After a day of work at the Engineering Research Center at the University of Arkansas, Kyle Quinn had a pleasant Friday night in Bentonville, Arkansas,
with his wife and a colleague. They explored an exhibition at the
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and dined at an upscale
Then on Saturday, he discovered that social media sleuths had incorrectly identified him as a participant in a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Overnight, thousands of strangers across the country had been working
together to share photographs of the men bearing torches on the
University of Virginia campus. They wanted to name and shame them to
their employers, friends and neighbours. In a few cases, they succeeded.
But Quinn’s experience showed the risks.
A man at the rally had been photographed wearing an “Arkansas
Engineering” shirt, and the amateur investigators found a photo of Quinn
that looked somewhat similar. They were both bearded and had similar
By internet frenzy standards, that was proof enough.
Quinn, who runs a laboratory dedicated to wound-healing research, was quickly flooded with vulgar messages on Twitter and Instagram,
he said in an interview Monday. Countless people he had never met
demanded he lose his job, accused him of racism and posted his home
address on social networks.
Fearing for their safety, he and his wife stayed with a colleague this weekend.
For someone whose only sin was a passing resemblance to someone else,
Quinn bore the direct consequences of the reckless spread of
misinformation in breaking news, a common ritual in modern news events.
The practice of publicly identifying someone, often with sensitive
personal details like addresses, phone numbers and employer information,
is known as “doxxing.”
Mark Popejoy, an art director in Bentonville, attempted to correct
dozens of Twitter accounts that had inaccurately pegged Quinn as the
While some appreciated the new information, others adamantly refused to change their minds, he said Monday.
“I think it’s dangerous just to go out accusing people without any
kind of confirmation of who they are,” he said. “It can ruin people’s
this pic was queued up for posting last Saturday but social media is a false-reality construct and we texted him instead. at any rate, happy belated birthday to our manager, Mark Mercado. he’s been with us our entire career. half our lifetimes. we’re a lucky bunch. feliz cumpleaños! . . photo by Lindsey Byrnes
WindyCityTeacher’s OFFICIAL List of Top 5 Apocalyptic Scenarios:
#5 -Horrible Blood Disease. I do not have a strong immune system. I would immediately succumb to any sort of blood-borne disease. Dead instantly.
#4 - Rapture. Christian rapture, classic. I’m clearly stuck on earth. I immediately start a pet sanctuary for all the pets left behind and waste time by looting Burger Kings and hitting demons with a whiffleball bat.
#3 - Alien Invasion, terrifying, also fun. would immediately side with the aliens and spy on the human race for them. would low-key try sneezing on them just in case H.G. Wells was right. would test drive a spaceship into Mount Rushmore, suck it Jefferson.
#2 - Zombies. Standard zombies, I can’t run and I have no friends who would shield me so I imagine it would play out a lot like Zombieland, but without some unattainable-y attractive girl falling for me. Would also probably loot Burger Kings and hit zombies with a whiffleball bat.
#1 - Nuclear Winter. Most likely to happen with 45′s tiny Vienna sausage fingers on the button. If, somehow, I survive that Rogue One-esque ending, I would imagine opening up a school for all the triple-eyed, multiple-limb-ed mutant children. We’d still do common core though, because DeVos would probably survive with the other invertebrates.
#5 - Stroganoff. I have an odd, German-esque last name. Student called me Mr. Stroganoff once, which is not even close. She said “I see you, I think stroganoff, I can’t help it!” Haunts me to this day, makes me question my identity.
#4 - Horse Hair. A student asked me to look at a picture of a horse that was clearly taken in a moving car. Asked her why she took the picture. Said she loved its hair and wanted its hair for later. Asked if I thought the horse was pretty. I declined to answer.
#3 - Beard. Asked students what reward they wanted if they did well on the tests. Immediately told me they wanted me to shave my beard off. Did it, looked terrible, ruined my face for months. Weirds me out that there was no debate, they knew exactly what they wanted.
#2 - Fault In Our Stars - Student was reading Fault in Our Stars, told me she had read the last page and knew the main characters got married. I, tight-lipped, said “okay, let me know!” She returned two days later FURIOUS at me that I hadn’t warned her, accused me of hating her.
#1 - Parkour Filling out paperwork during a student non-contact day, heard skittering on the roof. Found students walking around on the roof of the building. Claimed they were doing parkour. Slowly descended the building and started at me like I was the weird one for yelling at them. They have all had parkour-related injuries throughout the year. But tell me more about how kids never get off the couch.
Is it bad form to climb into bed at 8:30 on a Saturday night? I mean, it’s still light out. The last three weeks have been nonstop and while I wanted to show my support by going to the Jawbone night two open reading, I’m just fried and like my heart and mind are filled to capacity.
I had two intense conversations with friends today in person where they each needed me to witness and process some stuff with them, and it’s been raining for 4 days straight so my feet feel soggy from being out in it, and if I do this right, I might be able to get a good eight hours of sleep before launching into two more weeks of insanity.
I *almost* put my pants back on to go buy a six pack of something hoppy to have a couple while watching a movie. Instead, I’m going to take a melatonin, tuck myself in with a book, and give it another try tomorrow.