Ukrainian Teen Serial Killer Gang Document Their Crimes on Cellphone Video

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327 Responses to “Ukrainian Teen Serial Killer Gang Document Their Crimes on Cellphone Video”

  1. Cowicide says:

    @#130 POSTED BY MECHPHISTO

    …and you just posted in this thread making it even larger and more likely to garner yet even more attention, killer.

  2. Mechphisto says:

    ll f s n ths blg hv bcm vctms f nthr’s njymnt f hrrr, nd th dsr t nflct hrrr pn thrs nd wtch th rctns.
    Fr ch prsn wh hs wtchd th vd, th crm s mgnfd, xtndd, gvn nw lf, mltpld. nd tht prsn s nw vctm f bth th rgnl prptrtr nd th sck f**k wh thrll klls by prxy by pstng sch thngs bttr lft nvr t s th lght f dy.
    S, vwrs, hw d y fl bt t?

  3. Clayton says:

    I understand the points in defense of BB here, but I think a lot of people on both sides of the argument are missing some things.

    Let me preface by saying I’m at least a 10 year veteran of online gore/violence videos. I don’t view it much any more, but I have in the past. I’ve made many friends on sites related to shock videos. Many diverse and fascinating people are attracted to this stuff; most are more “normal” than you’d expect. I’ve met lawyers, surgeons, engineers, all types of academics – in person at meet-ups, after meeting them in gore site forums. Anyway, I say this because many of these people have suffered from and been treated for PTSD from watching these videos. Of course they did it to themselves. They sought it out for whatever reason and watched it. They made choices. They knew what they were getting into and they went to sites that exist for the sole purpose of hosting such material.

    Now as a BB reader, I’m accustomed to clicking through links in original posts and I frequently explore sites I find through links. It’s completely my choice. However, BB does have an ethical responsibility to its readers and that was breached by the original wording of the post. The above post/Xeni made several mistakes, all of which could have been avoided if Xeni had seen the video she posted. First off, any time you say “Could this be a Hoax, here’s a link containing a link to the content” there’s little effective difference to posting a direct link and saying “Look here, click this? Is it real?” People will click. People will watch. That’s the internet, that’s human nature and BB should know this. In fact, they exhibit this knowledge and expectation every day almost as its model.

    Now that brings us to the second problem and back to the video and violence. I’ve seen it all. Suicides, all types of executions including stonings, hangings, beheadings, murders of various types, and various other heinous acts of violence and this video is definitively one of the worst. If less graphic scenes of violence can induce PTSD in well-educated professionals who seek it out, I’m sure it can do the same to people who are expecting something that could be mistaken for viral marketing. I’m not sure if this one video alone will cause PTSD, but I’m sure the possibility is present. Now let’s say BB linked to a site that contained a bunch of links with content mentioned in the original post as a “possible hoax” and all those links contained harmful script. People would be upset, and rightfully so. So, despite the choice being the clicker’s. BB is to some extent responsible for posting about content which they indirectly link to that could potentially harm someone mentally. The new post is more than adequate, the original was absolutely not. Even the sites built around this stuff contain better content warning when they link to sites which link to sites which contain videos like this. Humans are not built to handle exposure to this trauma without changing the way they think as a coping mechanism.

    And this brings us back to Xeni’s posting without seeing the video. If she had watched the video this post was about, she would’ve know it was real and this post wouldn’t exist or would exist in a vastly different format. Many people would have been spared the trauma caused by the video they at least semi-unwittingly thought could be fake graphic violence. In review, Xeni posted a link on BB, a site not typically posting about this sort of content, that contained a link to graphic violence. She hadn’t seen it, but was asking if it could be a hoax. She didn’t even have to watch it. A few seconds of googling would have confirmed it as real. People clicked, in spite of a mild disclaimer as people always will when quizzed as to whether or not a video is real or fabricated viral marketing. People saw a horrific video and there could be psychological side effects. Xeni then accuses shocked people of being overly dramatic and proceeds to blame people for clicking. I think this is a clear breech of ethics. Yes, BB can do whatever they want. Yes, BB’s readers can do what ever they want, but unless you’re an outright Libertarian objectivist, you probably would hold others (your government, friends, family, etc) responsible if they did something like this. I think the people who have protested, whether or not for the right reasons, are right to be upset and right to voice their opinions.

  4. arkizzle says:

    Tenn!!

    Why did you look? (and hi!)

  5. Tenn says:

    Oh, Xeni. You know you’ve been monitoring our browsing habits, who we are… you know you’re a member of the Shadow Court.

    It’s okay. Just as long as you’re in charge of the official government hair style and you swear to show your tricks to me, I’ll keep quiet.

  6. Antinous says:

    Fortunately, I’m not allergic to poison ivy. And I’m superbly skilled at not being impaled by plant spines. It’s like swimming in dangerous tides. You move parallel to the spines rather than in or out.

  7. 13strong says:

    @ SEKINO,

    I do see what you mean. Personally, I am one of the people who would want to discuss it in order to cope with it. At the same time, I do find it hard to imagine that discussing it will ever help me truly understand it…

    Anyway, my own objections were to the way it was presented, which has been fixed, so Xeni has my thanks for that.

    I would say, though, that some people’s way of coping may be to direct their sadness, disgust, bafflement, distress etc AT the messenger; to blame Xeni for posting it in the first place because they have nowhere else to direct their outrage. Not saying that that’s why all these are upset at Xeni, but it would be an understandable response.

  8. Cowicide says:

    @#125 POSTED BY CHURCH

    I’ll never forgive. I’ll never forget.

  9. Johnny Cat says:

    What Adam Stanhope said @#7.

    It’s literally the worst thing ever.

  10. Bender says:

    @100 Antinous

    yes, war journalism has a purpose. this isn’t journalism.

    I’ve seen powerful photographs, but comparing Life Magazine war photos to this is questionable, I think.

    • Antinous says:

      Bender,

      Questionable, but not unreasonable. Think about some of the factors that have changed in how we get information. Old fashioned news has been commercialized, sanitized and co-opted by government. You would never see things on the nightly news that you would have seen forty years ago. And if you do see them, it’s probably filmed with someone’s cell phone. It turns out that the revolution will be televised. More accurately, the revolution will be crowd-sourced.

      Questionable is a good word. This raises questions. In the past, somebody else (usually) made the news, somebody else filmed the news and we sat and passively watched it. Now we make our own news, we film our own news and we broadcast our own news via the internet. The paradigm of information gathering, recordation and distribution is utterly different than it was a few years ago. Yet, we have no widely-agreed conventions for appropriateness.

      Discussion threads like this are a big part of beginning to come to some agreements about how to deal with this glut of personally collected and shared information. Maybe we’ll come to the conclusion that this sort of footage is better off buried. But, for me at least, “I don’t want to know about its existence” isn’t a good enough argument.

  11. Takuan says:

    I think you do not understand “ethics”.

  12. lukus says:

    @ #270, Xeni;

    Yeah, okay – point taken :)

    I was just trying to come up with a metaphor for describing how boing-boing operates differently to something like slash-dot. It was completely over the top.

  13. Pfeiffer_MD says:

    I have seen this video in full. It runs in real time without editing. It was admitted as evidence to the jurisdition Ukrainian Court and is only 1 of 21 videos of real separate killings by iron piping, hammer and screwdriver which were removed from the killer’s hard drives and admitted as evidence.

    The killers (all relatively middle class – and one of whom is being defended by his lawyer father) originally alleged their motive and intent was in supplying real snuff video to a ‘content provider’; however that story elides the truth that they are both psychopathic and homicidal – one extremely so. There was originally a third boy (all were 19yrs) but he refused to continue after the first abduction and killing. The principal killers received life and the third ten years.

    The victim in the video, a gentleman in his late forties, is tortured beaten stabbed and dies in agony. It is extremely graphic. I have seen only three videos of more violent torture and murder – filmed in ‘expert’ horrific detail during the Mujahideen Chechnyan vs Russian wars circa 1998. The other I cannot mention. All were seen by me in a professional capacity.

    Whether one chooses to watch it, to disdain it and demur viewing altogether, one has to wonder about the growing appeal to violent youth and adults courting fame or notoriety by any means on this unregulated medium, the internet. Sadly the snuff is there if you really wish to see it.

    M.Pfeiffer MA MD FRCPsyche (Oxon)
    (Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, England)

  14. anomaly69 says:

    Ths kds shld b md t sffr ll f th pn f ll f thr vctms bfr bng llwd t d.

  15. Clayton says:

    Takuan, you’re always so constructive.

  16. Tenn says:

    Arkizzle! It is a pleasant thing to see you here. (Well, not here. And technically not see. But you know what I meant.)

    I believe Lecti summed it up rather well.

    It depends on what kind of person you are. You know that being kicked in the nuts hurt, and absolutely nothing is pleasant about it. Are you the kind of person who likes to find out? Then go ahead, but just know that you’ll be hurting for a very long time.

    I’ve got a great deal of scars from things I’ve done because I have a serious case of curious cat. This is the first mental and emotional one.

    Don’t look. Seriously. I watched it then read the transcript and now I am in a desperate fugue, looking for something to prove that humans aren’t all that bad.

    Oh, and Mechphisto?

    Shut your dirty mouth. There is no reason whatsoever to ever, ever even implicitly charge Xeni or anyone here with the claims you’re making.

    You’re not helping on my ‘humanity is by and large a good thing with some bad rotten spots.’

    I hope they ban you. Saying things like that about people is borderline libel, and it’s hurtful, and it’s cruel, and you’re only perpetuating the cycle of sick entertainment.

  17. arkizzle says:

    Mechphisto, you clicked the link for you?

  18. 13strong says:

    Why is that, ANOMALY69?

  19. Takuan says:

    come away now Tenn, nothing to learn here.

  20. Takuan says:

    look it up. Report back.

  21. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Rob Denmark, I’ll grant that you’ve had comments removed as well as disemvowelled. I’m not sure why you’re boasting about it.

    Has it ever occurred to you that “not acting like a jerk” is an option?

    Foetusnail, you’re welcome. Your imitation was uncanny.

    Tom Hale, if we tried to make it illegal to post such things on the web, they’d still get up, and we’d have given them a mystique they don’t currently possess. Besides, when they’re openly posted and accurately described, they’re easier to dodge.

  22. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Lukus, on community: Site owners own sites, but communities belong to themselves. We’re more than glad that Boing Boing’s community hangs out here, and we put a lot of thought and resources into making it a good place for them (you!). Mostly, we’re flummoxed by the reaction: there’s upsetting material two links down the tube, so everyone’s yelling at us? On the web, everything is two or three clicks away from the gaping maw of Hell.

    I still think Zikzak had a point. He made it about violent movies and games, but I’ll expand it to include past Boing Boing stories like the terrible one about the Hong Kong programmer whose notice that he’d overstayed his visa got sent to the wrong address, after which the DHS imprisoned him (and denied all visits from his family) until he died of untreated cancer of the spine. I’d known that guys like the Dnepropetrovsk maniacs existed, but the story about Mr. Ng’s death in U.S. custody upset me so much that I had to take a break to calm down. Still, while readers of that thread were undeniably upset by the story itself, they weren’t mad at us for publishing it. We’re still trying to figure out what makes this different.

    Tgg161 @276, that’s an interesting theory. As I said back at comment #100, I know from moderating that two or more badly behaved users can egg each other on way past the line where any one of them would have stopped on their own. It’s consoling to think that this is a rare case of two complete sociopaths happening to find each other. On the other hand, one of the things we know the internet is good for is helping people with specialized enthusiasms find each other: eeeesh.

    By the way, if you’re collecting instances, Ken MacLeod and Charles Stross were at school together.

    #281 posted by WordyGrr @281, you can stop worrying, since Boing Boing doesn’t have that mentality.

    Aquathug, please read the moderation guidelines. They’re linked from the front page. Short version: moderator interventions are almost always a response to manners, not ideas.

    Russell Cunning, that’s a grim story. I’m glad you’re still around to tell it. I’ll note, though, that crazy drivers can shoot you in any country where guns are permitted, and some where they aren’t. You already know this, but I’ll say it for the benefit of other readers who might find themselves in that situation: if a driver is that loony on the road, you don’t want to approach them face-to-face.

    Rob Beschizza, my attorney has repeatedly assured me that as the law currently stands, you’re not responsible for the comments people post on your website.

    Patrick Bateman, the longer you go on, the more dubious I find this:

    [T]here are numerous examples of cases where publishers have been liable in respect of misleading or incorrect information which has been relied upon by their audience resulting in harm.

    Want to be more specific about those numerous examples? If you’re thinking of the Ryan Pitzer lawsuit, that was as clear a case of direct cause as you’re likely to see. Most lawsuits for defective content don’t turn out that way. And mind you, those were cases where the reader had interacted directly with the publication. What we’re looking at here is a site (Boing Boing) which provides (along with warnings) a link to a second site, Dnepropetrovskmaniacs.com. That second site features various links, plus text that makes it clear what said maniacs were up to. One of its links goes to a third URL, where the allegedly damaging material is actually published. Even if that material were as unambiguously harmful as the complete text of The King in Yellow, or advice from Adele Davis on administering potassium to infants, you’d have untenable grounds for a claim that Boing Boing caused the harm.

    Someone who failed to grasp the import of the text at Boing Boing and Dnepropetrovskmaniacs.com would probably also be traumatized by watching Old Yeller.

    And speaking of law: Takeshi, it’s not the spines I object to; it’s the tiny barbs at the end of the spines. Leave those off and we’ll be fine.

    Patrick Bateman, having Takeshi strew the ground in front of you with cholla joints is not an excuse to start flaming.

    Also, a word to the wise: I was just trying to raise the issue is one of those phrases like my honestly expressed opinion and can’t tolerate dissent, which, though innocent enough on their own, are so frequently found in comments written by fuggheads and demi-trolls, that even the most benevolent of moderators will gradually come to come to have what some would no doubt say was an unwarranted prejudice against against them.

  23. phillamb168 says:

    The fact that we’re actually having to question whether or not it IS viral marketing is enough to make me want to force all those marketing asshats on Madison ave to be locked in a room with a large, angry Gorilla.

    If this ISN’T viral marketing…
    In talks with my dad about politics, morality, and other things when I was growing up, we would occasionally discuss the idea of the death penalty. Not in some creep way, but in the same way I always thought members of the Supreme Court would argue their cases – as logically as possible. His main thing was that he was against the death penalty – that, as much as possible, it’s up to God to decide when you shuffle off the mortal coil. He would, however, always follow that up with what I always thought was something leaning towards cruel and unusual punishment: for extreme crimes, like those perpetrated by the guys in the video, you wouldn’t be put to death. But you would spend the rest of your life locked in a special room. The room would have a bed, a toilet, and a slot for receiving food and water. But it would be covered in photos of the victims of their crimes, taken while they were alive. They would never see another human being, ever again, except for the photos of those they killed.

    I agree with him to an extent… I think Khalid Shaikh Mohammed ought to be subjected to something similar, and not given the liberty of death and potential martyrdom. But I don’t think, due to the number of false convictions, that your average death row guy ought to be subjected to it.

    I realize that I’m ranting here, and might not be making sense… But after even -reading- the transcript of what these kids did, well, I’m at a loss.

  24. arkizzle says:

    Xeni … the official government hair style..

    Careful Tenn!

  25. Johnny Cat says:

    I disagree, MECHPHISTO. After a lot of meditation and cognitive processing of other sorts, I did find one silver lining in this post. The strangers and neighbors I meet, and the way I treat them, is forever altered. It makes me want to try harder to be an open, caring team-member of this human race. Smile earnestly at the annoying bell-ringer, realize my frustrating roommate isn’t that bad after all. The evil that poured out of that video was processed by my spirit, and painful as it was, I was changed. I’m sure Xeni’s original intent was to wonder if it was a hoax, as that’s how she started the post. But it changed me…in a good way. (Don’t watch it, though.)

  26. Sekino says:

    Don’t watch the video.

    Even if you’ve become immune to such things over time this particular one is terribly unpleasant.

    Your comment came too late :(

    I don’t know how someone healthy could be immune to this. Some of my favorite comics/games are ultra violent and gory, but this? No way. I didn’t make it past a few seconds. I saw just enough to think that it sure did not look like a hoax and there was no way I could bear to watch more.

    If this isn’t a hoax, then how come it is not all over the news? Does that mean this sort of shit might be somewhat common, we just don’t hear about it?? I don’t usually kid myself about human nature and it’s ugly potential… but… I can’t really say more.

    Unfortunately, I don’t think any unicorn chaser can make this better.

    Even a red panda attack, and I didn’t think anything could withstand an RPA…

  27. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Wolfiesma, that’s a good idea.

    That’s a very good idea. We need to figure out how to set that up.

    Capt. Tim, thanks. I’ve been back for some time, but Antinous and Avram were doing a lot of the heavy lifting.

    I didn’t watch the video either, though I read the transcript and other material. When Xeni says something is horrific, I believe her. I also haven’t seen 2 girls 1 cup, or the Iraq beheading video. I have a very good visual memory. I can add an event to my map of the world without adding footage I’ll never forget.

    What’s the point of knowing about an event like this? To add it to my map of the world. Someone whom I trust, and who’s in a position to know such things, once told me that there’s evil in the world beyond anything I knew or could imagine. I believed him. He’s a very truthful guy. I accept that there are levels of evil I’ll never understand. Still, if I can add to my understanding, I will. I think it’s important to know.

    When I was growing up, there were kids in my neighborhood who tortured small animals for fun. For some, it was a temporary phase they went through at the same time as their friends. Then they’d be sickened by it, and not do it again. The ones who kept doing it grew more secretive about it as they got older. Part of my map of the world was a note at the margin of that charted area saying I hadn’t run into any evidence that those guys had stopped tormenting other creatures for their own amusement.

    The transcript of these three guys killing someone extends my map. It confirms that not all the kids who stuck firecrackers into the orifices of small animals stopped when they got older. The tone of the transcript is similar: “Oooh, gross, can you believe it’s still moving?”

    It’s also an additional datapoint of confirmation on something I already knew: that sociopaths (or whatever you want to call them) who’ve found each other and formed a group will egg each other on into worse behavior than any one of them would try on his own.

    Or rather, would try on his own without working up to it. These guys apparently started on cats. That’s a common pattern: start with killing small animals, then more violent killings of larger ones, then start beating up prostitutes. A lot of men like to beat up prostitutes; the extent to which that happens hardly qualifies as an open secret.

    This links up to another bit of map, something a professional S&M dominatrix told me years ago: some men just want a woman they can hurt. There’s no power exchange, no catharsis as such. Beating up women is simply what they like to do.

    This thread is itself a part of the map of the world. It links up to something I already knew about the way people behave around other transgressive subjects — for instance, really transgressive pornography that suits their kinks. They’ll find it fascinating beforehand; and then, after they’ve gotten off on it, they’ll suddenly find it repugnant. The same thing happens with really transgressive jokes: the hearer first laughs, then says it’s disgusting. Both reactions are honestly felt, both the one before and the one after.

    And then there’s this passage from Dreams from my Father, Barack Obama’s first book, which I just read. Someone’s telling him a story about an incident in a state office building that has a multistory interior atrium:

    “I’m just standing there looking down at the lobby from the twelfth floor, checking out the architecture, when all of a sudden this body flies past me. A suicide. High up as I was, I could hear the body land like it was right there next to me. Terrible sound. Soon as it happened, these office workers rushed up to the guardrail to see what was going on. We’re all looking down, and sure enough, the body’s lying there, all twisted and limp. People started screaming, covering their eyes. But the strange thing was, after people got through screaming, they’d go back to the railing to get a second look. Then they’d scream and cover their eyes all over again. Now why would they do that?”

    Those datapoints, plus the reactions I’m seeing in this thread, make me think that two-phase pattern is a common reaction to deeply transgressive material of all kinds. It fascinates us, then repels us. I’m not saying that everyone has that reaction; rather, that everything transgressive will get that reaction from some people.

  28. arkizzle says:

    Tenn, I understand.. I read the start of the transcript first, though :)

    Then I ran away.

  29. controlbroke says:

    comments lost in a fog of outrage..

    shut the fuck up mechphisto..
    its not our place to deny you information, what you do with it is up to you

    to project your fear onto another persons intentions, is irrational (yes if you just watched the video i would allow you some leeway , its horrible and affecting)

    can’t you think of another reason this might be newsworthy?

  30. Antinous says:

    Moderator note:

    If you’re a first-time commenter and you were hostile or trying to tell Xeni what she’s allowed to blog, you got suspended. If you want a fresh start commenting here, drop me a note at antinous at boingboing dot net.

  31. key says:

    Since unwisely watching the video a few hours ago, I’ve been shaken. I thought I might barf while watching the first ten seconds of it, which was all I could stand. I thought of registering my discontent, calling Xeni irresponsible, etc., but I figured the moderators had already reached outrage overload and didn’t need my comment.

    But in the few hours since then, I’ve visited a few news sites a few times each as I practice work avoidance, and a few times I’ve seen the word “kill” in a headline. Each time, the sickening feeling in my throat has returned as I thought of that video again.

    A few weeks ago, I made a comment to my wife about how I feel desensitized to the killing I hear about on the news. This video may be the remedy.

    I still think it was a bad decision to post it, but maybe there is some redeeming value to it. I wouldn’t have posted it on my blog, but then again, I’ll probably never have a world-famous blog. Perhaps it’s this type of editorial control that’s made boingboing so well-known.

    Or maybe they’re all just sickos. I don’t really know.

  32. Tenn says:

    Taku-san,

    Johnny’s answer’s mine too.

    I’m going to find it a lot harder to wish death on people (not that I -consciously- do so at any rate, it just happens in anger that I’ll wish someone is out of my life, and usually the same two people.)

    Now I feel a strong need to be a better person.

    It’s like the photos of the orphans, remember?

    On BB, I’m a nice person. In real life, where my innate introversion makes it difficult for me to interact with people in a way that is valuable to them, this sort of… lesson… is just what I need.

    On an unrelated note:

    Why not flop that and have every guy at age 14 to 16 spend 10 minutes in the mind of a similarly-aged girl to see what it is like to be objectified? Might properly make it a respect issue and not a clothing one.

    As far as I’ve seen, girls objectify boys just as much as boys objectify girls. However, the difference is, when a male is objectified they seem to respond in a significantly less emotional way.

  33. Vorple says:

    When Xeni @268 says “The video link this post does contain shows the youths in court, and does not contain documentation of violence.”,
    I think she’s referring to the link with the note “…work-safe, does not include violence…”.

    People should know that, starting at 34 seconds into the video, evidence is presented in the court room of a dead dog hanging from a tree and subsequent stills show the monsters at funerals with profane gestures. I don’t think the video is SFW and I found the images disturbing. I’m one that’s opting out of seeing the other video. I won’t let them spread their violence cross my borders any further.

  34. Church says:

    I’m linking to a snuff video. But if you click through, you’re a sicko!

  35. patrick_bateman says:

    I doubt that you would be making the same case if this were a post containing a link to a website containing a link to a video of purported child pornography. And yet, the legal outcome would be much the same. Guy gets pissed that his “rights” were violated, outraged that no one took him seriously when he complained, sues the poster of the link, and LOSES. Gets laughed out of court. Falls flat on his soured little lawyer’s face.

    Wow, angry much? Much as I hate to see people end up in court, I half hope that one day your self-righteousness ends with you there after saying or doing something stupid, while a judge slaps your shrill philosophical arguments down and the realities of living in a community where your conduct affects other human beings is drilled home by a nasty award against you.

    Yes, I would make an identical argument about the child porn example.

    The law of negligence is not about people’s “rights” in any positive sense. It’s about negative obligations, or duties (I know, a crazy thing to talk about for libertarians but widely accepted as existing as a social construct IRL) not to harm others negligently, recklessly or intentionally. You are totally focused on your right to freedom of expression, yet totally unwilling to carry the burden imposed by the possibilities which the exercise of that right might carry with it.

    99% of civil lawsuits do not stem from people intentionally causing harm, they stem from people not thinking properly about what impact their conduct will have on other people and causing harm as a result. Xeni’s subjective intention in posting the story is completely irrelevant to the question of negligence.

    I am very surprised how hostile the reaction is here. Apparently I have some nefarious motive for raising the point that there is at least a possibility of causing harm which might lead to a legal claim. Either some of you are so dogmatically pro-BB that you cannot accept any criticism of it, or your legal system is so fundamentally broken that anything a lawyer says is construed by Americans as being loaded with lies and self-interest. Either way, it’s a shame.

  36. roboton says:

    @101 Antinous:

    I work for Whole Foods Market. When a store makes a mistake, customers are implored to fill out customer comment cards telling the store they fucked up. Those that are deemed “important” enough are placed on a bulletin board for the public to read.

    It appears, based on your comment, that the “comments” section of a Boing Boing post is an inappropriate forum to let the BoingBoing owners know they are fucking up. Can you please direct us to the appropriate method by which we may air our grievances?

    If there is no such method, then I implore you to lobby the site ownners to create one if Boing Boing is going to go around and create enthralling smoke rings around what are really, at the simplest form, DIY snuff films.

  37. Tgg161 says:

    I’ve had a stupid, poorly-developed theory about music in my head for a long time —

    Great bands are formed because some small percent of people are just musical geniuses, and sometimes by some rare chance, 2 of them find each other. Even more rarely, when 3 find each other, you get the beatles.

    I’ve read the transcript, and some of the articles about these serial killers. This sounds very much like two “perfect 40″ sociopaths (as described in this BB post) found each other by some horrible chance. The third guy sounds like he was just along for the ride.

    (a ringo joke is inappropriate at this time)

  38. Takuan says:

    I finally saw what you did there in 184, Arkie, nice work! Good final blend on the piccolos.

  39. PrometheusG says:

    I’ve found a news report on the Russia Today website: http://www.russiatoday.com/news/news/23537

    The news story itself is real. If the video’s a hoax, it’s based on an actual event from the summer of ’07. I watched as much as I could; from what I saw, it looked completely real. I’ve seen people die and it’s not pretty. I was having flashbacks watching this. I don’t think a hoax video could pull that off.

  40. Wingo says:

    When I was in high school, a friend of mine who worked at a photo developing place came across some photos that a fireman took at a horrific car accident scene (back when people took film to get developed) and made copies.

    She told me that I SHOULD NOT LOOK AT THEM, but here they are if you choose to. I thought I was impervious to anything, and choose to look. It totally terrified me, and I regretted it completely. I don’t know how those rescue guys handle it.

    I learned my lesson. I couldn’t get past a couple lines of the transcript for this – there is no way IN HELL I am watching that video. No amount of morbid curiosity can compel me. Jesus.

    One of the most awfully evil things I have ever heard of.

  41. Tenn says:

    Roboton,

    When I make a purchase at Whole Foods Market, I am paying.

    To date, I do not pay for service at BoingBoing.

    Analogy fail.

  42. chinobis says:

    @#54: THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
    @Xn: bd Xn, Bd! :(

    Now the BB has been moved to the NSFW bookmarks folder. And i had to add BB to the no-no sites in my daughters hosts file. You happy now?

  43. arkizzle says:

    As far as I’ve seen, girls objectify boys just as much as boys objectify girls. However, the difference is, when a male is objectified they seem to respond in a significantly less emotional way.

    Thanks Tenn, I didn’t want to jump into that one, without a position of knowledge, but the first half of your comment confirms my thoughts, and the second is an interesting observation.

    If I could offer a reason why some women might react more emotionally, I would say it’s more to do with the relative power positions of men and women having been stacked, historically, against women – rather than it being an in-built gender trait. But there is probably some masculine/feminine to it as well.

  44. buddy66 says:

    @#190

    “I believe people who oppose the death penalty see things like this on a purely emotional level. People (like myself) who would push for death see it in a logical way.

    You’re not cold enough. You’re too emotional. You’re not thinking things through. I am opposed to the death penalty for at least the following reason: It costs too fucking much!

    If you were really logical you would do the math. I don’t know what the cost of legal execution is in Ukraine (after all, they had some cost-cutting masters for much of the 20th century), but it costs about a million bucks to legally kill a prisoner in the USA. After years of lawyers, appeals, courts, and their pricey shenanigans, the best you end up with is … a corpse. That’s a hell of a price for 150 pounds of meat you can’t even eat.

    As for your vaunted logic, what to make of this? — “I’m pretty sure there is already a special place set aside for these 3 in the beyond.” Beyond? Beyond what? Oh, you mean an afterlife. What sort of logic led you there? Try this:

    If god is going to punish them in an eternal lake of flaming shit, if vengeance is truly His [Romans 12: 19-21] , why are you meddling? Why spend all that taxpayer money when God’s set to punish them for eternity?

    You’re being much too emotional, don’t you think?

  45. Ryan Waddell says:

    Well, I now know not to watch the video. I find it very wierd that there’s a domain with that name, in English, to cover only news stories about these maniacs in the Ukraine (with space for ads, no less!). I do have to wonder if there’s going to be a Ukrainian heavy metal band releasing a new album in the next little while.

  46. Uland says:

    Look, this post was not about the monstrous side of humanity, or our collective capacity for evil. We all know about this. This story was not posted to make us think, it was posted because of its sensational nature.
    - There are thousands of murders around the world everyday- these murders are all indicative of our capacity for evil, yet they are not written about on pop/culture blogs.
    - And this story is not comparable to news about war or terrorism. Those stories have very specific socio-/political ramifications.
    It’s telling that only shock sites are posting about this and I think Boing Boing can do much, much better.
    No one is telling anyone what they’re “allowed” to post. That’s a deflection that’s not the issue. The question is why post it to begin with? If you guys can’t accept the readers desire for a coherent experience on Boing Boing, one that in some ways reflects their own values/concerns, I don’t know what to tell you, other than that some may decide to take your advice and just not look.

    • Antinous says:

      Uland,

      it was posted because of its sensational nature.

      Do you read Boing Boing regularly? Xeni posts constantly about political, economic and military repression around the world. Her concern is absolutely genuine. Taking this post out of the context of her posting history does no credit to her character or your intellect.

  47. ill lich says:

    So I watched it. It made me feel pretty bad, that sorry, pit-of-the-stomach sadness I hadn’t felt since 9/11, or since I first saw Nazi death camp footage as a teen. Human beings and their pointless cruelty.

    And so I’ve seen it and will carry it around with me forever, and I guess that’s OK. Why? Because not seeing it won’t make it cease to exist, just seem less real. There are plenty of events that happen daily around the globe that could equal in atrocity what is in the video, but those acts are not video-taped for us to see in detail. Human history is filled with far worse acts: the Roman’s throwing Christians to the lions, medieval executions that involved live emasculation and evisceration, burning at the stake, etc. I think it’s important to remind ourselves every once in a while that these things are real, and “iron maiden” isn’t just a cool name for a rock band (I note that some here did not believe the video was real).

    Empathy is often painful but it’s better than none at all. In other words, watch the video if you must (I actually DON’T recommend it), and if you feel horrible about it that’s OK, because the killers clearly didn’t feel so horrible about it.

    Or maybe I’m just trying to make myself feel better about having watched it.

  48. ignatius experience says:

    dn’t thnk ths pst blngs n bngbng. cn y rmv t?

  49. shanealeslie says:

    Now that the post has been edited to contain a stronger content warning, and a “You clicked of your own volition, so stop yer bitchin’.” I guess we are all going to have to accept that what is done is done, move on, and try to scrub it out of our brains (I’m gonna use chocolate, Tilted Kilt, and a Sponge Bob Square Pants marathon with my daughter tonight).

    But we won’t move on, at least for a little while. This thread will likely become one of those that people reference when debating the rights and responsibilities of a blogger in regards to their audience.

    I feel that there are certain expectations that a consumer has when accessing media – that the clean-and-fluffy will be consistently clean-and-fluffy, and the soaked-in-gore will be consistently soaked-in-gore. When the purveyor of content suddenly switches from one to the other it can be disappointing and shocking. The Boing-Boingers have the right to post about anything they wish, and to remove it if they so wish. As consumers we have no control over what content they wish to present to us – it is not our right, nor our responsibility, to have any editorial control over the content on Boing-Boing; but we do have influence. We exert this influence through out decisions to visit frequently or not, click on ads, contribute to the post comment threads, and purchase merchandise. If the content trends in a direction that disaffects the core audience, it will be shown though a loss of page views, ad clicks, and merch purchases. It would then be up to the editors to decide whether or not they want continue in that direction and gather a new audience, or return to the content that the existing audience have come to expect. It is their site – not ours.

    I feel that the content was inappropriate for Boing-Boing, but that is my opinion, and does not carry much weight. Xeni’s opinion (and I guess to an extent the other editors) as to what content is appropriate to post, and what kind of content she wants to be known for posting is the only one that matters in the end.

    I am disgusted and disappointed that this content appeared on Boing-Boing. I am even more disappointed and disgusted with myself for making the effort to pursue and view the material she brought to my attention – it was not embedded in the page, there where no direct links to the video, I actually has to make an effort to see it, and that is my shame.

    I’m not going to give up my Boing Boinging, but I’m sure as hell going to be a little more cautions when there are content warnings on posts. Xeni has reset the ‘Acceptable Content Threshold’ to a much lower level then I previously believed it to be. Her prerogative, and now I am aware.

  50. Takuan says:

    Tenn, you were good to begin with.

  51. bcsizemo says:

    @56 Zikzak

    I most certainly agree. This is no worse or more offending than any other brutal crime committed in the world. I’m sure something like this or worse happens every day somewhere. I think because it’s in a modern society is what is so shocking and violating to people.

    @61 Legoobbo

    A world where this doesn’t horrify people… judging by the comments on here we are a long way from that.

    Frankly I’ve been far more disturbed by many other “shock” videos than this. Maybe I’ve watched to many horror movies or what not. Maybe I’m not 100% sure it’s real. In my mind the thing that keeps me from going ape shit and killing others isn’t some kind of humanity and compassion (which I’m sure it is for the vast majority). It’s the logical progression through everything. Why would I do it? What’s the benefit? What’s the out come? Maybe I’m damaged, but I see the world in a very logical way. If this is real, they should get the death penalty, life in prison is simply a waste of resources.

    Like many things in life, I think people should see the world from the other side (no I don’t mean go be a serial killer). They should see what darkness the human soul can contain. With that knowledge everyone could better protect themselves from the harm of others.

    As a point to what I said above. If every woman at 14 to 16 could spend 10 mins in the mind of a similarly aged guy… well that would kill the sells of short-shorts, tight tops, and slutty clothes in about 10+1 mins.

  52. erissian says:

    @143 ROBOTON: If your grocery store got 80 customer comment cards over a few hours, and they all said “OMG WHY DO YOU HAVE PEANUTS THAT’S NOT WHAT I COME HERE FOR YOU AWFUL PEOPLE!!!” would you post them all up on the bulletin board?

  53. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Zikzak has an interesting point: most of us have seen fictional versions of extreme violence in movies, games, etc.; but they don’t bother us the way this video does.

    That reaction isn’t routing through our forebrains. We’re not sitting back and saying “This is bad because it’s real violence, and therefore I’ll be upset about it.” It’s a visceral and immediate reaction.

    What’s going on there, and how can we tell the difference?

    Leogobbo, your second comment is fine by me.

    Anomaly, there’s a whole thread on that subject.

    Church, last time I caught someone doing that, the video in question was replaced with one of a rabbit hiccuping. I’m just sayin’.

  54. InfiniteEdge says:

    While I don’t necessarily agree with mechphisto, calling someone a quasi-thrill killers not a good way to endear yourself… I AM intrigued by how the reaction to posting horrific human murder is “oh I’m so sad I watched that,” but someone questioning to act of posting it is met with anger and vitriol.
    Interesting.

  55. Tenn says:

    Drat it, Antinous, why does he get pie? I’d very much like some too. Or some cookies. As the resident child, I should be spoiled.

    -Stomps foot-

    Also, Ringo was perfect for the beatles. Can you imagine the racket there would have been if he was an extraordinary drummer? No thanks.

  56. sigil7 says:

    This is my first comment on BB, long time lurker.

    I didn’t click on the link, I like many others, have seen things on the internet that I wish I hadn’t. It’s probably inevitable that everyone will at some point. While I found this post unusual for the type (or at least presentation) of subject matter that I am used to on BB, this comment thread is one of the most interesting i’ve come across. By and large the BB community seems fairly homogeneous to me. Seeing this polarization and passion by both sides is sort of refreshing as is the mostly intelligent debate.

  57. bustyyorneekaps says:

    If that is real then I must say that I am absolutely disgusted and saddened that anyone could do such a thing to another person. WHY does that video need to be shared with ANYONE?! That’s a horrific video. And this is coming from a longtime Faces of Death fan…..but everyone can make their own decision to watch it or not. Though I think it’s not safe for anyone.

    And yes, I realize that there are people out there that are heartless and cruel like that, I’m a psychology student…I know all about sickos like them.

    But if it’s a hoax…well..then that’s sad as well.

  58. CosmicMonkey says:

    The internet allows people to be totally rude.

  59. Takuan says:

    not here.

  60. leriseux says:

    Link to video of teens in Ukranian court. Safe for work:

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=2ec_1228735825

  61. Tenn says:

    If I could offer a reason why some women might react more emotionally, I would say it’s more to do with the relative power positions of men and women having been stacked, historically, against women – rather than it being an in-built gender trait. But there is probably some masculine/feminine to it as well.

    In a word?

    Estrogen.

  62. David says:

    This isn’t exactly something I expect to find on BB. After reading the transcript, I figured my day would be best served by not watching the video.

    Using the word “horrifying” is a better descriptor than “graphic violence.” Graphic violence has movie and video game connotations for me, so it doesn’t carry an extreme meaning.

    It is newsworthy, so I have no complaint about reporting/posting it – I read BB to be informed, after all. Still, I don’t think the situation and subject were handled with sensitivity.

  63. ttcfcl says:

    @67

    Lol, thank you. That started to make me feel better. I only read the description. I am a very curious person, but not curious enough to want to learn by watching. If I really want to see that stuff, I’ll watch Hostel.

    I don’t have a problem with this stuff being on BoingBoing, I’m sure it will show up on Faux News in certain time. Plus you had all the appropriate NSFA warnings.

  64. Ian M says:

    Since nobody has mentioned it so far, the Wikipedia article about this case is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dnepropetrovsk_maniacs . No graphic content.

  65. Sekino says:

    I AM intrigued by how the reaction to posting horrific human murder is “oh I’m so sad I watched that,” but someone questioning to act of posting it is met with anger and vitriol.

    It has already been rightfully pointed out that the messenger (i.e. Xeni) shouldn’t be the one receiving the resulting anger and resent. If the perpertrators of such horrific murder would be upon reach of any commentors/bloggers here, I’m sure they would meet a violent end themselves (albeit quicker).

    Most people’s ‘questioning’ consisted of thinly veiled attacks on the blog owners’ intentions, good-faith and integrity with no other rationalization or gauge than their own emotional response. Several people expressed their point of views and support of the post in very civil and comprehensive terms. Unfortunately, a lot of people only pay attention to what they want to hear, how they want to hear it.

    What do you people want from them now? A fruit basket?

  66. Takuan says:

    capital punishment puts the fear in the others. And they MUST be afraid. All the time.

  67. Pseudothink says:

    I am glad to have found this on BoingBoing, or anywhere. As troubling as it is to read about and watch (I stopped after a few seconds, enough to get the idea), we cannot make the world a better place by ignoring its horrors or pretending they don’t exist. Reading a sterile news story or transcript does not convey the same impact as seeing it with your own eyes. The profound difference in the personal impact motivates me to contribute to abating this (or any) kind of evil, in my own way, however I can.

  68. KanedaJones says:

    A Directory of Wonderful Things

    yes that would be Boing Boing, the blog I repeatedly take breaks from because I cannot stand to read about peoples rights being trampled on, on a daily baseus. During this long september since the WTC fell, Boing Boing has kept me up to date with the specifics of how america and the UK were going into the crapper.

    if one more person says A Directory of Wonderful Things.. grr. I don’t care were Boing Boing wrote it or when they said it was their mandate. look at Boing Boing with a critical eye and know what you are getting.

    It is a very valid point that these people who killed so dramaticaly arent hitting the western culture news stream and I personaly believe that it’s a valid point Xeni should have (maybe could have is better) done some snooping first before presenting this to us.

    I for one have been emersed in the search for gross photage in my younger years so I had the common sense to not click on any video until I did the 5 minutes of research necessary to find out how bad it was. After hearing the case was real I didnt watch – simple as that. I am still suprised by those who looked at it and blame Xeni so totally.

    At worse Xeni had a bone headed moment and is not resposible for your lost innocence.

    to the guy who said he just now added boing boing to his Daughter’s do not read list of websites?

    what, the posts about Abu Graid didnt do it?

    maybe its just cause too many blind deaf and dumb fluffy fuzzy bunnys read Boing Boing like a bible.. some critical thinking on your feet will save you lots of trouble people.

  69. scugnizzo says:

    I haven’t watched and will not watch this video, and I haven’t been following this discussion for the most part. I read the initial post and some of the comments here. Maybe something of this kind has already been said, so forgive me my redundancy if that is the case, but if I were the parent, sibling, child, etc, of one of the victims of this tragedy, and I knew that the event of their murder and mutilation existed on film, available to be viewed by millions of strangers, it would compound the depths of desperate, inconsolable grief and sorrow, loss, and sense of violation ten fold. This video is a form of exploitation, and if you view it out of curiosity you are engaging in exploitation. If I was related to the victims, it would be a relief to know that people who had the opportunity to view footage of this kind opted not to do so – like an act (perhaps symbolic) of mercy, a way to show solidarity. To allow the killers to control the representation of those who they killed in their last, terrible moments – and extend the sight of that slaughter throughout the world – seems like something someone would not want to participate in, willingly.

  70. ill lich says:

    I think (news-)googling “Dnepropetrovsk Maniacs” didn’t bring up anything because it’s not in the cyrillic alphabet; the west doesn’t have a monopoly on legitimate news.

    Googling the exact phrase in cyrillic brings up thousands of hits, most from Slavic news sites.

  71. roboton says:

    @144: It’s not what I pay, it is the profits the site owners make. The profits made in all businesses, regardless of the model, are dependent on the customer appreciating the product. That the product is free makes my argument more compelling, not less.

    You, not I, fail.

    @149: If a business gets 80 comments in 2 hours saying “You are making a mistake” then a business ought to pay attention instead of smugly telling said customer base “You have been banned”.

    • Antinous says:

      The profits made in all businesses, regardless of the model, are dependent on the customer appreciating the product.

      If you think that Boing Boing runs like any sort of normal business, you really haven’t been paying attention. No matter how popular it is, it remains a personal blog for a loose collective of bloggers.

  72. merreborn says:

    Boingboing’s long had an interesting relationship with shock sites. See: the long-term love affair with goatse.

    I think it falls under the broader umbrella of documenting all the internet’s most pervasive memes, be it lolcats, flowcharts, or shock media.

  73. arkizzle says:

    A lot of men like to beat up prostitutes; the extent to which that happens hardly qualifies as an open secret.

    Teresa, I’m going to ask you to modify that statement, to something like: “a lot of men who visit prostitutes, like to beat them up”.

    I can’t abide the sentiment that a considerable proportion of all men (not just the set who go to prostitutes) like to beat up prostitutes. And while I would like to refute the proportion of men who do visit prostitutes and then beat them, I have no statistics as such – so must bow to your better knowledge.

    The sentence reads like beating up prostitutes is an integral part of life to (a significant proportion of) half the planets population. I reject this entirely.

    Also, I’d love to not get jumped on for being some sort of apologist to male dominance of the vunerable etc. (not by you in particular, but just wait and see..)

  74. Billegible says:

    If you have any curiosity about the video, read the translated transcript. That was far more than enough for me.
    The URL at #8 helped. Thank you!

  75. arkizzle says:

    Sad Clown

    Bio: Here to stand up against the censoring happening on boingboing.

    pfft.

  76. Takuan says:

    roboton, you do not understand.

  77. Cowicide says:

    I have to ask… all of you here from the USA who are outraged and sickened by this brutality being presented via this link here… and are very upset with Xeni, Boing Boing, Teresa, etc.

    Have you lifted one finger to stop the Bush admin torture and Iraqi murders committed in your name?

    Just curious.

  78. Sekino says:

    but it costs about a million bucks to legally kill a prisoner in the USA. After years of lawyers, appeals, courts, and their pricey shenanigans, the best you end up with is … a corpse. That’s a hell of a price for 150 pounds of meat you can’t even eat.

    Holy crap! I knew some approximate costs for keeping convicts fed and alive, but had no idea it was that expensive to kill them. So much for my reticence at having my hard earned money going to their food and cable TV…

    @ Takuan capital punishment puts the fear in the others. And they MUST be afraid. All the time.

    I’m not sure it works that way unfortunatlely. While these types of killers tend to seek weak, vulnerable victims, there is always a chance that they might miscalculate and that the ‘weak victim’ turns out to be some ex-marine able to snap their necks with his/her bare hands. Yet they are willing to take that slight risk to get their kicks. I don’t see the threat of death penalty being much more weighty in their whole game. Their thinking process is not the same as ‘regular’ people. Many of them probably don’t even feel fear the same way we’d expect (or at all).

  79. help i cant comfirm my username themelonbread says:

    Boing Boing- a directory of wonderful things?

  80. roboton says:

    Takuan, thanks for such a compelling argument.

  81. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Chinobis @214, what you watch is your business.

    Clayton @209, are you saying that you have PTSD? If not, why not?

    Patrick Bateman @197: I am not a lawyer. Are you really a lawyer? I mean, really? Because I’m an editor, and I know you’re wrong.

    No one ever knows what effect a piece of writing or film or static visual art will have when they send it out into the world. The artist may intend a certain effect, but the results will at best be approximate, because meaning in art is not contained whole within the artwork itself. Meaning happens in a sort of notional subjunctive space partway between the artist and the reader or viewer. Art is source code. Meaning is something the reader or viewer compiles, and there’s a lot of variability in that process.

    Sometimes a less than transcendent artwork will hit the viewer just right, and inspire them to great things. Other times, someone will take an innocuous book and read all kinds of unintended things into it, as Charles Manson did with Stranger in a Strange Land. The people who created the art aren’t wholly responsible for either reaction. I’ve wound up quoting the Bhagavad-Gita to any number of authors who were weirded out by strange readings they’d gotten: Yours is the action for its own sake. The fruit of the action is not yours.

    Here’s a special case: anti-pornography activists have for decades tried to demonstrate a causal relationship between viewing pornography and committing sexually related crimes. That narrows down the question to one kind of art, and one set of behavioral responses. They have nevertheless been unable to do it. Given their failure to demonstrate that relatively simple connection, asserting that something as vague and complex as “psychological harm” can be caused by one viewing of a video is an extremely dubious notion.

    Mind you, the foregoing is largely a discussion of fiction and carefully crafted nonfiction, where the creator(s) choose the material to be incorporated and shape the way it’s presented in order to create conscious works of art. What we’re talking about here is a raw unedited video recording of a real event.

    There aren’t many ways you can be in the wrong with unedited footage of a real event. Copyright violation, violation of privacy, obvious malice, and use of classified material are inapplicable. The only improprieties I can think of that take the viewer’s reactions into account are encouraging hazardous emulation, and prurient footage used for prurient purposes. The footage in question doesn’t meet the standards of the first, and could never be mistaken for the second.

    So where does psychological harm come in? I don’t think it comes in at all. I also think I’ve never heard of anyone suing for the traumatizing effects of seeing the footage from the liberation of the camps at the end of WWII, the eyeball-slitting scene in Un Chien Andalou, or, more recently, the beheading video.

    Thus for the content. To bring up a further issue, the material was not published on this site. It was linked-to at another site, and the links contained clear warnings about the nature of the material. For a full discussion of this, I recommend Evilrooster’s kick-ass comment @198.

    And one other point: it’s an exceedingly odd thing to see a supposed lawyer use “cause” so lightly. Which area of the law did you say you worked in?

    To my mind, the really interesting angles in this story still haven’t been addressed. As Xeni pointed out in comment #162, what distinguishes this case from all the other godawful murders out there is that these guys documented their actions via cellphones and social media websites. That raises all kinds of legal and ethical issues.

  82. CosmicMonkey says:

    I love BoingBoing. I peruse it a few times every day for a quick boost of creative inspiration. This post totally gave me the blues, and I feel like it doesn’t have much to do with normal BB posts. I feel that it is important to spread good karma and this post doesn’t. I don’t care if it is a viral video or whatever, it doesn’t matter in terms of what it means to me. I dislike it. I wouldn’t mind if it were taken down, but of course that is relatively silly.

  83. wolfiesma says:

    I didn’t watch the video but I think it should come down. We shouldn’t need an extra open thread to debate whether the commenters’ feelings matter. They do. If people feel they are incurring psychological damage from something they’ve seen on our beloved boingboing then it needs to come down. We can talk about it later.

    • Antinous says:

      I didn’t watch it. I’ll never watch it. I never watch anything like that. But I see no reason that others shouldn’t have the opportunity to make that decision for themselves. It’s not like you’re strapped to a chair with your eyelids taped open. You just scroll to the next post.

      • Xeni Jardin says:

        Folks: enough with the histrionics. Did you guys even read the post?

        I did not post the snuff video. No embed in this blog post, no link directly to the video. No photographs of the violence, of even of the perpetrators. The point of this post was not to cause a visceral, traumatizing experience. If I wanted to do that, I know how to embed video.

        I posted a broad description of a story, with links to a transcript of the video, and explanations of how the video and other original source material could be located.

        The post is about a phenomenon I found disturbing and worthy of observation and discussion: teenagers committing the most extreme form of violence imaginable, and documenting it themselves using cellphones and social media websites.

        If by “take it down” you mean take the post down, no.

        And I did not watch the video myself.

        We live in an era in which entertainment products like the “Saw” movie series pass for entertainment. In that context, it is possible to imagine someone producing a fake and explicit snuff/torture film for kicks or for marketing purposes. This wasn’t fake, but that’s why I posted the note originally.

  84. usonia says:

    I can’t see how that could be fake. Quite horrible, and not unrealistic looking. But I’m curious about the young man washing his hands at the end: he doesn’t look like one of the 3 sitting in court. Maybe not a hoax, per se, but does the video go with the story?
    It makes me worry (as I tend to) that teenagers today have something fundamentally wrong with them – not that 99% of young people today would sink to this level, but I wonder, as each generation probably does, if the one behind me is wilder, meaner, more thoughtless than mine. Certainly, we made trouble, and growing up in rural Massachusetts I had plenty of Faces-of-Death-obsessed headbanger pals who were known (or rumored to be known) to have done unpleasant things out of boredom & thoughtless teenage abandon. But is this current generation broken on too much internet and too much freedom from parents who feel an illusion of connection because they got the kids cell phones? We had Cannibal Corpse album covers and Joel Peter Witkin to titillate & disgust. Kids today have bestgore.com delivering the goods en masse.
    And I really have to wonder what this is doing on Boingboing. There’s nothing redeeming or wonderful here. I know Boingboing takes an interest in discussing the worst in viral marketing, but how could this even BE viral marketing?

  85. Church says:

    @TNH, makes the same point either way.

  86. DanielZKlein says:

    The amazing lesson that I have taken from this thread is that Unicorn Chasers actually WORK. I always thought they were a cute and funny idea, but I of course let curiosity get the better of me and watch a few seconds too many of that horrible video, and I felt this really dark and dirty and bad feeling, like there was going to be a cloud over the rest of the day… until I watched a dog skateboarding. It’s… stupid and borderline offensive to the victims of these monsters, but it’s also amazing in a way. Right now I only wished I had something more coherent to say about it. I’m sure someone who is good with words could bend this observation into something truly poetic.

  87. InfiniteEdge says:

    TAKUAN,
    that’s rather dismissive. Right or wrong, ROBOTON makes reasoned points. I’m curious to read similarly reasoned counterpoints.

    Oh, SEKINO, I prefer a muffin basket. :)

  88. shanealeslie says:

    I agree with #14, this is NOT a Wonderful Thing. Xeni please make it go away so as few people as possible are exposed to it. It’s too late for me, I can’t un-see it, and I wish I could.

  89. Takuan says:

    you misunderstand Sekino, the “regular people” ARE the others.

  90. uncompressed says:

    I agree with Ignatius.

    I understand this kind of thing can exist in the world, and I understand there are people out there who will seek it out. The notion of a free society dictates that this is so – particularly if it is a fiction. Hence the rise in ‘torture porn’, i.e. SAW movies.

    If it is a criminal act then it is up to the relevant authorities to deal with it.

    What I don’t understand is how the hell it got onto Boing Boing.

    I don’t mean to imply that BB readers need to be shielded from the unpleasantness that exists in the world or on the web, in fact it is quite the opposite – you have a very savvy readership who are likely more aware and more interested in current events than most people e.g. the kind of people who read Harper’s or The Economist.

    With that in mind have you not forgotten that people visit this site specifically as a resource of what is ‘good’?

    It is all too easy to find this kind of content on the web and I think you have made a serious error of judgement by posting it here.

  91. Cpt. Tim says:

    “dn’t thnk ths pst blngs n bngbng. cn y rmv t?”

    wow. you guys showed that troll. This is well worn territory and i totally agree that it’s your blog, and you can post what you want.

    but what gets censored. amazing.

  92. Cowicide says:

    @#107 POSTED BY ARKIZZLE

    dude, as long as boing boing continues to conspire to keep sadclown.com down through its 24/7 DDOS attack and not let his message reach the public I will also stand on all fours in solidarity with him against boing boing and its evil censorship ways.

    boing boing! let sadclown.com go back up! let sadclown.com go back up! stap naw

  93. oohShiny says:

    Thanks for the warnings. I very much hope it is some kind of viral marketing, and I feel strangely conflicted clinging to the knowledge that it’s not entirely out of the realm of possibility for someone to co-opt real tragedy for monetary gain. Reminds me of Jim Munro’s depiction of ads in Everyone in Silico…

  94. Anonymous says:

    Cabbage Soup, Chernobyl, insanely high infant mortality rates, soaring unemployment, and the Dnepropetrovsk Maniacs. One less place to visit in my lifetime.

  95. Sekino says:

    #219

    you misunderstand Sekino, the “regular people” ARE the others.

    Who are we?? o_O

  96. Anonymous says:

    I went to read the transcript and saw a photo of these jerks. I was surprised to find they looked just like you and me.

  97. arkizzle says:

    Cupcake Faerie:

    * What do we do with such monsters?
    - do we kill them, lock them up – how does either solution solve anything?

    Of course it doesn’t solve anything for the previous victims, but it sure helps a lot for the future victims. Should they be let run free? Do you have a better solution than killing or locking-up?

    * How can we consider these young murderers to be human after what we’ve seen them do?

    Because these are things that humans have done. Just because you don’t understand it, or because it is something we have deemed outside civilized society, doesn’t mean it falls outside the spectra of humanity.

    * Are such incidents becoming more common?

    No.

    * Have we (human society) done something that makes this kind of violence inevitable?

    We are. It is.

    Also, other things are – in far higher proportions than this kind of thing. This is a small dimple in positive human potential and civilization (amongst, both; lots of other dimples and lots of other hills). We do wonderful things, as well as the things we don’t like so much.

  98. Takuan says:

    No. Dismissive is: “Fuck Off”.

    I said: “You do not understand.” This means understanding is lacking. Understanding comes from reflection and study of available facts. As Antinous said; pay attention. Every post made here is available. Read them. Then comment. “Reasoned” comments require reason, not mere unsupported opinion. A majority of erroneous statements does not create a fact. Understand also this community is not based on pure commerce. To state otherwise is mortal insult, and make such at your peril.

  99. Sekino says:

    All kidding aside though, I see what you mean. However, I’m tempted to question the state of mind of any type of killer.

    Psychopaths clearly don’t behave and think the same way as ‘regulars’. However, most others who kill are either experiencing an extremely emotional moment (like someone who kills another during a severe argument), are intoxicated or suffer from a form of mental disturbance other than psychopathy (like paranoid schizophrenia). I’m sure there are exceptions, but most of these people aren’t thinking conventionally at the moment of killing. They might be afraid of consequences under normal circumstances, but when push comes to shove, is that fear strong enough to override the other factors?

    I really don’t know; just asking :)

  100. fennel says:

    For the first time in my life, I am not going to push the shiny red button. I’ve been convinced by the warnings, I don’t need to know, and I’m moving on.

    Also, I wish this wasn’t on BoingBoing. There are a lot of other impossibly horrific, terrifying realities out there that have not yet been posted about on BoingBoing, and I’m hoping that they won’t be, cause I’m not so much into reading about impossibly horrific, terrifying realities on a regular basis. This is, of course, my prerogative, but there’s my personal preference, just so you know.

  101. Johnny Cat says:

    “Seeing this polarization and passion by both sides is sort of refreshing as is the mostly intelligent debate.”

    That is why I read comments on BB in the first place, especially on hot issues, which has happened many times hence.

  102. Church says:

    “The attention i mentioned specifically was Pagerank, because like it or not – click it or not-, frontpage linking to dnepropetrovskmaniacs.com is putting money into the pocket of some jackass whos just profiteering off this awful mess.”

    Huh. You’d an issue like that would have come up before…

  103. Anonymous says:

    I moved from Dnepropetrovsk to USA 7 years ago, but my parents and some of my friends still live there. Unfortunately I can confirm what Margaret from Kiev said. This story is not a hoax. I was horrified enough to hear about it and have no desire to watch the video.
    Dan

  104. sheshe says:

    i couldn’t even read through the transcript of the video.

  105. FoetusNail says:

    Having seen Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, I did not click the link. The staged violence of the film was enough for me. Personally, I don’t understand anyone wanting to watch this sort of thing.

  106. Cowicide says:

    @ #106 POSTED BY ARKIZZLE

    This thread is now about beating prostitutes.

  107. Versh says:

    #294 russellcunning
    !!!
    Take #280 Anonymous lead and get the hell outta there man!
    I shared a dorm room with a guy from Voronezh, and holy $#@% the list of many first-hand horror stories that happen daily, in every city and prevalent all social classes across Russia and bordering countries– it was a nightmare described with astounding wry casualness as if it weren’t a big deal. And most of it isn’t even broadcast or written about.

    Anyway, this thread was an interesting read (except the litigation stuff)– I think I can decipher disemvoweled posts now (practice makes perfect).

    In anycase, Cultural relativism is a concept that loses credibility daily.

  108. Anonymous says:

    I’m sorry, am I missing something? Is there really a question about the authenticity of this video? I feel that I’m fairly privy to the current state of make-up, special effects, fight choreography etc… but I have never seen a film/commercial/video that is remotely this realistic. A hoax? Really? Can someone send me a link to a hoax that comes close to this? Blair Witch? Your kidding. This is obviously real and should be seen as such. I know the possibility of it being a hoax makes it easier to watch but that’s a dangerous mentality to have. The fact that it was filmed with a cell-phone, or any handheld object, would make it impossible to look like this through special effects(think of Cloverfield). Beyond the ideological/political debate of whether or not it should have been posted on boingboing it must be acknowledged that this is horrifically and definetly real. If this IS a hoax, the people who perpetrated it deserve oscars for make-up and effects.

  109. Anonymous says:

    Something I thought of that helped me, and may help others who did watch the video: the first wounds the victim suffered delivered significant trauma to the frontal lobes. This would mean that a lot of the brain that defines us as individuals was essentially taken offline. What would have remained online would be the brain stem and sensory processing centers, all of which, in a situation like this, would not be registering anything greater than the basic sensory feedback. This is most likely the reason why he did not struggle (or indeed move at all) after the first significant blows were delivered. That is, despite respiration and mild reflexive responses, he was gone before his killers were finished savaging him.

  110. Rob, Denmark says:

    Trs Nlsn Hydn:

    Cngrtltn n hvng th pwr t hd my cmmnts.

    Bt bth y nd knw, tht y fckd p. Tht’s ngh fr m.

    Krm wll tk cr f th rst.

    Nw, s yr wsm pwrs n ths pst.

  111. Versh says:

    #97 posted by Antinous
    “Don’t blame the messenger. The messenger is the one who’s trying to let you know what’s really happening in the world.”

    Okay, I get that with other articles on the site. This isn’t the first controversy. I understand that. But not this one. This morning (before the revisions) this was presented in a flippant manner in which the discerning footage was real or faked. This was not posted to address the crime. This was not posted to create a discussion about modern brutality. No, the tone was “lol, look I found some pretty nasty stuff, have a look if you want, could be a viral video, I dunno, kthnx bai.”
    The material was presented for shock value, for reactions, for outrage– in other words, entertainment on boing boing. I find that morally questionable.

    @ Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator or whoever disemvoweled my post,
    Although it wasn’t the least offensive or intended as an attack, I understand how it can be read as a “pile on” comment, so I accept the vowel removal.
    Though there is still one point from that post that I still like to be addressed. I’m not demanding, I’m just putting it out there:
    To what context was this video supposed to be interpreted by those who frequent boing boing? What was the intended reaction other than public outcry? There have been suggestions that this is “ugly humanity in plain sight,” “evidence for psychopathy,” “investigative journalism from skewed a perspective,” “a contextless data point,” etc. etc.
    When it comes right down to it, there is no restriction to what boing boing will or will not post on their site. It is the contributors’ rights, I have nothing against that. My problem is with the transparent motive to stir up commotion, and thus furthering the brutality = entertainment association.
    The material should have been checked out first. Once verified to be real, posted as such, and THEN let the discussion go from there. Regardless of the popularity, whether it’s an unknown blog or an higher visible site like boing boing, by featuring grisly & disturbing content with such careless presentation it undermines the severity of what is being recorded. Of what was committed. Witnessing a violent act and not reacting is one form of desensitization, but mishandling the context to inadvertently promote savagery is by far greater extent of desensitization. To think material such as Ukrainian murders recorded on a cell phone would have equal standing with any other possible material characteristically found on boing boing. It’s confusing, that’s all.

    And yeah, I know I didn’t have to see it, and no, I didn’t have to comment about it. Hell, this post will probably be disemvoweled too. I just didn’t think it was right to hastily post such charged content and then react against the people who were offended. Sure, the less civil and hostile ones deserve it, ban them all, but please don’t issue statements like “It’s our site so deal with it.” We, the level minded, already acknowledge that, and thus are a reliable fanbase of regular commenters. I just worry if this is going to be a common trend (not the material, just presentation).

    • Antinous says:

      Versh,

      Posts go up fast. There’s no research department. Corrections are frequent. Everyone can look up and see the strikeout text.

      I’m not convinced this isn’t a hoax or viral marketing campaign, since “strange news blackout” can also mean “didn’t actually happen.” Even if it’s fictional internet lore, it’s notable as such.

      is pretty different from

      lol, look I found some pretty nasty stuff, have a look if you want, could be a viral video, I dunno, kthnx bai.

  112. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Church, ipse dixit.

    Capt. Tim, I don’t think I showed anybody. I just hate mindless pile-ons.

  113. CosmicMonkey says:

    You can be dismissive without saying “F@uck You”. A lot of comments on the internet are extremely dismissive without being explicit. I would hazard to say that the majority of the comments on this thread are relatively dismissive. Such is the nature of our flippant culture, I suppose.

  114. Tenn says:

    HOW? Easily. For the protection of the masses, for the greater good (be it safety, and resource usage). What purpose does it serve to keep someone that could kill with such whimsical nature alive? The simple answer is because you believe you can not commit the same crime.

    If you knew me better you’d know that I’ve complained on BoingBoing a lot as to having little empathetic response for others. That my ‘emotions’ as it were are based out of logic. I have to force myself into feeling based on logic- I’ve grown up in a home where having emotions has allowed me to be hurt, so I’ve learned to deafen myself somewhat. I’m a lot more apathetic than your usual homo sapiens.

    So- emotional? I wish.

    My opposition to the death penalty is based on logic.

    I have seen a lot of violence. I am not blind to the harm someone can cause another.

    But through everything that I’ve ever witnessed, there’s one thing that’s always been true.

    Violence in return never settles the score.
    Instead, it puts a burden on the person who reacted back in such a way. If you are going to stop a situation, you need to apply just enough force to prevent the person from harming someone else, and no more.

    The death penalty is ‘more force than necessary’. Lifetime imprisonment is ‘just enough.’ They are removed from society, but still have the opportunity to come to terms with themselves and what they have done. And sometimes, they do.


    Killing isn’t easy.

    Are you truly willing to support the death penalty and put the weight of someone’s death on another person’s hands? Yes, executioners do it willingly. But having the option available means there must be people to fill the jobs required to enact the death penalty. And the guards to witness it, the juries who may or may not suffer guilt for their decisions… they are not given so much of a choice.

    Besides, the death penalty is expensive. Someone else already mentioned it.

    I understand the above post is rambling and probably doesn’t explain my point of view very well. I just wanted you to know that I’m not being over-emotional about the death penalty, and I’m not quite sure how to explain it. I can’t seem to get my thoughts in order though. Been awake for almost twenty four hours now. (Not the fault of the video, which has already left my mind, which somewhat disappoints me.)

  115. Anonymous says:

    I agree with a lot of the ppl’s comments. read the transcrip it should be enough to not make you want to watch the video.(curiosity still lead me to watch it) its as horrible as it sounds. i’ve seen some morbid things but this is by far the most horrific one. i sat their thinking “jesus who would do such a thing?”
    Point being if you do choose to watch it know you’ll never be the same again. A great sadness will begin to grow in you.
    -glow bby

  116. Anonymous says:

    Ok. I have never visited BB before. I was introduced to this site because of this story which a co-worker sent me to basically say “Can you believe this s***?” Neither of us had ever heard of this incident.

    What I find shocking are the responses here in the comments thread brow-beating the site admins for putting this story on their site. THEIR SITE. If I (or anyone else) voluntarily and of their own free will clicks on a link in the story which leads to another link which leads to a video of someone apparently being killed, how is that the fault of BB?

    I’m GLAD I know about this now. It’s a horrible story that needs to be told, and needs to be heard.

    Own your curiosity. It’s not BB’s fault that you just couldn’t resist. Don’t click on the links and then come back here crying about The Horror! The Horror!

    Take that anger, frustration and indignation and put it to good use. Email your local news stations and newspapers and ask them why they AREN’T telling this story.

  117. wolfiesma says:

    Community building, ur doin it wrong.

    • Antinous says:

      wolfiesma,

      Think about what BB would be like if the editors posted only things that they thought would be popular with a majority of readers. The whole point of BB is that it’s the unique perspective of a group of individuals.

  118. Tenn says:

    They might be afraid of consequences under normal circumstances, but when push comes to shove, is that fear strong enough to override the other factors?

    No. It isn’t.

    That fear is not of something that will happen immediately. It is of something that may happen, in the future, if they don’t conceal the crime. If consequences even occur to a criminal in the height of passion, they put it off.

    Think about the last time you turned off your alarm clock or pressed ‘snooze’. You knew, somewhere deep down inside- or even consciously! That you might be late for work.

    But you did it anyway because human brains work better on immediate-gain rather than long-term-consequence, and damnit, it was too darn early to wake up. It’s harder to associate long-term-consequence with present action.

  119. ROSSINDETROIT says:

    Not gonna look. Even if it’s fake, real life is ghastly enough these days.

  120. arkizzle says:

    Cow, I’m not getting into your current BB fight.

    I made a fair point to Teresa, and presume she will respond fairly.

    • Antinous says:

      Ark,

      Teresa and I traded threads. And all the prostitutes that I know are male bodybuilders and could squash you like a grape.

  121. Takuan says:

    That changes nothing.

  122. Takuan says:

    youth is resilient.

  123. dahni22 says:

    where can i go to see the video?

  124. napstimpy says:

    @#70 BCSIZEMO

    “If every woman at 14 to 16 could spend 10 mins in the mind of a similarly aged guy… well that would kill the sells of short-shorts, tight tops, and slutty clothes in about 10+1 mins.”

    Why not flop that and have every guy at age 14 to 16 spend 10 minutes in the mind of a similarly-aged girl to see what it is like to be objectified? Might properly make it a respect issue and not a clothing one.

  125. erissian says:

    #154 ROBOTON: Please answer the question instead of reinterpreting it. However, on that point, the only users that got banned were people who signed up just to complain. If your store was flooded by dozens of people whose first time stopping by was to complain about your having peanuts, how you should get rid of them, and how you get a vicarious thrill out of people eating peanuts, I sincerely doubt your manager would take them seriously whatsoever.

  126. Takuan says:

    oh grow up.

  127. Tenn says:

    While cephalopods are dextrous and taste good with butter.

  128. Versh says:

    Slppry slp thr, Jrdn, bng bng, t l.
    Why vn pst ths? Lk t r nt, bt ths st hs hgh vsblty mng th gnrl wb-brwsng pblc. Y’r fclttng th “stnt fm” f ths sck ndvdls, prpgtng th gnrl crl & ll ntrd, nd spprtng th dssmntn f mtltn s ntrtnmnt.

    Sr, th ndvdls bhnd bng bng hv th frdm t pst whtvr mtrl thy s chs, thgh pprntly thy r lckng th mrlty twrd wht s fltrd.

    T ch #5 Jklr nd ll ths wh sbsqntly dnncd ths nd rgd ppl nt t wtch ths, thy’r rght. Wht cld b gnd frm ths, whthr tr r fls? t sms t b lgtmt, s ll th mr rsn t dscrd t.

    S yh, ny mdrtrs, lng-tm mmbrs r bng bng cntrbtrs wnt t wgh n n ths? Why vn pst ths?
    Thr r thr sts tht xst fr ths (jst lk th dprvd fw tht r hstng th vd)– nd dn’t gv m th ln f “t ws pstd bcs dn’t blv n cnsrshp.” t’s nt cnsrshp t slctvly ssct r dsssct nslf wth ntts, tht’s clld hvng thcs. Ths pst s wrng. T chs t lnk t hrrr-shw f mtltn, nd fr wht prps?

    Ds Bng Bng dsr th knd f trffc tht wts th nxt vd f sm slyng?

    ‘m dsppntd.

  129. Takuan says:

    garlic butter. (savage)

  130. lukus says:

    I think it’s strange that the hosting and supplying videos of killings doesn’t hold the same kind of penalty as hosting and supplying videos of child abuse.

    Legally and morally what’s the difference?

  131. Takuan says:

    “community building”. We know who we are. We also know where we are. The kraal is open, the fire lit. That doesn’t mean a passing lion – or hyena – isn’t going to get an assegai in the guts if it thinks it’s easy pickings.

  132. rektruax says:

    fnd t dd tht sch vd lnk wld b pstd hr t Bng Bng. Wht’s nxt… Sct prn? Bt thn t frthr th ddty, snrk strckn mssg frm th mdrtr n th cntxt f th cmmnts pstd tht sh srly (ssmng sh hs brn) mst hv knwn wld rslt frm t.

  133. Clemoh says:

    I love cucumbers and Guinea Pigs.

  134. Tenn says:

    I can’t be sure, Lukus, but it’s probably something to do with the fact that it’s legal to have pictures of a nude 18 year old but not of a nude 14 year old.

    Society protects the children. Not at all a bad thing.

    I didn’t know videos of child abuse were illegal. Sexual abuse, yes, but not regular abuse.

    ‘Regular abuse.’ That phrase seems wrong.

  135. WordyGrrl says:

    For a site that attracts and caters to inquisitive people who naturally click from link to link, I’m surprised to see BB get all defensive about the flack.

    You put up story that directly led to a link (two mouse clicks from the BB page) of a horrifying video of a guy getting taunted while he’s being slowly tortured to death.

    P.S. I’m not so much in favor of censorship as I am in favor of quashing that “if it bleeds, it leads” mentality.

  136. Anonymous says:

    people suck. i doubt they suck more than they used to.

    but now the people who suck can incriminate themselves more effectively than ever before.

    that’s about all i have to say about this.

  137. Takuan says:

    common sense, of which you get a good dose if you read Teresa’s last post.

  138. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Rob, if you’ve ever wondered whether there’s a downside to having a history of being a deliberate troublemaker, now’s the moment when you find out. Note my lack of hesitation in disemvowelling both of your remarks.

    If anyone reading this is alarmed, and wonders why we didn’t give Rob more chances and more explanations, I recommend clicking on his name in his comment headers, which will take you to his Profile page. Scan down his list of old comments until you find others that have been disemvowelled, then click the name of the threads on them so you can read up on previous occasions.

    Some people who act like jerks are doing it accidentally. We’ve reluctantly had to conclude that that isn’t Rob’s problem.

  139. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Wingo, a close friend of mine is a first responder. When things are really bad, he tells himself that he’s on a movie shoot, playing an EMT, and the things he sees around him are really good set designs and special effects makeup jobs.

    It doesn’t entirely insulate him. I can tell he’s been on a bad one the minute he shows up in my AIM window sounding flat-voiced and exhausted. It takes him a while to recover, and if the subject happens to come up again months or years later, it’ll still bother him.

    Ugly scenes are just plain hard to take. EMTs have a high burnout rate.

  140. Sekino says:

    Wolfiesma’s idea of creating a separate thread for people who want to question Boing Boing’s content has my complete support.

    That way, we can avoid having topics getting totally hijacked by repetitive comments about how the topic shouldn’t be posted. It might also prevent more posts getting closed to comments altogether because of repetitive trolling (like the 9/11 dolls thread last week or so).

    There were interesting and sensible points raised by several people relevant to the actual topic (like Zik Zak’s and Teresa’s) but it all got lost and trampled.

  141. Cpt. Tim says:

    fair enough. to me it sounded like an earnest plea. i’m sure that we tack on a lot of our own interpretation when reading the plain text of others.

    i didn’t want to watch it, so i didn’t.

    TNH: haven’t been on the boing very often so i’m not sure how long you’ve been been back. but its good to see you’re well.

  142. roboton says:

    @Xeni: I did not say that you linked directly to a snuff film. I said:
    if Boing Boing is going to go around and create enthralling smoke rings around what are really, at the simplest form, DIY snuff films.

    I apologize if my intention was not written very well.

    By writing “enthralling smoke rings”, I liken it to saying “don’t think about an elephant”. The first thing you think about is an elephant. The first thing you are going to do is reasearch it. It is human nature, and we all know what to expect. We are going to look. I understand not taking you to task for my seeking it out, but I feel my original post does ask compelling questions back to the operators of this site, no?

    I think the post is extremely compelling. if it were my blog, which it is not, I would have unpublished the entry once I realized it was not a hoax. You disagree, and I think we ought to be able to view our points and be reasoned about it. So far that has mostly been the case, and I thank your moderators for making that possible.

    @Takuan:
    If you think that Boing Boing runs like any sort of normal business, you really haven’t been paying attention.

    If you think the site operators are not making a living by this type of work, i.e, running a business, then you are not paying attention either. Making money off the internet is not as different as you imagine it to be. Boing Boing provides a product and charges advertisers to make it profitable. How different is that from FM radio?

  143. aeiou11235 says:

    It was very sure that something like the Dnepropetrovsk videos would happen sooner or later.

    All those “Happy Slapping” cellphone-videos made by schoolkids were just the beginning, next came the videos of Cho Seung Hui, the Blacksburg-killer (although it did not show any of the actual killing he surely understood how to use the media).

    The Dnepropetrovsk videos are the new extreme and I guess there will be more to see sooner or later. People can film easily and publish quickly their sick deeds and they’ll do it.

    Furtheron I can understand why the article was posted here, because it’s a relevant and important point for media-history /-theory, because it’s the worst case scenario.

    I would not watch the video though, I’ve seen a split-second and this split-second made me feel sick already.

  144. wolfiesma says:

    At the risk of sounding histrionic, I just want to say I love you guys alot and I am going to go have a hot bath and a good cry now.

  145. WarEagle says:

    my god. why was this posted here on BB? images I can’t erase. ever.

  146. Uland says:

    There is some irony in admonishing would-be critics of this post for not essentially ignoring it: “If you don’t like this post, don’t click the links”. Well, okay, I won’t- but I still don’t like the post and I feel absolutely certain of my criticism of Boing Boing for the posting – Not for the content of the links, not for leading people to video they’re horrified by, but for posting this information at all. For the post itself.
    Furthermore , writing that critics shouldn’t have clicked the links you post is just a cop out. Take some responsibility for your content. When you post a link, you’re telling people to check it out.
    Get real.
    If thew author can offer one solid reason for posting this story at all, I’m all ears.

  147. Versh says:

    #168 Antinous
    Yeah, I may have exaggerated a little, but article was presented in a wash of gray, noncommittal shades of uncertainty. It was a send up for someone else to look into the matter and comment below. It was a recipe for eliciting diatribes of unsettlement.

    Especially the
    “… came across the story by cruising Encyclopedia Dramatica for teh (non-violent, tsk-tsking) lulz, but I glimpsed some stills and felt a little more heartsick about humankind because of it.”

    So only 162 comments later, from Xeni Jardin:
    “The post is about a phenomenon I found disturbing and worthy of observation and discussion: teenagers committing the most extreme form of violence imaginable, and documenting it themselves using cellphones and social media websites.”

    Thank you! I just wanted to know the context in which this was submitted. This gruesome, documented phenomena shouldn’t be ignored, or apologized for attempting to start a discussion over it. I just have an issue with misleading the intent with the arrangement of said and the unsaid. If only this statement was posted originally, I might have not have had to climb the soap box for clarifying web-log morality standards.

  148. wolfiesma says:

    I wonder if we could open a thread similar to the moderation thread discussing the commenters’ role on boingboing. I think the site is capable of a more nuanced discussion then, “I hate the link. You should take it down,” followed by, “If you don’t like it leave.” We’re all better than that, right?

  149. arkizzle says:

    Ant, ok, but jokes aside I hope Teresa will get a chance to mod her comment or respond to my request herself.

    Also, notice I didn’t mention male or female in my post, I’m way ahead of ya! And it doesn’t take a bodybuilding, male prostitute to squash me like a grape. A harsh word from a fluffy kitteh would do it.

  150. Takuan says:

    and Romulus and Remus say good night to you, mater.

    roboton: if you were paying attention you would not be ascribing Antinous’ words to me.

  151. roboton says:

    @takuan: Dammit! touche. I’m going to bed now…

  152. Takuan says:

    goodbye #230, along with anyone else thinking they can throw their smelly poo here.

  153. roboton says:

    #171:I am not saying the complainers are right, I am merely asking if there is not a better place the complainers can go besides ban-ville

    • Antinous says:

      I am merely asking if there is not a better place the complainers can go besides ban-ville

      Banville was solely for first-time commenters who came out swinging. Extra points for claiming to be a BB reader since Mark received the stone tablets on Mount Sinai. The number of first-time critical commenters almost certainly means that we got linked somewhere, and they are probably drive-bys. Any of them can contact me to discuss it.

  154. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Lukus, I don’t know. This is speculation.

    First, there isn’t much of commercial market for videos of people being killed, so no one’s worried that additional people will be killed in order to make films for that nonexistent market.

    Second, there’s perceived odds: few people can really imagine themselves as the victim of a violent murder; but a lot of people have children, and they can readily imagine bad things happening to them, so they’re inclined to be protective.

    Third, people know murders are going to happen. That’s ancient cultural knowledge. But as a society, we’re still getting used to the idea that child abuse exists, and we’re still not clear on why it happens. People are afraid that showing images of child abuse will make more of it happen.

    Someone else here doubtless knows more than I do on this question.

  155. Takuan says:

    sleep all, then. Someone died.

  156. JArmstrong says:

    Please, please, please…

    Destroy the link. All the unicorns in the galaxy can not remedy the terribleness that now dwells in my brain and soul.

    More so than “msm” failed in broadcasting the Virginia Tech killer’s video, BB failed in relaying any direct link to the footage produced by these killers.

    It is truly dark and terrible and there is no ray of light peeking out of any aspect of this story. Not even the fact these three were apprehended gives one any comfort.

    Please remove it.

  157. erissian says:

    #180 ROBOTON: They can go to their bedrooms to cry into their pillows.

  158. FoetusNail says:

    As some of you may know, I was once a machine builder. After getting a particularly complicated multi-axis servo system up and running, we started discussing guarding. Depending on upstream equipment, our machine could move very quickly and unexpectedly, making it very dangerous. Not being able to enclose the machine, we needed guarding that would allow the machine to purge unused parts, but also prevent operators from reaching into the machine. The engineer proposed a guard about 12 inches long. I told him he was nuts. He then asked me how long to make the guard. I knelt down and stretching out my arm as far as possible placed my fingertips on the belt. Then with my other hand I touched my shoulder near my neck, and said measure that distance. He said I was crazy, and besides no one would be stupid enough to stick their hand in there anyway. Right. BTW, I still have all my fingers.

    See, I don’t find these murderers interesting or hard to understand, but this thread is perplexing. These assholes, while not common are always going to exist until we open genetic prisons. I have always had what I call the Law of 6 Billion(TM). With 6 billion people on this dirt clod, I can always find someone to do anything at any time. If we searched long enough, we could probably find someone who would eat their children on live TV for free.

    Now ask yourself, did Xeni ever stand a chance? Was there ever going to be a way to bring this insanity to a discussion, to place the button on the table, without someone reaching into the machine?

    I love this place, but some of us need to just say meh. Scroll on brothers and sisters, scroll on. And always remember, every link is an adventure, click at your own risk.

    Let me blockquote my previous comment since it doesn’t seem to have been read.

    So, the question then is not does this or that belong here, but are we going to accept change. The bloggers are going to grow and change, BB will change as a result. Who can say what belongs here, not even the bloggers can predict what will belong here in another day, much less another year. My advice is pick and choose your posts, and accept the fact that everything changes, even BB.

  159. Red Leatherman says:

    Now concerning this thread about the Ukrainian teens, I saw it earlier before there were more than 2 or 3 comments, and I hovered over the link only a fraction of a second before deciding NOT to click. I already have plenty of murky things lurking in my memory that won’t go away. I agree with Paul in post #50 that these things are indeed uniquely human and even though I choose not to add the visual to my memory I am fascinated by the story and will glean whatever knowledge I can from it to raise my awareness of whats going on around me.

  160. netlenka says:

    I am from Ukraine.

    Unfortunately, if you google Днепропетровские маньяки видео — you will come up with newspapers and news agencies pages and reports about this case.

  161. ironix says:

    I watched approximately 3 seconds of the video… I feel sick.

    Thanks for that Xeni!

    I, like someone else pointed out, didn’t actually expect “A directory of wonderful things” to involve things that make me want to have nightmares and throw up.

  162. rektruax says:

    #233 I see. Then you would consider this link “normal fare” for Boing Boing? You’re surprised by the overwhelmingly negative reaction, even confusion to it? It’s “smelly poo” throwing to ask what exactly this link is doing here? Please explain.

  163. patrick_bateman says:

    @Takeshi

    Wow, it must be great being you, comfortable in a universe where your own opinion is utterly infallible and other people’s opinions and thoughts are mere flotsam, irritations to be swatted away by your supercomputer-like mind. I particularly admire your ability to respond without even fully reading or comprehending on a conscious level what others say.

    Curiously, despite your self-professed legal prowess and brilliance in breezing through the bar exam, your entire argument boils down to a series of ridiculous ad hominem attacks against someone you know absolutely nothing about. No doubt this skill is one you honed at your combined psychic/bar reader course.

    Of course, you’re totally right in your central thesis, which is that no-one has ever been successfully sued based upon a set of facts which has not previously been the subject of a law suit. As I recall from my vastly inferior law school, all of the so-called ‘template’ causes of action were established on the first day of the first common law court back in the year 1100 in Olde Britaine (it was a busy day, I think they even sat half an hour longer than usual), and ever since there has never been any application of the law to new facts, despite the development of the automobile, computers, guns, etc.

    Anyway, it’s been most pleasant having such an erudite discussion with you. I’m sure those who get the pleasure of living with you every day (if any) must consider themselves honoured to live with a modern-day Socrates, Montaigne and Lord Denning rolled into one. However, I must not take up any more of your precious time, which would be better spent on writing your imminent Nobel prize acceptance speech or your memoirs. So please, regard our exchange as being at a close. You can now go back to living with yourself, which must be a delight.

    -PB

  164. palindromic says:

    D NT WTCH THS DSGSTNG VD -> LNK

    Ll.

    Wht dn’t gt s why thr’s s mch rsstnc n th prt f th bngbng crw t dmttng tht myb ths knd f pst blngs n thync nd Lvlk, nd f y wr lkng fr shck thts whr t g t s ths stff.

    Ppl, nd dn’t thnk ‘m bng cmpltly bsrd hr, gnrlly dn’t cm t bngbng fr snff vds.. hwvr f y pst n nd ppl wtch t y shldn’t xctly b bwld vr by thr rctn t t? thnk t’s nly hmn nd rsnbl t wnt t spr thrs frm hvng t wtnss bjctly dsgstng trcts. Whch s why th thng mght hv bn nt grt d fr pst n th hldy ssn t bgn wth.

    BT THTS JST M, mn, f y’r flng t g wth t.. nbdy shld b bl t qstn yr tst n dtng, rght? *w srcsm n thr* Hppy hldys :)

  165. netlenka says:

    But somehow world where video of killing makes you wonder if its real or just another viral ad makes me wanna escape from this planet.

  166. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Rektruax, you were disemvowelled for excessive and quite gratuitous rudeness. I expect you’re someone’s sockpuppet, since you’ve come in here already angry, and are bringing up issues as though you’d already been discussing them. Nevertheless, the disemvowelled comment was the first posted by your account, so if I were being perfectly consistent with the moderation policies already established in this thread, you’d already be banned, and I’d be posting a comment here saying you could get your account back by dropping Antinous a polite note.

    Are you familiar with the idea that when there’s something you want out of others, there are ways of going about asking that increase your likelihood of success?

  167. 13strong says:

    Xeni, at the very least, can you make it clear that this is NOT a hoax. It’s quite obviously real, and for that reason it’s enough to describe the phenomenon and leave it at that. If some people, for some reason I can’t fathom, want to seek out the film, it’s out there.

    I think the only reason anyone here has watched it and then become upset is because there was the possibility it was a fake, viral marketing thing. It’s quite obviously not, and if that was made clear, these people wouldn’t have watched the film.

    Reading the transcript was enough to make me know not to watch it.

  168. arkizzle says:

    In a word? Estrogen.

    I’ll take your word for it :)

  169. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Palindromic, pretty please don’t be so clueless. It wasn’t a snuff video in any recognized sense of that term. It was linked to, with warnings. You’re ignoring the entire foregoing thread in order to make a point you think makes you sound clever. And you’re about to lose your vowels, so happy holidays to you, too.

    • Xeni Jardin says:

      Regarding the video, Teresa wrote:

      “It was linked to, with warnings.”

      Not exactly. I did not link to the video in question.

      Just a point of clarification for everyone here, because a number of visiting commenters here complaining hysterically about the post seem to have missed an important fact. Again, I did not link directly to the video. The post was about a broad story, the actual video is a part of the story and was referenced in that story, but the post wasn’t intended to shock, traumatize or to trick people into viewing the video. I linked to a site that explains how you can access the video if you are so inclined. But it was several steps removed, and the commenters who returned to complain about viewing the video doth protest too much as far as I’m concerned — you went a few steps on your own beyond this post to access it. I didn’t embed the video, or link to it directly from this post.

      The video link this post does contain shows the youths in court, and does not contain documentation of violence.

      The broader story here is absolutely appropriate for discussion on Boing Boing. The reaction here, in the comments, is perplexing to me. It seems the loudest complainers here have hallucinated a direct link to the video, or an embed in this post, that did not exist here at any time.

      We blog about the Iraq War here on Boing Boing from time to time. We blog about torture. We blog about serial killers, or other forms of violent crime, most often in the context of trying to understand how such behavior can come to exist in the world, and flourish.

      The point of this post was not prurient or exploitative. I’ll add a followup post on Monday which I believe will help folks understand.

  170. arkizzle says:

    “..someone who would eat their children on live TV for free..”

    Almost, it isn’t his kid, and it wasn’t live.

  171. azadam says:

    I’ve seen a lot of gross stuff here but thankfully the comments saved me from some emotional scarring just now. Six lines of the transcript were enough to confirm I don’t want this swimming around in my subconscious.

    Debating dropping BB from my reading list now, actually. I hope you guys remove this.

  172. Sekino says:

    @ All the people saying that this post doesn’t belong here.

    Don’t you think that the owners of this blog have the right to post whatever topic they deem worthy of discussion? I see these comments popping here and there and just think it’s rude and insulting. Xeni doesn’t put up topics to be gratuitous; she just want to share something she finds (I assume) puzzling and disturbing.

    You don’t have to take part in any discussion you find too disturbing. Just skip to the next one. How hard is it?

  173. The Life Of Bryan says:

    By the time I saw the post it had adequate warning affixed. So long as that’s the case, kudos to them for having the balls to host such a discussion.

    I chose not to view the video, and this was the first such video I chose not to view. After reading the transcript, I feel I made the right choice.

  174. Takuan says:

    obviously you haven’t read the thread, Palindromic. That suggests bad faith to me.

  175. arkizzle says:

    Ignatius!

    Get thee to Banville!

  176. lukus says:

    I think a good thing to ask before carrying out any possibly contentious act, is to ask whether any good will come from carrying it out. I don’t think that anyone’s life will be enriched by watching scenes of fatal abuse.

    Tenn / Teresa

    Re: videos of abuse vs. videos of child sexual abuse

    If a legal distinction is made between producing videos of physically-violent abuse and sexual abuse, I think that this maybe signals that it’s the act of (expected) gratification (on the part of the viewer) which is being penalised by law.

    If this is the case, I think it’s wrong to do so. I’d posit that you can’t prosecute based on the presumed affect the video is going to have on the viewer.

    I think with child-abuse, the law is double edged.. defining the producers and consumers as criminals, but who’s to say that there aren’t people who get their kicks from watching videos of real-life killings? Shouldn’t the law be double-edged in the same way?

    I would hope that the law is primarily there to discourage these acts from occurring and I think that it would be hypocritical to tacitly accept abuse of one kind over another.

    Part of me wants the law to protect me and society by banning these video. There’s a hell of a lot of awfulness in our world that’s always been there – the general population are happily shielded from the majority of it.

    I believe one function of the media is to act as a mirror for society – and I quite simply don’t want heinous acts like this reflected back at me. I don’t want acts like this to become part of the self-image that my society collectively holds.

    I really don’t believe any good will come from showing this stuff. But maybe I’m wrong??

  177. Anonymous says:

    Hello all. I am from Ukraine, I live in Kiev, but at that time i worked with a girl whose family lived in the same entrance of the multistoried building as one of those teenagers. I remember the horror when she was speaking about what was going on and the shock when she knew it was her neighbor.
    What we know from the news is… they were 3. One of them was likely an initiator (his surname was Supruniuk) and second one supported him. The third one was kinda acting under the pressure.
    Nobody knows what moved them, because they rarely robbed. They just liked to kill, those who were weaker than they. It is totally sick, totally criminal. Some newspapers wrote that they might have been under the cover of the dad of this Supruniuk…that he kinda was selling those videos online. N tht he was trying to hide the evindece (smb threw mobile phones in the lavatory)…
    Some say that they got more pending crimes imposed upon them by police. They are very calm during interrogation, etc. Their parents can not believe.
    In the phone of one of them police found some nazi images…
    What can i say… I dont want to ever watch anything about that or know anything more than i know. Their souls are sick. May God do something to that..
    Regards,
    Margaret

  178. bouvard says:

    I’ve been reading Boing Boing for about a year now and never registered, but I felt somehow obligated to comment on this.

    When I was twelve or thirteen a man in my hometown kidnapped, mutilated, and fed to his dog a three year old boy. Because it was a small town and the local police leak like a sieve, it did not matter that it was an FBI investigation, the details of the things that happened in that house were public knowledge.

    At Thanksgiving that year, around the adult dinner table, which I had just joined that year, I got hear recounted speculation about what, how, and why it happened.

    Please, I do not need to be reminded that horror exists in the world. It is self-evident. If you have any sense that civilization is a noble aspiration you will remove this. It can serve no useful end.

    Thank you.
    Bouvard

  179. Antinous says:

    A question for my fellow PTSDers: Did any of you watch the video or read the transcript?

  180. arkizzle says:

    I got through the first few lines of the transcript. That’s enough.

    I dunno about taking the link down, but maybe put a bigger warning or a disclaimer about the content.

  181. CosmicMonkey says:

    I’m confused. What’s the difference between a snuff film and this film of someone being killed?

    Also, why is violence and gore so much more acceptable then nudity and sex? #229 raises a huge issue.

  182. Unanimous Cowherd says:

    Didn’t look — not going to — I’m risking S.A.D. in cold Minnesota as it is. I’m avoiding stuff that brings me down. The vague descriptions of stuff like this start to cronk my serotonin levels.

    Maybe besides “NSFW” we need another label:
    “NSFA” (Not Safe for Anybody)?

  183. Rob O. says:

    This seems more inevitable than anything else, with the degree to which we feel intimate with technology which can have an outlet on the whole world. I’ve heard of, in the past, people videotaping their crimes with a camcorder, and the logic always was, “what if someone finds this tape?”

    Now people relate to their cell phones as if they’re virtually inseparable objects, like a McLuhan-esque extension of the eyes and memory. Yet, they can share media globally far more easily than a camcorder.

    I’m not going to speak to the outrageousness of the violence–obviously it’s bad, and it’s good that justice is being served, whatever its’ form. I just think people missed the moral ramifications to be considered in the alignment of psychopathology, advanced technology and instant global communications.

    Moreover, if this weren’t so sadly true, it’d sound like a bad derivative draft of Gibson’s Pattern Recognition.

  184. Takuan says:

    pulling the bedclothes over your head DOES banish boogeymen. Does nothing about the monsters though.

    Anyone care to bet the victims of these creatures were Invisibles? Which calls the question: why were they invisible? Who said the poor and powerless weren’t there in the first place?

  185. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Too many people here are misunderstanding what Antinous did. If a comment was a hostile drive-by, it hardly matters whether they were banned. If it was by someone who cares about the site and the conversation, they’ll come back and see how easy it is to get their account restored. Banville is a place you only stay if you don’t bother to look at the responses your comments get.

    Three Guinea Pigs and a Cucumber and Tyson the Skateboarding Dog are two of my favorite unicorn chasers, and I’m glad they made people feel better.

    Arkizzle @107, good point and good questions. A better way to put it is that men who want to hurt someone generally use prostitutes, because they know they’ll almost always get away with it. What’s remarkable is how often it happens, how many people are aware of it as a syndrome rather than a singular aberration, and how casually it’s accepted. If you ever see a case where someone is being tried for assaulting one or more prostitutes, bear in mind that they never do it just once. It’s a habitual practice.

    Some examples: from Time magazine, a casual reference to Alfred Bloomingdale’s habit of beating up prostitutes. This was a wealthy and prominent man with extremely good connections to the Reagan White House.

    Here’s a much-quoted passage from Julian Gough’s piece on David Foster Wallace’s suicide, and the bad effect academia has on working writers:

    [I]t happens to most American academic novelists (like the superbly gifted writer George Saunders who, at 49, has still never written a novel or left school.) They waste time on America’s debased, overwhelming, industrial pop culture. They attack it with an energy appropriate to attacking fascism, or communism, or death. But that culture (bad television, movies, ads, pop songs) is a snivelling, ingratiating, billion-dollar cur. It has to be chosen to be consumed, so it flashes its tits, laughs at your jokes, replays your prejudices and smiles smiles smiles. It isn’t worthy of satire, because it cannot use force to oppress. If it has an off-button, it is not oppression. Attacking it is unworthy, meaningless. It is like beating up prostitutes.

    I’ve seen that passage quoted in a lot of places. Not one of them is confused by the reference. Likewise, not one of them says says “Hold it, WTF?! Getting your kicks by sociopathically assaulting some of the most vulnerable and disempowered people in our society is not an appropriate image for ‘a regrettably unworthy activity to engage in.’

    Here’s a sympathetic BBC bio of Sonny Liston, which toward the end, apropos of nothing, tosses in:

    The saddest part of the story is Sonny’s wife, Geraldine, who remained devoted to him despite his failings, which included a predilection for hiring and beating up prostitutes.

    It immediately moves on to other subjects.

    Here’s a CollegeHumor.com video: BEATING UP PROSTITUTES: My friend got drunk in Europe and wanted to get a prostitute to beat her up. Notice that they don’t feel they have to explain or justify the setup of this story.

    From the Delhi Newsline:

    Police deny beating up prostitutes during raids

    New Delhi, April 18: In a raid conducted in two brothels in Ajmeri Gate yesterday, the Kamala Market police allegedly beat up a number of women present inside.

    Eyewitnesses claimed that some prostitutes were dragged down two floors of the building and thrashed. “The entire force of the station turned up in six or seven cars,” said an eyewitness.

    While the police were arrested four or five girls from one building, prostitutes at the other brothel managed to evade the arrest by raising hue and cry.

    DCP (Central district) Arvind Deep denied that his officials had bashed-up any prostitute during the raid at the brothels on Thursday morning. … He termed as false the statements by prostitutes that they were beaten up by the police personnel. “It is an absolutely baseless allegation and there is no truth in it,” Deep said.

    The equation between prostitutes and the area police runs in a circle where the women are scared to utter a word for fear of trouble. Refusing to divulge any information, a woman running one of the brothels said: “We do not want any more trouble.” Prostitutes who wanted to speak were taken inside.

    “Police raid nearly every month and arrest three-four women between 20-25 years,” say residents.

    From the site, LetterstothePresident.co.za, a forum for people in Zaire to write to the president, a citizen’s complaint about the police not doing their job:

    I’m a fcuken responsible citizen of this country and it breaks my heart to see that children as young as Sheldean had to pay for Govt officials who are not doing their job; they are busy beating up prostitutes in Arcadia-Pretoria, buying ‘blow jobs’ and getting drunk. Is that where my tax money is going?

    In an article in Newsday, a phone sex operator talks about the prevalence of kinks and paraphilias:

    Though Lynn is usually able to roll with even the most bizarre requests, she’s had to hang up the phone before because it’s gotten too “out there.”

    “As soon as this Law & Order episode about beating up prostitutes ended, I got three calls in a row from guys with really violent fantasies. The third guy wanted to beat up his mother, then have sex with her … I hung up the phone and turned my ringer off,” she says.

    Notice how “beating up prostitutes” is a generic activity? Anyone who goes anywhere near the sex industry knows that there’s a relatively high number of guys out there living normal-looking lives who are into beating up prostitutes when they can get away with it.

    If you keep researching, you find all these references in passing to this or that person who was known to have had a history of beating up prostitutes … and they’re always at large. The text hardly ever calls them criminally violent sociopaths.

    The thing about the definitions of psychopaths and sociopaths I learned way back in Psych 101 was that they were derived from the cases that had gotten caught and studied. This strongly biased the descriptions away from the ones who’d learned to successfully adapt. The longer we gather data, the more apparent it becomes that there are a lot of otherwise normal-seeming people out there with no more conscience or empathy than these three Ukrainians.

    This has taken a while to explain. I didn’t mean to get myself into a position where I’d have to write an essay to explain something I’d said. Still, it’s nice that you had no idea what I was talking about, and I’m kind of sorry to be the one to tell you about it.

    Time to watch Gom Soon and the Cookies, then turn in for the night.

  186. angryhippo says:

    Some things cannot be un-watched. Do yourselves a favor- if you haven’t watched, please don’t. I have seen some pretty horrible things in my life and I don’t plan on adding to that stinkpile in my memory.

  187. FoetusNail says:

    Well, that was interesting reading. I don’t know why, but the question of does this or that belong here never comes to mind. Someone, maybe Antinous, said, just scroll to the next post. Well, sometimes it ain’t that easy for everyone, but that is in fact what you must force yourself to do. We do love a good train wreck, and that is all this is, albeit intentional and murderous, but a train wreck none the less.

    I see BB as a sort of TV. Each post is a different channel. Each blogger a different producer. I don’t just click on every link provided. Hell, I don’t even read every post. I do understand people being upset, especially since this is “a directory of wonderful things”. Like everything BB is an evolving work, which is finding its way in the world. The nature of a blog is that as the blogger grows and changes so goes the blog.

    So, the question then is not does this or that belong here, but are we going to accept change. The bloggers are going to grow and change, BB will change as a result. Who can say what belongs here, not even the bloggers can predict what will belong here in another day, much less another year. My advice is pick and choose your posts, and accept the fact that everything changes, even BB.

  188. Anonymous says:

    How I encountered the story, or “Why it’s not about the shock value”:

    I am the submitter of this story. Yesterday I was flipping around Encyclopedia Dramatica, gathering what I considered acceptable lulz from among the more horrifying articles there. Some things there are funny, some make me furious and some are just gross.

    The front page randomly featured the article on the Ukranian teen serial killers, who I had not heard of, so I clicked on it. My life has been affected by the murder of a loved one, and recently a sick internet “fan” detailed a lengthy fantasy of my rape and torture on their webpage, which left me feeling bad all week. Because of these things, I was drawn to look at a story about killers even though I knew it would make me feel bad.

    Filtering out the ED-style mockery of the root information, I was left surprised to read about a current teen serial killing spree of this magnitude that I had not seen mentioned in US news.

    Google News had virtually nothing on it. Google Search led to lots of shock and horror sites. I decided against watching the video and actually held my hand up to block some images from view as I read some posts about the story. It was staggeringly horrible, even just to read about.

    Nonetheless, it struck me as interesting that a gruesome story like this, which the US media usually covers in gory detail, was getting little media attention here, but was sort of telling itself via cellphone video and social media like forums and blogs. The combination of “international story going untold in the US” and “criminals use cellphone cams and social networking alongside heinous crimes” made me think of Boing Boing, as a place where news breaks concerning human rights, international stories and technology. I was thinking that with great articles on steampunk teapots and unicorns, Boing Boing had also recently covered the riots in Greece and other human rights issues abroad.

    I wish I had written this up when I originally sent the story in, but to be honest, I never expected so many people to immediately boil the whole thing down to a twice-removed link to the murder video. It was about the information and the story, to me. The murder video is two sites away, linked down on the bottom third of another site I linked containing the transcript. There’s no way I can imagine anyone reading the initial story, then the linked transcript, and then clicking on that video link and expecting anything other than horror. I submitted the story, and I didn’t even watch it because I knew from the transcript that it would be beyond my limits.

    I apologize for not starting the whole thing off with more clarity, but at heart I just wanted to present a striking story about violence, technology and information. It was important for me to let everyone know that this story was not submitted out of a desire to revel in the video. It deeply affected me, as I’m sure it has you all. If anyone clicked, read, scrolled and clicked again to watch the video mentioned in the story, you’re braver or more foolhardy than I.

  189. Anonymous says:

    Its important the RESPONSIBLE ADULTS (note the emphasis) know these things are going on. As a criminologist (still in grad school) I’ve seen where even the nicest people just snap but these three take the cake. Just the heinousness of the crimes and the total lack of fear they show is horrifying–like someone acting out the movie Hostel.

  190. Anonymous says:

    I watched some of the video, and I suggest this as a remedy:

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=72d_1229379765
  191. CraigGNoble says:

    DON’T WATCH THE VIDEO. If you have any sort of human being in you it will haunt you forever. Please, please, please don’t watch it.

  192. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    One more general comment:

    All you people who say you’re shocked? I know you’re telling the truth. I checked to see what kind of links this entry was getting, and there were next to none. That’s very unusual for an entry that has excited this much attention.

    Wolfiesma, I’m serious about having that discussion.

  193. CosmicMonkey says:

    to #35:

    The only reason I commented was because I felt like I needed to say something about how this post colored my day. Once you read the post you can’t skip it. Personally I enjoy BB because of it’s interesting and creative post, and sometimes the posts are strange, bizarre, perverted, what have you, but I don’t mind and usually skip stuff I know I won’t be interested in.

    But this post was different, because violence titillates interest, and before I knew it, I had read and seen too much. The reason I enjoy BB so much is that I don’t have to censor it for myself, because almost all of it is interesting to some degree. When I get tired of CNN or BBC I come to BB.

    Violence as entertainment is just wrong.

  194. bcsizemo says:

    Wow if this was a room full of people I’d feel sad for the human race indeed….

    I think this is why the world is broken (or at least America). Almost everyone agrees this was horrific. Very few have actually said anything having to do with a solution or at least action against the three doing the crime. Everyone else has been self absorbed in their overwhelming emotional state. I’m not saying that having an emotional reaction is wrong. But much like the saying, “Crying over spilled milk.” is pointless. It has been done, now the milk is just seeping into the carpet and becomes more of a pain to clean up. If you didn’t have any reaction to this video then you probably need to go ahead and reserve yourself a white padded cell.

    @80 Napstimpy

    Sorry for the long time to reply (work 2nd shift), but I certainly would agree to that. I consider myself not to be ruled by my “boy parts” in terms of how I treat and deal with the opposite sex.

    Frankly if technology like that existed, I would be all for mandatory usage in both directions. (assuming it didn’t cause any long term neural issues….)

    @93 Zulu

    I think you stated it better than I could have.

    @129 Tenn

    HOW? Easily. For the protection of the masses, for the greater good (be it safety, and resource usage). What purpose does it serve to keep someone that could kill with such whimsical nature alive? The simple answer is because you believe you can not commit the same crime.

    I believe people who oppose the death penalty see things like this on a purely emotional level. People (like myself) who would push for death see it in a logical way. They violated many basic societal/human laws. They are not capable of living in the society we have created, and therefore need to be expunged.

    To the could it be a hoax crowd. I have my hopes simply because I want to see a beginning. Videos that drop you into the “action” always seem unnatural. There is not preface, no setup, no how the f’ did we end up here!? I’m just laying this out in “general” terms for all videos. I’m pretty sure there is already a special place set aside for these 3 in the beyond.

  195. Johnny Cat says:

    …Still trying to get the images out of my head. However, I take full responsibility for clicking on the link. I was curious. Curiosity killed this Cat, or at least my day.

  196. womradarz says:

    A Directory of Wonderful Things?

    I think Boing Boing misunderstands itself with a post like this. It’s not a TV, it’s the channel. I can’t change the channel and watch something else without leaving BB, and posting this is close to airing a snuff film on your channel.

    And it’s Christmas…

    So I’m changing the channel for at least a few weeks. I may not return.

  197. Rob Beschizza says:

    Patrick’s talk is not unlike what real lawyers say about the internet.

    When I was last working at a newspaper, our lawyer was still telling us not to let the public post comments to our website, because we were exposing ourselves to libel claims, copyright infringement, and so on. I’ve met lawyers who sincerely believe that the web will be more or less shut down by an explosion of perceived liability.

    The belief that websites have a duty of care to their readers isn’t a new one. It’s a core feature of in the package of lawyer-peddled “bullshit risks” that have helped internet-based publications succeed at the expense of traditional media.

  198. Sekino says:

    @ #242

    why is violence and gore so much more acceptable then nudity and sex?

    It’s cultural. In Canada, it is the exact opposite. For instance, the Zack and Miri Make A Porno poster featured two happy, healthy-looking adults, fully dressed and only an innuendo of oral sex and it got banned in the US. It was released in Canada without a problem.

    Meanwhile, the Hostel movie posters show people in obvious pain and in the process of being tortured yet I don’t think any of them caused a stir in the US (though I’m not sure which versions made it to Canada-maybe the same ones).

    Perhaps it is rooted in puritanism somehow?

  199. huzubu says:

    From the encyclopedia dramatica page:
    http://www4.mignews.com.ua/en/articles/305458.html (SFW)

    Please note that the enclyclopedia dramatica page, like pretty much all pages on there, is NSFW.

  200. arkizzle says:

    Teresa, thanks for taking the time. Really, I appreciate it.

    I have to admit though (you saw this coming) that I’m still not happy with the idea that you (or we) believe that the rate of such attacks is prevalent enough to say “a lot of men like..”

    For me, that phrasing would require 30-40% of the male population to be involved (that’s not a cold calculation, I’m just gauging my own feelings in a comprehensible way). If you think it’s that high I will have to surrender the point and come away shocked at my lack of awareness, and further disgusted by my fellow man.

    I genuinely hope it isn’t. And like you say, I had no idea what you were talking about. I consider myself to be fairly world-wise, having been around the block in 4 countries, in fairly meager environs, like squat-life in Ireland and Holland.

    I understand the cultural-meme relating to beating prostitutes, GTA4 inclusive, and recognise the notions referenced in the articles you listed.. but to think this is some sort of generally accepted thing (beyond crass “killing prostitute” jokes, a la TopGear), or something that happens amongst a significant percentage of all men is indeed shocking to me.

    For all our sakes, I hope your figures are wrong, earnestly. Thanks again for taking the time.

  201. Takuan says:

    I am so trying not go there, but; religion perpetuates itself by fear and control. Sex is an obvious primate handle, deny it,forbid it,dole it out. Physical pain and death is the other handle. Use them enough and freedom from pain and knowledge someone else is the victim becomes the reward itself.

  202. Church says:

    @TNH, Ipse didn’t dixit anything. What were you thinking of?

  203. acx99 says:

    This is what people do when they murder people. It happens all the time. We see lives instantly snuffed out on TV every day with no blood, no gore, and no suffering.

    There’s little special about this death although its circumstances make it unique in the fact it was recorded. People get beaten, stabbed, (and shot) all the time at the hands of ordinary people, thugs, and soldiers. All this is is a unique insight into the events that actually occur when someone gets beaten and stabbed.

    What almost makes me laugh is that the first premise on seeing this video was that it was so shocking it must be part of an advert for a violent video game or the latest torture desensitisation mass-market movie.

    If more people saw more of the horrors we commit in this world (both as citizens and in our names as governments) then only may we stand together in refusing to tolerate it.

    It took guts to post this. It certainly takes guts to watch it, but dont blow your creative energies in being upset that you’ve seen it – direct those energies at your ineffective police, your government currently torturing in yuor name, or your media for ignoring imagery of something that at the same time, millions of people go to see a version of at the movies with their girlfriends on a saturday night.

  204. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Anonymous @244, thank you very much for posting that. We couldn’t ask for better clarification.

    Womradarz @245, either read the thread or don’t post in it.

  205. lukus says:

    If soldiers come back from Iraq with PTSD – was it their personal involvement in violence or the images they saw which caused the PTSD?

    Perhaps simply viewing footage of severe graphic violence can cause a similar level of PTSD. In which case, if a person feels they were encouraged to view material which they wouldn’t have viewed otherwise – could the person resort to the law?

    We’re talking about a video of a real person being sadistically tortured and ultimately killed. This is heavy shit. I’m not suggesting that anyone should take legal action or that it would be desirable or possible to do so, but the legal scenario seems at least plausible.

    My only problem with lawyers is that they usually are self-serving, litigation-seeking and completely fixated by the pursuit of wealth. However, I think this view may have been at least partly formed while watching American movies… Luckily in the UK, litigation isn’t the norm yet.

  206. patrick_bateman says:

    Yes, I have registered just to post on this thread. No, I do not intend to be abusive or repetitive. I trust that I will not be immediately banned.

    Personally, I strongly disagree with the posting of this video.

    That aside, have you considered the legal implications? IAAL. If someone viewing the video and understanding it to be real suffers psychological harm (as, it would appear, a number of people have), then no warning in the world will be enough to save you from the legal consequences. The law to a certain extent protects people who have a poor sense of what is good for themselves.

    In addition, you are on the Internet. You are therefore exposed to every legal jurisdiction on earth.

    I would hate to see your commitment to an absolute free speech policy (except for those commenting, ahem) be undone by the reality, which is that as a matter of social norm expressed in law what you have here is quite likely to give rise to a good legal claim against you should anyone choose to make one.

  207. RationalPragmatist says:

    I have been reading BB for a while now, and I am a huge fan. BB is my favorite site when I am procrastinating over a project at my PC. But this morning I finally registered so I could leave a comment about this post.

    I am among the many commentors that think this post should be removed. After all of the buildup, I felt compelled to watch the video. Real or hoax, it is disgusting and horrifying.

    To #35, There is no redeeming value to the post. And it has no place in a directory of wonderful things.

    I am disappointed, Xeni.

  208. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Takuan, I disagree. I think depictions of physical pain and death always carry the implication that it can happen to you, too.

    We should consider Anonymous’s very interesting comment.

  209. takeshi says:

    @ TNH:

    Where can I find some cholla joints? No offense intended, of course. Sometimes I just like to watch people twitch, and this Bateman character is almost as entertaining as Perry Mason.

    @ patrick_bateman:

    “[Y]our entire argument boils down to a series of ridiculous ad hominem attacks against someone you know absolutely nothing about.”

    And yours doesn’t? Since you seem a little out of the loop, yeah… it’s pretty great being me, altogether. I’d say it’s better than being you, but that would just be rude.

    To be perfectly honest, I am an extremely well adjusted, educated, somewhat misanthropic, yet not in the least mean-spirited, unabashedly charismatic individual who is both deeply admired by his many friends and colleagues and relatively successful. Also, I’m terribly humble, and I have a charitable nature. So, essentially, your attacks on my character are not only woefully ignorant, but likewise presumptuous and transparently retaliatory. Openly mocking me for mocking you… the old “I am rubber, you are glue” defense. Prosecutorial genius at work.

    Believe me, I have taken to heart everything you’ve written, even when it has seemed as though your semi-delusional ramblings were merely a cry for attention, which was most of the time. Just because I’ve opted not to respond to your “points” doesn’t mean that I am incapable or unwilling to consider them. I have an extraordinary rate of retention for a speed reader, but that’s a separate matter. I ask you to provide information about extant case law, and you defend your ludicrous position by attesting that there haven’t been any cases yet. Well, congratulations. There haven’t been any cases of God being sued by telekinetic dolphins, either. Yet.

    But keep feeding yourself those lines, OK? Like the one about how terrible it must be, being a mean ol’ guy like me. It’s true, you know. I simply can’t describe to you the kind of pain I’m in, except to say that it is the result of uncontrollable cachinnation. But golly gee, I’d like to issue a challenge to you, dearest Patty. Become the first to successfully sue a website for linking to another page with links, and I will personally give you a thousand bucks, tax free. It means that much to me that you prove you’re really a lawyer.

  210. Halloween Jack says:

    Whenever I see something like this, I reaffirm that “Yes” is the answer.

  211. Sea Daddy says:

    Boing Boing, a directory of wonderful things. Those that question this have missed the point. I believe that Xeni was trying to convey the aspect of trying to understand the human element, and not the actual act. To understand is to be able to alter, and perhaps eradicate, this type of senseless, horrifying act. So Xeni, I doff my cap to you, you are indeed a purveyor of “wonderful”. Carry on.

  212. patrick_bateman says:

    It’s interesting that the response to a fairly reasonable attempt to raise an issue about potential legal issues arising out of this post in a constructive way is direct attacks on my “claim” to be a lawyer (which I assure you I am). I also like the fact that various people “know” exactly what a court would say about such a claim. You certainly are lucky to have such a crack team of legal experts on hand.

    Publishers certainly do owe a duty of care to an audience. For example, there are numerous examples of cases where publishers have been liable in respect of misleading or incorrect information which has been relied upon by their audience resulting in harm.

    Nervous shock is a form of actionable harm (again, I am not American, but it is so in common law countries). This means psychological harm which goes beyond merely being upset and falls into the category of a recognised psychological disorder. Nervous shock has been successfully relied upon as a basis for damages by people who, by some negligent act of a defendant, witness something horrible happening (e.g. a car accident). That being so, why would a video of something equally horrible necessarily be immune to such a claim? It would not.

    No contractual or other special relationship is necessary to bring a claim in tort. You can owe duties of care in tort to people you have never met or even been aware of in an individual sense.

    As for jurisdictional issues, publication on the Internet can give rise to a claim wherever harm occurs (see, for example, defamation cases) – so wherever anyone views the site, really. I cannot comment on first amendment issues as I am not a US lawyer.

    A key issue here seems to be a refusal to accept that even though another person has made their own ‘decision’ it might still be possible for civil liability to arise. Ridiculous hypothetical: you put a bomb and sensitive detonator on a table on the sidewalk, with a sign which says “Warning: bomb. Do not touch under any circumstances.” Some people here seem to believe that (all crazy terrorism laws etc aside) there is no civil liability for what happens next because (a) there was a sign and (b) anyone who touches the bomb does so of their own free will. I absolutely assure you that this is not the case.

    Look, despite the hilarious ‘ambulance chaser’ references I would hate to see BB have any legal trouble. I love this site, and most of what gets posted here. I was actually just trying to make the point that exposing people to this type of thing may not be a simple as yelling “I warned you, I have free speech” and then walking away. If you cause or contribute to real harm to people, then you may find yourself with legal problems.

  213. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Anonymous @310, I recognized Patrick Bateman’s pseudonym the moment I saw it. (I’ve got history with that book. Among other things, the version I read was the Simon & Schuster text with the Vintage Books edits handwritten on the pages.) Let’s just say I wasn’t impressed.

    I’m still inclined to think that if “Patrick Bateman” is a lawyer at all, he’s operating way outside his normal area of expertise.

    Rob Denmark: Do please make a New Year’s resolution to stop behaving so obnoxiously.

    Antinous, you have cholla right outside your door? That’s like living in a charming vine-covered cottage where the vine is poison ivy.

  214. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Enough already.

    You read the description. You watched the video anyway. Now you’re wringing your hands because it was as described?

    Worse, from my point of view, you’re making the same points over and over again?

    You voluntarily watched it. Live with it.

  215. takeshi says:

    And sorry, Tak. I didn’t see your request until I’d already responded to the concern troll. Sound advice, nonetheless. Happy Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, etc.

  216. 13strong says:

    @ #35:

    I can see what you’re saying, but there’s more to it than that.

    Yes, boingboing is a blog, with a handful of people deciding on the content. It’s also a website with a greater sense of community and user involvement than almost any other I’ve come across on the net.

    People who visit boingboing, and especially commenters, often feel a sense of belonging or community in reading or contributing to the site. I can see how this particularly upsetting and disturbing post, could undermine that.

    My main objection with this post is not the content, or the story, but with how it’s presented. It should make clear this is almost certainly not a hoax. It should make MORE clear that the video is disturbing in the EXTREME. And really, the focus should, IMO, be more on the internet phenomenon aspect, and on the technological aspect (of digitally videoing and distributing a series of murders).

    I would point out, though, that no one is saying “HEY! XENI! TAKE THIS DOWN! I DEMAND IT!”. They’re either expressing their disgust/disappointment or asking politely that it be taken down. What’s wrong with that?

  217. Factran says:

    I couldn’t even read through the comment of this post.

  218. adonai says:

    @ Patrick Bateman – I liked you better when you were doing the killing, not harping on & pretending to be a lawyer.

  219. CosmicMonkey says:

    “If you don’t like it, don’t watch it.”

    Good enough advice.

    It was my own morbid curiosity that led me to click the link, so I take responsibility for my own choice. But I still feel that the post doesn’t really belong on BB, and now that the moderator has essentially said “go fly a kite if you don’t like this post, and don’t post your comments about it” I feel defensive. Whats the big deal about expressing disapproval toward something that appears to be a bad choice? Especially when the bad choice was linking to real graphic violence?

    I agree with #69 and #84′s last paragraphs. BB is spreading the meme with this post. And I suppose I shouldn’t have posted again, as that makes me a whiny troll or something.

  220. erissian says:

    Who seriously believes this is a viral marketing video? For what, Stanley Hand Tools? lol

  221. evilrooster says:

    Patrick Bateman @193:

    I would be very interested to see a line of legal reasoning that could lead to prosecution in a court system with jurisdiction. The original post doesn’t have a copy of the video (so they didn’t “post the video”), nor even a link to it. The closest we come is a link to a site that contains a transcript and a link to the video.

    I don’t think that someone clicking to a video two steps away can return to BoingBoing for tortuous damage from retinal scarring, assuming arguendo that a user of the internet has grounds for such a case in any circumstances.

    IOW, you may be a lawyer, but that doesn’t mean you’re correct (or even plausible) in this area.

    If you want to go ambulance chasing, there are better circumstances to choose.

  222. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Rob Denmark @301, the fact that things which are not allowed can still happen does not mean that rules don’t matter. Now stop trying to stick pins into Takuan. You know that never turns out to be amusing.

  223. FoetusNail says:

    Teresa, thanks!

  224. ArnoDick says:

    I’m sure it’s been said enough already, but definitely do not watch the video.

    I’ve given in to macabre curiosity about a video on the internet before, and it literally has had a permanent effect on me.

    What I saw was just footage of an accident too. I can only imagine how truly disturbing and upsetting a violent act such as this is.

    I’m all for wide dispersion of media etc. etc. but there are limits to everything. Nobody should watch this, for their own sake.

  225. 13strong says:

    Hey Xeni – thanks for changing the post. That’s clearer now.

    I’d be interested to hear some points of view from the BB team about the technological aspects of this.

    Now, if anyone watches it, it’s their own bloody fault.

  226. Takuan says:

    piss off lawyer.

    Quite true Teresa; here’s the nub:
    “Nonetheless, it struck me as interesting that a gruesome story like this, which the US media usually covers in gory detail, was getting little media attention here, but was sort of telling itself via cellphone video and social media like forums and blogs. The combination of “international story going untold in the US” and “criminals use cellphone cams and social networking alongside heinous crimes” made me think of Boing Boing, as a place where news breaks concerning human rights, international stories and technology”

    I myself felt little need to know the details since I’m already quite aware that hideous crimes happen worldwide, all the time and never make mainstream western media.

  227. Tom Hale says:

    I would never watch any of these graphic videos posted on the web. Hell, I still have images from the few minutes of Hostel that I watched years ago bothering me while trying to get to sleep. I know atrocities like this exist and I think its a good idea to remind people about how horrible people can be. I personally think there should be a law against videos of this sort being allowed on the internet (yes censorship), but I’d rather them stay until we can figure a way to remove those without limiting free speech and art or whatever it is that scares people that are against censorship.

    I know some folks are upset by their favorite collection of wonderful things being marred by a post like this and agree that I’d rather not hear about it here, but I wouldn’t have heard about it at all if BB didn’t post it. So, I guess its not all bad. A record of 100 good posts to every horrifying post isn’t too bad.

  228. Church says:

    @Cowicide, Apologies, I should have been more explicit in my description.

  229. acb says:

    VICE Magazine are so going to be all over these kids…

  230. Anonymous says:

    patrick bateman is the main character, a lawyer/serial murder in the book (and movie) American Psycho.

    real tasteful.

  231. pAULbOWEN says:

    I remember reading as a young man a piece in The Guardian about the experiments performed on mainly Russian PoWs by Japanese scientists towards the end of WWII. I won’t rehearse the detail here (but believe me, 25 years on, I still could) – suffice to say that much of what is known to medicine about how our bodies behave at extremes of temperature, particularly if shifted suddenly from one extreme to another, stems from that research. The people who led the experiments swapped their data for immunity from prosecution, rather sickeningly. Anyway, since absorbing that, and the holocaust and, a little later, the Inquisition, I have harboured no illusions about the squalid depths to which humans will sink in their treatment of other humans. Even so, every so often I read something that takes the breath with its depravity and cruelty and the transcript (I couldn’t look at the video) I’ve just read was one such.

    The terrifying thing is that what these boys did isn’t inhuman; on the contrary, it’s uniquely human.

  232. Stuart Ellis says:

    Is this for real? Are you sure this isn’t some kind of “Blair Witch” film promotional thing?

  233. FoetusNail says:

    How much more warning than the title, Ukrainian Teen Serial Killer Gang Document Their Crimes on Cellphone Video, does anyone need?

    Having helped carry a young child missing half his head from a building hit by a tornado, which killed four children, I’ve seen enough. Having known four people who were murdered I already know what that feels like too, it sucks more than we can understand.

    The part we really don’t understand when viewing these things from afar is the tsunami of blackness that spreads out from each of these sick fuks. Their madness rolls over everything in its path, leaving stunned shell-shocked victims in its wake. Each single act can literally affect hundreds. I had friends hundreds of miles away call crying. Your life will never be the same. There will always be that day, that moment when you heard the news you could not accept. Then days of emptiness, hatred, fear, and despair, followed by a lifetime of grief. Every time we get together there is an empty place where they should be. They are forever young, a frozen memory of what ifs. So, no I did not watch.

  234. russellcunning says:

    I have lived in Kiev for the last four years. It takes a Westerner a long time to adjust to the level of lawlessness in this country. For example, in traffic a red light is simply a warning that a vehicle in front of you MIGHT stop. An indicator light simply means the driver has touched one of the sticks on the steering column. If you don’t like how they drive, stay off the sidewalk, because they drive there too.

    In February this year I was shot. A vehicle behind me wanted to go faster, and I couldn’t get out of his way, so he tailgated me, put his lights on high beam, turned on driving and fog lights, and kept his hand on his horn. After he passed me, I flashed my lights at him. He then ran me off the road, and when I got out to have words with him, he opened his door and shot me twice.

    So, this event is shocking by Western standards, but here it gets a ‘tsk, tsk, isn’t that bad?’

    The police are corrupt, the politicians are corrupt, and everybody else is either corrupt or paying them. It’s the system, and it works – inefficiently, but it works. It won’t change, because it’s ingrained into the society, from top to bottom, from the cradle to the grave.

    As a side note: The Australian Consul in Moscow was unable to do any more than telephone me to see if I was alright while I was in hospital, and after a lot of pressure, asked the Ukrainian Government which police station and officer was handling my case. When I asked if there was anything else they could do, the Consul, Sue Burgess, said that if I died they could ship my body home.

  235. toxonix says:

    Somewhere around 1% of humans are psychopaths.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psychopathy

  236. patrick_bateman says:

    Ah, nothing like name calling to enhance a discussion.

    I come from a common law country, so US law may differ somewhat. But in negligence what is significant is whether a defendant, owing a duty of care to a class of persons of which the plaintiff was a member, breached that duty by some act or omission and in so doing caused harm to the plaintiff of a kind which was not too remote to be attributable to the defendant’s act or omission.

    I don’t think it would be difficult to establish that there is a duty of care owed by a publisher to its audience (which is a much more specific group than “users of the internet”). It would be arguable that the publisher of a website (especially one presenting itself as “a directory of wonderful things”) which routinely features links to interesting and entertaining content on other sites, and being aware that the majority of its visitors are likely to follow some or all of the links published, owes a duty to its audience not to publish links which contain material which is likely to cause significant psychological harm if viewed.

    It would then be effectively a question of degree as to whether the warnings, such as they are, accompanying the link and any independent actions performed by the audience are such that the resulting harm is attributable to the publisher’s actions.

    I think this thread itself is excellent evidence for the fact that many people are likely to seek out the video in question based solely on the description on this website and the link provided, even if watching a video of that kind is not something they would ordinarily do. Indeed, it might be argued that the manner in which the link is presented creates an incentive that site visitors would not normally have to view the video, based upon the credibility that the publisher has with the audience and the implication from the manner of presentation that the video must contain something of interest or value to the audience.

    Is any harm they suffer too remote to be attributable to BB? Possibly, possibly not. It’s certainly not as simple as saying “they had to click twice to get there, no liability, QED.”

    It strikes me that some here want to have their cake and eat it too. Absolute free speech is fine, but you must live with the consequences of that speech. One such consequence might be civil liability for harm caused. Is that so surprising or wrong?

  237. shanealeslie says:

    @36 Sekino

    I agree that it is Xenis right to post, and remove, anything she likes; I just with she hadn’t, and would, this particular one.

    It is NOT a Wonderful Thing and it made Baby Science have a complex secretomotor phenomenon characterized by the shedding of tears from the lacrimal apparatus, without any irritation of the ocular structures.

  238. fennel says:

    @Teresa(#238): How is it not a snuff video?

  239. Nawel says:

    What Post # 1 (Stuart) said.

  240. Cupcake Faerie says:

    Newsworthy yes. The larger questions in my mind, and ones that may have no answers, are, in no particular order:

    * What do we do with such monsters?
    – do we kill them, lock them up – how does either solution solve anything?
    * How can we consider these young murderers to be human after what we’ve seen them do?
    * Are such incidents becoming more common?
    * if so, why?
    * Have we (human society) done something that makes this kind of violence inevitable?

  241. zuzu says:

    I just think it’s funny that once I got disemvoweled for referencing the Stile Project in a pertinent context.

    Now, as for everyone talking about “spreading the meme” (and to invoke Godwin’s Law), look into how German history went through a phase of essentially collective denial about the rise of Hitler and the Nazi Party. They razed all the Nazi buildings and destroyed all their materials, and tried to start anew. But in recent years there’s been significant debate concerning that, “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.”

    I think we need to see just how brutal humans can be, so we understand ourselves why we should not act that way.

    Just as in A Clockwork Orange, you can’t rely on your innate disgust of such an act to moralize you. Because that part of you can be rewritten by nefarious people (e.g. Milgram experiment). Instead you need to choose for yourself what you consider moral and immoral acts.

  242. Cowicide says:

    @#67 POSTED BY CHURCH

    Church, that was horrific. Why did you post that video link? It just makes everything worse. That was the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I wish I could remove that video from my mind, but I can’t now. Thanks a lot, Church. I hope you rot in hell for this.

  243. zikzak says:

    In a way it’s refreshing to be confronted with something on the internet which I’m afraid to watch.

    I think it’s very meaningful that despite all the violence and depravity depicted constantly in our media environment, we still have a deep, almost spiritual reaction to seeing real violence on a screen.

  244. evilrooster says:

    Patrick Bateman:

    1. I find it staggeringly unlikely that BoingBoing has a duty of care to the people who read it. On what grounds would there be a relationship that would lead to such a duty? There is certainly no contractual relationship, for instance. Is there any case law you can cite as a precedent? Even in your jurisdiction?

    2. Assuming arguendo that BB does have a duty of care, the original posting included the phrase “warning: links include graphic violence”. If a user finds graphic violence at the other end of the link, well, they were warned.

    3. Even if the BB did have a duty of care to its readers, and the warning about graphic violence was somehow not a warning, as I pointed out, the video was not on the site BB linked to. BB has no control of what links are added to or removed from sites it links to; the site is not under BB’s control. Therefore it is nonsensical to claim that BB is liable for what another site chooses to add to its links.

    The most likely venue for any suit would be the US. In the event that such a claim did not fail on First Amendment grounds, a court would almost certainly rule that the plaintiff had assumed the risk of damage by clicking on the first (warning-adorned) link, then finding the way to the video on the linked page. It quite plainly fails any “reasonable person” test.

    And the reason I talked about ambulance chasing is that your first post said, in short, “I think that BB may have a liability towards some of the readers on this thread, and by the way, I’m a lawyer.” Let’s just say that those two lines of discussion lead to a particular conclusion. If you were not in fact advertising for people to contact you to pursue that liability, I could see nothing in your post to so indicate.

  245. tamarind says:

    Anonymous @244: I would also like to thank you for posting a response to peoples issues with the post in a manner that Boing Boing seems to lack the humilty to do itself.

    “There’s no way I can imagine anyone reading the initial story, then the linked transcript, and then clicking on that video link and expecting anything other than horror”

    Perhaps if you had come via Boing Boing your expectations may have been somewhat different.

  246. wolfiesma says:

    I think the topic of teens using cell phones to document violent crime is a good and important discussion to have. But at this point, it borders on the surreal to attempt that discussion here and now. The analogy that springs to mind is a bomb going off in a classroom. The teacher digs her heels in, telling everyone, “I did not plant this bomb. I did not intend for anyone to be hurt when I prepared the lesson, and I will not be deterred from leading a discussion on the important topic at hand.”

    In the back of the room a student (let’s call her wolfiesma) says, “I know teach. You didn’t do it. I don’t blame you. But please, can we make sure nobody else gets hurt? Let’s just cancel this one class for today. We promise we won’t make you cancel class every time you give us a lesson we don’t like. We won’t tell you how to do your job. But people are hurt here and we should really evacuate this one room. We can have class in another room.”

    “Okay then, wolfiesma. If you don’t feel comfortable in this room full of injured students, go to a different room. That goes for the rest of you, too. You just don’t understand what a terrible precedent it would set if we canceled class every time a bomb went off. No.”

    “Gosh, teach. It almost seems like you don’t care that people got hurt in your classroom today.”

    “I told you! I didn’t do it! You are not my responsibility. I am responsible for creating interesting lessons. I did my job. Now, either move to a different room, or drop out of school. But I will not sit here and let you blame me for something I didn’t do. “

    Meanwhile, foolhardy students shuffle in to the infamous “room where the bomb went off” and asphyxiate on the smoke and ash.

    Many students end up dropping out after the incident. “I just didn’t feel safe anymore. I didn’t feel valued. It seemed like the teacher valued the lesson plan more than the students.“

    End Scene

  247. lukus says:

    #255, I’ve asked myself the same question.

    Perhaps the difference between a ‘snuff video’ and a ‘video of a killing’ is that a snuff video is produced as a marketable item designed to titillate, and a video of a killing isn’t?

    In any case, the distinction is conceptual, debatable, and fairly impossible to call.

    I think that the decision to post this should be recognised as problematic by the official boingboingers.

    I feel sorry for the moderators, because they’re placed in the difficult position of having to justify a decision perhaps made without their approval.

  248. Takuan says:

    Takeshi, do me a favour and don’t reply to the douche. Get one going and they breed like lice.

  249. takeshi says:

    More indignation. This story is newsworthy, obviously. It’s the first I’ve heard of it, and I’m sure that’s true for a lot of English speakers.

    The video, too, may be unique as the first ever widely distributed snuff film made by serial killers. Why is that significant? Unlike clips of politically motivated beheadings, this is a rare opportunity for criminal profilers to investigate firsthand the darkest possible side of psychopathy. What would make these kids do such an abominable thing? This video, as well as the kids themselves, will undoubtedly be studied for many generations to come.

    Apart from rambling strings of alibis such as John Wayne Gacy’s 1,000 pp. autobiography, serial killers and mass murderers rarely offer anything of themselves to anyone. Dahmer was an unusual killer. He murdered outside of his race, and he was also very candid when speaking about his crimes. He spoke freely about his compulsory behavior, and opined as to the possible connection between his repression of homosexual urges to the killings themselves. Even when being interviewed alongside his father, he spoke compassionately and with apparent insight into the killings.

    Most often, though, serial killers change their stories repeatedly before settling on one. While the video is certainly not for the faint of heart, I for one am glad that Xeni brought it to my attention. Speaking as someone who takes an interest in criminology, this video, sadly, is highly valuable. And if you’re stupid enough to seek out and watch a video that you suspect may be real, you have no one to blame but yourself.

  250. GuidoDavid says:

    I refuse to give traffic to those losers. Attack where it hurts, don’t give them attention.

  251. Anonymous says:

    TNH/Moderators/Editors:

    Please consider adding a tag or header in line in the comments stream indicating when the post was modified. In the case of this post, it would be an enlightening and useful tool to help those of us who came late see who was commenting on the original post and who was commenting once the stronger warnings were in place.

    Also, items like this that exist at the absolute extremes have the potential to promote valuable discussion. They also obviously generate a metric ton of comments that amount to little more than yea or nay votes on the post. This is irritating and forces someone trying to follow the discussion to read between the lines.

    You could significantly improve the value of the discussion thread by removing these ‘vote’ comments entirely, but that would generate even more off topic junk comments (knowing Boingers it would be one righteous storm). So instead my humble proposal would be to flag the ‘vote’ comments and demote them to a separate thread on the same page below the discussion thread. If you actually discuss the topic, your comment goes in the discussion thread. If you just vote on the post, you go to the bottom of the page (you might call it the thumbs up/thumbs down section).

    Boingers would still fight and argue that their comment wasn’t just a ‘vote’, but this is a benevolent dictatorship, or a monarchical system if you will. You get to make the rules.

  252. leogobbo says:

    cmpltly gr wth vryn’s pnn n tht ths pst dfntly ds nt blng hr.

    n my pnn, th rsn fr tht s tht lt f crs ppl wll nd p wtchng th vd wtht rdng th cmmnts r th dscrptn, nd, wll, lt’s jst sy thr Chrstms wll nt b s mrry s t cld’v.

    Mst mprtnt – whn smthng s bl t dsgst 4chn /b/’s cmmnty (s ths vd ftn ds), t s jst t mch.

  253. patrick_bateman says:

    @Takuan(#253), what exactly do you take issue with? I am merely pointing out a risk, not saying I hope that the site gets sued (quite the opposite). I’m happy to discuss the issues, but I don’t see the need for abuse.

  254. Gaudeamus says:

    @297 “What about this scenario Teresa Nielsen Hayden– can we listen to it with our eyes closed and then say how disgusting it is?”

    I in fact did hear part of this video. My friend’s brother watched some of it and was surprised that I was making no motion to view it. I heard it though and I was horrified. Luckily what it sounds like has been pretty much wiped out of my mind.

    I’m surprised at the responses here. I don’t feel this was a wildly inappropriate post or is wrong for being on this site. Could the original post have been worded differently? Maybe so but at this point anyone whinging about that is piling icing onto a sad and very old cake.

    Some years ago a family member was murdered. I saw autopsy photos during the trial and I was forever changed. To this day there are movies I cannot watch, some things I cannot bear to read. I did read the transcript of this video, because I just couldn’t believe it was what the header said it was. I did not, however, view the video for the reasons I have previously described. Before I read the transcript I researched the story and was shocked to find it is not really covered by any news sites. In fact, this is something I would have expected to happen first in the states, which would have of course then garnered everyone’s attention and it would have then been perfectly okay for BB to post it I’m sure because we’d all have seen it on the 11 o’clock news already.

    It’s a little surprising to me that such a community of intelligent people failed to google the story and read even a single forum thread (most of which feature a lot of disgusted people and 2 sick teenagers posting about how brave these killers were to record this stuff). Before you go off on Xeni for not having viewed the video herself, why not ask yourself why you didn’t do some research YOURself beforehand. Double standard, anyone?

  255. Rob, Denmark says:

    How DARE you question Boing Boing? How dare you?

  256. Anonymous says:

    You will be doing yourself a favor by not watching the actual video of the horrific torture, suffering, and killing of another human. It is the most terrible thing I’ve ever seen and I wish I had not watched it. For days after seeing it I would have flashbacks and horrible images of it popping up in my head….not a nice thing to visualize while trying to go to sleep. Seriously, its worse than those decapitation videos (which also gave me nightmares). It is a morbid curiosity that leads some of us to actually view this shit….but if you want to feel better about yourself at the end of the day don’t do it! It will drag you down into the depths…ohh, i don’t know…just somewhere you don’t want to be!!

  257. Rob, Denmark says:

    h cm n: Wtchng smn sttng dbl stndrds s lwys msng. Th fct tht th mdrtr cn’t s t, vn mr s.

  258. Bender says:

    I didn’t watch, but I did read the transcript which was terrible enough. I’m old enough to know that I don’t need anymore awful images burned into my brain. The ones that are already there haven’t add anything to my life.

    I am a little disappointed in this posting, but maybe there’s a silent majority out there that are really thankful for it.

  259. JeremySeth says:

    Yh, ths s nt cl. f wntd rmndr f hw bldy nd wfl th wrld cn b, thrs plnty f sts tht srv p dcpttns, dth pnlts, nd cnstrctn ccdnts.

    m nt thr, & ths s nt n f ths sts. Th fct tht smn mntns ‘md blckt’ (slly rfflng Cry’s fthrs bt mr) nd ‘vrl vd’ (h, thr’s xn) ds nt mk ths crp wrthy f Drctry f Wndrfll Thngs.

    Frthrmr, frntpg lnkng t th nglsh .cm nws ggrgt r whtvr s drvng trffc nd ttntn t sm thr dt tryng t mk Pgrnk nd bck ff 21 dd ppl. Thts rrspnsbl, nd cncdntlly, knd f th sm thng yr wth ths pst.

    S fck y fr t, Xn. fl sck, y wrckd my dy, ‘ll b cmng vr t pck p my ncrn.

  260. lecti says:

    In case someone’s on the fence to follow that link or not:

    I agree that some things cannot be unwatched. I unwisely watched the beheading video. I felt sick for a few days. That really taught me my tolerance for violence.

    You’ll recover eventually. But you will feel very, very bad after it. I have not gained any tolerance for it, because I still feel sick each time I recall the image.

    It depends on what kind of person you are. You know that being kicked in the nuts hurt, and absolutely nothing is pleasant about it. Are you the kind of person who likes to find out? Then go ahead, but just know that you’ll be hurting for a very long time.

    Taking things down isn’t going to make these horrific things go away. What we must do is prevent such atrocities from happening in the first place.

  261. buddy66 says:

    Antinous,

    PTSDer for Christ checking in. Way up the thread I said, in effect, No. Fucking. Way.

  262. Takuan says:

    there’s only one standard Robbie – the same one you keep falling afoul of. Why is it, do you suppose, that you in particular have so much trouble with that? Could it be you have less than pure intent?

  263. zikzak says:

    Clearly there’s nothing any of us can do to stop these killers. But given the proliferation of cell phone video, I wonder if we’ll soon see videos like this of atrocities in central Africa or Iraq?

    Considering the profound emotional power such images clearly have, maybe we can expect a significant increase in emotionally-grounded concern and sympathy for human rights abuses. Or, conversely, will we shut it out completely to protect ourselves from the pain?

    Imagine if the pictures from Abu Ghraib were video instead. Imagine watching video taken by Congolese militiamen as they rape and murder villagers. How will this affect our psychological connection to those people?

  264. laurenjayne says:

    Some of the comments in this thread have absolutely infuriated me. It seems like a lot of people are missing the point of this. We are all effectively guests on this blog, and therefore the people that write the blog are at perfectly liberty to post whatever they wish here. If you don’t like the sound of it, don’t click to the links. Simple.

    I haven’t seen either the video or the transcript, because I was given adequate information by the title and the brief write up to make the decision that i most likely did not want to see a film of a gang of teenagers killing people. Take accountability. You were given the information and chose to view the film. There’s little point bitching at Xeni or the moderators about this. Everyone here is adult enough (I would hope) to make their own informed decisions about what to look at and take responsibility for it. Yes, it’s horrible, but it’s happening. What HAS shocked me is the absolute lack of news coverage outside the Ukraine, and the fact that the men actually filmed themselves on a mobile perpetrating these crimes. Surely the discussion should focus on this and not the fact that Boing Boing has ruined your Christmas.

  265. Abracapocus says:

    What Post #3 (GuidoDavid) said.

  266. Cowicide says:

    My last post is invisible. Strange.

  267. Cowicide says:

    @#197 POSTED BY PATRICK BATEMAN, ESQUIRE

    Shit, we’re getting sued by the ambulance chaser…

    Xeni,

    As your attorney, I advise you to rent a very fast car with no top. And you’ll need the cocaine. Tape recorder for special music. Acapulco shirts. Get the hell out of L.A. for at least 48 hours. Blows my weekend because naturally I’m going to have to go with you. And we’re going to have to arm ourselves… to the teeth!

    As your attorney, I advise you to drive at top speed, it’ll be a god damn miracle if we can get there before you turn into a wild animal.

  268. Jaklar says:

    Methinks the concept of “A Directory of Wonderful Things” is becoming a tad murky.

  269. FoetusNail says:

    Will Munny: It’s a hell of a thing, killing a man. Take away all he’s got and all he’s ever gonna have.

  270. Bender says:

    Here is a big red button. I have to warn you that you may not like what happens if you push it. I, myself have never pushed it, and most people who have, well, they report terrible things happening that they can’t forget, no matter how hard they try.

    Here it is though, I’ll put it right next to you. Maybe you’ll want to try it later. I wouldn’t recommend it though. But there it is, just in case.

  271. arkizzle says:

    phew! thanks Teresa :)

  272. Antinous says:

    To various and sundry,

    BoingBoing posts far worse stories than this on a regular basis. Repression, torture and terrorism on a mass scale are blogged almost daily. The difference is that this story comes with video and transcripts. Those of us who live in non-war-torn countries like our violence to be sanitized, Hollywoodized or invisiblized. But life doesn’t work like that.

    One of the factors that helped end the Vietnam War (besides the Vietnamese) was the in-your-face news coverage. There were bodies on the news every day. Death statistics were honest and forthcoming. You want to be horrified, look up Life photographs from Vietnam. Some of them make this post look like a unicorn chaser.

    Don’t blame the messenger. The messenger is the one who’s trying to let you know what’s really happening in the world. Pulling a pillow over your head won’t make the problems go away. That doesn’t mean that you should watch the video. I’m not going to watch it. But my decision not to watch it doesn’t mean that it should be suppressed.

    As with every other post on BB, comments that just say some version of DO NOT WANT are non-contributory. If you don’t like it, scroll down. But don’t tell everybody else that they shouldn’t be allowed to see it.

  273. Takuan says:

    lions,hyeneas and now jackals…. just a stone for this one.

  274. buddy66 says:

    I go into emotional lockdown when encountering violence or its graphic depiction. It is a survival mechanism that has, on occasion, saved my life and I am grateful to have it. However, it comes with a price, usually paid at 3 a.m. So when I am advised by many not to watch this video, it would take four men and a bulldog to get me to do so.

  275. robotplague says:

    I’m late to the party. I just got here, I haven’t read all the comments, I don’t know what was originally posted, etc.

    To be honest I’m a bit surprised at how uptight some people are being. Especially for an extremely liberal, intelligent site like this. The community here is fairly sharp so it’s disappointing that people are “threatening” to not visit because of ONE LINK. Boing Boing has provided thousands upon thousands of fantastic stories throughout the years but all it takes is one post to cause people to get all bitchy. Calm down, it’s still the same place. Be more aware of what you click on next time.

    I applaud BB for not issuing an apology or taking down the post entirely. I realize that type of content isn’t for everyone but I’m glad they made this story (and video) aware to me.

  276. Cupcake Faerie says:

    For those who watched the video (not me) I suggest The History Erasure Button:

    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1153869/history_eraser_button_ren_and_stimpy/

    No, Stimpy, Don’t Press it!

  277. Tenn says:

    That poor, poor man.

  278. FoetusNail says:

    Only you, well and a few others, but you were first. Thanks

  279. takeshi says:

    As to wolfiesma’s assertion that “it borders on the surreal to attempt [a discussion about kids, murder, and cellphones] here and now,” what have you been smoking?

    Here is the best place to have this discussion, as it’s the first English language post on a prominent blog dealing with this subject, which is both terribly unusual and in the public’s interest. So, the fact that some people either can’t read warnings or choose not to follow them says nothing of the intellectual value of post itself, not to mention the ensuing discussion. Seriously, if you don’t like what’s being discussed, move along, or suck it up and put a cork in it.

    Patrick Bateman also seems to have a rather flimsy apprehension of the law, at least here in the U.S. of A. When you say that you do not wish for BoingBoing to be sued, are you speaking as someone who honestly sees that as a likely occurrence? Because, yeah, anybody can be sued for anything. Welcome to America. Still, it’s like pointing out to someone that their home coffeemaker is brewing hot coffee. “If somebody drinks that, you can be sued!”

    What is missing from your dressed-up excursions into abject lunacy is the simple fact that posting a story that is newsworthy is not a crime. Good luck, also, trying to get your PTSD argument to stick. Even if Xeni were to post direct links to the video (which she didn’t) she would be no more culpable. I doubt that you would be making the same case if this were a post containing a link to a website containing a link to a video of purported child pornography. And yet, the legal outcome would be much the same. Guy gets pissed that his “rights” were violated, outraged that no one took him seriously when he complained, sues the poster of the link, and LOSES. Gets laughed out of court. Falls flat on his soured little lawyer’s face.

    A link is a link, and a link to a page containing a separate set of links is just that. Where is the precedent for this kind of thing being pursued successfully? Because yes, you can bring a claim in tort, but as Xeni has made perfectly clear that her intention was not to cause anyone any grief, I think you’d be sorely disappointed to find that you have a very shaky understanding of how things work in the U.S. Intent would indisputably play a part, and this case of yours would be regarded as a waste of time, or else it would play out, perhaps to great expense, but ultimately BoingBoing would be vindicated. Not exactly Supreme Court material, natch.

    Even if Xeni’s intention was to cause others physical and emotional pain, and even if she hadn’t warned readers, you’d find it exceedingly difficult to prove that BoingBoing owes its readership any kind of “duty of care.” But what is truly ridiculous about your supposition is the simple fact that, on the one hand, you are saying that no contract is required, while at the same time frothing uncontrollably that such a contract is implied when one decides to host a blog. Make up your mind, dear sir. You’re dancing all over your own feet, and my suspicion is that, if you are a lawyer at all, it is very likely that you aren’t much of one.

    So, while you’ll have a Hell of a time pointing us to a case where a party has been successfully sued in the United States for posting a link to something other than proprietary code, I can point to countless instances of people just like you, saying that something is actionable when no evidence exists to suggest that it is.

    Best of luck with your “case.”

  280. wombat666 says:

    What about this scenario Teresa Nielsen Hayden– can we listen to it with our eyes closed and then say how disgusting it is?

  281. Clayton says:

    Watch the video. Sure doesn’t look like a hoax. I’d also mock the evident google skillz (or lack of) that led to the “FAKE?!” headline, but that wouldn’t serve a purpose.

  282. Sekino says:

    I would point out, though, that no one is saying “HEY! XENI! TAKE THIS DOWN! I DEMAND IT!”. They’re either expressing their disgust/disappointment or asking politely that it be taken down. What’s wrong with that?

    Okay, I’ll try this another way:

    Different people react/cope differently facing disturbing news and topics.

    Some people avoid them and seek nicer things for comfort, which is totally fine.

    Other people need to discuss them, exteriorize the anger, sorrow or fear. It is equally acceptable. It doesn’t trivialize the topic any more than keeping quiet, it is merely a different emotional response. I know if, like Xeni, I’d stumble upon this one morning (well, I guess I did here), I would need to talk about it- and do about an hour of kick-boxing…

    The same phenomenon occurs with traumatic events or tragedies. Some people cope by not expressing emotions and trying to forget. Others need to talk about it, make sense of it (even when it is impossible). It makes the disturbing images burned in one’s brain easier to handle when shared and exteriorized.

    You can say ‘this is disgusting’, ‘this disturbs me’, by all means. I totally agree. It’s when so many say other Boingers shouldn’t talk about it or respond to it that I get angry. Who are you to judge one response over another? Everyone agrees this is a disturbing display of human violence. It is real. Yes, it doesn’t directly help to talk about it but neither does refusing to approach the topic. By the same token, how is a post about mini horses running around so useful aside from making us feel warm and fuzzy?

    I am more than respectful, and understanding, of people who choose to avoid viewing or discussing such harsh displays of human vice. But to vehemently claim that it doesn’t belong entirely on a blog about culture and society (and it has both vice and virtues) strikes me as extremely self-righteous.

  283. Antinous says:

    Hey, this could be a good gig. Post quasi-litigable material, suck in the lawsuits and then counter-sue for triple costs.

  284. Takuan says:

    Tenn-chan, what are you dong here?

  285. Hugh "Nomad" Hancock says:

    Suggestion – is there any chance that BB would consider running individual RSS feeds for each poster?

    I’m sorry to say this, but I’d like to be able to avoid Xeni’s posts, just because she occasionally posts things like this. I’m not saying she shouldn’t post them (that’s a longer, more complicated discussion), I’m not saying others don’t enjoy them or find them interesting, but I find this sort of post, for me, has negative value.

  286. Anonymous says:

    I’m from Kyiv, Ukraine and that’s not a hoax. You can see that article on a TV channel site:
    http://tsn.ua/ua/chorna-hronika/dnipropetrovski-maniyaki-ne-vpiznayut-sebe-na-video.html

    The trial of ‘em is ongoing more than a halfyear I guess.. That’s a true shit.

  287. Takuan says:

    suggestion: scroll wheel

  288. lukus says:

    I’m not completely outraged, posting this has been really interesting. It’s made me think a lot. I’m mostly interested in the ideas which have spun off from the initial posting.

    But I think it’s a little sycophantic to applaud boing-boing regardless. (Poster #260) Sometimes I do wonder if boing-boing could ever do anything wrong in some peoples eyes.

    I think that boing-boing often encourages it’s readers to question authority – so it’s a little bizarre that some people are so critical of people questioning boing-boing’s authority.

    As far as I can fathom – boing-boing is a blog aggregator. I think that there’s far too much content out there to get to the good stuff – so we all need ways to filter content down. Humans are best at deciding what’s good, so boing-boing employs people who are renowned for choosing interesting stuff to do the job for us. Employing arbiters of taste involves distributing power to a few people. I see boing-boing a little bit like a benign dictator – surely even the nicest dictator needs to be questioned occasionally?

    Sometimes these people will make mistakes. It is possible. Perhaps posting this article was one of them?

    I believe that once a community is born, it becomes more than the sum of it’s parts. A previous poster remarked that we’re guests here – but I think that there is probably a point where the community adds so much to a site that discounting the opinion of the community is foolhardy.

  289. deejayqueue says:

    Repeat after me:

    Christmas is in 6 days.

    Christmas is in 6 days.

    Christmas is in 6 days.

    Christmas is in 6 days.

    Now I feel a little better.

  290. Grisly says:

    I watched it.
    The anatomy being toyed with is a red smoke screen.
    It’s a video of monsters doing their thing.
    That’s rare indeed.

    Are we in the age of the snuff film?
    Aren’t those illegal?
    Where does copyright stand next to victim’s rights and compensation if sufficient funds can be attained through the video?

  291. ST says:

    I’m glad that I have the sense not to watch something like this. Some years ago I started to watch one of the first Iraq beheading videos. As it becaome clear what was going to happen I stopped it and sense then when I read many people saying, “Seriously… do NOT watch this video” I take their word for it.

    I honestly believe that simply viewing something like this takes something away from us. Mentally, spirtitually… I dunno. But it damages something that I, personally, want to keep in me.

  292. simplewonder says:

    Merry Christmas :(

  293. Adam Stanhope says:

    Don’t watch the video.

    Even if you’ve become immune to such things over time this particular one is terribly unpleasant.

    It also looks like it is probably real.

  294. leogobbo says:

    @56:

    I was just thinking the exact same thing – only too scared with the thought that seeing these too often will most probably shut the shock-feeling. Just the same thing that happens with many soldiers at war.

    What can we expect of a world that is not shocked with these kind of videos?

  295. shanealeslie says:

    That was horrible. I felt compelled to check it out to see if it was a hoax, it wasn’t.

    But I was able to quickly click off and found…
    http://tinyurl.com/4yg6zz

    It made me feel better.

  296. Tenn says:

    Completely traumatizing myself with images not meant for human consumption. Yourself, Taku-san?

    To those advocating the death penalty after this:

    How? How how how how HOW? After seeing how disgusting death is, you’d add another three to the tally? I have the utmost sympathy for their victims. I can’t imagine how I’d feel if the man shown in the video was near and dear to me.

    But even after watching this I can’t advocate the death penalty. Murder is disgusting. And there’s no damn point in continuing it for ‘punishment’.

  297. Reader9 says:

    My prayers for the victim and the victim’s family.

    “The evil, the guilt, the profound unease of conscience, the dark foreboding, are there before our eyes, if only we would see. Man has done these things; I am man, who has his share of human nature; therefore I am guilty with the rest and bear unaltered and indelibly within me the capacity and the inclination to do them again at any time. Even if, juristically speaking we were not accessories to the crime, we are always, thanks to our human nature, potential criminals.”
    - Carl Jung, ‘The Undiscovered Self’

    I thought of this quote during the reading of the comments related to this post and thought it might help those unfortunate enough to have watched any of that video tackle the soul crushing emotions rippling through them.

    I am ashamed to say that I did click on the link and watched a few seconds (all I could stand) of this horrible video. I must preface my comments with the fact that I work in true crime television programming, and as part of my job I read about some of the worst aspects of human nature day in and day out. Thinking for some reason that this might not be real, or that I could handle it because of my previous exposure to crime scene photos and video, or simply guided by morbid curiosity, I clicked and watched and blame no one other than myself. Nonetheless, I am bothered that this video has made its way onto the internet at all.

    Other users are correct in their comments that this unfortunately happens everyday. What doesn’t happen is the perverted recording of the acts for all to see.

    And while I think many people on this board are trying to inflate this in to some intellectual exercise (and I must admit with some degree of guilt, part of me sees the value in this) or are acting indignant at BB for posting a link to a “snuff film”, the simple fact remains: a man with a life and family of his own was tortured and murdered. Let’s not lose sight of that. Again, we all know this happens everyday, but rarely are we put so close to it and for good reason.

    For those bothered by this tape and story (and I hope that is everyone), I believe that some of this might arise from our own acute sense of guilt and either unconscious or conscious awareness of the capacity of evil that lives in all of us. Carl Jung, in writing about the ‘shadow’ of man put this very well, and I’ll finish my post with another quote from his book The Undiscovered Self:

    “…just as the typical neurotic is unconscious of his shadow side, so the normal individual, like the neurotic, sees his shadow in his neighbour or in the man beyond the great divide.”

  298. Mechphisto says:

    knw why stff lk ths gts pstd n BB, nd by nly crtn ppl…t’s bcs ths crtn ppl r thmslvs nscnt srl r thrll kllrs, bt wtht th dsr t gt thr hnds drty.

    t’s th rsn ths knds f kllrs tk mmnt, r rcrdng, s thy cn rlv th xprnc. nd why thy ctlly njy gng t trl, bcs thy gt t wtch th rctns f ppl tht thy hv ffctd. Tm nd tm gn ppl t trls f srl kllrs dscrb sng th ccsd smlng thrght nd pprng ntrgd nd ntrtnd by th dsgst nd hrrr f thrs–csd by thm.

    Ths BB psts r crtn cntrbtr’s wy f gttng sck thrll. Thr s ltrlly bsltly n thr rsn t pst t. t’s nt nws. t’s nt ctnry wrnng. t’s nt dctn. t’s nt ntrtnmnt (xcpt t th prsn pstng t)–thr s bsltly n rsn xcpt t prptt th crm nd mmrlz t. Qlts f srl kllrs.

  299. jchack says:

    Th prblm sms t b tht BB s ncmfrtbl wth t’s nwly chsn rl f prngrphr.

    Th dffrnc btwn brng wtnss nd prrnt ntrst cld b tght by ths xmpl. t’s cp t whn nnyms @244 clms sm typ f ntllctl ntrst nd dns th prrnt mtv. blv tht Xn nd Bng Bng’s dtrl stff r qlly cmplct, nd nw sdly, w ll r.

  300. Takuan says:

    and a Happy Solstice to you. Let us mark together the turning of the great wheel of the seasons and rejoice in having each other to see us through until the ice, wolves and hunger are driven back yet again.

  301. asterick says:

    I have been motivated to create an account and write today because several days ago, I read this post and saw the vid that this led to. I am an artist and have found your website inspiring but this, is just morbid and out of place for such a site. Of course I shouldnt tell you how to manage your own web site but I found the story to be in bad taste just as well as the majority of readers and intellects that support you. Out of hundreds/thousands of posts I’ve seen here, this stands as a story that does not belong here. It should be left for “shocker” sites to feed from, not Boingboing.

  302. Dark Cloud says:

    There’s a lovely snowstorm in New York City right now. Go look out the window. I wouldn’t watch something like what’s been described. Someone somewhere once told me to “Guard your eyeports” …

  303. Rob, Denmark says:

    #286 pstd by CsmcMnky , Dcmbr 21, 2008 6:31 PM

    Th ntrnt llws ppl t b ttlly rd.

    #287 pstd by Tkn , Dcmbr 21, 2008 6:37 PM

    nt hr.

    #294 pstd by Tkn , Dcmbr 22, 2008 7:49 M

    Tksh, d m fvr nd dn’t rply t th dch. Gt n gng nd thy brd lk lc.

    Y cldn’t mk ths p :)

  304. Xeni Jardin says:

    @#267 Lukas:

    I see boing-boing a little bit like a benign dictator

    Are you high?

    Seriously.

    Dude.

    This is a blog. That’s all it is.

  305. bustyyorneekaps says:

    Can I get some adorable red pandas, kittens, puppies and unicorns to my house ASAP? Thank you for posting all those unicorn chasers Teresa, it definitely helps.

  306. takeshi says:

    @ patrick_bateman:

    “Wow, angry much?”

    Haha, nope, but thanks for asking. I loved your reaction. Your remind me of a preening junior high school girl. Tell me, is that anger or Schadenfreude?

    “Much as I hate to see people end up in court, I half hope that one day your self-righteousness ends with you there after saying or doing something stupid, while a judge slaps your shrill philosophical arguments down and the realities of living in a community where your conduct affects other human beings is drilled home by a nasty award against you.”

    Spoken like a vengeance-seeking non-lawyer. Listen, Patty, I’ve been in court twelve times over the last three years, on three separate charges, and you know something? I’ve beaten every case by speaking plainly, unemotionally, and with attention to detail. Incidentally, I’ll bet that’s more times than you’ve been in court. Many of the judges I know hate lawyers, FYI. Since many of them used to be lawyers, I think that says a great deal about the utter futility of your career choice.

    “The law of negligence is not about people’s ‘rights’ in any positive sense. It’s about negative obligations, or duties (I know, a crazy thing to talk about for libertarians but widely accepted as existing as a social construct IRL) not to harm others negligently, recklessly or intentionally.”

    Now who’s being shrill, you sad little crybaby wanker? Xeni posting a link to a page that contains other links can in no reasonable way be interpreted as having harmed anyone, deliberately or elseways. Sorry. You’re just a blithering gobshite. In real life, as you put it, your dismal little attempt at a suit would, as I have already intimated, be thrown out like yesterday’s Bazooka Joe comics.

    “You are totally focused on your right to freedom of expression, yet totally unwilling to carry the burden imposed by the possibilities which the exercise of that right might carry with it.”

    Not true, and as your lawyer I advise you not to put words in my mouth. Unless you plan to fetch them later. Far too many words up there already. I know very well that freedom of speech carries responsibilities, but I wonder: are you aware of the responsibilities of the end user? Because what you seem to be saying, in no uncertain terms, is that their responsibilities to self are somehow negligible compared to Xeni’s “irresponsibility” in posting a link to a news story (online account, blurb, or what have you) that contained outside links to other material.

    Yours is a losing argument, and really… this is a no-brainer. No invisible lines were crossed here, except the one you’ve invented. I only hope you’re playing Devil’s advocate, because if you’re being serious, you’re making it increasingly more difficult for any lawyer to be taken seriously in a comments thread.

    “99% of civil lawsuits do not stem from people intentionally causing harm, they stem from people not thinking properly about what impact their conduct will have on other people and causing harm as a result.”

    And as I said earlier, sure, you can bring a civil suit, but that doesn’t mean ANYTHING. Nada. Zilch. Your pomposity is only outmatched by your criminally ignorant pseudo-appercipience of what constitutes “harm.” If Xeni’s “duty” is to protect her readership from clicking on a link that might take them to another set of links, then perhapos your “case” is semi-meritorious, but on its face it’s a laughable pile of stinking refuse. Likewise, your declarations of certainty are equally preposterous. Maybe you think the Internet is a series of tubes?

    Following your “logic,” why not sue Google for providing direct links to the video? Why don’t you sue anyone who posts a link to any other page that contains questionable links? Wikipedia, for instance. The fact that (i) she did not post a direct link to the video in question, and (ii) she gave her audience a warning means that your “suit” is flimsy at best. And, last but not least, although anyone can claim that viewing a video caused them emotional strain, proving it, as lawyers know, is quite another matter.

    Again, show me a single case where a blog has been successfully held accountable, in either civil or criminal proceedings, for having posted a link to a page with a questionable link. It just doesn’t happen, and for good reason… measured distance. Had Xeni posted a direct link to the offending video, perhaps you would have some kind of abysmal point, but as it is, she posted a link to a story which happened to contain another link. You’re not very tech-savvy, I take it, and it shows.

    “Xeni’s subjective intention in posting the story is completely irrelevant to the question of negligence.”

    Yes, it is. So, I guess that your first course of action would be to put all your money on “negligence.” Again, best of luck with that.

    “I am very surprised how hostile the reaction is here. Apparently I have some nefarious motive for raising the point that there is at least a possibility of causing harm which might lead to a legal claim.”

    No, as far as I’m concerned, that just makes you an imbecile. Making fun of your birdbrained theories is a far cry from hostility, but it is a lot of fun.

    “Either some of you are so dogmatically pro-BB that you cannot accept any criticism of it, or your legal system is so fundamentally broken that anything a lawyer says is construed by Americans as being loaded with lies and self-interest.”

    To the contrary, I have been critical of BoingBoing many times, and I’m also good friends with several lawyers. Passed the interstate Bar myself, actually, without even studying. But more to the point, I think you would be significantly more successful in your prosecution of this case if you were a lawyer. Thus far you’ve said nothing to indicate that you know what you’re talking about in the slightest. Instead of telling us all how this is actionable, why don’t you provide some much-needed context, beginning with a single case where a blog’s proprietor has been sued, even unsuccessfully, for providing a link to offensive material? Until then, you’re just wasting everybody’s time, especially your own.

    I’m sure that I’m not alone in wishing you the best the holidays have to offer, but if I am—hey, you’re a lawyer, right?

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