Reddit users hunt down the Instagrammer defiling national parks, get her banned

reddit national parks vandal casey nocket crater lake
Casey Nocket’s vandalism at Crater Lake National Park Casey Nocket/Modern Hiker
Reddit’s resourceful community of users has just done our nation a great service. Despite getting a bad rap over the years for their juvenile behavior and contentious opinions, the popular link-sharing site’s contributors should be saluted for bringing a law-breaking graffiti artist to justice.

Casey Nocket, who pleaded guilty to seven misdemeanor counts based on her defiling of rock formations in seven national parks, is now banned from 524 million acres of public land — that totals a whopping 20 percent of the U.S., in case you were wondering. And it’s all thanks to the efforts of a group of Reddit users who helped to track her down using social media and reported her to the National Parks Service.

Nocket went on a vandalism spree during a 26-day period in 2014. She would tag trails and cliffs with colorful faces, accompanied by her pseudonym “CreepyTings,” and then post pictures of the graffiti to her Instagram and Tumblr accounts.

Nocket first came to the attention of Reddit when one of its users posted an image of her graffiti spotted in Yosemite, reports The Guardian. The “National Park Vandal” quickly became a talking point for the site’s climbing and hiking community.

The amateur investigation kicked off when Casey Schreiner posted screenshots from Nocket’s Instagram and Tumblr accounts to his site Modern Hiker. These profiles later made it on to Reddit. It didn’t help Nocket’s case that she showed no remorse for her actions, responding to an Instagram comment decrying her use of acrylic paint with: “I know, I’m a bad person.”

Nocket’s unapologetic behavior only fueled the hate directed toward her online. At one point her Tumblr was hacked and overtaken by a troll, and her family reached out to hiking blog Trailmob with concerns for her safety. Alas, Reddit’s notoriously foul-mouthed community can’t necessarily be relied upon to carry out a good deed without a few hiccups along the way.

A post in the r/Yosemite subreddit caught the attention of Yosemite National Park investigator Steve Yu, who ended up asking the site’s users for assistance in tracking down Nocket. He later edited his post to implore the contributors to not take matters into their own hands, and to respect Nocket’s right to due process. Yu added that the Reddit users on the thread had ultimately helped him “filter new data.”

On June 13, Nocket was issued the aforementioned ban from public land administered by the National Park Service, United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. She was also sentenced to serve 200 hours of community service, and ordered to pay an as-yet undetermined fine.

Charles Culver, head of the National Parks Service’s law enforcement arm, claimed that social media played a key part in the inquiry. “When there are acts of destruction and you make them known at large through social media, that is a powerful tool of investigation,” he said.

Clean-up efforts have resulted in the successful removal of the graffiti in five of the seven national parks. The remaining sites, including Death Valley, and Crater Lake, are due to be cleaned next, according to the authorities.

Emerging Tech

Hexbot is a modular robot arm that does everything from drawing to playing chess

Who wouldn’t want their own personal robot arm to do everything from laser engraving to competing against you in a game of chess? That's what Hexbot, a new modular robot, promises to deliver.
Smart Home

Idaho mother says her child’s light-up sippy cup exploded

After a mother filled a Nuby insulated light-up cup with milk, the cup allegedly exploded. The incident caused burns to the mother's hand and face and a stinging sensation in her lungs that required a trip to the hospital.

Tidying up with Netflix’s Marie Kondo? Save on ClosetMaid essentials at Wayfair

Netflix recently premiered Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, a show about decluttering and organizing. If you want to try to live by her philosophy in 2019, Wayfair is offering up to 70 percent off on ClosetMaid's organization essentials.

If you're looking for a good laugh, here are 70 questions to ask Siri

Siri has come a long way since her first appearance on the iPhone 4S in 2011. We know she can make appointments and give directions, did you know she can make you laugh too? If you want proof, here are lots of funny questions to ask Siri.
Social Media

No yolk! A photo of an egg has become the most-liked post on Instagram

Until this weekend, the most-liked post on Instagram was of Kylie Jenner's baby daughter, which has around 18 million likes. It's now been knocked off the top spot not by a stunning sunset or even a cute cat, but by an egg.
Social Media

Invite your friends — Facebook Events can now be shared to Stories

Facebook is testing a way to make plans with friends to attend an event -- through Stories. By sharing an event in Facebook Stories, users can message other friends interested in the event to make plans to attend together.
Social Media

A quick swipe will soon let you keep bingeing YouTube on mobile devices

The YouTube mobile app has a new, faster way to browse: Swiping. Once the update rolls out, users can swipe to go to the next (or previous) video in the recommended list, even while viewing in full screen.

Starting your very own vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability. When it comes to putting your life on YouTube, here are the best cameras for the job.
Social Media

Twitter extends its new timeline feature to Android users

Twitter users with an Android device can now quickly switch between an algorithm-generated timeline and one that shows the most recent tweets first. The new feature landed for iPhone users last month.
Social Media

YouTube to crack down on dangerous stunts like the ‘Bird Box’ challenge

YouTube already bans content showing dangerous activities, but new rules published by the site go into greater detail regarding potentially harmful challenges and pranks, including certain blindfold- or laundry detergent-based stunts.
Social Media

Nearly 75 percent of U.S. users don’t realize Facebook tracks their interests

Did you know Facebook tracks your interests, including political and multicultural affiliations? According to a recent Pew study, 74 percent of adult users in the U.S. have no idea Facebook keeps a running list of your interests.

It’s back! Here’s how to switch to Twitter’s reverse chronological feed

Twitter has finally brought back the reverse chronological feed, allowing you to see your feed based on the newest tweets, rather than using Twitter's algorithm that shows what it thinks you want to see. It's easy to switch.
Social Media

Nearly a million Facebook users followed these fake Russian accounts

Facebook purged two separate groups behind more than 500 fake accounts with Russian ties. One group had ties to Russian news agency Sputnik, while the other had behavior similar to the Internet Research Agency's midterm actions.
Social Media

Twitter suffers privacy scare as bug reveals tweets of protected accounts

If you set your Twitter account to private and you have an Android device, you'd better check your settings now. Twitter says it's just fixed a four-year-old bug that flipped the privacy switch to make the account public.