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Before, after and what happens next

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Before and after: Rick Lax and nutritional professional Kimberly Battistini.
Photo: Beverly Poppe

Last year I wrote a story about how before and after pictures can be faked (without using Photoshop) to simulate weight loss and muscle gain. Well, last week somebody posted my before and after pictures on Reddit.com, and then somebody reposted them on Break.com. Out of context, of course—under the heading “Before Being Drunk and After Being Drunk.”

Clever.

Unsurprisingly, a lot of people on both websites left a lot of nasty comments. For instance, Llnkn0wn wrote, “Why is that douche standing like that?” And DvesWeasel wrote, “ha ha the dude just got tan and shaved and he still looks pudgy.”

So I wrote them back.

Here’s a typical example of the exchanges:

“Hi Llnk, Somebody posted a pic of me on Break, and you left a comment saying, ‘Why is that douche standing like that?’ First of all, why do you think I'm a douche? Second of all, how, exactly, am I standing? Thanks, Rick”

And here’s Llnk’s reply:

“People using Break have rights to write any kind of comment for a video or photo unless It's offensive. Talk with Break about your problem since they were the ones who posted your photo in their gallery.”

Interesting response, no? Llnk is defending himself against a charge I didn’t make: that he didn’t have the right to post that comment. Of course he had the right.

It’s amazing how mean people can be when their identities are hidden.

(see Milgram, Zimbardo). For instance, as I write this blog post, I’m playing Internet poker, and some guy screen named “ariba” is calling me a “donkey” and a “moron.” I just know that if we were playing in person, he’d never say anything like that. What a pudgy douche.

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