The Nobel prize for peace. It is a controversial award having been granted to many who seemingly don’t deserve it, and not granted to those who do. This list looks at ten people who were robbed of the prize.

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Irena Sendler was a Polish Catholic who died in 2008. From 1939 to 1945, she personally saved the lives of 2,500 Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto. She forged identification papers, passports, sheltered them in children’s homes throughout Warsaw.

The Gestapo caught her in 1943 and severely tortured her for the location of the Jews she had extricated from the Ghetto. She refused to give them up. She was sentenced to death and saved by a bribe to the Nazi officer in charge, who simply left her in deep in a forest with all four limbs broken.

She recovered and went right back to work saving Jews from the Ghetto. She was nominated in 2007, but was passed over in favor of Al Gore. She was 98 when she died.

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Mohandas Gandhi was murdered in 1948. He began his work for Indian independence from Britain in 1916 and finally succeeded in 1947, when Louis Mountbatten relinquished India from Britain to the Indians. One man, by himself, Gandhi has been credited with defeating the British Empire singlehandedly, without raising one finger in violence.

He was nominated in 5 years, 1937, 1938, 1939, 1947, and 1948. 19 people nominated him in those years, especially Ole Colbjornsen, member of the Norwegian Parliament, who nominated him the first 3 times. In the years between 1939 and 1947, he was either not nominated by anyone, or the Swedish Academy refused to consider nominations during the War. Likewise, in the years preceding 1937, not one person on Earth nominated him.

A rule stipulates that death before being awarded the Prize renders one ineligible for it, nominated or not. But I think the Academy could have given it to him posthumously, and no one would have complained. In which case, they could still award it to him for the year 1948. He could certainly replace Cordell Hull, for 1945. Hull is mentioned on another Listverse list.

It is possible that his “experiments” with under-aged children (item 8) reduced his chances of receiving the prize, but as earlier stated, most people would probably not object to his having been awarded the prize despite them.

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The head of the Edhi Foundation, based in Pakistan, he is a philanthropist, who in 1951 opened a small medical shop in Karachi, using his own meager funds, with the sole intention of helping anyone who came in. He had learned little about medicine, but wanted to help people. He claims that he does so because he enjoys it, in the same way that an evil man enjoys hurting people.

He has been treating everyone in the Karachi area, and all areas where his branches are located, over the whole world. He treats people at extremely low cost. He began the Edhi Foundation with donations from friends and supporters around Karachi, and the Foundation is a free maternity clinic and nursing school. Students may enroll at absolutely no cost. Tuition, books, and other equipment are free.

Karachi suffered a flu outbreak in 1957, and Edhi immediately set up tents in which he and his faculty treated everyone for free. He bought an ambulance with donations, which he personally drove to accidents, and to his own clinic, or to hospitals. The Edhi Foundation has a $10 million budget, but Edhi refuses to take any of the money for himself. As he is still alive, it is not entirely fair that he should be on this list, as he may win in the future. But I thought it fitting, given the recent 2009 Peace Prize, and the fact that he was considered for it also.


Jose Figueres Ferrer was the President of Costa Rica 3 times, and during his first term, he granted women the right to vote, stating that while men may be stronger, there is no difference between male and female mental faculties. He abolished his country’s army, arguing that only a police force is necessary for domestic law enforcement, and that an army only exists for the promise of invading another country; he did not believe any country around him wanted to invade Costa Rica.

After nationalizing Costa Rica’s banking and creating a welfare state, he outlawed Communism. Ferrer oversaw the writing of a new constitution, guaranteed state managed public education for every citizen, gave citizenship to the children of black immigrants, and established a civil service bureaucracy.


He graduated from Munich University in 1932, and was appointed as a diplomatic secretary in Turkey, then in Vienna in 1937. The next year, Hitler annexed Austria, and Ho was promoted to Consul-General of the Chinese Embassy in Vienna.

After Kristallnacht, everyone in Austria knew full well the predicament facing the 200,000 Jews throughout the country. Their only hope was to escape from Europe, and this was possible only with exit visas. The Evian Conference of 1938 caused 38 countries to refuse Jews immigration, and Ho was ordered by Chen Jie, the Chinese ambassador to Berlin, not to provide visas for Jews.

Ho endangered himself for all six years of the War by refusing to obey this order. He issued 1906 visas by 27 October 1938, some for Jews, some not. How many Jews he saved will never be ascertained, but given that he issued almost 2,000 in only his first 6 months, he may have saved thousands of lives. Whoever saves one life saves the world entire. He was 96 when he died. He has been nicknamed “China’s Schindler.”


He has been called “the Mexican Martin Luther King.” He found working conditions appalling for common Latino laborers in California, and co-founded the National Farm Workers Association, which is now called United Farm Workers. He organized civil rights activism, and became the Community Service Organization’s national director in 1958. His efforts to gain higher wages and better working conditions for farm laborers finally succeeded in 1966.

After that, he fought to restrict illegal immigrants from entering the U. S. and taking jobs from legal Mexican citizens. His birthday is a state holiday in California. He died in 1993, and the next year was awarded the Medal of Freedom from Bill Clinton.

Biko Steve

After Nelson Mandela was imprisoned in 1964, Steve Biko became the primary authority of the anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa. He founded the Black Consciousness Movement and advocated a worldwide “brotherhood of man.”

He was the primary architect of the protests that reached a head at the Soweto Uprising in June, 1976. He preached non-violence, which was not entirely heeded, and the uprising resulted in Apartheid police slaughtering school children at random in the crowds.

They then targeted Biko and finally caught him, and beat him to death, from 11 September to 12 September, 1977.


Dorothy Day (November 8, 1897 – November 29, 1980) was an American journalist, distributist, and devout Catholic convert. In the 1930s, Day worked closely with fellow activist Peter Maurin to establish the Catholic Worker movement, a nonviolent, pacifist, movement that continues to combine direct aid for the poor and homeless with nonviolent direct action on their behalf. A revered figure within segments of the U.S. Catholic community, Day is being considered for sainthood by the Catholic Church. Day has been the recipient of numerous posthumous honors and awards. Among them: in 1992, she received the Courage of Conscience Award from the Peace Abbey, and in 2001, she was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in Seneca Falls, New York.

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Oskar Schindler was the most famous member of the Avenue of the Righteous. He saved 1,200 Jews from the Nazis by employing them in his munitions factories from 1943 to the end of the War. He therefore placed himself in extreme mortal peril constantly during that time, as the Nazis knew full well that his workers were Jewish.

He was very persuasive, having paid millions to the Nazi Party up to that time, and insisted that his workers were more useful to the Wehrmacht by manufacturing pots, pans, and ammunition. But secretly, he had his workers sabotage the ammunition so it would not function.

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On April 28, 1935, four years before the War even started, Eugenio Pacelli (soon to become Pope Pius XII) gave a speech that aroused the attention of the world press. Speaking to an audience of 250,000 pilgrims in Lourdes, France, the future Pius XII stated that the Nazis “are in reality only miserable plagiarists who dress up old errors with new tinsel. It does not make any difference whether they flock to the banners of social revolution, whether they are guided by a false concept of the world and of life, or whether they are possessed by the superstition of a race and blood cult.” During the war (when Pacelli had become Pope) he spoke out strongly in defense of the Jews with the first mass arrests in 1943, and L’Osservatore Romano carried an article protesting the internment of Jews and the confiscation of their property. The Fascist press came to call the Vatican paper ‘a mouthpiece of the Jews.’

Prior to the Nazi invasion, the Pope had been working hard to get Jews out of Italy by emigration; he now was forced to turn his attention to finding them hiding places: “[t]he Pope sent out the order that religious buildings were to give refuge to Jews, even at the price of great personal sacrifice on the part of their occupants; he released monasteries and convents from the cloister rule forbidding entry into these religious houses to all but a few specified outsiders, so that they could be used as hiding places. Thousands of Jews — the figures run from 4,000 to 7,000 — were hidden, fed, clothed, and bedded in the 180 known places of refuge in Vatican City, churches and basilicas, Church administrative buildings, and parish houses. Unknown numbers of Jews were sheltered in Castel Gandolfo, the site of the Pope’s summer residence, private homes, hospitals, and nursing institutions; and the Pope took personal responsibility for the care of the children of Jews deported from Italy.”

The consequences of the actions of Venerable Pope Pius XII in defense of the Jews were such that the Chief Rabbi of Rome (Rabbi Zolli) during WWII converted to Catholicism and changed his name to Eugenio (out of reverence for the Pope). [Source]

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10 Greatest Killers of Man

Since time began, the single greatest act one can witness is the miracle of life. It occurs at every moment of every day. This admiration of life leads us to the fear and devastation that accompany the ending of said life. Throughout history, death has used many vessels to carry out its mission to end that life. Below you will find 10 couriers of death’s deed. Some of them are natural, brought forth by the forces of nature itself; some are terrible, due to the atrociousness of evil men, and some are the result of omission, the lack of prevention.


Although many different cultures have legends that tell of men slaying thousands by their own hand, Simo Hayha is one of the deadliest soldiers of modern war. Nicknamed “White Death,” he can be found on various top ten lists, and for good reason. Often considered the greatest sniper to have served in war, Hayha is credited with over 800 kills. During the Winter War between Finland and the Soviet Union, Simo Hayha amassed 505 confirmed sniper kills (37 more unconfirmed) as well as over 200 confirmed kills by submachine gun. Even though his numbers are paltry compared to the rest of this list, he definitely earned the right to be recognized as one of the world’s deadliest soldiers. Here is a quote by Simo Hayha when asked if he regretted killing so many people: “I did what I was told to as well as I could.”


The earliest form of this disease was probably found on the mummy of an Egyptian who died in 1157 BC. During the 20th century alone, it is estimated that Smallpox killed somewhere between 300 and 500 million people. With its mortality rate of 30-35%, and considering the ease with which smallpox is transmitted, pondering the historical impact of this disease is difficult. I was reluctant to include smallpox because it is practically extinct, but there is no denying it was one of the greatest killers nature brought upon Man, and therefore rightfully earns its place on this list.


Called “the Monster of the Andes,” he was born to a 13 year old prostitute mother, in 1948. Lopez was picked up by a pedophile while still young, and was repeatedly raped before he was taken away by an American family and enrolled in a school for orphans. After being sodomized by a teacher, he ran away and found himself in prison at 18. There, Lopez was gang-raped and allegedly killed three of the rapists while still incarcerated. After his jail sentence was complete, his killing spree began. He claimed that by 1978 he had killed more than 100 young girls, and later he confessed to more than 300 murders. He eventually wound up in a psychiatric wing of a Bogota hospital in 1994, and since his release in 1998 has not been seen or heard from. It is not known if he is alive or dead.


The hardest part about including religion on this list is how to label it. “Idea” seemed to best generalize the concept of what religion is, so I went with that. In most discussions of the topics on this list, many would agree that religion has caused more deaths in history than anything else. All of the entries on this list, as well as the ongoing turmoil in the Middle East: all are based on a religion, either manmade or reputed to be “of god.” The brutality of religion is well-documented and is apparent in all aspects of man’s existence. Even terrorism is often justified by its perpetrators “in the name of God”, or one of many variations. Whether one believes in that god or just uses the idea of that deity as a means to an end, there is no denying the billions of deaths that have been caused, either directly or indirectly, by religion.


I considered selecting the Great Chinese Famine of 1958-1961 for this entry, because it killed between 15 million and 43 million people over the span of three years; however, I realized I wanted to include a single act of nature’s wrath. Various factors combined to cause the 1931 China floods, which killed anywhere from 1 million to 4 million people. The flood destroyed an estimated 80 million homes and ravaged agriculture along the Yellow, Yangtze and Huai rivers. The Three Gorges Dam project was implemented to help avoid this type of flooding; however, due to Soviet conflicts, the project was suspended until 1980, and finally completed in 2009.


Listed as the second-greatest cause of death worldwide, smoking results in 10 percent of deaths around the globe, according to the World Health Organization. This adds up to roughly 5 million people annually. I don’t judge anyone who smokes; I personally wouldn’t do it, but to each their own. The WHO projects that 50% of smokers die from the habit. With 650 million smokers worldwide, that number alone portrays the global effects this habit will have on mankind. Of course, the most frustrating part is that smoking deaths are completely preventable. I know it’s easy for a non-smoker to say “don’t do it,” but there are methods in place to help one to quit, and maybe governments could become more involved by doing more than just taxing it, but that’s another discussion altogether.


Although the mosquito, itself, is merely a carrier, it is certainly a harbinger of death. Known to be a common vector of over 15 diseases, mosquitoes are capable of spreading many blood-borne illnesses of parasitic nature. The worst of the diseases, and the one with the largest impact on man, is malaria. Malaria is responsible for one million deaths each year, and is among the leading causes of premature death in the world, second only to HIV/AIDS in Africa. The mosquito proves to be an effective transmitter due to its reproductive process. To make its eggs, it breaks down an enzyme found in the blood of animals and humans into amino acids. I would like to add that HIV has been found to be impossible to spread by mosquitoes. If this were to somehow change, then the world just might face its apocalypse.


The mosquito earns its right as the deadliest non-rational animal, but the species known as Homo sapiens has easily caused the most deaths in history. Some may say it is religion, but I choose to say “man,” because regardless of the means one uses to bring death, it is all done by man’s hand, whether by war, religion, murder, etc. To go through the countless wars throughout history and to try to attain a cumulative total of deaths caused by war alone would take days, weeks or even months. Outside of war, murder and other direct causes of death, we are our own worst enemy. With the ability to annihilate the earth with “the press of a button,” man’s potential to end the lives of 6 billion people earns us the title as one of the deadliest vessels death uses to carry out its mission.


I could have chosen Hitler from popular opinion, or Jesus, due to religion’s impact on history, but to do so would not have done Joseph Stalin justice. Although it will never be known how many deaths were caused by Stalin’s regime, estimates range from 15 million people to as many as 60 million. He became leader of the Soviet Union in 1924, following Vladimir Lenin’s death. Stalin’s body of work as Deadliest Man includes 7.5 million people from ethnic minorities being deported (25% death rate); the mass deaths of civilians located in territories occupied by the Nazis (approximately 20 million); the Soviet Famine of 1932-33 (a result of rapid industrialization); and millions of executions and gulags. One could even credit him with deaths due to the blatant disregard for his conscripts’ lives, as they were carelessly and forcibly tossed into battle, since Soviet military casualties reached approximately 35 million soldiers in WWII.


The path one’s life will take is a mystery. The mark on history that one will leave is unknown. Life has many twists and turns, ups and downs, starts and stops; but regardless of the path a man’s individual journey has taken, death will always be there at the end. You can ask how, or who, or why, or when, but the only constant across all of the human lives who have come and gone is that time will always lead you to that death. It may be caused by the subjects of this list, it may not; but time will always lead you to the end of your life. Death can be hastened or delayed, but cannot be avoided. Time is the single constant found in this list, the vessel which death has summoned to carry out its purpose. Regardless of how or why one lives one’s life, at some moment in time, we will all find death.

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The Internet—it can be the greatest source of knowledge, within reach at a mere click of your fingertips. It can be the intangible web that binds all of us as one interconnected society. It can also be the bane of human reasoning, where the simplest of ideas ignites a firestorm of arguments and reactions—some with fatal consequences, others just too crazy to fathom.

10Xbox Live Argument Leads To Stabbing


The phrase “Well, that escalated quickly” seemed apt in this scenario. In August 2012, 20-year-old Kevin Kemp of Oakley, California was playing online with a 17-year-old neighbor via Xbox Live—the online gaming service of Microsoft’s Xbox video game console—when the two young men had an argument. The argument via headsets turned vicious, as the teenager’s anger began to boil. Meanwhile, Kemp said, “Bro, if you want to do this, come over to my house and we’ll do this right now.”

His friend took him up on the offer, dropping his controller to the floor and exchanging it for a knife and a gun. The assailant then barged into Kemp’s home and stormed past his surprised mother into Kemp’s room. The teenager then brandished his pistol and shot Kemp, the bullet narrowly missing his head by centimeters. Surprised at his terrible aim, he closed in at melee range and stabbed Kemp 22 times. The commotion alerted the neighbors, who called the cops and paramedics. Kemp was rushed to a nearby hospital. He survived—though their friendship most certainly did not.

9Facebook Crime Sprees


Facebook, having become part of the daily life of millions of people, has led to a number of crimes over the past few years. In Chicago, on April 29, 2014, a 14-year-old girl was charged with murder for shooting her friend of the same age, Endia Martin. Martin was shot from behind as she walked home from school. Authorities believed the killing was all because of a Facebook argument about a boy.

Just a few days prior, also in Chicago, Justin Hamilton, allegedly a member of a street gang, shot and killed two teenagers due to an argument about a cell phone cord. Hamilton and one of the victims had argued on Facebook, and the online name-calling turned out to be fatal in real life.

In March 2011, 18-year-old Kayla Henriques of New York was arrested for killing her brother’s girlfriend, Kamisha Richards. Richards had given Henriques $20 to buy milk and diapers for the latter’s 11-month-old child. Henriques, however, decided to purchase something else. This led Richards to voice her complaints on Facebook. Richards wrote that it would be “the last time u will con me into giving u money”; Henriques replied, “Dnt try to expose me mama but I’m not tha type to thug it ova facebook see u wen u get frm wrk.” The next day, the two met in an apartment, and the war of words only stopped after the young mother stabbed Richards in the chest.

8Myspace Hoax Leads To Suicide

Prior to Facebook invading our lives, there was Myspace. The smiling face of co-founder (and automatic friend) Tom Anderson showed us the brighter side of social media—despite a terrible crime lurking in its depths.

In 2008, Lori Drew, a Missouri mom, posed as a teenage boy to befriend one of her neighbors, 13-year-old Megan Meier. According to prosecutors and reporters, Drew had suspected Megan of spreading rumors about her daughter. To investigate the matter, she had to find out more about young Megan and her social media activities.

Registered as 16-year-old “Josh Evans,” Drew romanced Megan with sweet nothings and I-love-yous. Drew perpetrated these acts alongside her daughter Sarah and her business associate. Later on, the trio began harassing the young girl with threatening messages, breaking off their online relationship. This was, according to Megan’s parents, in spite of Mrs. Drew knowing that Megan had been suffering from depression for years. “Josh Evans” would drive home “his” statements by telling Megan that “the world would be a better place without” her. The heartbroken girl later hanged herself.

Instead of pressing charges directly, citing Drew’s complicity in the young girl’s suicide, authorities charged her and others under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Drew’s actions simply violated Myspace’s terms of service agreement, using false information to bully and abuse Megan. In her subsequent trial, Drew was found guilty of three misdemeanor charges but no felonies. In 2009, this verdict was overturned, much to the dismay of Megan Meier’s family.

7‘Serenity Now’ And The Funeral Raid

World of Warcraft is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), and naturally it brings together millions of gamers of different backgrounds and cultures.

One tragic event occurred in the Illidan, US server which aimed to promote unity among players. A player named Fayejin passed away on February 28, 2006, after suffering from a stroke. Her guild hosted an event to commemorate her life in the virtual world and the real one. A funeral march was to be held in her honor, where players from both factions (Alliance and Horde—at war with one another) could attend. Her online friends were also recording a video of the event to show to Fayejin’s family. This event was to be held in a contested zone—where players could clash in player-vs-player combat (PVP).

What could go wrong?

Since Fayejin and her friends were members of the Horde, an Alliance guild known as “Serenity Now” decided to disrupt the memorial by journeying across the continent, sneaking up on the unwary players, and proceeding to attack them. One member of the guild walked by Fayejin’s “dead” in-game character to state, “she loved fishing, and snow, and PVP.” Their actions brought a tumult of vicious verbal attacks inside the game and in the Blizzard forums. Players of both factions, even from other servers, were calling for bans and other corrective measures. Some have wished certain death on the very players who orchestrated the attack or on their families. The debates even escalated to other related websites and forums.

Ultimately, cooler heads prevailed. As tasteless as those actions were, they still took place in a video game—in a PVP server, in a contested zone. Such things were to be expected. Thus, future serious events in the game have been held in faction capitals or neutral zones (where PVP was disabled).

6Paul Christoforo And Ocean Marketing

On December 16, 2011, a customer named Dave began his email correspondence with Ocean Marketing representative Paul Christoforo. The correspondence concerned Dave’s order for an Avenger PS3 controller, which had been delayed. Several emails later, Christoforo’s patronizing and insulting attitude began to show. He told Dave, “put on your big boy hat and wait it out like everyone else.” He dared Dave to cancel his order, stating that those units would “be gone fast,” and Christoforo could even sell the controllers on eBay. Dave understandably became upset at this type of response, calling out Christoforo’s demeaning attitude. Christoforo replied by saying that he was 38 years old, and that he had been working online while Dave was still sperm in his “daddy’s balls.” Christoforo then began name-dropping his connections in the gaming world—such as Kotaku, IGN, and Engadget—as well as the political scene by claiming he knew the mayor of Boston.

When Dave sent copies of their email correspondence to various gaming sites, Christoforo’s actions imploded in his face. First was Mike Krahulik of Penny Arcade, who immediately banned Christoforo and Ocean Marketing from attending future events. Christoforo’s email would be bombed by thousands of hate mails and threats; his supposed contacts distanced themselves from him. N-Control, whom Christoforo and Ocean Marketing worked with for PR purposes, received numerous complaints. The company immediately sought to control the damage, claiming that Christoforo was a “rogue marketing guy” who operated without any rules.

Christoforo has since apologized for the incident—although it seems he has remained in N-Control’s employ under a fake name: “Tom.” He also allegedly sued them later on for defamation of character. In a recent interview, Christoforo still claimed he was the victim of Krahulik, Penny Arcade, and the bad press that surrounded him.

5A Less-Than-Stellar Book Review Leads To A Meltdown


TidBITS, a website dedicated to Macintosh news and reports, published a review of a novel created using iBooks Author. The novel, Venice Under Glass, was about teddy bears—yes, bears—who became crime-fighters and super-sleuths in the beautiful Italian city. Michael Cohen, who reviewed the article, mentioned that some jokes were “mildly amusing” and the writing was, at best, “workmanlike.” Cohen also said that the book may not appeal to adult readers but would be a good read for preteens intrigued by Venice or teddy bears.

The author, Stephan J. Harper, might have expected glowing reviews of his work instead of the tepid reception. He began to flood the comments page, deriding every single critique made by the reviewer. Harper defended his work, arguing that his writing was hardly juvenile—it alluded to classical prose and obscure historical events. Harper was insulted that his literary jewel was compared to young adult novels such as Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys. Harper enumerated multiple passages and quotations in his book to signify how beautifully he had encapsulated the scenery and how masterful his character descriptions were.

As commenters began to voice their dissenting opinions (including haikus), Harper claimed he would take the high road . . . only to take another shot at Cohen by claiming his review went against “400 years of scholarship.” Harper then took jabs at Cohen’s personal life and loved ones. He also responded to other commenters, calling them “gnats,” “poseurs,” “idiots,” and “trolls.” Things took a bizarre turn when Harper created a “list” of people worth talking to. Whenever anyone opined a different point of view, Harper would say they were “off the list,” adding, “I banish thee!” Harper argued with commenters from May 28, 2014 to September 3, 2014, when the comments section was finally locked. If you do have an hour of free time, have fun reading the full review and the comments section.

4Amy’s Baking Company Hates Gordon Ramsay And The Internet

Gordon Ramsay’s popular show Kitchen Nightmares has had its fair share of terrible restaurants, but Amy’s Baking Company—a restaurant in Arizona owned by Samy and Amy Bouzaglo—takes the cake. The experience was so horrid that it made Ramsay quit and refuse to help them.

A few years before they were slated to appear on the show, the owners responded to a one-star customer review with: “Do US a favor and keep your ugly face and you [sic] ugly opinions to yourself and go back to the restaurant that you really work at!” While they were being featured on Ramsay’s show, the ugliness ramped up. The owners were seen taking the tips of their waiters, arguing with the customers and mocking their food choices, and refusing every bit of criticism from Ramsay himself.

When the episode aired, “netizens” flooded the restaurant’s Facebook page with negative comments, which only led the owners to respond with: “I AM NOT STUPID ALL OF YOU ARE. YOU JUST DO NOT KNOW GOOD FOOD. IT IS NOT UNCOMMON TO RESELL THINGS WALMART DOES NOT MAKE THEIR ELECTRONICS OR TOYS SO LAY OFF!!!!” When the story reached Reddit later on, they responded: “TO REDDIT. I FORBID YOU FROM SPREADING YOUR HATE ON THAT SITE. THIS IS MY FACEBOOK, AND I AM NOT ALLOWING YOU TO USE MY COMPANY ON YOUR HATE FILLED PAGE.”

They also asked for religious and moral support: “We ask our supporters to keep us in their prayers . . . Thank all of you, and thank God. We will not bend to the will of these haters and sinners.” Due to the flood of negative comments and criticism, the husband offered a direct challenge: “To all of the Yelpers and Reddits: Bring it on. You are just pussies. Come to Arizona . . . Say it to my face. Man to man. My wife is a jewel in the desert. You are just trash.”

Later on, the couple claimed that their Facebook accounts had been hacked. By then it was too late—the story had gone so viral that Forbes even published an article about lessons learned from Amy’s Baking Company and what business owners should avoid doing on social media.

3Linux Is Obsolete


Just how far back do Internet arguments go?

One such early event occurred in 1992 on the Usenet discussion group comp.os.minix. Andrew Tanenbaum, creator of MINIX, and Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux, got into a heated back-and-forth debate about which operating system (OS) design was better. Tanenbaum considered microkernels, used by MINIX, superior to the monolithic kernels used by Linux. Tanenbaum would go as far as saying that Linux, despite being virtually new, was already “obsolete.”

Torvalds obviously did not like that, and he also began pointing out the flaws in Tanenbaum’s creation. Torvalds would point out that Tanenbaum could not consider MINIX a “hobby,” since he profited from it, while Torvalds gave Linux away for free. Torvalds would also claim that Tanenbaum’s job as a professor and researcher was the reason for the flaws in his system. The argument went on, and other experts in the field chimed in with their opinions. Both men thought that they were envisioning the future and argued about which OS would become superior later on.

Although the debate was mostly in good spirit (indeed, both men felt they had no ill will toward one another), there still existed a bit of rivalry even until recent years. In 2006, a magazine article written by Tanenbaum revived the old debate, and Torvald once again responded in kind.

2‘How Long Do You Freeze The Numbers?’


What is the one topic that’s so inoffensive that it’s hard to imagine comments devolving into unnecessary and petty flame wars? Cake. More specifically, rainbow cake.

In an article posted by Fox 101.9, a radio station in Australia, a recipe for how to bake a delicious and dazzling tie-dye rainbow cake became a viral hit. And it was not because of the tasteful treat but rather the tasteless and half-baked comments. While most of the rude comments have since been deleted, another website offered a blow-by-blow account of the zany incident. See, the rainbow cake was designed with numbers in the very center, signifying the age of a birthday celebrant.

One commenter asked: “How long do you freeze the numbers?” The rather snarky reply was: “Until they are frozen.” A fight broke out from that single comment alone. One person—”A baker”—found it rude, stating that if the other guy was “a real baker,” he would not have answered in such a rude manner. Later on, name-calling, insults, and cussing were traded by various readers. Politics came into play, with a commenter calling someone out for being “a Liberal.” That, of course, led to the discussion about the definition of “a Liberal,” about Republicans provoking arguments in cake recipe articles, and about how being a Conservative meant being a Communist. Some talked about how they raised their children to be good people; others went on to criticize the American education system. At least one person managed to sum up his opinion on the matter with a simple: “Hitler!”

The argument finally died out after everyone realized that they were talking about what was wrong with the US . . . on an Australian website about cakes.

1Innocence Of Muslims

In July 2012, a trailer for the film Innocence of Muslims was uploaded to YouTube. It remained in relative obscurity until September, when it was dubbed in Arabic. On September 11, 2012, coinciding with the date of the terror attacks on the United States over a decade prior, a wave of protests and riots began in several countries across the globe.

From the Middle East, Africa, London, Paris, and Copenhagen, to Bangkok, Jakarta, Sulu, and Tokyo, Muslim protesters advanced toward American embassies and cried out in anger at the video that was “designed to enrage.” In Pakistan, amid the violence, a national holiday was declared in honor of the prophet Muhammad.

The nearly 14-minute-long video portrayed Muhammad as a womanizer, a homosexual, and a child abuser. One portion of the trailer even depicted a certain homoerotic scene with a donkey. Unsurprisingly, this caused great distress and frustration among the Muslim populace of various countries, as it was an attack on their faith.

Dozens of people were killed; hundreds were injured. Among the casualties was US ambassador Chris Stevens, killed alongside three of his staff in a rocket attack in Libya. Fatwas were also issued by extremist organizations, targeting the film’s creator, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, as well as the actors and crew of the film. The crew maintained their innocence, claiming that Nakoula had lied to them about the project, overdubbing their lines in post-production as well as making them think the film was about a classic adventure in the desert. Nakoula did go to jail, although not for sparking violence but for violating his probation by using aliases and computers without approval from his probation officer.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, there are those who maintain that the protesters simply overreacted. The contrasting opinion is that Nakoula’s film was well within the bounds of freedom of speech, which in turn meant that Muhammad could be insulted. That is not for us to decide. We can simply consider the power of social media, the Internet, and how a short video posted online can cause brutal and vicious incidents across the globe.

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