Sending an inappropriately revealing email to the wrong person is the working adult equivalent of that high school nightmare where you show up to school naked: It's something you're pretty sure you'll never do, but thinking about the idea just stresses you out. Unfortunately for some of us, making a mistake while writing an email is much easier to do than leaving the house without figuring that you're naked. Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmedi learned that the hard way yesterday when he sent a press release that accidentally outed his entire mailing list.
In what amounts to pure technology-inspired nightmare fuel, it seems that the more savvy Taliban insurgents are pretending to be sexy ladies on Facebook in order to sneakily learn about coalition soldiers. Given the amount of information that folks are more than willing to give up on the service without a second thought, it's not really all that surprising. Disturbing, and surreal, sure, but not surprising.
A couple months ago EA announced that it would allow gamers to play as the Taliban in the multi-player modes of its upcoming Medal of Honor game. The response to this decision was vocal and negative, and came to the same conclusion for a variety of reasons. This week, EA rescinded the whole thing... sort of. Players will still be able to play as insurgents in the new MoH, its just that the game will call them "Opposing Force" instead of "Taliban." No aspects of the gameplay will be changed other than the name. But even this purely cosmetic change is too much for some industry analysts.
News that Taliban fighters would be one of the playable sides in the online multiplayer of the next Medal of Honor game has been greeted with apprehension by some, who voiced legitimate concern over the interactions between the online multiplayer FPS community with something as sensitive as the current and ongoing war in Afghanistan. When asked about gamers feeling uneasy playing as Taliban, gamemaker DICE has responded:
"I think it is a fair point," said producer Patrick Liu... "We do stir up some feelings, although it's not about the war, it's about the soldiers.
"We can't get away from what the setting is and who the factions are, but in the end, it's a game, so we're not pushing or provoking too hard."
Well now: Here is an insane rumor which -- spoiler alert -- is not at all true. People's Daily Online, the website of the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China, claims that the Taliban is training "monkey terrorists" to "use the Kalashnikov, Bren light machine gun and trench mortars ... [to] identify and attack soldiers wearing U.S. military uniforms."
Here's the fiendish part of the Taliban's scheme which is not real: Not only would armed and dangerous monkeys be fighting on the wrong side of the War Against Terror, but animal lovers would pressure the U.S. government to withdraw troops from the country, because the prospect of injuring Kalashnikov-toting monkeys is far more upsetting to them than any other concern one could possibly raise about the war in Afghanistan. According to People's Daily, which is not the Chinese edition of Weekly World News, "A senior U.S. military source confirmed the existence of the Taliban monkey soldiers, military experts call armed monkeys 'monkey terrorists.'"
But there's only one hitch to this untrue rumor which cites as its primary evidence unnamed sources and "media outlets" and the above badly Photoshopped picture of a terrorist monkey: It isn't true.