Pranknet's Skype "phone assaults" detailed, head bully in charge lives with his mommy

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101 Responses to “Pranknet's Skype "phone assaults" detailed, head bully in charge lives with his mommy”

  1. peterbruells says:

    @Teapot He didn’t tell people to jump of a bridge. He crafted and spread misinformation, which made it look sensibly to jump of a bridge. These pranks are just a confidence games, played for kicks instead of money.

    Oh, and a good measurement for internet/telephone pranks: If you’d expect to lose teeth if you’d do something in “real life”, don’t do it on the phone.

  2. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Great eyebrows, though.

  3. Darren Garrison says:

    #38 Antinous:
    “Tariq and Malik are both very common names.”

    Not in the US, at least (though I’ll accept that in it’s native range (Pakistan?) it may be a “John Smith”)

    See:

    http://www.namestatistics.com/

  4. seanpatgallagher says:

    I think this illustrates why I find the likes of Charlie Todd and Improv-Everywhere so irritating.

    Ultimately, a lot of the so-call culture-jammers are motivated by a nothing more than need to control and a desire to fuck with people.

    Pranknet is nothing more than extreme form of this phenomena. The underlying motivation is still the same and still just as base.

    -S

  5. mgfarrelly says:

    Making matters even worse, these creeps drive panicking law-makers to call for ridiculous new measures to “control the internet”.

    I worked in a library whose web site went online and suddenly we were inundated with prank calls like this. People trying to place holds on books or harass staff. Turned out the ringleader was a guy who’d been arrested for defacing library material months prior (carving his name on tables and tearing up books, real creative stuff) and he’d posted our information to some troll forum.

    He was 29, lived at home with mom and dad, unemployed. He did nearly a year in jail.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Good work by TSG, but they fall into the classic newbie reporter trap of spending thousands of words describing HOW they got the story instead of just telling the story.

  7. mdh says:

    dave farris,

    you’ve read the bill of rights, correct?

    Ultimately the only things you can do about it is change the channel, or amend the Constitution.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Funny you should ask that. Only a couple of hours ago I came across him on youtube. This time he’d posted an ad on craigslist offering a “free ipad”. Somehow, he/they had access to a webcam or one of his little schoolboy followers was well placed IN THE EXACT LOCATION OF ONE OF THE CALLERS RESPONDING TO THE AD. Anyway, aforementioned sociopath convinces the guy that the “giveaway” hinges on him taking part in a pilot tv show, hidden cameras etc.gets the guy to walk to a coffee bar/diner DIRECTLY ACROSS THE STREET FROM THE CAMERA. Sits down at a table outside for a minute or so (and in doing this he attracts the attention of one of the waiter types who comes outside when he gets up and walks awayDuring all this time malik is feeding him instructions and assurances on the phone. Guy walks away from the tables and picks up a chair, goes up the street a bit and trys to put the chair through the window of “the stunt car” which…..wait for it…just happens to belong to the waiter dude. Argument ensues, waiter calls cops, guy begs malik to come to the scene and explain all. cop car pulls up, then another, another, and another 4 cop cars empty out and the guy is shitting himself. malik trys to convince him that its all part of the show, and the script calls for an assault on one of the cops. Suddenly “I want a free ipad” gets some smarts and realises that he’s in a whole crapper full of trouble. Another cop car pulls up. 5 cop cars to an attempted break in to a car. well, 5 that you could see. Guy gets put into back of one o the cars, and INCREDIBLY, HE’S STILL ON THE PHONE WITH MALIK!!!!
    Anyway, long and short of it is, guy gets busted and jailed, malik and his buds get their jollies. watch it yourself on the pranknet youtube channel. “Fake tv pilot show”
    Thinking back, youtube closed them down after TSG. Wonder why they are’nt doing it now?
    So I suppose I coulda just said “wonder no more anonymous, he’s still practicing his art from the new pranknet world headquarters, with his mommy in the other room”

    And to the guy(?) who wrote this:-

    The “living with his mommy” isn’t true. I used to know Dex personally, but I still know him, just not irl.

    -:I say WTF? You USED to know him, but you STILL do, just not…irl? in real life? thats got to be without a shadow of a doubt, THE DUMBEST ATTEMPT AT A SENTENCE IN ENGLISH I’VE EVER READ IN MY WHOLE LIFE, FROM A NATIVE ENGLISH SPEAKER!! Apart from the obvious…does it even qualify as diatribe? He not only lives with his mommy, but he bullys her too. He was a bit slow switching off his mic one evening I was in the room on Paltalk.She foots the bill for the “energy drinks” that keep him going thru the show. (cant afford weed these days as his income from the denizens of pranknet has all but dried up) Even hempster is wary of being linked to him. After TSG hempster (William (Bill) Marquis went underground for just short of 9 months. Well he did have a thriving hydroponic show growing in his residence that he had to harvest early and move on to another premises. but he’s back now, just not tossing the bucks around like he used to.Beyluxe themselves provide the upgraded room and colored nicknames as long as pranknet keeps raiding other shows and webcam sites for bored schoolkids to fill the room. And how do I know all this I sense you wondering?

  9. Anonymous says:

    The “living with his mommy” isn’t true. I used to know Dex personally, but I still know him, just not irl.

  10. Jerril says:

    Is “vigilante journalism” the new term for “investigative journalism” for people who think the internet is the death of journalism, and the only “Real” reporters work for print or broadcast publications?

  11. Brainspore says:

    @ Anonymous #48:

    Explaining the methodology is part of what makes the story credible. Otherwise it’s just a bunch of accusations.

  12. Dave Faris says:

    Acknowledging that this guy’s actions are totally reprehensible, how productive is it to shame him by overly emphasizing his social ineptness, pointing out he still lives at home, doesn’t have any real friends, and is a shut-in with a “doughy” body?

    I mean, obviously the guy is a criminal misanthrope, but all the namecalling by the investigators (and Xeni) seems a little too elementary school.

  13. Modusoperandi says:

    technoprayer, #81 “go watch IDIOCRACY.”
    I did. I’d watch it again, but I can’t figure out how to rewind DVDs.

  14. Xopher says:

    Xeni 34: Oh good! I was beginning to think I was the only one who didn’t think any of that was funny. Thank you.

    And btw as far as I know it’s a tort, “intentional infliction of emotional distress.” Like a lot of torts it can become criminal if taken to an extreme. IANAL though, so I could be wrong.

    Curtis 39: They might be interesting social experiments, but they aren’t funny (in my opinion). My rule doesn’t say it’s not an interesting social experiment if it’s not funny to the victim.

    The only one of the things you cite that I know anything about is Fear Factor, and IIRC those were volunteers. They knew they were going to be emotionally distressed. I don’t think it was appropriate even so, but it’s not the same thing as playing a cruel prank on an innocent victim. Contrast Scare Tactics, which was a genuine “enjoy the cruelty” show; the victims were not volunteers at all, and as far as they knew the situation was perfectly real. It was the stupidest, rottenest thing I’ve ever seen on television.

    In some of those scenarios, had I been the victim people might have died (the guy who pulled the knife on the driver of the car, for example: I’d’ve watched my chance to sucker-punch him in the temple with all the force I could muster, and if I didn’t it would be from a lack of courage, not from thinking it was inappropriate; and if I didn’t kill him it would be because I’ve never sucker-punched anyone in my life, not because I wasn’t trying); in all of them, some camera equipment would have gotten broken when they revealed it to me, I’d’ve sued their asses off, and the “friend” who set me up would never have heard me speak again except in court.

    Also, I would respectfully submit that conducting an interesting social experiment does not actually preclude one’s being an asshole.

    Brainspore 42, Mark 45: While I’d certainly agree that it’s fair when that happens, I’d still question whether it’s funny. But I guess I accept your amendment as friendly!

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Contrast Scare Tactics…had I been the victim people might have died

      Yeah, but you could have become The Man Who Accidentally Killed Shannen Doherty.

  15. Anonymous says:

    One of the gents at the smoking gun actually called me as I was being pranked by one of these guys.

    Like an idiot, I left my nikon d200 at a theatre one night, and freaked out when I realized I left it behind. I posted all of my contact info, along with a sad, pleading cry for help to Craigslist.

    I was pranked over 4 times, but the pranknet one was by far the worst. They seemed to be very genuine, drawing out the conversation as long as they possibly could, giving me tons of information, and pulling out my frustrations. TSG was listening to the call being broadcast, and was kind enough to look up my post on craigslist to find my number. It was only when confronted with ending the call, did the pranknet guys finally break out the big guns…

    in exchange for my camera, id have to star in a little bestiality film they were putting together.

    nice.

    anyways, thanks to Joe at TSG for trying to get a hold of me as I was being mercilessly fucked with while already bummed at myself for losing such a serious item…

    -casey

  16. zyodei says:

    I love a good prank call. But a well crafted prank goes so far out to the edge of what is believable, that the target can’t help but laugh at the end due to the absurdity of it. A good prank call pokes fun either at organizational behaviours or social quirks.

    For instance, a great prank call involves a girl calling up her strict Orthodox Jewish dad and telling her she is going out with a Catholic Italian. He starts to scream and wail, which gets even worse when the “boyfriend” gets on the phone and tells him how delicious hamis, and how ought to worship Jesus, because that’s the “right” religion. At the end, when it is revealed, the dad says “so who’s gonna pay for the heart attack I just about had?”…but he laughs too. That was a well formed joke.

    This prank is just mean spirited, maniuplative, and cruel. I doubt anyone was laughing after they had smashed up their hotel room and experienced mortal fear.

  17. technoprayer says:

    troofseeker – i’m glad your stay in jail was pleasant. the length of one’s stay is probably proportionate to their disdain for it, but that was hardly my point. i never said he should not be put in jail. jail is the correct punishment for many crimes when it is ONLY removing someone from society for the proper or legal length of time. my point was/is that for someone to wish hurtful things upon those heading to jail is WRONG. our legal system is set up to determine the proper punishment for a crime and i can guarantee you that it would never be recorded in someone’s sentence that they should be bullied or harassed in jail. they even try to bury that when they are “dealing” with terrorists.

    in short:
    jail = ok
    dropping the soap jokes = not ok

  18. Xopher says:

    Sorry, Amelia. Your cousin is a selfish asshole and a terrible actress.

  19. mdh says:

    dave farris,

    it’s one thing to be a douche, it’s another thing entirely to drag your mother into it. And the namecalling fits the crime.

  20. lumpi says:

    Well, I would say “My gosh, a bunch of phone pranks and stupid people smashing their TVs… We have other problems.”

    But what struck me: They’re not doing “pranks”. It’s not for fun. It’s a bizarre experiment in manipulating and degrading random people just for the sake of it. There’s a point where you feel sorry with even the biggest idiot, and they do not seem to have any sense for that.

    I would consider the classification of a sociopath to be correct and it feels good to hear they were stopped. They were giving a bad name to pranksters. Scary shit.

    …although it’s still far away from “terrorism”.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Where is Dex today? Is he still doing any kind of Pranknet show? Or is it over and done with? He was over the top but that’s obviously what made it all so funny. It was the best of the best. The best there was, the best there is, and the best there ever will be,…. ha ha ;-p

  22. slugabed says:

    “dregs of chan”

    For some reason I really like this phrase. That should be the name for the next Star Trek sequel.

    “CHAAAAAAAAAN!!!!!!”

  23. Bitgod says:

    I couldn’t read more than the first page. The guy is obviously a jerk, but you start to feel sorry for him the more the author writes some new put-down in every paragraph. Not very good journalism.

  24. TroofSeeker says:

    Techno- I quite agree. Sometimes people need to sit and think about how they f’d up. I don’t wish abuse on anyone, and certainly not anal rape.
    jail=ok.
    dropping the soap jokes=ok.
    anal rape / physical/emotional torment=not ok.
    Close enough.

  25. TroofSeeker says:

    Technoprayer: “…if you think i am ignorant of the truth about jailhouse etiquette, i’ll only add that i also feel that the excessive and strategic caging of humans in this country IS turning them into animals…”

    I suspect that you ARE ignorant of jailhouse etiquette. Personally, I had a great time- it was a vacation to me, made some friends, didn’t do any crying, was not abused, except that in the morning I was called to ‘roll up’, the guys didn’t want to wake me, so I spent another day. It didn’t make me an animal- I already was.
    Now a guy like Maliq probably will be crying and
    thinking about his useless life. He should. Jail is what some people need.

  26. Xeni Jardin says:

    @#5,

    pointing out he still lives at home, doesn’t have any real friends, and is a shut-in with a “doughy” body?

    Where did I write those things? He lives at home with his mom, that much I wrote, and it’s an interesting part of the story.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      pointing out he still lives at home, doesn’t have any real friends, and is a shut-in with a “doughy” body? Where did I write those things? He lives at home with his mom, that much I wrote, and it’s an interesting part of the story.

      More importantly, there’s nothing wrong with a doughy body, lonely guys are frequently desperate and what could be better than Mom’s homemade cookies and lemonade after sex?

  27. Anonymous says:

    There is something that has always bothered me about our use of the word ‘terrorist’.

    9/11 bombers were mass murderers, this guy is a terrorist. Of course murders make people fearful, but doesn’t it disrespect the dead victims to use a “lesser” word? This guy makes people afraid for no good reason — to me, that’s not only the definition of the word, but a better reason for his arrest than most of the people arrested under the charge in the last 8 years. (usual reason: wears a turban and said the word ‘bomb’ one time)

  28. AnoniMouse says:

    Don’t think we could define this as “terrorism.”

    But I’m surprised to read that no one has suggested the power relationship here. If you read the entire article, the perps tend to be single, unemployed, and have other antisocial traits.

    They people feel powerless, either through past abuses (it is suggested Malik has a abusive past) or because of mental illness. Another is a convicted child abuser. Another talks about raping other men, but is a regular at a gay bar in his hometown. Also, lots of misogyny, racism, ect.

    Because of this powerlessness they are seeking to find their own source of power. This desire for power lead to these warped, sadistic, manipulations.

  29. Anonymous says:

    This is simply mean spirited and cruel. Playing with peoples inherent fears and/or ignorance can be quite humorous (i.e. Sascha Baron Cohen). The problem here lies in the fact that these pranksters do not have their collective tongues planted firmly in their own cheeks. I just have to wonder…when did we all forget the beauty of a good natured “Is your fridge running?” or “Do you have Prince Albert in a can?”. Have we become so jaded as to accept this as an example of well crafted humour? Pathetic bullying, indeed.
    Signed,
    One Ashamed Canuck

  30. Anonymous says:

    “Show me a man who knows what’s funny, and I’ll show you a man who knows what isn’t.” – Mark Twain

  31. Dave Faris says:

    I think the word “mommy” has a little more subtext than that.

  32. 13strong says:

    He kind of looks like Marty Feldman.

    http://s3.amazonaws.com/findagrave/photos/2002/31/1756_1012611579.jpg

    Shame he’s about a twelfth as funny.

  33. 13strong says:

    Dave, you haven’t acknowledged that you almost completely misquoted Xeni in your first criticism.

    And besides, I think a little light mocking is appropriate in this case. The guy’s a scumbag.

  34. Dave Faris says:

    Ok. The only word that Xeni used was “mommy,” which seems written with a sneer. The rest of the quote comes from the article that’s linked.

  35. Cowicide says:

    …So you can pluck out his feathers and smile because you are defending our weird women from the freaky-ass thoughts of the bug-eyed, bow-legged normal man.

  36. MadMolecule says:

    Xopher: And btw as far as I know it’s a tort, “intentional infliction of emotional distress.” Like a lot of torts it can become criminal if taken to an extreme. IANAL though, so I could be wrong.

    As appalling as these sociopaths’ actions were, they probably don’t amount to IIED. IIED generally requires a pattern of conduct (not just one incident), a power imbalance between the defendant and plaintiff (such as an employer-employee relationship), and severe and lasting distess to the plaintiff, generally including verifiable physical symptoms.

    To clarify on the “pattern of conduct” requirement: Malik et al. did this repeatedly, but not to the same victim; it’s got to be a pattern in which the same person inflicts distress on the same victim(s) repeatedly.

    This whole thing keeps reminding me of the Stanford Prison Experiment, in terms both of what the “victims” were convinced to do, and of what the “pranksters” convinced themselves/each other to do.

  37. Dave Faris says:

    #44

    I guess TSG upped the ad hominems to ensure that the article couldn’t be used as bragging material.

    That’s a very good point. I hadn’t thought of that angle. Thanks. Still, if TSG plans on being a legitimate, investigative news source, they’re going to have to lose the schoolyard-esque taunts. (On the other hand, I guess Fox News isn’t getting any blowback by using the same techniques.)

  38. Anonymous says:

    the guy is a loser. that much is true, he has no life and needs to get a job, get off his ass and move out of his mummys home for petes sake.

    and leave my cousion shannen doherty out of this! thank you
    amelia doherty

  39. Anonymous says:

    I saw a federal law enforcement officer in my clinic a few weeks ago who had a very serious laceration of her wrist caused by breaking her motel window in response to these morons’ “prank”. Could have been a really bad situation–missed the artery by millimeters. Who knows how many other serious injuries have been precipitated by these jerks?

  40. Xopher says:

    Shannen DOHerty is one of the people who, if someone scared the living snot out of her, to the point where she was crying hysterically and shaking like a leaf…I wouldn’t laugh, but I wouldn’t feel the least bit sorry for her either. That is one EVIL woman, quite aside from her hosting that reprehensible show.

  41. Anonymous says:

    My prank call:

    “Mr. Malik, your eyebrows are taking over your face. You must shave them off imediately!”

  42. Anonymous says:

    For those who seem to think that PrankNET has been Closed down it hasnt been….. and the good old Telephone Warrior “DEX” is still making prank calls this guy is one of the dumbest people that I’ve ever met.. i wonder what his “mommy” has to say on this matter and also I wonder if his accommodation is under threat now to I wouldnt be surprised if good old DEX is homeless

  43. hexcalibur says:

    The guy’s scum, no doubt. The whole pretext of these pranks is that trusting *anyone* is a stupid thing to do and you deserve whatever happens to you. The idiots profiled in the piece seem to think that tricking strangers into doing something stupid makes *them* less like losers. but they well know how shameful and cowardly these stunts are, so they hide and lie and whine.

    A simple thought experiment: if someone like this got hold of your parent or grandparent’s phone number and internet service provider, phoned them on the pretext of troubleshooting a security problem and talked them through the process of reformatting their computer’s hard drive, wouldn’t that be a hilarious stunt? Stupid old people trusting a stranger on the phone and being too computer-illiterate not to recognize a fatal terminal command? Hahahaha!

  44. mgfarrelly says:

    @DavidFaris:

    The fact that he is capable of concocting a scheme to commit random acts of cruelty and ugliness on strangers and yet can’t manage to live as an independent adult is worth mocking.

    He terrified innocent people for lulz. If the worst he receives is some teasing because he’s still mommy’s little man he’s getting off light.

  45. DEEPEYES says:

    The tone of the TSG article is mocking and nasty, and this guy deserves every word. He’s a waste of carbon who believed that he was too smart to ever be tracked down – outing him as the pathetic creep that he is makes for perfect natural justice.

  46. wellsoliver says:

    More importantly, there’s nothing wrong with a doughy body, lonely guys are frequently desperate and what could be better than Mom’s homemade cookies and lemonade after sex?

    Uh, eww.

  47. Pixel says:

    This reminds me of a guy who appeared on a mailing list for a local group.
    He thought a woman’s work-address sig file was an intentional effort spamming the community and blew up at her. Then blew up even worse at everyone who came to her defense, including cussing out *both moderators*. By about his third post he’d degenerated into some impressively misogynistic ranting and massively offensive sexist insults. He was pretty quickly kicked off the list, but kept emailing the same sort of thing to every female who’d contributed to the discussion.
    I did some googling and came up with his home address & phone number. Found a pay phone and called him.
    Him: Hello?
    Me: Is this [NAME]?
    Him: Yes, who is this?
    Me: I’m from the internet, you are a sad pathetic little man. *hangup*

    Apparently the insulting emails immediately stopped and no one on the list has heard a peep from him since.

  48. Takuan says:

    a personal visit is the best remedy in a case like this. They seldom re-offend after having someone come to their door.

  49. LB says:

    You failed to mention that not only does the guy live with his mother, he never went to college and doesn’t have a job. He’s a freeter.

  50. gollux says:

    Don’t worry, their current pranks aren’t good enough. Given the phone redirect stuff, they’ll be “swatting” next. It won’t stop until someone ends up dead.

  51. TK says:

    @#5,

    pointing out he still lives at home, doesn’t have any real friends, and is a shut-in with a “doughy” body?

    Where did I write those things? He lives at home with his mom, that much I wrote, and it’s an interesting part of the story.

    Dn’t b n ss. You know damn well you were trying to say this guy us a live-at-home loser.

  52. Anonymous says:

    Ok. The only word that Xeni used was “mommy,” which seems written with a sneer. The rest of the quote comes from the article that’s linked.

    Why shouldn’t it be written with a sneer?

    Do you hide behind your mommy too?

  53. gollux says:

    @TK

    He isn’t a live-at-home loser?

  54. TroofSeeker says:

    That’s good stuff, Xoph/Brainspore.
    When you’re 13 or 14 you do stupid, malicious stuff like that. Your social conscience isn’t strong enough to stop you. If you’re in your 20′s and still giggling about these childish hijinks, you’re being a menace and a dick. This ain’t his mother’s fault, Xoph, except that she’s enabling him. He know it’s wrong.
    As for the ‘sheep’ that obeyed him, remember that when the voice of warning sounds, it’s more often the hesitators that get crushed, while the sheep escape.

  55. TarlSS says:

    This fellow deserves to go to prison for causing property damage and harassment.

    It’s really no different from organized crime. In fact, it pretty much IS organized crime, except it’s geeks and basement dwelling lowlifes instead of..Italians.

    Look at everything involved. Money laundering, intimidation, property destruction, and international control. A decentralized network with a ring leader and a code of silence. They recruit ‘powerless’ young men at an early age in an attempt to show them power. They use sophisticated techniques to ensure their anonymity and freedom from the law.

    It’s true that they don’t kill people, but I don’t see any difference between this and a ‘protection ring’ except that the motivation is malice, not profit.

    Here’s to hoping the Canadian police decide to capture this guy and put him away for all the damage he’s caused.

    Pranks are funny when they DON’T cause serious harm or damage. The law is VERY clear when social engineering causes harm or damage. And in these cases, anyone can tell who is at fault. If you tell someone to kill, steal or damage property, it’s the same..or worse, than if you did it yourself.

    The fact is he committed a laundry list of crimes ranging from unauthorized computer access to fraud to impersonating federal authority figures. The fact that he committed property damage for personal amusement instead of theft or intimidation doesn’t change the nature of the case.

    Beastie Boys and other TV programs differentiate themselves by NOT breaking the law!

  56. Xopher says:

    These internet scumbags are generally cowards when confronted “in real life” — which they use to imply that nothing that happens on the internet is real. It’s real to their victims, but they act like it’s somehow unfair to confront them in meatspace, because after all nothing they did on the internet counts. Sort of like when you call Orson Scott Card a homophobic shithead in a science-fiction-fandom setting; he thinks we’re not supposed to notice what he does in his “spare time.” (Personally I think his homophobia is more than evident in his fiction, but that’s a discussion for another time.)

    I wonder if people thought harrassment by telephone didn’t count, back when that technology first came out? It’s the same thing.

    HanglyMan, I’d propose a stricter rule: it’s only a joke if the victim thinks it’s funny. Otherwise it’s just cruelty. If you don’t know if the victim will find it funny, you’re risking being cruel and the responsibility is entirely on you if s/he doesn’t. You don’t get to say “aw, have a sense of humor, it was just a joke.” You get to say “I’m really sorry, I thought that would be funny but it was stupid, is there any way I can make amends” and then make amends—that is, if they still want anything to do with you.

    People don’t play practical jokes on me, generally. Anyone who knows me knows I seldom find such things amusing; part of the evidence for this is that if they tell me of a prank they’re planning I try to dissuade them, and speak disapprovingly after the fact.

    But then, I don’t deal well with surprises generally. If someone gave me a surprise birthday party I’d be really upset…I mean I’d try to be nice about it, but when I couldn’t hide my shaking I’d go into the bathroom and cry or scream or something. All those people, jumping out and yelling at me, you see; no way to defend against all of them at once. And by the time I realized “wait, these aren’t attackers, they’re my friends, being clueless” it would be too late to control the reaction.

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Xopher,

      Is that called ‘playing the Orson Scott Card’ or ‘playing the Orson Scott Card card’?

  57. zikzak says:

    I think it’s interesting how the TSG article expresses disgust towards the sadistic pranks and condemns the demented lowlifes who enjoy them, and then the other side of the page offers an extensive catalog of their most extreme pranks for your viewing pleasure.

    It reminds me of that Fox approach towards sex – condemning it while simultaneously presenting it in the most titillating way possible.

  58. RevRalf23 says:

    SeanPat -

    Maybe I’m missing something here, but I’m not understanding you comparing this malicious jerk’s actions to Improv Everywhere. The example you gave actually sounded pretty darn cool: The ‘victim’ in that prank got a couple hundred bucks in gift certificates, no telling how many free drinks and rounds of pool, and probably made some friends that night. That’s the kind of prank I can get behind ethically.

  59. David Newland says:

    This is a major moment in a couple of ways.

    Obviously if a cruel web bully gets brought to justice we’re all better off.

    But maybe more important is the fact that TSG is pulling off a major piece of investigative journalism online, right at the moment when people are questioning whether “real reporting” is dying.

    Kudos.

  60. wizardofplum says:

    #59 Takuan-exactly,the chances are that this sad little excuse for a man may be on welfare.He is obliged to actively seek employment during the day.Perhaps the first visit should be from social services to re-evaluate eligibility.Second visit from Internal revenue to audit source of income.Finally a visit from cousin Vinnie for a heart to heart on appropriate behaviour.By the by
    Maki is also the name of Barack’s older brother,
    lots of Makis in Pakistan and the Punjab.

  61. Derek Quenneville says:

    Maybe the amount was overboard, but I thought that convincing hotel employees and guests to break windows and set of fire extinguishers and whatnot was funny.

    I doubt Pranknet intended this, but it’s a good lesson in critical thinking and questioning authority.. Just because someone with a serious voice tells you to do something doesn’t mean that you should do it.

  62. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like that sadistic little waste of space is going to get some of what he deserves. kudos to the TSG crew for tracking him down.

  63. Xopher says:

    As for this particular shithead, I think it’s totally fair to point out that he’s an otaku loser.* His parents clearly didn’t raise him right (OK, mod the fact that sometimes parents do everything right and the kid still scores a big fat goose egg on Humanity, but those cases are rare); they didn’t give him self-reliance or force him to develop it, and they didn’t teach him to treat others with decency and respect either. In other words, they get a PARENTING FAIL for raising him.

    I hope his mother kicks him out. I don’t much care what happens after that; I hope he either a) ends up living/working in a cheap motel where he has to answer prank calls all night or b) starts an organization of former internet bullies dedicated to reaching out to current ones and getting them to see the humanity of their victims.
    ___
    *I’m told this really isn’t redundant.

  64. wizardofplum says:

    Lor’ tunderin’Jasus I meant Malik,de boyo Maki was
    my hockey bud,now there, is the fellow to have a wee chat .Freudian slip? perhaps.

  65. EH says:

    I don’t think the best response to bullying is more bullying, and that’s all I have to say about that.

    I used to watch Ali G all the time, but frankly, I couldn’t get more that 10min into Borat before turning it off. It was like a kind of horror movie, but with camaraderie instead of gore.

  66. optuser says:

    Hells to the YEAH! Good work TSG.

    Can any of our BB readers in Ontario advise me if papering (ie posting on public poles, mailboxes, bus shelters) Malik’s neighborhood with photocopies of his picture and the word PEDOPHILE in big print is a chargeable offense, or something I’d just receive a ticket for?

    Or maybe I’ll send Christopher Walken up for a “prank” in a parking garage with a crowbar.

  67. devophill says:

    I thought it was a pretty good article. The tone was appropriate for the subject. It seemed to have been written for the folks it was about, as though the writer was imagining Malik and his cohorts reading about their exploits, and coming across their real names & info in the process. That’s what I was imagining, all right.

  68. shadowfirebird says:

    I’ll second Xopher’s rule: it’s only funny if the victim thinks it is.

    I realise that this excludes quite a lot of behaviour. Good.

  69. teapot says:

    Why is it acceptable to make offensive prank calls and make a TV show out of it (I’m looking at you Dennis Leary), but this is not?

    Although this guy caused real damage, it is as much the responsibility of the idiots on the other end of the line who are following his instructions. It goes back to the old saying “if someone told you to jump off a bridge – would you?”

    Whatever happened to personal responsibility?

    This is dumb – no one cares. Pranks are awesome.

  70. Takuan says:

    you don’t have to commit a crime (overtly) to punish a crime. And unless you mean to kill him, leave room for rehabilitation.

  71. Dean Putney says:

    I like to think that the salient point here is not that he lives with his “mommy”, but rather that he hides behind her when the shit hits the fan.

    It’s a minor point, and I can see what Xeni is trying to get at, so it’s no big deal. Some of us do still live with our mommies though. It’s the hiding that pisses me off.

  72. Derek Quenneville says:

    I thought about this a bit more…

    Although I definitely laughed when a couple of these pranks were reported on digg, I know I wouldn’t be too happy if someone made a scene shouting “FIRE!” in a theatre. Even if no one can see smoke or flames, I guess there’s a certain obligation to not automatically dismiss that kind of alarm .

    • Xeni Jardin says:

      @Derek, I’m not saying this to make you feel bad, but my rule of thumb is this:

      if you’re causing real fear, suffering, humiliation or degredation, or creating the real risk of death or injury to a fellow human being, you are being an asshole (or committing a crime) and the joke is not funny.

      So for me, the pranks were never funny. I can’t laugh at a lot of the “mean” humor that is popular of late, either, for that same reason. People being cruel to other people or hurting them in some way just makes me feel kind of sad and uncomfortable.

  73. Dave Faris says:

    What these guys did is the next logical step of social engineering coupled with a loss of empathy that’s fostered by usually anonymous internet communities.

  74. Anonymous says:

    @26 I agree. My first reaction was, “hey, TSG is doing good investigative journalism.” Maybe it’s not dead after all.

  75. Darren Garrison says:

    I googled his name– “Tariq Malik” seemed unlikely to have many instances– but interestingly enough, found two writers with that name:

    http://www.tariqmalik.net/index1.htm

    http://www.livescience.com/blogs/author/tariqmalik/

    Not actually relevant, but interesting.

  76. Anonymous says:

    Thank god this guys been ‘shut down’

    Im sure it wont be all that long until someone else decides they want their five minutes of worthless internet fame. But still. I hope the bastard gets locked up.

  77. curtis says:

    My first reaction is “what a friggin boring “prank’ call”.

    I disagree with Xopher’s rule (ie it’s only funny if the victim thinks it is). Have you seen “Fear Factor”? Read the Re/Search Pranks book? Watched Derren Brown’s “the Heist”? All provide good examples of “mean” but ~really~ interesting social experiments.

  78. eustace says:

    I agree with Brainspore at #42 and I’ll add this – the only really funny prank video I’ve ever seen was when Tom Green got hassled at a restaurant. I was cheering. I did feel sorry for Drew Barrymore, though…

    • Antinous / Moderator says:

      Aw, c’mon. How about the time that I brought home a dead skunk and left it where my roommate would see it and run down the street screaming? Or when I squirted my roommate when he was ironing so that he thought that it was boiling water and threw the iron through the window? Or that time that I talked a priest into going to give last rites to a house full of drag queens?

  79. Anonymous says:

    Someone mentions the kind of humor Sacha Baron Cohen uses as ‘funny’ and the Mommy’s Boy uses ‘not funny.’ I see the first leading to the second. SBC can be funny, but when he becomes cruel, it may confuse mommy’s boys all over to think that everything he does is worthwhile, and that they can be funny and of social value, too.

  80. TroofSeeker says:

    Well done, Pixel.
    These very insecure people expect their peers to tell them how clever and funny they are, so when they’re told what a jerk they are instead, they get despondent and hang trashbags over their windows.

    If I get a call telling me there’s gas leak: evacuate immediately, Whoooosh!! I’ll watch from two blocks away. Hopefully I won’t be watching the doubters run around in flames.

  81. wizardofplum says:

    #69-EH.Agreed,but there has to be an assertive response to such behaviour,or are we facing a worse scenario,appeasement?

    #70-OPTUSER,not a good idea, Canada Criminal Code section 810 deals with harassment.Better that Vinnie has a little heart to heart chat.But that is a decision, that those that were victimized, should make.He could be charged under U.S. Law and a warrant issued.U.S bailiffs are pretty adept at ‘getting’ their man but there has to be the will to pursue the matter.

  82. eustace says:

    I would pay to see that last one :>

  83. Brainspore says:

    I’d allow one exception to the generally sound rule that a prank isn’t funny if it creates real fear, suffering and humiliation: It’s only funny when happens to an asshole who did the same to other people.

    That’s why it was funny when Ted Haggard got outed as a coke-snorting homosexual, but it wouldn’t be funny if it happened to most people.

  84. Anonymous says:

    thx for posting the clip. hilarious!

  85. AnoniMouse says:

    What a dick.

    As a victim of telephone harassment in the early 90s (before anyone figured out the internet could be used for such) I can say that it was in NO way funny for me.

    Prank calls between friends are one thing. This is another.

    The telephone harassment I experienced (sounds lame, I know) actually led to serious stress and anxiety problems for me. It was like being stalked. It created all KINDS of weird paranoid thoughts. I mean, if someone has such easy access to your HOME, how do you know they aren’t targeting you, personally?

    Those of you who think this isn’t a big deal consider getting a call like this, out of the blue, at your home. Imagine if the person who answered the phone was your 10 year old kid, or your mom who has Alzheimers.

    Sure, YOU might be bright enough, cool enough, strong enough or whatever, to tell him to fuck off. But there are lots of people who have a more tenuous relationship with reality and can’t handle this kind of thing (aka, me in the early 90s).

  86. Anonymous says:

    @5, I guess TSG upped the ad hominems to ensure that the article couldn’t be used as bragging material.

    I have some old prank calls from “Skream9″ which were relatively tame and were pretty well executed. I never knew he was behind these stories. Sad it has ended up this way. Causing serious distress and damage is a completely different ballgame.

  87. Hanglyman says:

    I play pranks on random people sometimes, but they never result in anything inconveniencing, let alone damaging. It’s really not a prank if someone gets hurt. Unfortunately, a lot of pranksters seem to think it’s not a prank UNLESS someone gets hurt.

  88. Mark Frauenfelder says:

    I like Xopher’s Rule a lot (it’s only a joke if the victim thinks it’s funny), and Brainspore’s Exception to Xopher’s Rule is good, too!

  89. technoprayer says:

    wanting someone to go to jail is one thing, but adding that you hope they get what they deserve there or referring to their cellmates as “lack(ing) a sense of humor” is the modern equivalent of “throw him to the lions!” this is not ancient ROME and we shouldn’t want it to be. but if you think i am ignorant of the truth about jailhouse etiquette, i’ll only add that i also feel that the excessive and strategic caging of humans in this country IS turning them into animals and I DON’T LIKE IT. the people who fell for these pranks are also byproducts of our “cake and circus” dumbed-down society.

    go watch IDIOCRACY.

  90. TroofSeeker says:

    Why can’t they just leave Shannon alone!?!?!

  91. Dave Faris says:

    One other thing that occurred to me is that we’re all just assuming that The Smoking Gun has profiled people who are all actually guilty parties. We’re assuming that the guy they say makes homophobic remarks and goes to a gay bar is actually a prankster. What if he’s not? What if their sources lied to them, and that they’re some axe-grinder looking to defame someone innocent?

    I’m really a little uncomfortable thinking about this sort of vigilante journalism, especially in the event that they start making accusations that aren’t true — and considering the amount of attention this article has given them, there’s certainly incentive for them to come up with more of the same.

  92. TroofSeeker says:

    Confession:
    I pulled a nasty prank a few years ago:
    My boss was a real jerk. everyone hated him. He earned it. So day by day I watched the disk get smaller and smaller, until the size was just right. Then I took the tiny urinal cake and wrapped it in a candy wrapper and left it on his desk.
    That’s some fresh breath you got there, boss!

  93. Skew says:

    Haha, very funny Dave. I only say that because you cannot possibly be serious.

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