I’m calling this vengeance but it might actually be something less focused and more deranged than that makes it sound. The person at the center of this case has apparently been lashing out at lots of people for a very long time. We’ll come back to her in a moment but first let’s savor the truly strange world we now live in.
Last month the NY Times published a story about a software engineer named Guy Babcock. Babcock lives in England and one day in 2018 he got a warning from his father that people were saying bad things about him online:
Mr. Babcock, a software engineer, got off the phone and Googled himself. The results were full of posts on strange sites accusing him of being a thief, a fraudster and a pedophile. The posts listed Mr. Babcock’s contact details and employer.
The images were the worst: photos taken from his LinkedIn and Facebook pages that had “pedophile” written across them in red type. Someone had posted the doctored images on Pinterest, and Google’s algorithms apparently liked things from Pinterest, and so the pictures were positioned at the very top of the Google results for “Guy Babcock.”