Web Stories AR Gallery

By Elly Zifchock

This project is an augmented reality gallery. The gallery consits of three framed pieces pertaining to 3 different stories with topics originating on the internet.

Swatting. The Slenderman Stabbings. Radicalization Via 4Chan.

SWATTING Swatting is a hateful and dangerous prank that involves falsely reporting a serious and violent crime to the police, with the intention of prompting a large -scale response involving a SWAT team. The goal of swatting is to trick law enforcement into sending an armed team to the reported location. Swatting often involves false claims of shootings, bomb threats, hostage situations, and other crimes. The perpetrator hides their identity and location. Swatting puts innocent people in danger and causes serious emotional trauma in victims. Swatting is not a new issue. Swatting has been happening since the early 2000s. The issue has only grown with the increase in accessibility to gaming platforms. People have assumed that this issue is mainly caused by young men, 18 and under, and though there is not a precice way to track the swattings other than public police reports, it has been noted that these swattings are majorly provoked by adult men. The swattings started off as an internet joke in the early 2000s. The intent behind these attacks has become increasingly sinister, and with the anonymity of the internet, these acts are perpetuated as it is very difficult to track where these calls are coming from. Swatting has been regarded as a form of digital abuse. Washington, Texas, Maryland and other states have included anti swatting legislation within their General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). The legislation has considered that a swatter has a “reckless disregard for the effects of their actions".

THE SLENDERMAN STABBING The Slenderman stabbing is an incident that happened in May 2014 in Waukesha, Wisconsin. The incident involved three teenage girls: Anissa Weier, Morgan Geyser, and their friend Payton Leutner. Anissa and Morgan lured Payton into the woods and stabbed her 19 times. The two claim they did so to appease the fictional character Slenderman, an internet meme they believed was real. Payton survived the attack, and both Weier and Geyser were later arrested and charged with attempted first-degree intentional homicide. In 2017, Weier pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of attempted second-degree intentional homicide due to mental illness, and Geyser was found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect. The case raised questions about the influence of online content and mental health issues in adolescents. .

RADICALIZATION 4Chan is an anonymous forum that hosts a wide range of content and discussion chat groups. While 4chan itself doesn't radicalize people, certain boards on the platform, such as /pol/ (Politically Incorrect), have been connected to the spread of extremist views. 4Chan is only one part of a larger societal context that thrives off of anonymity, shock value, echo chambers, and niche meme culture. It has been said that Neo-Nazis took over 4chan. The site is unregulated by design. Unregulated systems sooner or later descend into tyranny of the strongest. What strongest means depends on the system. At 4chan it means the most hateful and ruthless people spreading propaganda until everybody else leaves. And it does not get any more hateful and ruthless as Nazis.

Scan the QR code to interact with the AR project.