Alright folks time to address Cowherd from one of the other parties of this weblog. Let me start out by saying that I agree with the sentiments of Pacifist Vikings argument and analysis of the situation as he believed it to be (as reported on Deadspin.com). However, after listening to Cowherd's show that led to the "web-bombing" of thebiglead.com, I have to share the situation. You can listen to the debated part by going to www.espnradio.com then to cowherd's show and then on the right (for tonight at least) there is the breakdown of different segments of his show. Click on "Breaking the Web" and start listening about 1 minute 30 seconds in, this will give you the situation that led to the crashing of thebiglead.com. (Update: I guess this is an ESPN Insider feature, something I am no longer suppose to have but somehow have. 11:36 p.m. EST)
First, Cowherd picked the show pretty much at random. His producer said she checks it daily and likes to read their sarcastic take on situations. They labeled it as a media website or such. The idea was that Cowherd had heard that often when they would mention a website their listeners would go to the site and then cause the site to crash. So Cowherd gets the idea that they should list a website each week and implore their listeners to go to the webpage as quickly as they can and cause it to crash and Cowherd understands that this would force the website administrator to have to buy more bandwith. So he basically chooses thebiglead.com at random and tells his listeners to bomb it.
Now if it was done in response to something thebiglead.com said about him then Pacifist Viking's argument is totally valid, but I believe it wasn't so another argument must be implored. Is it okay since it wasn't in retaliation? I would argue not. Here is an ESPN employee basically calling for a terroristic attack on a website of another entity. Some would call it stupid immature acts, but I would label it blatant terrorism on another website and there should be consequences for Cowherd. If Cowherd implored his listeners to go to a building and blow it up he would be in heep loads of trouble. Is this any different? I would argue yes there is a difference, but still there should be consequences leveled on Cowherd.
Websites can become sources of incomes for poeple. I do not know if the people at thebiglead.com run that as their source of income via advertisements etc, but if they do then Cowherd's little game just cost them a crapload of opportunity to make money. Even if they do it as a hobby and benefit monetarily from it he caused them opportunity to make money. That is blatantly wrong of Cowherd to do especially as some immature joke to see how much power his show really can have in the world of cyberspace. I believe Cowherd called for an action of Cyberspace Terrorism and he should pay the consequences and until ESPN takes accountability for his immature acts of violence they are no better then the counterparts in the world of reality.
In the quotes I've seen, Cowherd suggested picking a "young blog" every day, one that is "annoying." So, he wants to just destroy blogs that annoy him. The blogs are so insignificant to him, I guess, that destroying them means nothing--even if they matter a great deal to the people running them. Yet they're significant enough for him to be bothered with.ReplyDelete
The part that bothers me is the suggestion that they should just try "blow up" blogs they find "annoying." No individual should just try to smother speech because he/she finds it annoying. My point stands--we shouldn't attempt to smother viewpoints we find annoying. We have the ability to argue against them.
And for the record, PV does not agree with the assessment that this situation makes ESPN no better than terrorists who actually kill human beings. I tend to think the people who kill actual human beings are a little worse (though calling it "Cyber Terrorism" may be valid; I just wouldn't equate that morally with actual murder).ReplyDelete
Obviously I admited the situations are different. The death of a human is by far more impactful on a moral scale than the disabling of a website, but on the relative grounds of acts aimed at parties not involved in some confrontation or battle I would equate them to being equally dispicable within their situations.ReplyDelete
I should have qualified that.
However, He said "new young website" and then as a qualifier without much emphasis said "you know one we find annoying" this I believe was all in the hypothetical of we should do this kind of thining to himself and then he chose thebiglead.com because his producer visits it often.
But seriously, go listen for yourself.
Is it smart to dare Cowherd to cyber-bomb your website over email?ReplyDelete
Cowherd may have violated federal law.ReplyDelete
Check out 18 U.S.C. 1030 (Fraud and Related Activity in Connection with Computers)