5 Heroic Attempts to Do Good (That Backfired Horribly)

#2. Colleges Give Out Free Punctured Condoms

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The University of Brunswick and St. Thomas University had the right idea when they decided to give freshmen free condoms as part of their orientation, knowing from experience that their campuses were soon to become the pornographic version of The Hunger Games: Trap a thousand teenagers in four square blocks, and it's fuck or be fucked.

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May the odds be ever in your favor.

So the schools helpfully handed out the condoms with information sheets on practicing safe sex and reminding students to always make sure it's consensual before going at it.

The Backfire:

The organizers of the campaign stapled the information sheets to the condoms.

It's not quite as bad as it sounds -- the staples weren't right through the middle or anything, but they did puncture the air pocket of the condom's wrapper, rendering it unsterile and possibly scratching the prophylactic itself.

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Plus side, free water balloons.

Now, we don't want to presume anything about your sexual practices (you could be saving yourself for your inevitable marriage to a sexy AI), but hopefully the problem here is self-evident. If not, allow us to clarify: Condoms are not high-tech devices. They do not deter sperm via an army of nanobots, nor through harsh looks or mild witchcraft. They pretty much just wrap up your junk. You generally don't want the thing that is going to function as a second skin for your genitals to be exposed to the elements like a rugged woodsman. And any hole, even a small scratch, renders them essentially useless. That seems like a pretty stupid thing for us to have to explain, but then somebody up and starts stapling them before handing them out to horny teenagers and we have to think that either this world is a lot dumber than we give it credit for or the Catholics have gone supervillain.

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The Pious Shadow strikes again.

The schools managed to hand out 80 of the damaged rubbers before two students noticed that they were punctured. The universities sent out messages through social media warning students to throw away the free condoms, but man -- out of 80 college kids, you just know somebody either got a UTI or wound up starting a family that day.

#1. The Hacker Who Exposed the Steubenville Rapists May Receive More Jail Time Than the Rapists

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You might have heard about a certain national outrage that took place in Steubenville, Ohio. You know, the one where an entire town tried to cover up a rape in order to avoid casting a bad light on the beloved local football team? The case so overwrought with pervasive Hollywood-caliber evil that it was one telepathic teen away from a Stephen King novel? Yeah, that one. The only reason we know about it is because of Deric Lostutter, whose friend had given him a trove of photographs and tweets related to the crime. He released them to the public, and you probably know the rest: Two boys from Steubenville were charged and convicted with sexual assault, and a bunch of school administrators were dragged through the courts on charges of mistakenly assuming that being good at sports is a get-out-of-rape-free card.

The Backfire:

Society didn't exactly reward Lostutter with pro-thumbs or upcats or whatever it is 4Chan uses to express approval (profanity?). A month after the conviction of the rapists, Lostutter himself was raided by the FBI, who took his computers and, presumably out of spite, his Xbox. Later, he was formally charged with vague computer crimes and now waits to be brought before a grand jury.

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"Just charge him with gigabyting the mainframe or some shit."

See, in the process of trying to gather evidence to bring these crimes to light, Lostutter's friends in the Anonymous collective committed some crimes of their own (read: "hacking" the "planet"), which is a serious offense under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Apparently it doesn't matter why you hack -- in this case, to expose a terrible crime. Or what you hack -- in this case, the website of a local high school football team full of furry horses and '90s-era animated GIFs. It only matters that you hack, and hacking is bad.

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Seriously, gather your friends for that link. It's like a time machine that only goes to 1996.

Lostutter denies that he did any hacking himself (remember, he was just given the pictures and statements and made them public; another Anonymous member, the awesomely named Batcat, publicly admitted to the actual computer crime), but since he's the only guy involved whose real name got out, he's the one getting the pointy end of the punitive stick. More conspiratorially minded folk (including Lostutter himself) believe that this was orchestrated by the Steubenville police as revenge for his ruining some high school sporting games (the worst of all possible offenses, shy of murder, treason, and murder-treason), but either way, if convicted, he faces a maximum of 10 years in the slammer. The actual rapists were sentenced to serve one and two years, respectively. So there you go: Screwing with GIFs is up to 10 times worse than raping another human being, according to Steubenville.

Mike Simons/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Still better than what happens when your cellphone goes off in the stands on 4th and 1.


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Related Reading: You know what else can backfire? Energy-efficient windows that inexplicably double as laser cannons. And while we're talking about plans that accomplished the opposite of their goal, read about the model hamlet program that lost us Vietnam. Not yet had your full of failure? We'll help.

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