Weev, man of mystery, commodity investor,and Rolls Royce-owner (according to the Times): a troll
LULZ is an Internet abbreviation, produced as a variation on LOL “laughing out loud,” meaning “laughing at your expense.”
In the Sunday Times, Mattathias Schwartz (who clearly comes from a family afflicted with serious typo problems) ventures into the Internet jungle to meet its most fierce and exotic denizens, the perennially immature, the inadequately socialized, and the congenitally rude, i.e. the objectionable participants in on-line dialogue traditionally referred to pejoratively as trolls.
Journalists are clearly too busy writing features and brown-nosing editors to spend all that much time on the Internet, and our intrepid explorer finds some idiots, listens gravely to their nonsense, and a legend is born.
I first met Weev in an online chat room that I visited while staying at Fortunyâ€™s house. â€œI hack, I ruin, I make piles of money,â€ he boasted. â€œI make people afraid for their lives.â€ On the phone that night, Weev displayed a misanthropy far harsher than Fortunyâ€™s. â€œTrolling is basically Internet eugenics,â€ he said, his voice pitching up like a jet engine on the runway. â€œI want everyone off the Internet. Bloggers are filth. They need to be destroyed. Blogging gives the illusion of participation to a bunch of retards. . . . We need to put these people in the oven!â€ …
As we walked through Fullertonâ€™s downtown, Weev told me about his day â€” heâ€™d lost $10,000 on the commodities market, he claimed â€” and summarized his philosophy of â€œglobal ruin.â€ â€œWe are headed for a Malthusian crisis,â€ he said, with professorial confidence. â€œPlankton levels are dropping. Bees are dying. There are tortilla riots in Mexico, the highest wheat prices in 30-odd years.â€ He paused. â€œThe question we have to answer is: How do we kill four of the worldâ€™s six billion people in the most just way possible?â€ He seemed excited to have said this aloud.
Ideas like these bring trouble. Almost a year ago, while in the midst of an LSD-and-methamphetamine bender, a longer-haired, wilder-eyed Weev gave a talk called â€œInternet Crimeâ€ at a San Diego hacker convention. He expounded on diverse topics like hacking the Firefox browser, online trade in illegal weaponry and assassination markets â€” untraceable online betting pools that pay whoever predicts the exact date of a political leaderâ€™s demise. The talk led to two uncomfortable interviews with federal agents and the decision to shed his legal identity altogether. Weev now espouses â€œthe ruin lifestyleâ€ â€” moving from condo to condo, living out of three bags, no name, no possessions, all assets held offshore. As a member of a group of hackers called â€œthe organization,â€ which, he says, bring in upward of $10 million annually, he says he can wreak ruin from anywhere.
We arrived at a strip mall. Out of the darkness, the coffinlike snout of a new Rolls Royce Phantom materialized. A flying lady winked on the hood. â€œYour bag, sir?â€ said the driver, a blond kid in a suit and tie.
â€œThis is my car,â€ Weev said. â€œGet in.â€…
Zeno of Elea, Socrates and Jesus, Weev said, are his all-time favorite trolls. He also identifies with Coyote and Loki, the trickster gods, and especially with Kali, the Hindu goddess of destruction. â€œLoki was a hacker. The other gods feared him, but they needed his tools.â€
Somewhere in the caves of California, I hear the cackling and gibbering of trolls busily typing LMAO.