The Full Disclaimer: The recent history essay is in no way affiliated with any Fictionpress war. If any member of the Fictionpress website is mentioned, it is to draw a parallel or otherwise make a connect between/to the activities elsewhere and the activities here.
This is not about Justin Brenis or Bryan Ritchey, no matter how many times they'll insist it is. This, like it's predecessor about trolling methods at this site, is a historical work consisting of essays about the most notorious accounts at various websites. This is not slander in any form, just like Gonzo Journalist. This is also not limited to LiveJournal. There are many blogging/networking sites with drama worth chronicling.
Chapter one, Jassa
It usually isn't "First Post!" anymore. It rarely irritates anyone within the relevant boards anymore, but since January 25th 2005, the plague from Perth, Western Australia has spread into a household irritant for the realm of sensitive Live Journalists. The phenomenon of BOOBIES!! has been a constant everyday since it's inception, and has never failed to induce a winded discussion thread.
This unique variety of Internet troll uses the screen name Jassa, always uses his trademark "Drunken Whore" icon, and never posts more than the same single word in his first comment. When under my inspection, he's never botched his post, but I have on occasion witness him admonish members of his posse- or others just passing through- for posting typos such as "BOBBIES!!" or "BODDIES." Bobbies, of course, are British Peace Officers, and aren't to be mentioned when trolling Live Journal.
Many have wondered about the motives of Jassa and his posse, but his agenda has never been clear. We do know, however, that he was inspired by the January 25th 2005 Calvin & Hobbes RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed comment left by Kuh. On that day, the day Jassa started, dozens of users left the comment "First post!" in succession, prompting Kuh to mimic Fark dot com's method of handling first posters; by replacing the offensive text with BOOBIES!!
This was the genesis of the movement that inspired a whole posse of users. It started because of the code written by Drew Curtis, founder of Fark, that undermined the first post meme. Curtis went from moderating his comments to installing some censorship code, sparking, or at least inspiring, a movement on a less regulated site. Following the path of least resistance, Jassa went to work in one of the few lawless lands left, where we find him today.
Beyond Jassa's first post in all of his customary feeds, the posse, a cell mostly made up of close friends (at least, they're on one another's friends lists), carry out conversations and share photoshopped pictures in the public domain of the LiveJournal feeds. The point of this, presumably, is to become known by a wide range of people, and to make the point that the feeds aren't moderated by anyone. In fact, it has been said by some members of the posse that the second point is their goal. Yet, This has never been verified by Jassa himself.
However, there have been some moments where their play hasn't been so benign. For instance, on March 31st, 2005, and posse left a "comment flood" numbering 5000 comments on the Calvin & Hobbes feed, crashing it.
Others have posted so many images of a generally offensive nature, that their accounts have been suspended. I mentioned Todd in Gonzo Journalist. Since that time,
Candhzwesome, the original community for the posse, has also been suspended. The reason given by LJ Abuse was that the community was dedicated to plotting the spamming of the feeds. I guess for it was for malicious purposes. Regardless, the posse then founded Zwesome, a community advertised to be about "telling campfire stories" or singing campfire songs, whichever.
Many of Jassa's friends, just like Jassa, own paid accounts, and have various different humorous icons. They also have many different silly banners to post, a large portion of which come from heavily-trafficked sites. BOOBIES, however, is about consistency.
"The whole point of this is to stay consistent. Same comment, same icon, every day," he said. When once asked why he did it, he gave the answer "It's silly. People like silliness."
Silliness that has caused countless flame wars. Many frequenters of comic strip feeds apparently are completely humorless, Jassa believes. LJ Abuse has received countless complaints about the posting, but the Abuse Team insists their hands are tied. "We take no responsibility" they say, when it comes to feeds. No one, in fact, takes responsibility.
When reading the FAQ (frequently asked questions), one learns that feeds are un moderated. They're simple syndications of products that don't come from LiveJournal, and any paid member can create a feed. NASA, for example, only creates the syndication URL for the Astronomy Picture of the Day. This hasn't stopped users from blaming NASA for "failing to take responsibility" for the feed.
Few who have their RSS URLs syndicated at LiveJournal even know that their work is presented there. In fact, late last month, the world's most visible blogger, Glen Reynolds of Instapundit, asked in a post "What's this?" after discovering the feed from an LJ clone, GreatestJournal. (I got first comment, answering the question.) The one exception was Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert comic strip, who no longer uses RSS syndication for Dilbert. (Note: this fact seems to change spontaneously. It was true at the time of this publication.) No public statement was issued concerning the change, but the posse take credit/blame for it.
Despite the trail of dead feeds and banned accounts left behind by the gang, Jassa himself has always skirted clear of retribution from other users, or account death from the Abuse Team. While there are still a few stragglers challenging Jassa to desist from his routine, the site doesn't officially recognize single word comments as spam, and despite the dead Dilbert feed, the comic can still be found in a daily Dilbert community, a group dedicated to posting the comic under the regulation of a moderator. The one rule of the community is simple, no irrelevant comments. Elaborating, the community information page bans phrases like "first post," "boobies," and "I'd hit it."
Full Disclosure: The author stole all their best icons!
All source material comes from LiveJournal. Fark is the trademark of Drew Curtis, and Livejournal is the trademark of Six Apart.