Nowadays, the word "troll" is too often used when people really mean "psychopath with an Internet connection." We've lost sight of the fact that true trolling only serves two purposes: shits and giggles.
That said, the ancient art of messing with randoms online for no reason isn't completely lost. Some brave souls are still carrying the torch, trolling the Internet with elaborate acts of clever dickery like ...
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Last month, ISIS detractors on Twitter began celebrating one of the greatest victories against the Islamic State: a fierce battle in Shichwa that ended with the Taliban 2.0 withdrawing from that Iraqi town. At the same time, ISIS supporters angrily called for righteous retribution in 140 characters or less (yes, One Directioners aren't the worst type of fanatics on Twitter).
Here's the thing, though: The town of Shichwa doesn't exist. There was no battle. One Twitter user made it up, even going as far as to create fake CNN screen captures to go with his story.
The man running the popular @IraqSurveys Twitter account, an Iraqi living in London, usually collects legit information about the doings of ISIS and the forces fighting against them ... until he "got bored" and decided to start making shit up for the heck of it. He says that the name of the town should have tipped people off, since "shichwa" is an Iraqi Arabic word meaning "cheese bladder" (not to be confused with the city of Mozzarella Urethra, Delaware). Soon, people who did get the joke started adding more "information" about the battle, even making maps of the action going on in the nonexistent town.
"As you can see, the name is derived from the fact that city has the unmistakable shape of a cheese bladder."
The hoax's mastermind decided to come clean when he noticed that people on either side of the conflict were getting a little carried away, with anti-ISIS fighters bragging about their victory and pro-ISIS forces planning acts of revenge. Had the guy not admitted that it was all made up, this fake battle could have led to a very real one, becoming the second-biggest debacle ever started because of Twitter (after that time Miley Cyrus tweeted half a nipple).
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Saved By The Bell was a pretty formulaic show. Zack would get in trouble with Mr. Belding, Screech would do something stupid, and the whole gang would "build an enormous monolith to a forgotten, profane god." What, you don't remember that last part? Well luckily for you, the Saved By The Bell Wiki is here to remind you of that and many other classic moments. Like these hilarious quotes:
"I'm so asphyxiated! I'm so asphyxiated! I'm so, I'm so ... scared!"
Fine, those weren't really in the series, but they should have been. Somewhere on the Internet, some altruistic soul is anonymously turning the Saved By The Bell Wiki into a dark, nihilistic work of art. As you progress through the episodes, they slowly turn from lighthearted high-school fun into disturbing madness, like the final season of Roseanne. When you read through the episode descriptions in order, they start out mostly tame, with a few bizarre elements here and there, like the story of the satanic cult that operated in the beach resort where Zack and his pals get summer jobs. But as the show continued, so did its apparent descent into madness:
Suggesting Mario Lopez is an otherworldly demon? What kind of irresponsible site would publish this?
Other episodes are reinvented to deal with important issues of the '90s, like the one where Slater shoots and kills a man (gun violence), the one where Zack's parents won't let a black doctor operate on him ("the opening salvo against socialized healthcare"), or the one where Mr. Belding gives birth on camera (this one is self-explanatory). We have no idea who this magical lunatic is, but we hope Netflix gets in touch when they inevitably bring Saved By The Bell back for a new season.
Steve Petteway/Supreme Court of the United States
As the Internet seeps into every aspect of our daily lives, most governing bodies have decided to open their own Twitter accounts, because getting constant abuse hurled at you by the worst people in the world is a major part of the democratic process. And there aren't many groups with as much power to make people angry as the Supreme Court. Those guys don't even get elected; what do they think they're doing deciding things?
So it should come as no surprise that the Supreme Court is getting all kinds of shit on Twitter, especially after the marriage equality decision. The only problem being that the Supreme Court doesn't have an official Twitter. Which means that an awful lot of anger gets directed to the random jackass running @SCOTUSblog, the Twitter for an extremely exciting blog covering SCOTUS cases, symposiums, and statistics. They must be used to it, though, because the account absolutely takes it in stride:
"Be sure to read the concurring opinion on the case of Deez v. Nuts."
This isn't the first time, either. After the Hobby Lobby decision a while back, @SCOTUSblog had another group of angry folks to deal with, this time from multiple sides of the political spectrum. Rather than explain that it isn't a Supreme Court Justice tweeting from the crapper, the blog's extremely wise social media person decided that it's a better use of time to make morons even angrier, and then share the results with us:
In reality, the Supreme Court's online presence is exclusively Justice Roberts and Ginsburg's Vine Dubsmash battles.
There's no word on how the real Supreme Court feels about this impostor handling this Twitter abuse, but we're guessing they're cool with it; they already have to deal with Antonin Scalia, after all.
Thanks to the dating app Tinder, not only are more people hooking up with each other, but we will never again be able to use the phrases "swipe left" and "swipe right" in any other context without feeling dirty. Of course, one unfortunate part of using a dating app is having to deal with the kind of people who use a dating app; mostly horny dudes with endless amounts of sleaze and desperation, as we've demonstrated before. One enterprising individual, however, decided to help these men hook up with someone who will actually appreciate their sad tactics. That is, themselves.
We're just impressed that not all conversations got stuck on an endless loop of dick pics.
A programmer in California, whom the Verge refers to as Patrick, hacked the Tinder API in order to make men start flirting with each other while seeing a picture of an attractive woman. He reported that he was frustrated with how women are often talked to on Twitter, and wanted to give bros a taste of their own medicine (which is to say, a taste of their own dong). He set up two dummy profiles, and any men who requested to talk with them would be matched against each other instead, without explicitly being told so. He then sat back and watched the dozens of conversations unfold, popcorn in hand. The most amazing thing, according to Patrick, was how many men would ignore the obvious signs that they were talking to another dude and keep going, all for the chance of a quick hookup:
Secretly, every dude longs to be complimented on his side boob or Jane from Breaking Bad-ish looks.
This illegal, anonymous hacker then moralizes: "When someone is so quick to meet up without any detail or know anything about the person at all -- maybe it's deserved." We agree with everything except the "maybe," Patrick.
While we're sure that original content occasionally shows up on websites like YouTube and Tumblr, everyone knows that the main purpose of those sites is to re-upload music and art that was created by other people, with as many attributions removed as possible.
As a result, Tumblr has implemented a copyright system whereby people whose content has been stolen can request that it be taken down, at which point the claim will be reviewed by a member of Tumblr's staff. And by "reviewed," we mean "approved without even looking at it," because it's a huge site and they can't examine every single cartoon pony GIF people send them. This is a loophole that was taken advantage of by an enterprising young fellow by the name of Darryl Anka, or as he's otherwise known, Bashar of the planet Essassani.
You see, Darryl has been has been having a ball with Tumblr's copyright system, filing at least nine claims on behalf of the alien sending messages to him from the future (Darryl and Bashar have a frighteningly popular YouTube channel). Amazingly, the Tumblr staff are looking at these requests and deciding "yeah, this future alien claim looks legit," because the "offending" material is being taken down. Each artist who was affected received an e-mail from staff, as well as a "strike" against them for their impact on the Essassanian economy. Tumblr's system is "three strikes and you're out," so as you can imagine, getting a strike for offending a possible Doctor Who race isn't going to go well.
His next step will be to claim the concept of GIFs, causing the site to implode on itself Poltergeist-style.
Is Bashar, in his infinite wisdom, trying to make a point about the ridiculousness of Tumblr's copyright system? We certainly hope it's that, and not a ploy to drive people to his online store, which we've unfortunately forgotten to link to here (and accidentally censored in the image above). Of course, the copyright system makes more sense when you realize it's run by the Yippercoolians, the close allies of the Essassanians. Intergalactic copyright law is taken very seriously.
Grand Theft Auto V is a video game that can be played on PC, which automatically means that hackers and modders are tearing the shit out of it. You can imagine that people would be doing all sorts of fun stuff with this -- flying cars, invisible rocket launchers, and probably bazookas that fire penises or something like that.
A lot of cheaters are trying something new, though: They're making guns that shoot out sacks of money, and ... shooting them at other players. To screw them over.
What happened to the innocent days when all you shot was hookers?
It turns out that the fun comes in two phases. First off: Shooting money all over the place causes people to lose their fucking minds. (Try this experiment out in any shopping mall, and let us know the results.) Second: Rockstar, the developers of GTA, have a system in place that automatically bans people who make too much money in too short a span of time. This leads to situations in which cheaters are firing cash guns at other players, who are desperately trying to flee the shower of money while it literally shoots out of their asses. It's the exact opposite of a mugging, and far more hilarious.
If real life also banned people who make money too fast, the world would be a better place.
You can still play GTA Online if you find yourself in Too Much Money Jail, but you're sadly banished to an alternate server that's populated with cheaters or people who have been dubbed "Bad Sports." So how do you get out of this scenario? According to the above link, the solution is to find ANOTHER hacker and pay them real-life money to get you unbanned. And that is how Grand Theft Auto hackers created the most bizarre and confusing economy in the history of the world.