“The instant nature of these responses often doesn’t make for reflective moral judgment, so a lot of behavior that people wouldn’t commit over the telephone or in person, they’re willing to engage in in this seemingly anonymous medium,” says Deborah L. Rhode, director of the Center on Ethics at Stanford University. “The actions of all parties in this situation really illustrate the corrosive aspects of this technology, and people are going to need to learn better ways of suspending their responses.”
Even sex-baiters’ victims admit they’d be wise to show more restraint. “Jason is a horrible person for what he did,” says Marcus (not his real name). Marcus says he’s a 27-year-old from the Seattle suburb of Redmond whose personal info ended up on Fortuny’s website after he responded to the bogus Craigslist ad. “He ruined a number of people’s careers and personal lives. I think what he did is criminal, but certainly not unexpected. In Jason’s defense, these people need to be smarter. The Internet is full of scary people. I would never tell anyone my real name until I got comfortable around them.”
Of course, that doesn’t explain why a photo of Marcus’ cock is posted online.