Yahoo! Silences Boston Flash Mob?

August 18th, 2003

A group of flash mob organizers in Boston reports that Yahoo! Groups suddenly and unexpectedly removed the Bostoncitymob Web site, where Boston flash mobbers were organizing. Along with the site, the organizers lost a list of more than 1,000 people who signed up to receive announcements about the next Boston flash mob. They lost their Yahoo! e-mail account as well.

The group posted a new Yahoo! Group here, but perhaps flash mob organizers should consider using services other than Yahoo! to host their Web sites from now on. At the least, keep a backup copy of any Yahoo-hosted mailing lists that you own, in case they disappear.

68 Responses to “Yahoo! Silences Boston Flash Mob?”

  1. comment number 1 by: Jim

    Flash mobs are over. Passe. Done. Terminado.

    The minute anyone dweeb in a newsroom gets ahold of anything original, you can bet that it’s shelf-life has just expired.

    The only reason from now on to consider a flash mob would be for non-peaceful activities.

  2. comment number 2 by: Kenneth

    Jim, I disagree with you. There are several of us out here who have not had the opportunity to participate in a flash mob. I personally would be interested in joining one just to say I’ve done it. I would not consider that a non-peaceful motive.

  3. comment number 3 by: Anonymous

    Jim, you need to get life. If you don’t want to have fun feel free to go home and look at porn on the internet like you do most nights rather yapping about other people trying to have a good time.

  4. comment number 4 by: Ryan

    Jim that is so ridiculas so now that it has been done in a couple of cities if it expanded to others it has to be violent? It is closed minded ultra right persons like you that go off and creat a totaly false image of people trying to havve good holsome fun. GET A LIFE and realize that there is a world outside your demented false perseption

  5. comment number 5 by: David D.

    I had a bunch of Yahoo groups that I founded get erased, but Yahoo had nothing to do with it, they claimed. In my case, it appeared that someone hacked in and erased my groups. That may have happenned here, too. Why would Yahoo erase it on purpose?

  6. comment number 6 by: Cliff

    Jim, you’re right, flash mobs are coming to an end. Thus, the evolution of flash mobs to slash mobs. Spread the word everyone. Same idea, gather a mob at a densely populated area, then slash the onlookers. Its a great way to have fun with others while killing people. Fun times.

  7. comment number 7 by: MMretoopS

    You know, one of those big brown things with sticks on it, that grows out of the ground and stuff. They usually have leaves. They can get pretty big.

  8. comment number 8 by: Sivart

    You are stoopid

  9. comment number 9 by: 0drakcir

    A plantlike growth from a seed. A place where cats like to get stuck at. A place for leaves to grow, a source of wood.

  10. comment number 10 by: GwadXalc

    its something that grows outside…it starts a seedling..then a sapling.its parts consist of trunk, limbs, and leaves. teh leaves are green, and the trunk is brown. it grows from end out, like your hair. you can find out how old it is by cutting horizontally through the trunk and counting the rings.

  11. comment number 11 by: Llorqam

    A perennial woody object having a main trunk and usually a distinct crown, filled with coloured leaves mostly green depending on the season.

  12. comment number 12 by: sucidiulf


  13. comment number 13 by: cirE

    It’s a tall plant, with a tough outer covering, and long offshoots that have solar ray collectors on them that convert light energy in to chemical energy

  14. comment number 14 by: itx

    its brown, its green, it’s coming for you

  15. comment number 15 by: siratiug

    A larger than usual plant, some with fruits, some with flowers, some tall, some short.

  16. comment number 16 by: Bryant

    Someone has to tell me when the next flash mob is going to meet in NYC. Or at least let me know of someone that organizes it. Thanks;)

  17. comment number 17 by: taoG_mumixaM

    A large leafy generally brown organic substance. It grows in the ground and produces oxygen. They provide shade.

  18. comment number 18 by: sdeenlaiceps

    I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as one.

  19. comment number 19 by: Sean

    Fine, I’ll say it: someone can’t see the forest for the trees.

  20. comment number 20 by: starlegions

    You know what people should do. Flash Mob Gas stations. Maybe this will stop people from consuming gas so much and drop the price of it! They just jacked up the price of gas right after the power outage! Pisses me off!

  21. comment number 21 by: 82nameriF

    What a wonderful existance. Goldenrod colors with life that flourishes in its very soul. The birds, the insects, the children! Almost its own subcultural event. And you can build a house in it from its very essence. What a God perfect send.

  22. comment number 22 by: maK

    Branches like my soul. Forever reaching into the distance. Leaves…fall. It still stands…tall.

  23. comment number 23 by: mobster

    maybe flash mobs are over.

    maybe they just evolve…to smart mobs.

  24. comment number 24 by: ylggiW_rM

    there was this tall tihing with green leaves it swayed in the wind and smelled like feet

  25. comment number 25 by: tnegnatsuibom

    squirrel run trough my arms to deposit their nuts in my heart

  26. comment number 26 by: sean

    “mobster” — now you’re getting it!

  27. comment number 27 by: yobweJ

    green leaves and tough brown bark deep root system and chaotic branches gripping the earth for dear life houses for birds and squirels place for tire swings and too build club houses sometimes they have fruit other times they have nuts some serve no purpose other than air management. end

  28. comment number 28 by: Lisa

    Um… what are we talking about exactly????

  29. comment number 29 by: nataS_rD

    It’s tall and it’ll squish your ass if you are under it when it falls

  30. comment number 30 by: Greg

    A mobbing resources available to all is at Flocksmart, which has RSVP facilities as well as locational and subject matter categorization. It appears to be a decent enough tool.

  31. comment number 31 by: kciN

    Is made of alive toothpicks.

  32. comment number 32 by: faoltaem

    dogs piss on em, they are tall.


  33. comment number 33 by: 0095nede

    oh great boreal wasteland, how doust thou bend in thy summer’s glare; how must thy wear the winter’s wares? hark! it is upon these camoflouge boughs, that saplings grow unto human form.

  34. comment number 34 by: Anonymous

    Damn, you freaks are bored……seems Cher was building houses for Habitat for Humanity this SCORCHING weekend in Minneapolis. That’s admirable…I mean compared to pudgy Gen Y’ers doing absolutely n o t h i n g.

    I think it is EXTREMELY funny that hackers are spoiling the reindeer games for you dweebs….It would seem that THEY are the ones having the real FUN. hahahahahahahaha

  35. comment number 35 by: rekrul dezaf

    Birds pirch and nest, the cold sheds its coat, looking regal in the frost, ah but life begins agian.

  36. comment number 36 by: recall me

    Erect and hard with a cork center.

  37. comment number 37 by: Cape Cod Mob

    CapeCodMob on Yahoo got shut down too. We will be holding our first this Friday night. Meet on Main St in Hyannis, outside either the Dog Shack or Kandy Korner for instructions.

  38. comment number 38 by: Alan

    We shuld use network54

    not using yahoo groups.

  39. comment number 39 by: Aussie Wonders....

    But what’s the point?

  40. comment number 40 by: bloggy

    You may be interested in watching this report from the Post:

  41. comment number 41 by: Anthony

    Well, I don’t know if they shut it down on purpose or not, but it sure was pretty small — only about 20 people, tops. :-/

    Is the flash mob movement over?

  42. comment number 42 by: evan

    I doubt it is, Anthony. I doubt discovery of a new mode of expression, a twist in a certain state of affairs, can be forgotten or gotten rid of.

  43. comment number 43 by: Anthony

    Clarification on my last comment — the Yahoo! group wasn’t small, but those same people tried to organize a mob tonight, but it was a flop and only a few (20 or less) people showed.

    Sorry for any confusion.

  44. comment number 44 by: rg

    Several hundred people (300-500) last night for London Flashmob 2.

    Photos at

  45. comment number 45 by: Boston Mob

    Well, we don’t really want to characterize last night’s Boston Mob as a flop or failure as Anthony at said, but it wasn’t large, that’s for sure.

    We were obviously planning on a larger turnout, but our technical problems pretty much killed us.

    We don’t think this has any bearing on whether or not flashmobs are dying out, it was just the result of our various technical issues.

    The point of it was to go to the next step of flashmobbing. We didn’t want to cancel, and we were hoping we could overcome the problems if we could get the word out to the people on our mailing list (We couldn’t contact them directly because the list was on the yahoo group. This group had only one moderator; Yahoo made bostoncitymob invalid. Without moderator access, we were toast.)

    In retrospect, maybe we should have cancelled, but we’ve learned, and we can do better next time.

  46. comment number 46 by: kat

    i cant wait for the chicago one!

  47. comment number 47 by: bob

    The whole flash mob concept seems silly to me. It’s not much different than doing the wave at a ballgame. Go to a parade or something.

  48. comment number 48 by: bigoldgeek

    Spam comments. THAT’s a good way to get people on your side, Paul Revere.


  49. comment number 49 by: Anonymous

    Flash Mob Saturday 30th in London, UK… Yay!

    Please let any Londoners you know, know:

    You are cordially invited to a flash mob next Saturday afternoon (30/08/03), to be held near Waterloo station (nice and close to Soho etc). Venue has spacious outdoor bit for spill-over, “prank” is funny and legal, and, unusually, will be funny even if 10 or less people attend. But we want hundreds to come, obviously. So please pass on the good word to any softy southerners you know…

    Yours sincerely,

    Hopleton Brown.

    More Will Be Revealed (when appropriate, prob. Friday 29th).

    If this has piqued anyone’s interest, let me know (but don’t flood the damn inbox!). In a few days I may be able to give you a hint as to what the “prank” involves…

  50. comment number 50 by: sean

    I have removed the anti-Republican comment-spam from the clown who calls himself “Paul Revere.”

    Folks, please don’t post random Democrat/Republican rants here; try to keep the comments at least loosely related to the entries they’re attached to. If you don’t realize that the Democrats and the Republicans have become essentially the same party, funded and controlled by the same corporations, please go discuss it elsewhere.

    And before getting too riled up about this guy’s rant, keep in mind that (s)he might have been a Republican simply -posing- as Democrat, using such a comically absurd rant to make Democrats look stupid and short-sighted…

  51. comment number 51 by: Muyloco





  52. comment number 52 by: les

    send me all. the idea of mobbing is one in the face for the c.j.a. and is a brilliant way of organising a party. the road alliance used the idea to block roads for street parties. we all need to rent tuxes and raid the best restaurants and clubs chanting give me some.

  53. comment number 53 by: Tersites

    I’ve heard of some big “marketing heads” in my country that are thinking in how to exploid this. Imagine: do a flashmob in a Starbucks, with all the media and so on, and after that give cofee to everyone and be very cool.

    Anyone afraid?

  54. comment number 54 by: RobZ

    I’ve had a few marketer types approach me already about setting up mobs for them. Yes, I’m scared. I wake up many mornings in a cold sweat having dreamed that Nike offered me some ungodly sum to hold a flock that would form a Nike swoosh in Union Square. Yeesh.

    As for having nothing better to do: from the beginning, I’ve wanted to do a flock that benefitted the local community in some way. One of the original ideas was to build an instant and collaborative canned food sculpture (unbound) and donate the food to a local food bank. Whne I called the local food banks, they blanched at the idea of 100 people showing up and suddenly dropping off food. And I didn;t want to do anything that would get either them or the mobbers tagged as litterers by the authorities. So back to the drawing board. Thoughts?

  55. comment number 55 by: Amanda Kruel

    Rob- that’s a really good idea. Helping the community is a good plan, and I just thought of something: Instead of littering, pick up litter- meet at a dirty park or something and have everyone pick up trash.

  56. comment number 56 by: gervis

    In the Netherlands in thet city of Assen a group of 50 mobbers encouraged in a big department store a doll called Japie to continue climbing his rope yelling ‘you can make it Japie you can accomplish’. The mobbers brought whistles and all kinds of noisy instruments and left the customers astonished.

  57. comment number 57 by: Stefan

    a mob without a purpose just to make a stunt and get attention is giving real demonstrations a bad name. Stop it if you care about what a demonstration does.

  58. comment number 58 by: jack

    there should be a flash mob in phoenix arizona like at a theater called amc esplanade14 it on 24th street and camelback everyone hangs out there on friday nights like after movies at like 9 to 10 pm

  59. comment number 59 by: FlashMobPhilly

    Around noon on September 8th there will be a Flash Mob in Center City Philadelphia.

    Email for more information

  60. comment number 60 by: brew

    I am looking for infomation about how i can get involved in a New York Flash Mob, I think that i have a good idea for one and would like to make it happen. Anyone have any suggestions as to what the next step is that I should take? Thanks

  61. comment number 61 by: rachel

    i am looking for information about flash mobs in madison, wisconsin. please help! i can’t seem to find any information at all…am i THAT stupid? (don’t say yes)


  62. comment number 62 by: montresor

    flashmobbers in cleveland, ohio? anything happening here at all? besides being the source of the blackout? (thanks SO much, FirstEnergy!)

  63. comment number 63 by: victoria

    would like a list of wiless places in montreal please e-mail or pm me with info ms victoria

  64. comment number 64 by: Josie

    flash mobs in boston – where should we look for this info? email please! thanks

  65. comment number 65 by: fontastique

    flashmobs are gone, long live the anti-flash mob… I am doing one right now, alone at home.


  66. comment number 66 by: Julie

    Have Flash mobs died out? I didn’t even know what they were until now. Anyone want to do one in Cambridge?

  67. comment number 67 by: hey hey

    These flash mobs are great. What a great way to use technology to build human solidarity among people who exist in a society where we are becoming increasingly isolated by technology…..too bad some people dont get it.

  68. comment number 68 by: napoleon

    hey are there any flash mob groups in cincinnati? or do you know of anyone who has participated who lives in the general vicinity of cinci? thanks!