Gianluca Stringhini spends his days in some of the shadier corners of the internet.
As a cybercrime researcher at University College London, he has studied ransomware, online-dating scams and money laundering.
The dates were all supposed to meet on Friday night at the payphones on Broadway, which happen to be under a live streaming webcam, so the OKCupid/Plenty Of Fish single guys could then be stood up en masse and snarked at by the much cooler 4chan/Reddit single guys sitting alone on their computers at home. White, who had pasted a poster of the contorted stick figure face that represents the “forever alone” meme, was arching his cellphone over his head. “I never thought I would be here in real life, watching all these lulz,” said Holly, 20, who hopes to be a cosmetologist.
Betabeat sidled up to a grip of four guys in t-shirts standing across from the payphones which were swarmed with photographers and onlookers. White on The Rogan Board, another as Fifth Surprise from Reddit, a third as Matrix Gravity from Game Trailers, and a fourth who was not from the internet and thus didn’t have a name. Didn’t he think this was really mean, we asked, figuring he was from the real world. “There’s so many fucking losers out there, you know somebody’s going to fucking show up,” he said. “She’s the best,” confirmed Ivan, as the couple locked lips in front of the Forever Alone sticker plastered to the phone booth. Betabeat could verify three guys who had actually been duped. Bright Blue Shirt, about 23, who had been leaning against a mailbox next to the payphones for about 20 minutes when Betabeat asked him what he was there for. I’m meeting a friend at .” He left shortly afterward. Steven Liu of Lean Startup Machine had brought roses for the forever loners and recruited three girls to replace their misfired dates.
This example highlights how fringe communities can influence mainstream web communities by manipulating and spreading unconfirmed information.
Before our study, this phenomenon had not been rigorously investigated, and there was no thorough measurement and analysis on how information flows between online communities.
The website is very unsafe and not recommended for young people to have access.
Reddit is an online forum where users create an account to engage in online conversations.
The elaborate gag, planned more than a month ago and circulated on 4chan and other forums, was for mischevious netizens to create fake dating profiles for women and set up dates with single “forever alone” men online. Rather than stew in suburbia, they decided to head to Times Square.4chan has been known on occasion to pick worthy targets for its “malwebolence.” This is not one of those times.As part of a campaign to launch an “involuntary” flash mob, 4chan users and people on Reddit’s 4chan forum are making fake profiles on Ok Cupid and other dating sites to lure what they are calling “forever alone” dudes to Times Square and film them on a webcam. More specifically, we study the temporal dynamics of URLs from 99 mainstream and alternative news domains as they appear in these three communities.The three platforms are quite different, and worthy of a brief explanation: Given the set of unique URLs across all platforms and the time they first pop up, we analyze their appearance in one, two, or three platforms, and the order in which this happens.As the logo suggests, Omegle is an online chat website where users have free reign to talk to anyone they wish.