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At the Face of Being Famous

At the Face of Being Famous

Epic forum threadHow would you like to be the source of the next Internet meme? Sounds great right? For one 22 year old, it didn’t turn out so well. In this instance, the source of harassment is Ellie who on the surface appears to be a typical teenage girl. However, thanks to a forum thread that was started on a Bodybuilder’s forum, her online persona has changed for the worst.

The thread starts out with a user publishing pictures of his alleged girlfriend who is dressed in skin baring attire. The rest of the photographs show off the teenager in various poses around and inside a red vehicle. While the photographs are of an innocent nature, if you don’t happen to have a perfect body, the Internet will let you know about it and boy, they let this teenager have it. After these photos were published, hundreds of people within the forum thread began to photoshop the photos and started turning them into parodies. It seems as though no one had a nice thing to say about this woman simply because of her physique.

The thread and the associated bashing became so popular that at one point, it became the 23rd hottest URL according to the Alexa rankings.

23 hottest urls according to Alexa

The forum thread ended up with over three million views! How would you like to of had a Google Adsense block within that thread? Despite this event actually occurring, there are two facets to the story which make one lean towards the entire thing to be nothing but a joke. For starters, the alleged boyfriend states that you should ignore the dates published on the photographs as the camera had not yet been configured. The date says 2004/01/10. The second thing that is fishy with this meme is that the title under the original thread author states “brb makin epic threads”. Put these two facts together and it seems like this could all be a setup.

But then, Ellie’s latest blog entry on her MySpace page actually makes the entire saga believable as it seems as though she confronts those who have taken part in this meme. Ellie writes:

I didn’t post the original pictures. I gave my friend permission to do so. Neither of us knew the extreme you crazy people would take it to. It was just us playing around with a camera and having a lot fun. Gosh, so sue us.

This leaves many to believe, including myself that this event is factual.

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What has happened to this 22 year old is a sad reminder that there is a dark side to the web. The pictures she had published were never meant to be used in the manner that we see them being used within the various forum threads. This also goes to show you that no one knows what the next Internet sensation may be. Despite the nature of this event, these are the types of things that interest advertisers on the web. Just imagine what it would be like if their site, service, or product were the ones being shared and talked about across the web. What happened during this event is the type of hidden power that advertisers would love to figure out how to grapple.

For those new to the web, welcome to Chaos Theory.

Sound Off

What do you think about this entire situation? What would you do or say if you were put in Ellie’s shoes? Lets talk it over in the comments.

View Comments (2)
  • Holy Cow, Mate. That would be some pretty harsh stuff, that. I have long been trying to figure out why all of my friends are getting hit after hit on their videos on Youtube and my videos are sourly sinking behind. Their videos aren’t really any different than mine…so what’s the deal?

    We may never know what will strike a chord with the public. The internet is a brilliant way of proving that the world is a crazy place to live in. Crazy, Crazy, Crazy. Cheers!!

  • I can so relate. I wonder why the forum moderators allowed all this to happen? Is it no wonder kids are killing themselves over what people say about them online? The forums allowing this to happen are as much to blame as the mean spirited people doing the attacking.

    Last year (almost to this day) I had a blog with some friends of mine where we discussed whatever was on our minds. I listed 12 reasons for hating football. It was farked and the mean spirited comments came fast and furious. I think we went from 30 visitors to about 30,000 in one day. When they were done ridiculing my post, which I expected some would, they came after me. They found my images on the web and photoshopped it to make me look like a horse and other mean things.

    Now I joke about it, but it was upsetting when it happened. Especially since the Farkers took it to various other forums and followed me to my blogs and ridiculed me there. The images and profantity chased away much of my community for a couple of weeks because they couldn’t deal with the negativity.

    I’m willing to bet many of the people who have keyboard courage online aren’t always attractive, rich or popular. I’m pretty sure most of them are insecure like I am – but being anonymous on the web, picking on someone you don’t know makes one feel very powerful.

    I admire Ellie for handling this whole thing with dignity. It’s very upsetting to be the subject of internet ridicule. Not too many people could handle it as she did.

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