This, people, is Andrew Auernheimer, the hacker who last week exposed 114,000 iPad owners' details courtesy of AT&T's lax security system. He also goes by the name of Escher, but we'll call him by yet another alias: Weev. (Whether that name came about because of his fulsome facial furniture is by the bye, but it's apt, don't you think? Perhaps Donald Trump might like to post his bail.) He is, as the New York Times has it, "legendary among trolls"—not the type that populate Norse legends, but those who reside on the Internet, throwing nastiness people's way.
Anyhoo, pity the poor Weev. He's been busted by Arkansas police for possession of drugs, including cocaine, LSD, Ecstasy, and schedule 2 and 3 pharmaceuticals, and is currently being held in the Washington County Detention Center in Fayetteville. "He sounds intense," said one of my colleagues—which explains why Weev's stash didn't include weed.
People like Weev, while everywhere in chatrooms on the Internet, don't really show up on the radar of everyday life—unless, of course, they are unfortunate enough to be caught by the fuzz (U.S. translation: busted by the cops) for a transgression—or three. So perhaps it's time we learned a little more about them. Here's Fast Company's guide to Weev, High Priest of the Trolls, and the people he rules—or, at least, used to, until yesterday. I wonder if they have broadband access in the Washington County Detention Center?
Definition of a troll, by a troll spokesman: "A normal person who does insane things on the Internet."
Definition of trolling, by Weev: "Trolling is basically Internet eugenics."
What Weev does, by Weev: "I hack, I ruin, I make piles of money. I make people afraid for their lives."
What Weev wants, by Weev: "I want everyone off the Internet. Bloggers are filth. They need to be destroyed. Blogging gives the illusion of participation to a bunch of retards. We need to put these people in the oven."
Where Weev lives: From Fullerton, CA, to Washington County Detention Center, via, I think, Portland.
Weev's lifestyle, according to Weev: "The ruin lifestyle."
What Weev drinks: Topo Sabores strawberry-flavored soda.
What Weev should drink: I'm not a doctor.
Weev's favorite trolls: Zeno of Elea, Socrates, Jesus.
The troller trolled?: This little gem unearthed via a search engine seems to imply that Weev is a bit of an anti-Semite. Just a little bit, mind you. His response? "Seriously, there has to be something fucking libelous in the fact that I am the sole person named in this article when I had absolutely no involvement in it, and was not charged with any crime."
My favorite bit of the report: "Portland Police Bureau spokeswoman Det. Mary Weed... did not return telephone calls before the Jewish Review's press time."
Finally, after all this nastiness, Weev's image brings to mind a limerick by 19th-century British humorist Edward Lear. I quote:
There was an old man with a beard
Who said, "It is just as I feared."
Two owls and a hen,
Four larks and a wren,
Have all made their nests in my beard."
I think it deserves an update, don't you?
Beard bushiest yet's on this geek,
But the last thing you'll find is a beak.
More likely some drugs
And some computer bugs
And a reek says, "Unwashed in a week."