"It is unfortunate that this torchbearer’s once-in-a-lifetime experience with the Olympic flame was disrupted in this manner," Jim Richards, director of torch relays, said in a release.
"We understand that the Olympic Games are a high profile event and will attract attention and that people have the right to express their opinions," Richards said. "We ask that they do so peacefully and respectfully."
For much of human history, exacting retribution on your enemies—as opposed to fantasizing about it—was too much of a hassle for most people to bother with. It involved duels, poison or, at the very least, clever rumors that took ingenuity to create and patience to spread. By the time you had devised a revenge plot, you typically had cooled off and come to your senses.
That’s not the case anymore. Thanks to the Internet, vengeance—let’s call it “Webtribution”—is easier, and nastier, than ever. And it’s also a whole lot more prevalent. The Internet permits us to be impulsive and anonymous. It requires a minimum amount of work: You can ruin someone’s life while sitting on the couch watching TV. And it provides a maximum amount of pain.