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Old 15th March 2013, 11:14 AM   #743
jimfish
Critical Thinker
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 270
A user over on 4chan's /pol/ board got in contact with Ryan, the forum's administrator. They posted screenshots of the email he replied with. I've transcribed the contents for easy reading.

Quote:
Hi James,

I closed registration because I was already getting bogus posts from trolls and I don't feel like watching the forum go crazy.

The members of the unforumzed all moved here from another forum that closed. Most of us have been together as a community since the late 90s and we wanted to continue on wth our own small forum. It's mostly centered around music and pop culture but we've also become a large, dysfunctional Internet family in a way. When the admin of our old forum went MIA and the site kept crapping out on us, I agreed to step up and create a new forum. We made the mass exodus in June 2010.

Kat Hak Sung followed us from the old forum to unforumzed. For years he's been like a real-life running joke for us. I banned him late last year when he learned how to embed pictures and started posting graphic images of people jumping to their deaths on 9/11. There are other places for that but our site isn't one of them. He ignores all warnings because he's paranoid and thinks the government is out to get him, so I figured it was just best to ban him.

If you read the whole Sandy Hook thread, you'll see that it's mostly arguing between our members and a truther named Frangipani. She originally posted all the truther stuff in a thread regarding the Sandy Hook shootings (which can be found if you dig through our Other Interesting Topics forum) and it was upsetting people, so I split all the truther stuff into its own thread and created a seperate sub-forum to move it into. And thus our "Conspiracy Corner" was born. You'll note that I moved all kathaksung's threads there -- initially they were scattered through our Politics and Other Interesing Topics forums. It was mostly done for a laugh and I planned to delete the forum later and move the threads back to the forums they came from, but I was waiting to make sure Frangipani didn't have any more conspiracy theories to share about vaccinations or Sandy Hook before doing so.

The creation of the fake thread was easy. Anyone with vBulletin or similar forum software can do it, given that you have admin or super-moderator privileges. You simply find a post by the user you want to use as OP (in this case, kathaksung) in the date range that you want to use, then using the Copy function in the admin tools you can copy a post into its own new thread. The replies were done the same way -- though it appeared that multiple members of our forum replied to the 2010 posting, I actually just copied a bunch of their posts from around the same time frame into the new thread. Once you have the newly created thread compiled of old forum posts, you simply go through and edit each post to make it saw whatever you want.

The point of all that was to prove to our member Frangipani that timestamps mean nothing in some cases. She was fixated on the fact that Facebook memorial pages for the Sandy Hook victims appeared to be created before the actual shooting, and was claiming that Facebook's creation date of those pages were the smoking gun (or, at least one of the many smoking guns she claimed to find). It only took about ten minutes of work to compile a fake thread and it even fooled a bunch of our members.

As you can see, kathaksung had two accounts on our forum; kathaksung and katsung47 (or something like that, I didn't look up the exact name for this email). They were both banned. I simply logged in as admin, unbanned one of the accounts, changed the password on it, then used that account to post the nonsense in the Sandy Hook truther thread.

So there was never an actual thread posting by kathaksung warning of a shooting. I created that just a month or two ago to prove a point about timestamps. As someone already pointed out (I think on Reddit), the thread ID of the "prediction" thread was out of sequence compared to the thread IDs of the other threads started in 2010. Thread IDs could be changed I suppose, if you wanted to edit them via the database, but my point wasn't to be so detailed as to trick anyone into believing it was real. I just wanted to prove things could be altered so they appeared to be something they weren't.

The only threads kathaksung actually started himself are the ones in our Conspiracy Corner forum. Those are unaltered and intact -- I just moved them into their own crazy sub-forum. He's been posting all over the net for years. You'll need a tinfoil hat if you plan to do any reading.

You'll have to understand that we have been a fairly tight-knit community for 10 - 12 years, and with that comes many inside jokes, members' histories, etc. It'd be hard to see that unless you're a part of it. I pay the hosting fee on the site so that we all have a place to go and chat about current events or music, but also so that we may stay in touch. I've seen accusations floating around that I started all this in some elabrorate attempt to troll people or increase traffic but that's not the case. I have no ads so I've got nothing to gain from traffic, and I wouldn't be shoveling out cash for hosting every month to troll anyone. There are plenty of sites where one can do that for free, should they choose.

What I inadvertently did, though, was prove that it's extremely easy to fool people on an apparently global scale. I was amazed to see links to our site pop up on Reddit, 4chan, and even a bodybuilding forum yesterday. For every skeptical or dismissive person there were five who thought it must be real.

Funnily enough, that thread would probably have lived on forever in our quiet little corner of the Internet, completely unnoticed, had someone not shared a link to it. My guess is that Frangipapi wasn't happy when no one would side with her about the Sandy Hook truther stuff (or her anti-vaccine rants, but that's another thread...) and decided to post the link as some kind of last laugh. She sent goodbye messages to some of our members a week or so ago, claiming she was leaving the forum forever (her actual words were something like, "tell everyone I said **** you"). She's also known to browse the chans and Reddit. We all suspect she sent the link to someone in an effort to have us inundated with trolls.

Also, to specifically answer #1, not everything takes place on our site. A lot of people from our forum communicate outside the site via twitter, Facebook, text messages, that kind of thing. As I said, we've all known each other forever.

Sorry for the long, rambling message but hopefully that sheds some light on the situation. I'm sorry to disappoint everone but if I'd known the world was reading I would have just deleted the thread a long time ago. However, if people want to know which new wig Tori Amos is wearing at her next concert, they've probably come to the right forum.

(So you know, the name "unforumzed.com" is a play on "undented.com," a Tori Amos fan site. Again, inside jokes...

Thanks,
Ryan.

Last edited by jimfish; 15th March 2013 at 12:56 PM. Reason: Various error fixes.
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