TorrentReactor Reportedly Buys, Renames a Russian Town
baronvoncarson and a few other readers sent in the unconfirmed report that the Russian torrent site TorrentReactor had bought the Russian town of Gar for $148,000, on the condition that the town rename itself Torrentreactor.net. Torrent Freak notes circumspectly that TorrentReactor has been known in the past for — how best to put this? — publicity stunts and hoaxes. And Torrent Freak at the time of writing had no confirmation from any Russian authority that the purported cash-for-renaming deal is genuine. Here is the announcement on TorrentReactor’s site, which contains this explanation of how Gar was chosen: “We’ve picked a few thousands of godforsaken places around the world that are close to operating nuclear reactors to make a connection to the name of our company. The list was numbered and a random number was picked by a generator. The number 377 was a lucky one for Gar village. We think it was a good choice since Gar citizens are very kind and generous people.” The whole (purported) transaction is reminiscent of the dot-com boom, when in 1999 the not-yet-launched Half.com offered $100,000 to a small town, Halfway, Oregon, if it would rename itself for the company. It did. The record is vague as to whether the money was ever actually paid, as Half.com was acquired by eBay just over a year later.