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

Weigel
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.
Advertisement

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 reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

The World

How Canada’s Shooting Tragedies Have Shaped Its Gun Control Politics

Where Ebola Lives Between Outbreaks

Gunman Killed Inside Canadian Parliament; Soldier Shot at National Monument Dies

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Paul Farmer: Up to 90 Percent of Ebola Patients Should Survive

Is he right?

Science

“I’m Not a Scientist” Is No Excuse

Politicians brag about their ignorance while making ignorant decisions.

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

In Praise of 13th Grade: Why a Fifth Year of High School Is a Great Idea 

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 22 2014 6:30 PM The Tragedies That Have Shaped Canada's Gun Politics
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 22 2014 9:19 PM The Phone Call Is Twenty Minutes of Pitch-Perfect, Wrenching Cinema
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.