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You Can Upload Porn, Elderly Abuse, Violence, But There Is One Thing People Online Won't Tolerate — What Is 'Rule Zero' On The Internet?
The Internet may be the Wild West when it comes to content, but if you violate the unwritten "Rule Zero," you may find online sleuths coming for you, as told on Netflix's new docuseries "Don't F**k With Cats."
The internet is a lawless place, but there’s apparently one regulation that is sacred.
Deanna Thompson, who works as a data analyst for a large casino in Las Vegas, spoke about this rule in “Don't F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer,” a true crime docu-series that just hit Netflix.
“The internet is boundless," she explains. "You know, it’s the Wild West, right? There’s the happy places where you look at cute little babies and wonderful, beautiful playfulness, and cute pictures of your kids going to school. But, more than anything, people love cats. They love them.”
She also offers her explanation of the darker side of the internet — as the calls it, the net's "seedy underbelly.”
"You can post porn, violence, somebody getting pushed down stairs, religious statues being defamed, cruelty to the elderly, a street fight, bum fights, defamatory images of the Statue of Liberty, and nobody gives a crap," she says.
But there is some seedy content that people will care about. Like Thompson says, people online love their cats.
She notes that "in this seedy underbelly, there's an unwritten rule. Now, it's unwritten, but it's understood. Rule zero. And rule zero is, 'Don't f**k with cats.'"
Somebody f**cking with cats is just what prompted her to become an online sleuth.
In 2010, she witnessed a torture video called “1 boy 2 kittens” which showed a man putting two kittens in a vacuum sealed bag, which suffocated and killed them.
Thompson watched the video in horror. She wasn't alone in her disgust. She then joined a Facebook group called "Find the Kitten Vacuumer...For great justice,” an online community dedicated to tracking down the assailant responsible for the kitten torture.
(Warning, spoilers ahead.)
More and more torture videos kept popping up as she and a few dozen others tried to track down the cruel mind behind the videos, using armchair detective work.
Soon, there was an influx of support and thousands of sleuths were on their side.
There was also an escalation.
The animal torturer posted a video called “1 Lunatic, 1 Ice Pick,” in 2012. In it, a man named Lin Jun was actually murdered onscreen in graphic detail.
Luka Magnotta, the man behind all the videos, dismembered Jun’s body and mailed the parts to institutions across Canada. He put fake return addresses on the packages — including that of an infamous Canadian serial killer's sister.
The movie shows the cat and mouse game between Magnotta and online sleuths before his eventual dramatic capture.
"Don't F**k With Cats: Hunting an Internet Killer" is currently streaming on Netflix. Watch the trailer here.