Can't we just enjoy his art and leave him the hell alone?
Everyone loves Bansky. And if you haven't seen "Exit Through the Gift Shop," stop reading this right now and check it out. It's unbelievable. And we love the work he's done on the Gaza Strip, too.
But some people just have to be assholes. Bansky is famous for maintaining an anonymous profile, and that's led a group of scientists to try to figure out who he is anyway.
A study conducted by scientists at London's Queen Mary University claims to have discovered the identity of Banksy by using geographic profiling, a technique used to catch serial criminals. The academic research identified the anonymous graffiti artist as Robin Gunningham.
“I would call him an excellent suspect,” said Dr. Kim Rossmo, one of the study’s four authors and a professor at Texas State University who pioneered geographic profiling as a police inspector in Vancouver, British Columbia, in the 1990s. “He’s got connections to two entirely different cities that are involved here.”
Here's a look at some of their methods, which include a very fancy graph.
After cross-referencing the hotspots with publicly accessible information on the list of 10 potential Banksy "candidates," the researchers found that each of the hotspots were places lived in or frequented by Gunningham — a name identified as Banksy by a 2008 newspaper investigation.
“I'd be surprised if it's not [Gunningham], even without our analysis, but it's interesting that the analysis offers additional support for it," Steve Le Comber, a biologist and co-author of the study, told the BBC.
But why do they have to be a bunch of mask-pulling asshats? The team behind the Banksy study said they turned their attention to the artist as "a test case to see whether their model could be applicable in more scenarios involving political messages, propaganda and information, such as for tracking extremist groups."
So they're just revealing the ID of Bansky so they can out terrorists? Couldn't you just practice by figuring out who Anonymous is?