After the Storm

Less Looting, More Trolling: Daily Mail, Drudge Get Pwnd By Twitter Pranksters #SandyLootCrew

Original image (left), fake tweet from #SandyLootCrew (right) (Photo: Sydney Morning Herald)

The media hasn’t been as roughed up by Sandy as, say, the transportation industry. But with power failures and flooding, it can be hard to get a proper source on the line. And while Twitter may be a “truth machine,” fact-checking rumors in real-time, its constant flood of information is as unpredictable as the storm itself. That came into focus earlier this week when Shashank Tripathi was outed for spreading a false report about the New York Stock Exchange under the pseudonymous handle @comfortablysmug.

Well, add another troll to the list. Rather, an entire crew: the self-styled Gay N**ger Association of America (GNAA), an online activist group, behind the willfully misleading hashtag #sandylootcrew. False information and fake images of black looters tweeted under that hashtag were published by the Daily Mail, the Drudge Report and Infowars, which is exactly what the four core members of the GNAA wanted, Leon Kaiser, GNAA’s “interim president and head of public relations” told Betabeat by email. Read More


Booting Up: The Hero Coder and Twitter Villain Edition

(Photo: Noah Kalina)

According to one of the tenants, the building that houses Googleplex East on Eighth Avenue had been running emergency operations off a 90,000-gallon tank of diesel fuel. [New York Times]

With Datagram down, BuzzFeed switched to virtual servers from Amazon. Then came the “epic coding task” of rebuilding the site. “At one point, a tree crashed through the roof of BuzzFeed system administrator Eugene Ventimiglia. He kept right on coding.” [Wired]

That didn’t stop BuzzFeed from exposing the real identity of @ComfortablySmug, a scourge of misinformation on Twitter. [Buzzfeed]

NYC Councilman Peter Vallone is looking to press charges against Shashank Tripathi, a.k.a. @ComfortablySmug. “Everyone knows the example of yelling fire in a crowded movie theater.” [Buzzfeed]

Wall Street plans on opening for business this morning. To prepare, the New York Stock Exchange created an emergency response team: 30 staffers who have been sleeping at its downtown headquarters, conducting trial runs with financial firms “to detect potential bugs.” [CNBC]

But looking at Manhattan, techie chronicler Noah Kalina managed to spot a single rainbow moment of Zen. [Noah Kalina]