Every day, people are gunned down when they leave the relatively safe main streets of Reddit, Facebook or Twitter to wander into bad neighborhood forums where they’re not known. The usual weapons are words and the common advice is to grow thick skin for protection. Consequences are usually low; feelings are about all that ever get hurt.
Sometimes, however, mobs form. Posses meet up outside a hated website and hit the owners with barrages of venomous email. If a site has a forum or a Facebook page, they try to take over. If it’s supported by ad money, they might launch a campaign against the advertisers, as happened in 2010 with Cooks Source Magazine–a New England site brought down by web users for cavalierly stealing content.
If all of this fails to satisfy the mob’s thirst for blood, they might take their anger directly to the website’s landlord, the hosting company, with burlap bags filled with DMCA take-down notices the host can’t afford to ignore.