NPF: THE SINGULARITY (OF CRAP)

This news story in the Peoria Journal-Star is the most Peoria thing that ever Peoriaed. From now on when anybody asks me to describe this place I am just going to send them the link.

The police – acting on a search warrant signed by a judge whose qualifications to be on the bench are immediately suspect – raided the home of a young man who made a fake Twitter account for the Mayor of Peoria. Aside from that, well, not being illegal, the news story 1) begins by explaining what Twitter is, as the median age of a Journal-Star reader is approximately 93 and 2) goes on to note that the fake Twitter account had…wait for it…fifty followers. It turns out that making a parody Twitter account for a podunk elected official about whom zero fucks are given it is not the ticket to internet fame.

A few gems:

“They said they had a search warrant and took all the electronic devices that had Internet access,” Pratt said. “They said there had been an Internet crime that occurred at this residence.”

Peoria Police Chief Steve Settingsgaard said officers were investigating the creator of the Twitter account for false impersonation of a public official. The offense is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $2,500 and up to a year in jail.

What exactly is an "internet crime"?

Do the dipshits that end up working for a city this pathetic understand that the crime of "impersonation of a public official" refers to, like, things other than setting up an obviously fake Twitter account?

By about March 10, the bio of the Twitter account was changed to indicate it was a parody account.
Settingsgaard, however, said the intent of the account was not clearly satirical.
“I don’t agree it was obvious, and in fact it appears that someone went to great lengths to make it appear it was actually from the mayor,” Settingsgaard said in an email response to questions.

Ladies and gentlemen, that's our Sheriff. I wonder which online degree mill he graduated from.

By late March, the @Peoriamayor account was suspended by Twitter. It had about 50 tweets and just as many followers.

Does something with 50 followers even register? Is that even a blip on the radar? Something that obscure would go completely unnoticed if not for the fact that the Mayor and police are calling attention to it in this manner. Basic Streisand Effect, people. Oh wait, nobody here has heard about that yet because it only happened ten years ago. The internet is still new to these people and they don't quite understand it yet.

Every time I hear a helicopter I get excited and think, maybe the Gin and Tacos readers have come to rescue me. Then I realize it's just another medevac flight to the regional burn center because a meth lab blows up in someone's face approximately every twelve hours here.

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27 Responses to “NPF: THE SINGULARITY (OF CRAP)”

  1. DES Says:

    What, you mean the ability to detect satire is not a requirement to be able to serve as police chief in Illinois?

  2. Heywood J. Says:

    "Settingsgaard." That's from Fargo, innit?

  3. Middle Seaman Says:

    Almost like Fresno, except the size and ethnic food.

  4. Gordon Guano Says:

    Paging the EFF…

  5. c u n d gulag Says:

    I never thought that in "The Rust Belt," that people could suffer from "Irony Deficiencies!"

  6. Turkle Says:

    "Every time I hear a helicopter I get excited and think, maybe the Gin and Tacos readers have come to rescue me."

    I LOL'D quite a bit too loudly for the office here. Have a good weekend.

  7. Sarah Says:

    Does something with 50 followers even register? Is that even a blip on the radar? Something that obscure would go completely unnoticed if not for the fact that the Mayor and police are calling attention to it in this manner. Basic Streisand Effect, people. Oh wait, nobody here has heard about that yet because it only happened ten years ago. The internet is still new to these people and they don't quite understand it yet.

    Well, there was that moron Mensa candidate who calls himself the governor of Kansas, who got all bent out of shape over some high school girl with less than 75 followers on her Twitter, calling him a "blowhard" or some such. I would not have heard about this, nor would I have cared, had he not got his panties in a wad over it. Naturally it never occurs to such people that as public figures they are subject to criticism and scorn, even from high school girls. Why would it occur to them to think that they are amplifying it by calling attention to it in this manner?

    But I think what's really scary about this is the fact that this is not only a totalitarian-esque application of police power, it's being done by people with no apparent knowledge of how the internet works. Like SOPA and the NDAA, which were being pushed by old white men who just know that this mysterious "internet" thing is something that should be regulated, even though they're not sure how. (Or for a more recent example, the dudes who just know that the events happening in Crimea and the Ukraine require intervention on our part and on the part of the UN, even though they (the dudes pompously talking about this) have no idea where these places are, never mind the history behind the conflict and all the nuances that go along with the story.)

  8. HeidiB Says:

    Ed, sorry to burst your bubble, but G & T readers don't own helicopters. (Someone correct me if I'm wrong on this.)

  9. Jak the Yak Says:

    If I had a helicopter I would so rescue you.

    Of course, if I had a helicopter I'd likely be rich enough to just hire you to be awesome and live somewhere that isn't fucking Peoria.

    Of course, if I were that rich already I'd probably hate you because I'd be some kind of lunatic Milton Friedman fan.

    And so it goes.

  10. doug Says:

    What Jak said goes for me as well.

  11. JohnR Says:

    HeidiB is oh, so wrong! I own, not one, but two, helicopters! I can't use them to rescue you, though, as the hand-pump I use to launch them can't make them go higher than about 20 feet, and their flight time so far has maxed out at about 14 seconds. Not long enough to reach wherever the Hell you are now, let alone get away. Truth to tell, I actually have a third one, but since it's been up on my roof for about two years, I stopped counting it.

  12. mothra Says:

    Well….you can shake your head in disgust, but at least your police department isn't being called out by the DOJ for violating citizens' civil rights by shooting them first and asking questions later. It could be worse.

    I don't have a helicopter, but I could roll up in a Honda Fit for a rescue mission, if that isn't too unremarkable a ride for you.

  13. Khaled Says:

    If the readers of Gin and Tacos all pitched our nickels together, we could get you a helicopter. Of course, we could only get you as far as Bloomington-Normal, so I'm not sure that it's a good idea.

  14. Ty Quando Says:

    wrt to Sarah's comment above, I was able to remind myself of the politician's name (Brownback) by googling 'Kansas governor blowhard'. That's not quite the same as being named 'Santorum', but it is a start.

  15. Pete Gaughan Says:

    Mothra: as if this blog didn't already need enough 'trigger warnings for wingers', you had to go mention a fuel-efficient foreign-made car?

    Can't wait for the opening of a "JohnR's DronesRUs" near me. Or their series on History Channel.

  16. Nate Says:

    Yes, Ed. I am coming for you in a chopper to take you back to Indiana. A place that is probably just as crappy as Illinois is. :)

  17. jazzbumpa Says:

    Mandatory.

  18. Kevin Says:

    Someone needs to be smacked upside the head with a two-by-four.

  19. Sarah Says:

    Someone needs to be smacked upside the head with a two-by-four.

    More than one someone, I think.

  20. Major Kong Says:

    The bad news: I don't have a helicopter.
    The good news: I have a 757 and it even goes to Peoria sometimes.
    The bad news: You'd have to ride with the chickens.

  21. Xjmueller Says:

    Ed, if you can get the Washinton Post travel section dated Sunday 4/20, you'll see a puff piece by The Impulsive Traveller – "Digging into the cityscape of Peoria, I'll." Even with one stop flights from BWI I will probably not be lured there, although Teddy Roosevelt thought it had "the world's most beautiful drive." Of course, that was 100 years ago. This I didn't know: Richard Pryor, Susan G. Komen, and Dan Fogelberg all hail from there.

  22. Freeportguy Says:

    Somehow I bet same mayor was all in behind the rancher in Nevada and against the Feds going in to enforce the law…

  23. April Says:

    Speaking of regulating the internet, China recently announced that they are going to get all porn off the internet.

    Yeah, good luck with that!

  24. Robert Says:

    Jazzbumpa, thanks for that. Exactly what I thought of as well.

    And regarding Brownback – yeah, make yourself the top response when someone Googles "Governor Blowhard". With luck, that'll show up in his obituary.

  25. Sarah Says:

    Unfortunately, screwing of the public by the police is not only new, it's legal. Even if you haven't done anything wrong and are innocent of whatever it is they're accusing you.

    http://www.cracked.com/article_21123_5-terrifying-ways-police-can-legally-screw-you-over.html

  26. Sarah Says:

    Gah! NOT new. Not only NOT new.

  27. Jen Says:

    This blog post is an Internet crime and has been seized as evidence.