It’s true. Some people on the internet sometimes do stupid things. Now I know I may have just shaken your world to the core with the depths of my profound wisdom but this week was a signal lesson for me in just how stupid people can be when they are separated from the rest of the world by the faux-anonymity of the internet. People seem to treat the internet as their living room, as though no-one else is looking. Just as you might feel able to walk around in your briefs or pick your nose in the privacy of your own living room, somehow the percieved isolation of being just a screen name and a posting history to the rest of the world gives otherwise sensible people the idea that they can do utterly ridiculous things on the internet and not get caught.
In my time as a CS manager I made sure I knew what my local scumbags were up to. I had accounts on exploit and grey trade forums, I spent considerable time and effort in tracing the activities of gold sellers from website to farming team and I had a long list of people I’d follow around ingame on superanon mode when things were quiet. I used a lot of different techniques to stay current with the hax du jour but the most powerful weapon in my armoury wasn’t the comprehensive and easily parsed logs, nor the cross searchable billing database, nor even the large number of honest and helpful players who diligently reported suspicious activity to me. It was human stupidity.
I didn’t truly expect to leave it all behind when I discarded my CS husk and emerged as a newly minted community butterfly, however I really wasn’t expecting so much to remain the same. The term I believe, amongst the learned of the interweb, is selfowned.