Case in point, I was reading up on a story I found on the internet. A guy was driving home one night in his modified Subaru WRX, when his rear glass was shot out by a pellet gun and his sheet metal riddled with dings and holes. He was even struck in the head with a BB. The driver then sees the two shooters and chases them down. One bolts, but the other reloads and continues to shoot the guy as he runs towards him. The driver of the shot-up car takes some hits to the leg, but manages to tackle the shooter and give him a nice little beating until security came by and the police were called. The mother of the 19 year old, would-be assassin tried to press charges for assault, so the driver of the WRX got an attorney and prepared to fight. Pellet guns these days are no joke. They can seriously injure a human being and are regarded as deadly weapons. The fact that the car was just lit up for no reason made me think that the court would obviously favor in the direction of the guy who was shot, especially being shot in the head. Long story short, after the investigation, the charges of assault against the driver were dropped. It turns out that the shooter knew the WRX's driving route and planned the whole thing (pre-meditated) and opened fire on the car for one reason... wait for it... he's an SRT4 owner and hates Subarus. Can you believe that? The shooter had also previously shot up another Subaru in the area. A non-existent "rivalry" between two cars, basically started on the internet, was the reasoning this kid used to commit a crime that got him three years in prison for assault with a deadly weapon, and ordered to pay for damages to the WRX.
Now obviously not all SRT4 owners are gun-toting, Subaru haters. I know plenty of real SRT enthusiasts who hate the bad rep they get when stuff like this goes down. This is just one instance of someone who took things a little too seriously, but this whole thing just goes to show the power of internet forums. Even though the "rivalry" isn't said to have stemmed from the forums specifically in this case, it's obvious they have something to do with all the crap talking that goes on between different communities in general. It's up to the real enthusiasts out there to be responsible enough to keep crap like this from getting out of hand. Forums can be a great tool, if used right. There have been benefits so far such as breaking news coverage, local community organization for meets and events, and the buying and selling of parts. But it seems like 90% of the time, forums are used by "trolls" and other immature users that use it as an anonymous outlet to talk sh * t and spread wrong, biased information to the newer users. I know none of you would do anything like that, right?