The Internet Offers Unlimited Opportunities for Being Horrible

Opportunity – the Chinese have over 8700 words for it, if I recollect my highschool Spanish class correctly.

The internet has proven to be a boon for all types of promotion and marketing – you can obtain everything from Vi8gra to Vigara to Vaigira with just a few clicks of your mouse, swipes from your finger, or even without your intervention because you have malware in your browser.

It’s something about the bewitching attraction of the raw potential of an unexplored market – the wide-open vistas of sheer promise, the waiting tsunami of money which draws in souls from all walks of life and every corner of the globe – as well as those posessed of every type of moral failing.

Now some entrepreneurial wizards have worked out a devious new way to make money. Just put people’s mug shots online, SEO the crap out of them, and ruin a person’s chances of ever getting a good job again.

Then – and this is the brilliant bit – charge them hundreds or thousands of bucks to take the photos offline when they come begging you.

You see, in most American states, the actions of law enforcement are placed online for public review. This includes mugshots of citizens who are taken into custody, whether it’s for 1st-degree murder, or banking fraud resulting in global economic collapse (just joking, obviously), or even because they cuffed the wrong person and he got released an hour later.

Far from neglecting this valuable resource of public humiliation, with just a few clicks of the mouse and some nefarious manipulation of search engine ranking cues, you can virtually guarantee that anybody Googling a person’s name will see that mugshot plastered front-and-center atop the list of results. Indefinitely. (just ask Rick Santorum….)

So the next time you arrive at a job interview, you’d better have a pretty hilarious explanation to tell about that day you got arrested by the cops because you look kinda like a mugger when you wear your football hoodie…

Misbegotten jerks like this are why I’m convinced we are doomed.

Ben Scott is a blogger whose muse is shadenfreude (a German word meaning “laughing at another’s misfortune”) – you can read more of his work at Why We’re Doomed and if you enjoyed this article, you’ll probably love this post!

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