Why One Californian Bought a Domain Name to Stave Off Boston Conspiracy Theorists

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 16 2013 12:18 PM

Why One Californian Bought a Domain Name to Stave Off Boston Conspiracy Theorists

It took no time at all for conspiracy theorists to elbow in on the Boston Massacre bombings, "false flag" obsessives crashing both a televised press conference by political leaders and law enforcement and a briefing by a surgeon at Mass General. But earlier today, reporters noticed that a domain that might have been useful for Illuminati/lizard people talk—BostonMarathonConspiracy.com—was a mostly blank page with one message:

I BOUGHT THIS DOMAIN TO KEEP SOME CONSPIRACY THEORY KOOK FROM OWNING IT.
PLEASE KEEP THE VICTIMS OF THIS EVENT AND THEIR FAMILIES IN YOUR THOUGHTS.

THANK YOU.
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The domain buyer, Jaimie Muehlhausen, lives in California and was nice enough to pass on an email that he'd been sending to friends explaining the purchase. (He owns the page through April 15, 2014.)

This afternoon, moments after the bombing, we stood in my office lobby and watched the TV as the events unfolded. Sadly, one of my first thoughts was that it would only be a matter of hours before a certain group of people would begin to say it was a government conspiracy; an act of terror on our own people for political gain. It's sickening, but take a look at the massive numbers of 9/11 conspiracy nuts...people who thing Bush and the gang took down the twin towers and ended the lives of nearly 3000 people so we could go to war. The heartless and sick Sandy Hook conspiracy theorists who think the Obama administration killed kindergartners to bolster the gun control debate. And there are plenty of others. Well, I was wrong. It didn't take hours...it took minutes. I saw some pretty unbelievable and disgusting statements being made almost immediately. So, I went back to my desk and quickly bought the domain for BostonMarathonConspiracy dot com and and posted a simple message saying that I purchased it only to make sure the kooks don't get it. I didn't put my name on the site or any contact info, but it's not too hard to figure out who owns a domain name if you know where to look. Since that time this afternoon, I have been encouraged by the number of emails from people literally all over the world who took the time to dig into domain records, figure out that I owned the domain, and send me a message of thanks for making sure the irrational assholes don't win this one. I'm sure the conspiracy idiots will find another domain to use, but this one is the most obvious name and it's now unavailable for their bullshit.

Since I woke up this morning, I have received another large number of emails, some from reporters, but most from people with a quick, simple message of thanks. I didn’t do it to be thanked. I just did it because it seemed like the right thing to do.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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