The viral posters that compared Obama to the Joker and to Hitler feel tame compared to the latest nasty meme to hit the Internet: insinuating that Glenn Beck raped and killed a young girl in 1990. And the meme may not go away anytime soon: preliminary evidence suggests that Anonymous, the powerful, collective behind such massive, coordinated stunts as attacking the Church of Scientology and flooding YouTube with porn, may be behind it.
Update #3, 4:30pm: “Glenn Beck murder” and “Glenn Beck rapist” are now top suggestions when you do a Google search for Glenn Beck.
Reddit readers may have noticed a storm of recent posts getting a massive number of up votes (like this one) with some variant of the question “Did Glenn Beck Murder and Rape a Young Girl in 1990”? According to this site, which has emerged as a hub for the meme, the whole thing started a mere 4 days ago on a Fark thread. They’ve since Jokerized Beck and flooded sites like Yahoo! Answers, YouTube, and Twitter with the question.
People will ask the question and not answer it, insisting that Beck “prove that he didn’t;” supposedly, this parallels Beck’s argumentative style. The bottom of glennbeckrapedandmurderedayounggirlin1990.com reads, “Notice: This site is parody/satire. We assume Glenn Beck did not rape and murder a young girl in 1990, although we haven’t yet seen proof that he didn’t. But we think Glenn Beck definitely uses tactics like this to spread lies and misinformation.” Really, though? It all comes across as a malicious, masterfully executed prank whose pranksters were grasping for a higher political justification.
Still, expect to see more of it. This image from Beck’s Encyclopedia Dramatica page, featuring the Anonymous suit in front of an American flag with the words “The 19/90 Project” in front of it (below), suggests that the libelous Beck meme may just be getting started. The YouTube video also has an Anonymous icon, and the poster complains that YouTube has frozen his view count, which could mean coordinated blasts of traffic.
Anonymous has an outsized presence on the Internet, thanks to sheer numbers, dedication, and l33t hacking skills. When they set themselves upon going after a target, like Scientology, they’ll swarm like piranhas until they get bored and move on to something else. This time, Glenn Beck may have found himself in their crosshairs.
Update 12:30pm: A few more images associated with the campaign. Note the dates: all of these were created just a few days ago and have an astonishing number of responses.
Above: A dubious-looking poll on Twiigs.com.
Below: the anti-Beck site is the #4 topic on Reddit this week — and it was just posted yesterday.
Update 2, 2:30 pm: a commenter who seems familiar with the matter writes that while a fringe of Anonymous may be involved, the majority of the group isn’t behind it. I’ve also removed a reference to 4chan which didn’t say that 4chan was behind the campaign, but in retrospect was somewhat misleading.
Update 3, 4:30pm: “Glenn Beck murder” and “Glenn Beck rapist” are now top Google suggestions when you search Glenn Beck.
(h/t The Stranger’s Slog)
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