Chaotic Good: 4chan’s /pol/ Play Heroes For A Day [Opinion]

It seems the trolls at 4chan’s /pol/ have done their good deed for the week. The internet sleuths at the much-maligned message board managed to track down an animal abuser with help from a video uploaded of the incident. What started as an incident of road rage became a vicious animal killing. A fight in the street ended after one punch when Marc Dionne realized he was in over his head, he is seen in the video to run towards the window of the car.

Cassandra Fairbanks at Big League Politics reported that the Anons (anonymous Channers) began by tracking the license plate number which was registered to a local restaurant. From obtaining the business name they were able to scour social media pages of employees. Eventually, one of Dionne’s co-workers shared his name.

The /pol/ board is one of the most infamous at 4chan which is considered by some to be a “wretched hive of scum and villainy,” in short the equivalent of Mos Eisley online. The scatological Sherlocks at the site’s “politically incorrect” board proved they were useful for more than just hunting down Shia LaBoeuf’s flag during the “He will not divide us” 4chan raids that may have led to some of Shia’s recent increasingly unhinged behavior.

shia la beouf 4chan

This wouldn’t be the first time that the “internet hate machine” ended up playing the good guys (as out of character as that may be) and certainly not the first time an animal abuser found justice after tracked down by the cyber-sleuths. 4chan is the origin of the “lol cats” meme and as such, they could be considered to be not unlike a large portion of the internet in that they enjoy sharing humorous or cute pictures of cats and kittens. So when two videos of a man hurling cats in the air came to the attention of 4chan, they conducted a similar investigation and the animal tormentor was summarily arrested. A Bosnian girl filmed tossing puppies in a river, similarly discovered the ire of Anonymous. A pair of teenage girls who took a video of their torture of an endangered gopher tortoise faced felony charges after 4chan took up the case of e0xposing them. Kevin from Maryland learned his lesson about posting pictures of holding guns to his dog’s head after 4chan tipped him off to the FBI and PETA.

4chan hasn’t just stepped up to protect animals though. Houndstooth caps were applied by the gang when a 30 something posted about his relationship with a 16-year-old girl. With little more than the corner of a school jacket, Anon managed to pinpoint the school and contact the principal. In addition, Anonymous was involved in a takedown of Dark Web and Twitter child porn rings. You remember that viral story about the judge who mercilessly belted his teen daughter “for using the internet” 4chan helped to get the video, originally uploaded by the judge’s daughter, released to the proper authorities as well as local news.

4chan /pol/ anonymous

Before you start getting that warm and fuzzy feeling and asking where you can donate to this organization of do-gooders, remember that the site has spawned at least one mass shooter and multiple extreme instances of cyberbullying, including the case of Jessi Slaughter who attributes her father’s heart attack to the non-stop assault of the Internet Hate Machine. To use a Dungeons and Dragons metaphor, 4chan generally behaves as a chaotic neutral force, perfectly willing to hop to “chaotic good” if the occasion calls or chaotic evil if “lulz” are to be had in doing so. Regardless of how you view them though, the old adage still seems to be true. Anon delivers. And just once in a while, Anon delivers justice.

[Featured Image by fk you/Flikr]