Whistleblower posts top-secret spy document on 4chan, users call it “fake and gay”
There was a time when 4chan was a place of hope. Sure, it quickly earned a well deserved reputation as a hive of scum and villainy, but that is often a consequence of an unregulated system. It offers a certain amount of freedom that doesn’t really exist in the real world, but cynicism and distrust are common.
In many ways, 4chan was the original home of the whistleblower. Many will argue that point – and that’s fair, it’s a complex question – but many people have used the site to pass on information for altruistic reasons. People would leak documents that they truly felt the world needed to see.
Those days may have passed though, as an Australian whistleblower tried to emulate his self-professed hero Julian Assange, with… well, let’s just say less than stellar results.
Michael Cerba, a member of Australia’s Department of Defence, posted a top-secret 15-page document under the post headline “Julian Assange is my hero,” highlighting what he considered was information the public needed to know.
It’s unclear exactly what that information was though, since the leaked document was greeted with comments of “fake” and “gay,” and soon removed by 4chan members.
Cerba was then promptly tracked down by Australian authorities and arrested.
According to court documents obtained by IB Times, Cerba was discovered when a “former Defence Signals Directorate officer made the ‘fortuitous’ discovery of the leak on the notorious chat forum.”
In other words, someone happened to see the post before it was pulled down, and reported it. So basically, the only people that paid any attention to it were the people that already knew about it.
Bad luck for Cerba, especially given that the post was only up for about an hour, and because of it he will likely spend a lot of time in jail.
“To my dismay I just got a bunch of ‘fake and gay’ remarks and the secret documents went 404 [website not found] about 4 comments and 1 hour later,” Cerba posted.
4chan is made up of several different forums covering different topics, but this is just sad that a site once known for its almost revolutionary attitudes now ignores and derides genuine intelligence, calling it “gay.”
Of course, this may also speak to the inherent cynicism all seasoned denizens of the Internet tend to adopt. People tend to post a lot of crap online, and it’s good to be wary.
But still, imagine this from Cerba’s point of view. He just knowingly committed a felony to pass on documents, and people made fun of him and pulled the post.
That will probably make jail even less fun.