Wednesday, March 9, 2011


     Hacktivism is the act of hacking into a computer system for a motivated purpose.  In Brenna Erlich’s The Ballad of Cat Bin Lady: The Internet’s Latest Viral Villian, a surviellance video caught a woman placing a cat into a grabage bin.  This video was virally leaked on the Internet and soon she was identified as Mary Bale.  Her explanation was “I really don’t see what everyone is getting so excited about – it’s just a cat. I was walking home from work and saw this cat wander out in front of me. I don’t know what came over me, but I suddenly thought it would be funny to put it in the wheelie bin, which was right beside me.”  Subsequently, some of her personal information was leaked, death threats were made, and a Facebook page was created to destroy her public image.  Does this wrongful action deserve such ruthless personal destruction?

     In my opinion, hacktivisim is an effective means to achieving justice because it allows offenders to be punished without violating human or civil rights.  If Mary Bale was caught on a security tape in the act, then truth is discovered.  It was wrong for her to treat another life with such disrespect.  However, the personal deprication she suffered is not justified.  If she was found guilty of such a crime, people should certainly not make death threats or spread personal information (even though this was available online).  Instead, they should allow her to be found guilty in a court of law.  This is the only way to true justice.

     The entire issue shows us that political protest and demonstartions are easier than ever.  People can quickly communicate ideas and truth through the Internet to the masses.  The Internet provides grounds for many new forms of political protesting, encourages people to speak freely, and poses many difficulties for regulating such acts.


  1. a persons wrong doings or perceived wrong doing does not warrant another persons negative or slanderous motives as in the case of that lady. although it is seen as some what cruel or in humane for a woman to just throw a cat in the bin it doesn't give right for anyone to mistreat another human being . hactivism can be a extremely destructive method for a person to damage a persons reputation because of how easily information can be manipulated these days

  2. You mention here that hacktivism can allow offenders to be punished without violating human or civil rights, but don't death threats and the spreading of confidential information violate those rights? I'm not totally clear on your position here.