Here it is, our definitive list for the biggest Internet mistakes of the last decade. we've laughed, we raged, we brigaded and we've saved, but this list is dedicated to those people among us who have made world shifting mistakes that we won't soon forget, no matter how long ago they happened. So sit back and get ready to relive some of the worst things to ever happen on the Internet.
Boston Bombing Witch Hunt
On April 15, 2013, two homemade pressure cooker bombs went off during the Boston Marathon, killing 3 people and injuring several hundreds more. Police eventually identified Chechen-American brothers Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev as the suspects responsible for the attacks, but not before Reddit publicly named two very different, and innocent suspects, of their own.
Just one day after the attack Reddit user Oops777, created the subreddit r/findbostonbombers in an attempt to help crowd source the efforts of the FBI. In addition to the subreddit, many other reddit users began sharing and breaking down the FBI released photos, in a reddit live thread, a function that no longer is prominent on the site today and for good reason.
As the man hunt continued and bits of information and photos were released, the under-moderated and over-zealous sub-reddit r/findbostonbombers began to take things in a direction that would soon change how people thought about Internet vigilantes and crowd sourced online investigations forever. The first major rule broken was the no names rule. And soon after missing Brown University student Sunil Tripathi was named on the sub-reddit as a likely candidate for suspect number two, reddit had fully jumped the shark.
Sunil seemed to fit the profile and his missing status had been corroborated by a supposed classmate of his, leading redditors to assume his involvement in the bombing. Mike Mulugate was named as the other suspect, but was quickly ruled out once his name went public. Which, now that reddit had their bombers, wasn't very long at all. The first major exposure of the names came when Buzzfeed journalist, Andrew Kaczynski, shared a tweet about reddit's crack in the case.
Sunil Tripathi's body was later found floating in the Seekonk River on April 23, and was ruled as a suicide after he was identified by his dental records. Tripathi's family was brought into the national spotlight and the case of their missing son was smeared all over the news and online as a suspect in a major terror attack, only to have him found dead, the day after the real suspects were identified.
Going To Africa Tweet
On December 10, 2013, Justine Sacco the 30 year-old senior director of corporate communications for IAC, the company that owns The Daily Beast, OKCupid and Vimeo, crafted a tweet that would make her the most hated person on the Internet.
Justine was waiting for a flight to Cape Town South Africa as she walked around Heathrow airport thinking of a silly tweet to send before her 11hr flight to visit family over the holidays. So she wrote and published what has become possibly the most famous "bad tweet" of all-time and hit send to her whopping, 170 Twitter followers. When she later landed and her phone turned back on she discovered that she had become the number 1 trending topic around the world.
She was getting texts from old high school friends offering their sympathies, close friends, coworkers, basically everyone in her life was letting her know that the world, well the world of Twitter was out for blood.
Justine was eventually let go from her job and the world rejoiced as they felt they contributed to the moral crusade of bringing down a racist woman, aired her racist laundry.
This case is particularly unique because the world waited in anticipation as her plane landed, knowing she had no idea what was going on online. And this case is even more particular as it shows just how far the Internet (Twitter) mostly, has come since 2013. Because if someone made a similar joke today, it would simply get 100k likes and be forgotten in a matter of seconds.
It's Just a Prank - DaddyOFive
In 2015, Michael and Heather Martin started the YouTube channel DaddyOFive and began uploading videos of them and their five children to the Internet. The channel was terminated in 2017 after amassing 713k subscribers and logging over 10 million total views.
These prank videos didn't convince many people, as they were really child abuse videos disguised as the popular at the time "its a prank bro" styled videos that dominated YouTube. Their five children Jake, Ryan, Emma, Cody and Alex, were the stars of their videos. Often Jake the eldest was provoked to physically and mentally abuse the second youngest sibling Cody.
Videos of Cody being thrown into doors and bookcases finally caught the Internet's attention after he appeared physically hurt in multiple videos. Phillip DeFranco, the popular news YouTuber released a video on April 17, 2017 titled, "WOW... We Need To Talk About This..." where he helped expose the real abuse taking place so openly on YouTube.
The Fredrick County Circuit Court charged the couple, Michael and Heather Martin in August of 2017, with criminal neglect of a minor and were both sentenced to five years supervised probation.
Google April Fools 2016
Every April Fools Day, websites and Internet companies come up with fun news ways to trick and have fun with their audiences and users. Sometimes things go over well, like the time Reddit made a giant paint page for users to draw on and other times they don't.
Like when in 2016, Google added a fun new feature to Gmail, which allowed users to respond to emails with an animated Minion "Mic Drop', that when released on the masses caused much more pain than pleasure. In fact the prank was so bad and infuriated so many users that the function didn't even make it the entire day before being removed.
One of the first complaints was posted on Google's product form and read, "This is horrible -- just sent an email to a client with this stupid icon on it. I can't afford these stupid pranks!" Other tweets and complaints about the poorly thought-out product began surfacing on Twitter.
"We've defaced some of your messages and hidden the replies, and you probably have no idea why! LOL, April Fool!"
"I hit this thing by accident in a professional email sending a contract. This is ridiculous and not funny at all. Remove it please!!!"
Note to self: don't sent anything important in Gmail today, because of the stupid mic drop button.
Google later released a statement and removed the April Fools Minion Mic Drop they so carelessly released into the world saying, "Well, it looks like we pranked ourselves this year. Due to a bug, the Mic Drop feature inadvertently caused more headaches than laughs. We're truly sorry."
Happy Birthday To This Future President
On October 26, 2016, presidential candidate Hillary Clinton posted what would become the greatest self-own in Twitter history. Besides the awkwardness of wishing herself a happy birthday on Twitter (like seriously wtf), she took things a step further and congratulated herself on winning the presidency (which she didn't).
No less than three weeks later, Trump won the 2016 election and Hillary's birthday tweet was placed in the hall of the Internet, filled under worst posts of all-time.
It wasn't just the post itself which rubbed people the wrong way, it was the entire aura of her campaign. It was smug and entitled. She walked around like she had already won, which telling by her birthday tweet, she thought she had. As if the presidency was something she was owed, or destined to achieve, which is why so many voters turned away from her in the last months and weeks of her campaign.
Horny On 9/11
In 2017, on the 15th anniversary of 9/11, Ted Cruz's Twitter account was caught up in a scandal after the account liked a screenshot from a Reality Kings porn. The tweet remained 'liked' for over an hour before Cruz staffer Catherine Frazier addressed the scandal on Twitter saying, "The offensive tweet posted on @tedcruz account earlier has been removed by staff and reported to Twitter."
Later in the day Cruz was asked about the tweet and he took the questions in jest and even made a joke about the whole thing.
But many people were not buying his offices explanations. For one, porn is allowed on Twitter and so there is no need to 'report it' and second, which of Cruz's staffers would dare look on porn while logged into his account. And lastly, the female star in the image caught the eye of many as she looked strikingly similar to Ted's wife Heidi.
We may never know the full truth of Ted's horny 9/11 Twitter escapade, but we know there is more to the story than was admitted. But as far as Internet **** ups go, Ted Cruz got off easy. I mean, we're all horny on Twitter, so who are we to judge.
On January 2nd, 2018, the then 22-year-old YouTube star Logan Paul, posted a video on his YouTube channel of him and some friends taking a hike through Japan's infamous 'Suicide Forest', where to their 'surprise' they found a man hanging from a tree.
Logan Paul was already a house hold name on YouTube at the time the video was posted and almost instantly there-after, the full force of social media and the mainstream news machine, came down upon him.
Paul shortly after released an apology on both Twitter and YouTube where he offered his deepest condolences for filming, laughing and dancing around the body of a dead man. People not only criticized his going into the forest in hopes of finding a dead person, but his and his teams decision to after finding a dead man, editing and uploading said video to his million of young followers on YouTube.
The scandal was without a doubt one of the biggest ever on the Internet and served to permanently scar the stars reputation. Though Paul hasn't suffered the long ramifications of a career ending episode, his reputation will never fully be clean after the suicide forest incident.
Editors Note: If you think we missed anything let us know in the comments and we'll make updates as we see fit.