“We received quite a few complaints about this and a call from the Sheriff’s Office, so we had an officer go out last night. Everybody is pretty much sickened by it and can’t believe someone would do that to an innocent animal.”Greg Seals is a former social media producer and contributing writer for the Daily Dot. He specializes in creating and covering viral content on platforms that include Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter.In posting the videos online, however, the girls only assisted in the Internet’s attempts at serving up vigilante justice for the gopher tortoise, who was listed as a threatend species in Florida in 2007. Earlier this week, 4chan’s /b/ board commenced with a doxing effort—doxing refers to the public release of private, identifying information—dubbed “Operation Shell Shock.”The teens, as catalogued in graphic and disturbing videos they posted to YouTube and Facebook, attempted to burn the turtle multiple times. Unsatisfied, they threw it against the hard pavement multiple times, taunted it, and ultimately stomped it to death, all the while laughing and delighting in its suffering. Despite its notorious reputation, 4chan’s attempts at serving up justice for defensless turtle is just one of the group’s acts of animal goodwill. Previously, the /b/ board members have come to the aid of a French cat brutally abused on video and a dog who had a gun held to its head by a high schooler. In August, /b/ also got a teenager arrested for kicking a kitten on Vine. After being alerted to the videos by a Las Vegas Animal Control officer, Nevada Voters for Animals President Gina Greisen joined in the quest for the girls to face justice. Campaiging on Facebook, the animal right’s group posted both original videos with pleas for its members to report the actions of the teens to the Clay County sheriff’s office.The group’s Facebook page applauds a teen named Ash for bringing the videos to their attention. According to a GoFundMe.com page set up by the teen to raise money for the Wildlife Foundation of Florida, he claims he was friends with one of the girls in the videos and downloaded the videos off her profile before they were deleted. According to Ash’s fundraising site, the girls had taken the tortoise in as a pet after finding the endangered animal but “got bored, (and) they took it outside and tortured it.” Meanwhile, internet vigilantes at 4chan have started their own investigation of the incident, the Daily Dot reports. They’ve doxed the girls and sent their names to their high school, local authorities, and news outlets in an effort they’re calling “Operation Shell Shock” (of course).”We received quite a few complaints about this and a call from the Sheriff’s Office, so we had an officer go out last night,” a Florida Fish and Wildlife officer told the paper, “Everybody is pretty much sickened by it and can’t believe someone would do that to an innocent animal.”
When a Times-Union reporter went to one of the suspects’ houses Wednesday, a girl who appeared to be one of the two in the video answered the door, but closed it without saying anything.Two Florida teens are under investigation for repeatedly lighting an endangered gopher tortoise on fire, fatally stomping it to death as it cowered inside its shell, and then posting videos of the torture on Facebook.The videos are no longer online, but First Coast news aired this clip of the girls pouring flammable chemicals on the tortoise and torching it with a lighter:Although the girls haven’t officially been arrested yet, they could be charged with aggravated animal cruelty, with additional felony charges because the gopher tortoise is on the state’s threatened species list.
A concerned classmate brought the videos to the attention of an animal rights group in Nevada, and they’ve since been forwarded to Florida’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The Florida Times-Union reports the State’s Attorney’s office is determining appropriate charges for the two Orange Park girls, ages 15 and 18.Today is Wednesday the 16th, 2014, and I have been made aware of some inane cruelty inflicted upon an innocent creature, which was a gopher tortoise and has been dubbed Grga by an online thread on a site called 4chan. I was made aware of these acts via the internet, Facebook chat, and the aforementioned 4chan thread, in which a hoard of people are fighting for justice for the innocent tortoise that was anonymous and has now been christened; Grga. The two girls made Grga their pet and took him home. The two then appeared to have gotten bored with their pet and decided to murder it, thus filming it and putting it on youtube and their Facebook pages for all to see.According to sources, Grga was found in a nearby area, in the woods, by Danielle Susan Ruger and her friend, Jennifer Greene, Facebook name; Faith Hope.
The best way to understand the GameStop frenzy is to see it as a shitposting troll brigade’s revenge on Wall Street. That these Redditors managed to move global financial markets armed, at least in some cases, with little more than a slingshot full of memes and modest personal savings accounts makes for a rollicking tale. But we shouldn’t see the GameStop story as an isolated incident. It marked the beginning of a broader trend, namely, the memeficiation of the stock market. The internet has discovered personal finance, and there’s no going back.“They’ve been abusing the system for so long,” says Thomas*, a 30-year-old web developer from Birmingham who bought £190 worth of GameStop stock on 27 January this year. (The stock is worth around £50 now; Thomas is sanguine about his loss.) “It felt like a moment in history when people were taking a stance.” Thomas attended the counter-culture festival Burning Man in the Nevada desert in 2019, where he learned about the principle of “decommodification”: effectively finding a way to exist as a person outside of market forces, without having to sell your labour. “It’s like sticking a big middle finger to ‘the man,’” he says. “Letting everything go. I suppose that’s built in me a little bit now.” Or as a WallStreetBets user RubberRaptor put it charmingly on Reddit: “FUCK WALL STREET AND THEIR BS. GME IS LEAVING THE GALAXY, FUELED BY OUR SPITE.” It is impossible to predict the swinging animal brain of the internet; who knows where this nascent troll army will lurch next? It’s likely that meme stocks are here to stay. “There will definitely be more meme stocks,” says Beran. “Whether it’s alt-right trolls pushing QAnon, or people finding the funniest stock they can pump, if a collective prank is funny enough, the internet does it.” And whether or not it really hurts the “big guy” is beside the point. At the time of writing, Dogecoin – in itself a joke cryptocurrency – is currently being rocketed sky-high, fuelled by Elon Musk’s half-joking, half-serious tweets about buying some for his infant son. Musk, the richest man in the world, somehow finds the time to also be the chief-troll of the meme stock market. After his tweets, Dogecoin increased in value by 15 per cent in 20 minutes. AMC, a beleaguered cinema chain, is also being hyped. Whatever the next meme stock is, it’s certain to be a ride. Thomas, the web-developer from Birmingham, invested in GameStop stock for this exact reason: because he got caught up in the thrill of it online. “There was just this whole build up and buzz,” he tells me, sounding vaguely dazed. “And we were going against the man. And there was this community online. I just… went for it.” (It is worth noting that not all WallStreetBet users or GameStop shareholders were amateurs in it for the thrill and the memes, like Thomas – some very shrewd people made a lot of money on the GameStop pump-and-dump.)Enter WallStreetBets: the latest rebellion of the disaffected online, a new iteration of a story that we have seen repeatedly in the four-decade lifespan of the internet thus far, and will likely replay many more times in our lifetime. 2channel, 4chan, WallStreetBets: communities of people shut out by an increasingly globalised economy, determined to exact their revenge. “Why do we have all these angry, idle men on the internet?” asks Beran. “It’s really just economics. Rising inequality in the US; this post-industrial economy. It’s a generation that’s worse off than their parents, and they’re on their laptops all day, watching giant corporations make money.”
s. “There are real dangers here,” says Dr. Thomas D. Shohfi, a professor of finance at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. “There’s a lot of froth in the market. If young people are investing in GameStop or Dogecoin speculatively in a concentrated way and it doesn’t work out for them it can do long-term damage to their life. They may not be able to buy a home or retire. It could ruin their credit rating.” But he understands the impulse to string up the nearest hedge fund short-seller a la lanterne, French Revolution-style. “Their motivation is not about making money on a trade as it is about hurting people who have continued to profit since the financial crisis,” Shohfi says. “Hedge funds just had their best year in a decade. Many think they don’t pay their fair share of taxes. It intersects with that sense of frustration that very little has changed since the financial crisis.”
Anyone with tips that can help investigators with other incidents is asked to call the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-FWCC (3922) or text [email protected]. Ponte Vedra beach mental health expert Dr. Lynn Wadelton told News4Jax Wednesday that the girls’ actions show they have a lack of empathy and that teens that brutalize animals could likely spend the better part of their adult lives in jail. The father, who did not want to be identified, said he didn’t raise his daughter to do something like this, and he said he was outraged by the acts against the small tortoise.The cellphone video shows the tortoise being lit on fire, thrown on the concrete and being stomped on until it dies. Some of the video is too graphic to show and contains vulgar language. The girls are heard laughing and talking about killing the turtle.”That’s sick to do what they did,” he said. “I didn’t see it. I didn’t see it on TV, and I don’t care. I was there when they found the turtle. I was there when wildlife (came to the house and) talked for an hour. And they know that there’s gonna be a court date coming up, and it’s all going to be handled.”
“They’re very remorseful for what they did,” he said. “They’re gonna go through the court system and get it all figured out OK. Whatever the court system hands down, that’s what they’re gonna do.””They’re gonna catch the wrath of what happened,” he said. “The court’s gonna handle it. I don’t think all this damn threats that I’m getting on Facebook and all that, I’m not getting ’em. There’s no more Facebook in this house. There’s no more smartphones.”
“Abuse of other people, other criminal acts. For example, they did a research study which is worst-case scenario with serial killers and all of them had a history of injuring animals when they were teens,” said Wadelton.After multiple complaints into FWC Tuesday night, officials started an investigation and are working with the State Attorney’s Office to determine what charges will be filed.”It’s incredibly upsetting,” Padgett said. “I have two pet turtles inside my house, and as I was watching the video, all I can think about is, ‘Oh my God, what if someone was doing that to my turtles?’ Those are my babies. They’re my favorite animal.””Certainly the bad seed theory, which would imply some genetic lack of empathy that occurs,” said Wadelton. “Certainly for some kids the pattern starts young and we want to intervene early.”The State Attorney’s Office will determine if the teens will be charged as juveniles or adults. A local attorney not affiliated with the case said the teens could face a felony charge for aggravated animal cruelty and an additional felony charge under a statute that protects endangered species.
Scott is a multi-Emmy Award Winning Anchor and Reporter, who also hosts the “Going Ringside With The Local Station” Podcast. Scott has been a journalist for 25 years, covering stories including six presidential elections, multiple space shuttle launches and dozens of high-profile murder trials.WJXT-TV reports the cellphone video shows the tortoise being lit on fire, thrown on the concrete and being stomped on until it dies. Some of the video is too graphic to show and contains vulgar language. The girls are heard laughing and talking about killing the turtle.
On July 16th, The Florida Times Union published an article reporting that local law enforcement officials confirmed that the girls were 15 and 18 years of age and attended the Ridgeview High School in Orange Park, Florida. In the coming days, several news sites published articles about the video and 4chan’s retaliation, including The Daily Dot, The Huffington Post, New York Daily News, NBC Miami and the Miami Herald.Operation Shell Shock is an online vigilante campaign orchestrated by 4chan users against two North Florida teenage girls who shared video footage of themselves torturing an endangered gopher tortoise in July 2014.The younger girl will be prosecuted in the juvenile system. The other faces up to five years in prison on the felony cruelty charge and up to 60 days in jail for the second charge. Videos posted on the Facebook page of Nevada Voters for Animals showed the Orange Park girls dousing the tortoise with a flammable fluid and one of them stomping on the animal until its shell broke.The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said the teens, ages 15 and 18, were arrested Friday on charges of felony cruelty to animals and taking, harassing, harming or killing a gopher tortoise. In the first of two videos, posted initially by the girls to Facebook and YouTube, the girls light the gopher tortoise on fire after pouring alcohol on it. In the video, the girls can be heard rooting for the tortoise’s demise, reports the Florida Times-Union:A 16-year-old who goes to high school with the girls and is friends with them on Facebook saw the videos, saved them to his computer, and left comments airing his disgust on the social network. As the videos went viral, an animal abuse organization in Nevada alerted authorities in Florida. Nevada Voters for Animals president Gina Greisen told the Times-Union she wants the girls charged with a felony.