BOSTON (CBS) — What is a “jerk?”
This burning question comes up as we read about claims by the Federal Trade Commission that a locally-based website, jerk.com, broke federal law by seizing personal info about people – children included – off of Facebook and creating online profiles which they then labeled “jerk” or “not a jerk” as part of a money-making scheme, part of which allegedly involved charging people a fee to remove their page from the site.
Listen to Jon’s commentary
I won’t repeat any of the amazingly obnoxious comments some visitors posted on the site about some of the victims featured there, but if you’ve been online lately, you know what they’re like.
If the FTC’s charges are proven true, it will demonstrate that jerk.com was the epitome of the internet’s dark side – a forum for the unscrupulous to freely indulge their greed and vulgarity and make a buck off it, too.
But back to our central question – what is a “jerk,” exactly?
The dictionary says it’s a “contemptibly naive, fatuous, foolish, or inconsequential person,” but that seems a bit vague. The thesaurus does better, offering “dolt,” “dunce,” “jackass” and “nitwit.”
These seem to capture the essence of the jerk, as well as the alleged mindset behind jerk.com, fairly well.
Think of the college kid who vandalizes their campus for laughs, the political partisan who’d rather vilify the other side than debate, and the seemingly-endless parade of jerks online who use their freedom to spew self-loathing.
Their unfortunately large portion of the internet should have its own domain name – jerks.org.
You can listen to Keller At Large on WBZ News Radio every weekday at 7:55 a.m. You can also watch Jon on WBZ-TV News.
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