Last night, Internet vigilantes heeded a call to arms to avenge the beating of a Chicago man by seven youths caught on video.
After 4chan identified and posted the private information of the attackers, users from various social networks—Reddit, YouTube, Facebook, and World Star Hip Hop—bombarded the alleged assailants’ Facebook accounts until the users reportedly deleted their profiles.
One of the assailants was arrested last night, and the video has surfaced on YouTube.
YouTuber David Ly, aka WTFprodutkionz, continues to update the situation as it unfolds through informative vlogs. In a video uploaded last night following the arrest, Ly asserts that the suspect’s father is actually part of the Chicago police department.
In the latest development, Ly says the mob crusade may have been misguided. He posted a video of a teenage girl who was apparently close to one of the attackers. She claims the beating was done in retaliation, and that 20 of the victims’ friends had beaten one of the attackers and his family member back in October. She identifies the victim as a member of the gang “Fobs.”
“You don’t know them at all, and you have your reasons to give out your opinions and judge, but you don’t know the whole story behind it,” says the unidentified girl, addressing the Internet mob.
Once the vigilante mob train has left the station, though, it’s very difficult to stop. Redditors have turned one of the attackers into a meme, using the screengrab of when he gave the cameraman his gloves before continuing to beat the Chinese man.
According to CBS Chicago article posted this morning, six of the males involved are being questioned by police.