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Subject: Does Anybody Remember the Stolen Sidekick Saga of 2006?

Written By: mach!ne_he@d on 04/15/17 at 2:00 pm

This is a really interesting trip down memory lane here, back to the early days of modern social media. How many people here remember the infamous "Stolen Sidekick" drama that exploded on the internet in June 2006? I remember following every development of this event (which arguably kicked off the modern "internet drama" era which we currently live in) back during that summer, but I wonder if others do? In many ways, it's a great time capsule. I mean, you've got MySpace, AOL AIM and flip-phones all at the center of the story. It doesn't get anymore "2006" than that.

For those that don't recall, here's a quick timeline of the events that transpired.

*May 31, 2006: Evan's friend Ivanna accidentally leaves her T-Mobile Sidekick II in a taxi cab in New York City.

*June 1-2, 2006: Evan and Ivanna call the lost Sidekick and sent text messages to it offering a reward for whoever returns it. They never get a response.

*June 2, 2006: Ivanna decides to buy a new Sidekick, assuming that the old one is lost forever.

*June 3, 2006: Ivanna activates her new Sidekick, she is shocked to discover that the person who found her old phone has been using it to send texts, sign on to AOL, and take pictures of herself. She's also been taking the pictures of Ivanna and her family that were already on the phone, and emailing them to friends. Evan waits for the girl (named Sasha) to sign on, then sends her a message requesting that she return the phone. Sasha proceeds to curse Evan out. A relative of her's later sends Evan a threatening IM.

*June 6, 2006: Evan decides to post the story of what happened with Ivanna and her Sidekick on his website. He posts a link to the story on a forum, and IM's it to several of his friends. Someone e-mails Evan the address of Sasha's MySpace account, after which he posts a link to the story on The story immediately shoots up to the front page of Digg, and Evan's "Stolen Sidekick" website has over 50,000 unique views by the the night of the 6th.

*June 7, 2006: Even recieves an e-mail from an NYPD officer telling him to let the police handle the matter. Sasha's brother sends an e-mail telling Evan that his sister brought Ivanna's phone off the cab driver and would not be returning it. He also threatens Evan, saying he is "military police", and that he would "deal with" Evan if he didn't take the "Stolen Sidekick" webpage down. People find the name of Sasha's brother (Luis), and his MySpace page. By close of business on the 7th, Evan's page has over 500,000 views.

*June 8, 2006: Evan's "Stolen Sidekick" webpage explodes online, receiving millions of unique visits. He gets 3,000 e-mails in one day. Visitors ultimately reveal that Sasha is a 16-year-old girl, and that she lives with her brother, Luis, in Corona. They are now getting barraged on MySpace with people demanding they return the Sidekick. Evan also begins getting media requests from major outlets, including the New York Times. He also begins attempting to create a "Stolen Sidekick" forum.

*June 9, 2006: Evan gets his forum up and running, and MSNBC runs a story online about the Sidekick. He officially files a theft report with the NYPD.

*June 12, 2006: NYPD cop tells Evan they won't pursue the Sidekick. Sasha says she will return the Sidekick in exchange for the money she paid the cab driver for it. The New York Times runs it's story about the Sidekick.

*June 13, 2006: Evan receives an anonymous e-mail saying that Sasha has sold the Sidekick to someone else, and that her family is preparing a lawsuit against Evan for harassment.

*June 20, 2006: Sasha is arrested by the NYPD. Evan and Ivanna agree to not press charges in exchange for her returning Ivanna's Sidekick.

*June 21, 2006: Evan and Ivanna decide to auction the Sidekick off on eBay for charity.

*June 22, 2006: Sasha appears on UPN claiming she is still being threatened online.

*June 27, 2006: Evan puts the Sidekick up for auction on eBay.

*June 29, 2006: eBay takes down the Sidekick auction due to insufficient paperwork.

*June 30, 2006: Evan puts the Sidekick back up for auction.

*July 11, 2006: The highest bidder for the Sidekick, who put up $3,500 dollars, is proven to be a fake.

Just typing all that out took me back to those early Web 2.0 days, when MySpace, YouTube and link aggregator websites like Digg and Reddit were just starting to take off. I even remember people taking news clips about the Stolen Sidekick off TV and uploading them onto YouTube in 240p a few hours later, which seemed revolutionary at the time. We were on the cutting edge of a revolution at the time, and we just didn't know it. 8)

Subject: Re: Does Anybody Remember the Stolen Sidekick Saga of 2006?

Written By: 2001 on 04/15/17 at 3:48 pm

That's a very interesting saga.  :o

I can't say I remember it. It reminds me of Densha Otoko, although that was in 2004 and only in Japan, and no YouTube. I thought "wow, we're in the future" when I heard about it in 2006. ;D

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