Reddit users helped bust a national park graffiti artist

Pro tip: don't write your social network names when defacing natural treasures.

AP Photo/Judith Kohler

Graffiti artist Casey Nocket is learning first-hand about the consequences of sharing illegal acts online. She's facing a US-wide national park ban and 200 hours of community service after Modern Hiker and Reddit users identified her as the vandal who painted faces in six parks, including Colorado National Monument and Death Valley. A Reddit hiker drew the earliest known attention to the vandalism, but things really snowballed when MH's Casey Schreiner posted a story detailing Nocket's identity and social networking accounts. That led to a further Reddit discussion, which caught the eye of a National Parks Service investigator... you can guess what happened next.

The internet's contribution wasn't uniformly positive. Would-be vigilantes tried to post Nocket's home address (aka a classic doxxing attempt) on both Modern Hiker and Reddit, and the general rage toward Nocket sparked fears for her safety. While other users helped report these incidents, they show that there's a fine line between online justice and online abuse.