants.

    I agree that people need a wake up call to get to not blindly trust anyone with an email address, but this is just preying on the weak. People looking for a hookup on the Internet? They should be rewarded for putting it out there not raked over the coals as perverts.
  • It's simple (Score:3, Insightful)

    by malahoo (128370) on Monday September 11, 2006 @03:53AM (#16079540) Homepage
    Don't say anything to a perfect stranger that you wouldn't say in front of your mom.
  • What an idiot (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Antony-Kyre (807195) on Monday September 11, 2006 @03:53AM (#16079541)
    The simple fact he posted personal information like that will be his undoing. It being a prank or experiment is one thing, but when he violated people's privacy, he went too far. He could have somehow censored a lot of the stuff he was sent, still proving that he received the material though.

    There's one thing though. If he's a heterosexual male, you have to feel sorry for the fact he saw the genitalia of other men.

    As for those (stupid) people who gave out their personal information, at least their doing one thing good. Proving that it's a bad idea to give out such personal information. Always be cautious.

    Does craigslist have any sort of policy against what has happened? Didn't any of the men put any disclaimer in the e-mails they sent to not share out their personal information? (I know when I contact certain sites, I ask not to be added to any mailing list inside the message, but of course, that's a different thing entirely.)
  • How funny... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Shads (4567) <shadusNO@SPAMshadus.org> on Monday September 11, 2006 @04:01AM (#16079558) Homepage Journal
    ... now he's yanking information that was on his site, design portfolio stuff, etc... silly man, doesn't he know about the wayback machine? :)

    http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://rfjason.com [archive.org]
  • by BeeBeard (999187) on Monday September 11, 2006 @04:10AM (#16079588)
    So THAT's why I never got a reply! My self esteem was taking a pretty big hit there, what with my sending pictures of my erect penis to a complete stranger (which is a perfectly reasonable and intelligent thing to do, by the way), and then not getting back a reply. I'm just glad we live in a world where you can do such a thing with absolutely no repercussions, ever.
    • by LarsWestergren (9033) on Monday September 11, 2006 @05:12AM (#16079743) Homepage Journal
      My self esteem was taking a pretty big hit there, what with my sending pictures of my erect penis to a complete stranger (which is a perfectly reasonable and intelligent thing to do, by the way), and then not getting back a reply. I'm just glad we live in a world where you can do such a thing with absolutely no repercussions, ever.

      Yes, it is just awful that consenting adults can get away with things in their private life that you don't approve of. Let's put a stop to that.
  • by Catmeat (20653) <mtm@sys.uea.a c . uk> on Monday September 11, 2006 @04:19AM (#16079612)
    IANA(copyright)L . But don't all those men automatically have copyright over those emails and all the pictures of their bits? It's probably stretching the definition*, but those surely count as 'creative works'.

    Therefore, isn't republishing them without permission a copyright violation?

    *Opportunity left open for silly puns in follow-up comments.
  • by Mori Chu (737710) on Monday September 11, 2006 @04:30AM (#16079643)
    My girlfriend and I live in the same apartment complex as this Jason jerk in Kirkland, WA (a suburb of Seattle). He posted his address on a web site before taking it down. The only problem is that he didn't publish which apartment number he was in. There are only 4 apartments in our unit; he's in one of the upstairs pair.

    So now I'm worried that some of these furious men will come after him and will instead throw their rocks through my windows, or worse. I feel like my well-being has been potentially endangered by this guy. What should I do? Part of me feels like shouting his address (WITH apartment number) from the Internet rooftops. Part of me wants to post a sign on our door that says "sociopath A-hole Jason upstairs, not here." Maybe I should even alert the police. Any ideas?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Shads (4567)
      I'd notify the police the person has received death threats and ask what they suggest... nah, i wouldn't. I'd get one of those nice name plates and post it by door with my first initial and last name. eg: B.Smith. That way yer not responsible if he gets killed, and people who show up know its not his apartment.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      So now I'm worried that some of these furious men will come after him and will instead throw their rocks through my windows, or worse. I feel like my well-being has been potentially endangered by this guy. What should I do?

      Might I humbly suggest this [army.mil] as a potential solution?
  • by stinky wizzleteats (552063) on Monday September 11, 2006 @08:00AM (#16080268) Homepage Journal
    Dear Jason Fortuny,

    We regret to inform you that your services as network administrator will no longer be required. The job of any IT professional confers a tremendous amount of trust that important business or personal data will not be disclosed to third parties for any reason, including sociopathic self aggrandizing glee. Recent highly publicized events have caused us to question your ability to operate within that relationship of trust with any business. We must reluctantly conclude that you certainly cannot do so in our organization.

    Please gather your personal items and report for an exit interview in HR at 9:00 AM.

    Sincerely,
    Bernard Shifman
  • by quadszilla (1001740) on Monday September 11, 2006 @08:53AM (#16080525)
    As someone who works in the adult space, I can tell you that what Jason Fortuny did was a violation of 18 U.S.C. 2257 [cornell.edu]: Under a federal law, 18 U.S.C. 2257, producers and publishers of a "visual depiction of an actual human being engaged in actual sexually explicit conduct" are required to keep records showing the ages of the models.
    (B), "sexually explicit conduct" means actual or simulated-- (i) sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex; (ii) bestiality; (iii) masturbation; (iv) sadistic or masochistic abuse; or (v) lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of any person;
    While it was designed to stop child pornography, you are required to keep records for everyone whose sexually explicit photos you publish. If you don't, 2257 calls for prison terms up to 5 years and $25k for a single offence. If one of those photos were mine, I would be contacting the Seattle FBI office [fbi.gov] today for enforcement.
  • by Animats (122034) on Monday September 11, 2006 @11:26AM (#16081760) Homepage

    Most of the personals ads in Women seeking Men on Craigslist are fake. Most of them are spam for dating services, autoresponders for porno sites, or gay guys trolling for pictures of men.

    Some of the fake ads are from a commercial service, CatchEmOut.com [catchemout.com]. This company runs fake dating ads, logs the e-mail addresses, and, for only $4.95, you can search their database. "Find out about their secret life before it's too late" they advertise. "Dating and Escort sites are booming with some genuine people and many people just trawling for an affair or casual sex. If you think, or are just curious if your partner maybe registered on one of these sites, has answered to one or has contacted a prostitute via E-Mail there is now an answer." "We will look through our available database and let you know INSTANTLY which site they are registered on, or which ads they may have replied to."

    So someone has already been doing this. For money.

  • Just sad (Score:5, Interesting)

    by frenchs (42465) on Monday September 11, 2006 @12:22PM (#16082230) Homepage

    I've been waiting to comment on this one. I've seen it floating around in a couple places the past few days (digg, fark, etc.). The most repulsive part of this is that on the Tucker Max messageboard [tuckermax.com], he is asking for advice on how to turn this into some sort of career move.

    My prediction is that this ruins his personal life, professional life, and finances. In the world of google, who doesn't run the name of a prospective employee through google? Lawsuit happy; Yep, he'd probably lose them and go broke. Personal life; I can't imagine there is much of one if he does this type of stuff, and even so, what girl would find this type of behavior endearing?

    His best option at this point would be to just shut up, let it go, and do some growing up.

    -steve
  • by Speshul_Ted (806395) on Monday September 11, 2006 @04:23PM (#16084597) Homepage
    I went to high school with this guy. He was pretentious and self absorbed then. Still is.
    Had the pleasure of seeing him post my high school alumni board in the thread used for Military people to post their current whereabouts and adventures. In the middle of some guys in Iraq posting their status and catching up with old friends, this winner jumps in with a rant detailing how injured soldiers and their families deserve the pain and suffering due to their support of the war and current administration. Not a thought was given to those who may have enlisted under the previous administration.
    Needless to say, the group was highly disturbed, Mr. Fortuny continued to verbally spar with all who would entertain him highlight how they "didn't get it" where he did and reaffirming that those in the military deserved the wounds and deaths, further stating that they were most likely in the military due to their sub-par intelligence and inability to get a real job anyhow.
    And then he was banned from the forum.

    I can assure you that this guy is real, as his is contact information. When telling the veterans how dumb they were he was quite proud that his personal information was easy to find with a little research (clearly confident that military grunts are too stupid to work google for anything beyond sports scores and porn) and welcomed anyone to come visit him. This was, of course, coupled with the comment that if he were to get his ass beat by a military man this would prove how primitive and honorless they are.
    Well, as a military man myself, I think I can handle the loss of status in his eyes in exchange for a few minutes of showing him what uneducated people get taught to do with their hands. (Bestill your comments on how right that may make him. Some comments are unforgivable.)

    This is a common theme with Mr. Fortuny, in my observations. I'm not sure if it's a lashing out at the world for some wrong he experienced or if this is the typical reaction of someone who gets stomped on IRL so he flexes his muscles and works his agressions virtually. Either way his actions are inexcusable. I really would have thought this guy would have come much further in the 10 years since high school.

    As for the legal ramifications, IANAL but, isn't the lone fact that he attained all these emails disguised as someone else a huge factor? Reminds me of grifters, con artists and black mailers.

    It does appear, at the very least, that Jason violated the TOS with Craigslist.com:
    "You agree to NOT use the Service to:
            Upload, post or otherwise transmit any Content that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, harassing, tortious, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, libelous, invasive to another's privacy (up to, but not excluding any address, email, phone number, or any other contact information without the written consent of the owner of such information), hateful, or racially, ethnically or otherwise objectionable."

    I think this would be an easy civil trial. But the next week or so should be the most interesting as Jason, our mutual friends and, evidently, his downstairs neighbor all wait to see what sort of truely deranged and violent person would respond to an ad like that.
    Thoughts?
  • by suburbancore (1001888) on Tuesday September 12, 2006 @01:29AM (#16086915) Homepage
    (karma whoring since I had to create a new account) I have been really intrigued by this guy rfjason's actions and have been googling for information just to see what the deal is... I think he might actually be the BIGGEST asshole ever. This is some choice links for insight into this guy's fucked-up-ness: Comments on New orleans [livejournal.com] Reply to someone who didnt enjoy his PREVIOUS prank [livejournal.com] His request for help at the tucker max forum [tuckermax.com] The last one is amazing.... A bunch of self-declared assholes concluding that this rfjason guy REALLY is a douche-bag (they just have no qualms about helping him :P) Another good one [livejournal.com] Seriously, this guy is unbelievable and appears to have said something to piss off everyone at some point or another.

I have a very small mind and must live with it. -- E. Dijkstra

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