They’re rude! They’re crude! And they get really exercised about issues in Fairfax County! The Post has a story today on roiling web forum Fairfax Underground, and it’s as good a chance as any to get reacquainted with the surprisingly virulent site.
Fairfax Underground‘s usual day sees posters mixing profanity and casual racism not unlike those on tumultous Internet message board 4chan. While the site’s been around since 2005, it’s attracted new attention after a user posted the stolen grades of more than 2,000 students on the site. More recently, its users broke the news of the alleged DIY teen porn ring at West Springfield High School:
As usual on Fairfax Underground, this post elicited profane insults, irrelevant tangents and not much new information. At first. But others joined the discussion, throwing out the rumors they’d heard at school and the names of students allegedly arrested for making videos of themselves having drunken sex with several girls. And then a television news reporter found the thread and went to the Fairfax County Police Department, which confirmed that three sophomore boys had been charged with possession and distribution of child pornography.
In 2010, forum operator Cary Wiedemann was even subpoenaed after a user posted a county police officer’s address. But not every Fairfax Underground thread makes news.
Instead, the site is eternally frozen in a war between two types of people: Those who mistake it for a place to complain about the PTA and your kid’s soccer coach, and the regulars who terrorize that first group with image macros and slurs. A memorial post is almost guaranteed to be toxic. One memorable thread about a teen stabbed behind a shopping center soon turned ugly, with commenters debating whether worms were eating the victim’s corpse.
Of course, it’s also a great place for story ideas.
Computer photo by Shutterstock.