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Virtual Flash Mobs

Flash Mobs, but Virtual
  (+4, -8)
(+4, -8)
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A flash mob is a mob, usually organised online, that appears suddenly, does something, and disappears equally suddenly. See linky to know what I'm talking about.

My idea is to do this on the internet, but at massive scale. It could be used as a protest, to crash big sites. For example:

'Hello all. Go to Fred's Fur Farm Website (http://www.fff.com/) tommorow (15/08/05) at exactly 1800 hrs GMT (synchonise to the last of the BBC R4 'pips'). Wait 1 minute (60 seconds), then click the link 'Pictures'. After 30 seconds, press reload. Carry on doing this every 30 seconds for 2 and a half minutes. Then click on the link 'Techniques' Do the same. Then...' and so on.

Due to the power of the internet, these could be spread very quickly, and, because they require less effort than, say, going to London and clapping your hands for a minute on a bridge, they would be more popular. That'll teach Fred to turn those poor animals into fur!

dbmag9, Aug 15 2005

Flash Mobs http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_mob
For the Unititiated [dbmag9, Aug 15 2005]

Fishties Fishties
an example of this. [calum, Aug 18 2005]


       How is this different from a DOS attack?
DrCurry, Aug 15 2005

       Might work well for some lonely blogger's blog.   

       Pictures of my family, 0 comments
Today I took a walk in the park, 0 comments
Thoughts about donuts, 1872 comments
What was all of that about?, 0 comments
Hello, is anybody there?, 0 comments
More thoughts about donuts, 0 comments
Pictures of my dog, 0 comments
Worldgineer, Aug 16 2005

       Quickest way to take down a site: Post a Microsoft-bashing article to Slashdot, but link to the site you want to take down. Voila, instant smoked servers.
Freefall, Aug 16 2005

       Otherwise known among 'net addicts as "The Slashdot Effect", albeit in that case it is an accidental side effect (of posting a website to the news site slashdot.org--which immediately results in a nigh-uncontrollable flood of traffic).   

       In the approximate words of the webcomic Penny Arcade, "the traffic [posting a link on] our site generates can be, in its early stages, indistinguishable from a DoS attack".   

       It's really closer to a fictional social behavior called a flash crowd. In the event that cheap, instant transport to distant locations becomes possible, any (live) televised riot or other public disturbance will quickly swell to unmanagably epic proportions, due to people hearing the news and travelling to the site themselves, to be spectators or participants. What starts as a small peaceful protest can turn into thousands angry rioters in a matter of minutes or less.
5th Earth, Aug 16 2005

       [Worldgineer], that was just classic.
zeno, Aug 17 2005

       [zeno], agreed.
david_scothern, Aug 18 2005

       Flash mobs are great and could work well on the internet in a 'let's all go hang out here today' sort of a way. I don't like the way you've turned it into a sort of manual DoS weapon.
wagster, Aug 18 2005

       Anyone got a blog with thoughts about donuts? I want to try that one out...
david_scothern, Aug 18 2005

       Google turns up nothing (well, other than this idea). If you mean you want to try the flash mob thing, I'm sure I could find an appropriate blog. I won't post it here though, after last year's christmas card flash mob idea where [jutta] expressed the desire not to host such an event.
Worldgineer, Aug 18 2005

       I'd love to try it, but I understand that a virtual riot does represent bad badness and would cause hassle for whoever it hit. Wouldn't come off as cleanly as the way you presented it either, which is a shame... in practice, there'd be 1872 comments, then about 300, then 20, then a couple would stay. Not as elegant.   

       So yeah, I did mean that I'd like to try it, but I wouldn't like to be on the receiving end and thus couldn't do it in good conscience.
david_scothern, Aug 18 2005

       Ah, but this is how I'd set it up:   

       1. Create e-mail describing intent, linking to an instructional web site, and asking people to forward it to all of their friends.
2. On web site, describe the exact rules. Tell people when to show up and how to act. Do not display link to blog.
3. At specified time and day, publish link to blog on website. Keep instructions up.
4. After specified time (say an hour after #3 or so), remove link. Change website to ask people to please not go back to the blog.

       Yes, there may be some that will go back, but hopefully they'll follow the rules. I don't think this would ammount to a DoS attack if you use one of the larger blogging services (blogger.com, for example) - they can certainly handle a few thousand users.
Worldgineer, Aug 18 2005

       It could be done tastefully if you were to hammer a single lonesome blogger by having the rough equivalent of a book club providing helpful comments and discussion about the content on the site shared with about 50 people who were members of the club and enjoyed exploring the same virtual spaces together.
dhousman, Apr 03 2006

       I wonder if you can do that in a single post and have everyone flash it.
travbm, Nov 05 2015


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