A Nurse with a Gun

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Have You Been Wenzeled?

Anyone who has traded on ebay or sold a few things independently on an internet forum runs the risk of getting screwed. In California lives a boy named Charlie Wenzel, AKA cdubzon40s. Charlie liked to ride around in his jacked up 2WD silver pick-up truck, license number 7A97452. His blonde girlfriend enjoyed these trips as well. Charlie's Dad, Mark, a retired Naval aviator still flies. Charlie is now world famous. He decided to sell some used truck parts, gears to be exact, on an internet forum. Charlie lied about the condition, stating they were new when they were not. Then, after he had cashed the buyer's check, he demanded an extra $25 above the agreed on price, before shipping the gears. After all, reasoned Charlie, $25 was worth more than the good name his father had given him.

The storm that followed gathered slowly and deliberately, as people from all over the internet, who had been shafted on internet deals gathered. Soon, among Charlie Wenzel's nasty juvenile taunts, information began to be published. First, a photo of his father, then his phone number and address. Satelite photos of his home. Photos of his truck with license plate showing. Charlie's cell phone number popped up and he began recieving calls. His yearbook photos were located, posted and photo shopped. His girlfriends photos appeared. Of course the poor girl that had to sit beside him in class had her yearbook photo, name and thus her internet life examined. Charlie's baby pictures surfaced. A photo of Charlie's father's airplane was posted. Websites dedicated to Charlie Wenzel have begun. Merchandise is being marketed. What was left behind is a forum thread on Pirate 4X4 that will live as a testament to the anger that thousands of people can harbor when they have been ripped off by anonymous punks on the internet. All of this collective repressed anger was directed at Charlie Wenzel in a glorious catharsis.

Charlie typed up an apology, but the revenge was complete. The subject spread over so many forums, chat rooms, and mail lists that a Goggle search of Charle Wenzel turns up 767,000 hits, and it is still growing. Unfortunately for Charlie Wenzel, many employers screen prospective employees in just that fashion. There is an illusion of anonymity in cyberspace. The reality is it can be turned against you, and burn you for life like Charlie Wenzel.



Blogger Matt said...

I'm going to Wenzel some of your post at my site.... lol

7:03 PM  

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