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Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Sick profiteering

Profiteers moved in on the US campus massacre almost before the last shot was fired.

Domain names, and have already been sold. was offered for auction on eBay with an image of an assault rifle and described as the "perfect domain name for any memorandum or other site dedicated to the recent mass killings at Virginia Tech."

One asked for $100,000 for five sites in an ad decorated in American flags and described as "Great Domain Names for a Memorial Fund Development….Our Hearts go out to all the victims and families of Virginia Tech Massacre!"

The owner of says that he's been getting hate mail:

"I didn't think it through. I was just thinking about the money first."

Also being bought up are the victims name and has already been bought by The Etrader., and others using the victim's names are even selling PPC ads.

This reminds me of the Columbine killings, which was widely blamed on the Internet, where the makers of Web Filters within hours were using it for marketing.


  1. I applaud technology being able to give people a voice to share their grief and worries where otherwise they might be left alone. Having a mrs that is a psychologist I hear too many anecdotal stories of people losing the plot because they do not have an easy forum to talk. If the flip side of this is macabre capitalism then so be it – personally I think it’s a worthwhile trade-off.

    My post backs this up

  2. Johnny

    you're right, of course. this doesn't make the people doing this any less creepy and sick. most would be verging on criminal but i saw the story of one guy - caught out - who expressed nothing but remorse.

    the whole way this has played out geek-wise is interesting. I haven't read much but from what I have it's about this happening in such a wired environment, the implications of that.

    one of the issues though with online grief - and there would be more - is the legacy. unlike other methods, this stays around forever. something this new, totally wired generation may live to regret (future employers?) but is hard to even mention at this time.