'Operation Chokehold' by Fake Steve Jobs

He organized a flash mob to rattle the telecom giant

This article is from the archive of our partner .

Dan Lyons--the impersonator-satirist behind Fake Steve Jobs--took a common gripe among iPhone users and made it concrete. This week, instead of bellyaching about bad service, he urged users fed up with AT&T's network to overload the system this Friday. (He adapted the idea from "flash mobs" that organize strange, coordinate happenings in public places.) His whim snowballed into a movement, spawned a standalone Web site and a Facebook group. (See Wire coverage of Lyons's shenanigans here.)

Just as importantly as crystallizing vague grumbling into real action, Lyons also took responsibility when it became clear that coordinated overloading of AT&T's system could have adverse effects on fellow users.

I really don't want to cause any actual harm to my fellow AT&T users. Quite the opposite -- I feel as if we're all caught in the same horrible prison, suffering alongside one another.

Of course, he followed this up with jokes about Sarah Palin and the FCC's safety concerns. Whether it shuts down AT&T on Friday or not, "Operation Chokehold" has already succeeded more than any one piece of anti-AT&T commentary in making customers' disgruntlement heard.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.