The Snoop Next Door
Bad parking, loud talking -- no transgression is too trivial to document online. Our reporter on new Web sites for outing fellow citizens.

By JENNIFER SARANOW / WSJ
January 12, 2007; Page W1

Last month, Eva Burgess was eating breakfast at the Rose Cafe in Venice, Calif., when she remembered she needed to make an appointment with her eye doctor. So the New York theater director got on her cellphone and booked a date.

Almost immediately, she started receiving "weird and creepy" calls directing her to a blog. There, under the posting "Eva Burgess Is Getting Glasses!" her name, cellphone number and other details mentioned in her call to the doctor's office were posted, along with the admonition, "next time, you might take your business outside." The offended blogger had been sitting next to Ms. Burgess in the cafe.


The dawn patrol: Tim Halberg filmed a newspaper-
stealing neighbor, then put the video online.


It used to be the worst you could get for a petty wrong in public was a rude look. Now, it's not just brutal police officers, panty-free celebrities and wayward politicians who are being outed online. The most trivial missteps by ordinary folks are increasingly ripe for exposure as well. There is a proliferation of new sites dedicated to condemning offenses ranging from bad parking (Caughtya.org) and leering (HollaBackNYC.com) to littering (LitterButt.com) and general bad behavior (RudePeople.com). One site documents locations where people have failed to pick up after their dogs. Capturing newspaper-stealing neighbors on video is also an emerging genre.

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