What a wonderful world we live in. Powerless people fighting for control. It seems like an every day struggle. The big players, Google & Go Daddy, having a laugh at the expense of average people living ordinary lives.
One major component I have found lacking from the “tech boom” is accountability. I guess that is the consequence of immature, spoiled children leading the revolution. This is my sad but true experience with cyber stalking and getting no where good at the expense of my reputation.
It starts with exploitative content. In the “old days” of communication, there is warning, fact checking, sources, and more importantly, celebrities, people who have CHOSEN the spotlight for their careers and lively hood. In the cyber world, any person is fair game, all it takes is someone with enough time and hatred to stalk, bully and terrorize another human being, even sadly to death.
Let’s go through the process, I know a little about this because of the work I do. A website (any website) posts an image (for instance) of a person to their own website. This website owner, however, set-up their business with the intent of hurting others and getting away with illegal activity. How do I know this you ask? Because they have paid for “privacy protection” and gone through great lengths to conceal their own personal identity. The way to prove this, look-up the WHOis record for ANY live website. If there is not a direct contact listed and/or the web & domain host are listed instead of an actual person, they have paid for privacy protection. So why do multi-billion dollar companies take criminal money and allow this hateful troll a platform to engage in fraudulent business? My bet is there must be big $$ in the business of extortion and exploitation which allegedly wins out over the victims’ pain and suffering.
Now if these criminal websites merely went live to the internet with this privacy protection, they would sit there and no one would care nor pay attention to their defamatory nonsense hurting the average Jo. The effort would be entirely in vain, as it should be, and likely these websites would already be extinct. I remember a quote from an early book I read on web design, “If you build it, they won’t care.”
So who is giving these images and content power – Google. In fact, Google writes the algorithm and/or decides which websites will be viewed and which websites will not per their own, always evolving, standards. So to me it seems simple, include in the algorithm something to filter out websites with anonymous creators. Or something else, I have a hard time believing a basement dweller is more savvy than the algorithm writers at Google and I truly believe the only reason this continues is because Google does not care and/or they are working on the side of cyber crime.
Why are cyber stalkers allowed to stay anonymous while their victims are exploited publicly? It seems to me that something must be going on behind-the-scenes – payoffs, bribes, lobbying, etc. to keep the illegitimate business of intentionally and maliciously ruining the lives of and even driving young victims to suicide; there is no other conclusion.
Now I would like to talk about my own personal experience as a victim of cyber stalking which I would like to refer to as the ultimate run-around and give away all of my secrets in an attempt to end this – the business of intentionally and maliciously hurting others through illegal and highly unethical means.
The business of reputation management in the cyber world. I studied Public Relations while in school and I can tell you there is no textbook solution. One day, a person searches (likely googles) their own name and they find something that completely misrepresents their character and is counter-productive to any type of honest opportunity and wow, it is on the first page of google. How did it get there? Why would someone do this? What can I do to have this information removed immediately? Is this hurting my job, career, family, finances and do I have any recourse? From my sad and detailed experience, NO. Your best option is to contact the site owner and beg them to take it down. If the site owner will not remove the exploitative content, you just have to live with it.
Why and/or how can this be? You mean I don’t have any control over my own public image? No, you don’t and it has nothing to do with the direct person hurting you but with the gatekeepers of digital information and their flawed and I believe criminal practices and lack of accountability.
In fact, Googles resolution policy actually states to first contact the site owner to remove the content and guess what, there is no what if the site owner will not remove the defamatory content, Google just simply does not care. They will, however, give you the run around, tell you to file this form and that form, deny your request for removal, make you seem like you are in the wrong for merely trying to protect yourself AND it is extremely easy for Google to just remove the content and extremely hard and time consuming for the cyber stalked to go around in circles and chase his/her tail. If you don’t believe me, let’s ponder this for a second… The only reason Google has NOT to remove the content is the defamatory site owner will sue them on the grounds of free speech. Hmmm… Why would an anonymous entity engaging in illegal and criminal extortion file a public lawsuit that will likely cost them? The answer is they won’t and, in fact, when one files a lawsuit for instance on Radaris – one of the big extortion players – they will run, hide and do anything and everything possible to avoid criminal and civil judgments. Google is, in fact, specifically mentioned in a California judgement against Radaris and furthermore, Google is required to immediately remove any all content/sites/etc. from Radaris and affiliates.
Than there is the domain registrar. Most domains today are hosted by Go Daddy. A domain is www.forexample.com, also known as a URL. When a website owner starts an online business for the purpose of illegal activity, they default to Go Daddy and guess what, Go Daddy gladly takes their money and allows it through privacy domain protection. How does a website owner get away with no identifying information anywhere on their website, no phone number, no email, no address, no name you ask? I mean you have to PAY for a domain so clearly Go Daddy has this information – the answer is lack of accountability. Oh and it gets worse. Go Daddy has an alleged domain abuse email and phone number, however, expect for Go Daddy to give you the run around and/or not to reply or even consider your time wasted on the above. In my case, they even blamed and dug up the information on the websites host and urged me to contact them – futile effort. My advice, file your reports, keep a digital log of all communications and prepare yourself for a long and ugly legal battle or just give up and live with it.
Being a reasonable and ethical person of character, this all seems completely absurd. I also know for a fact that both Go Daddy and Google can remove content and pull a website from visibility on the web for any reason at any time. I have thus concluded that both Go Daddy & Google are a part of the problem, not the solution.
The only way to fight back at this point is a long, ugly class action lawsuit – this is actually what I was told by a Go Daddy representative in a conversation yesterday – Go Daddy will not pull the domain without a court order. So I am writing today because I realize that victims presently do not have a voice. I am here for any/all that just want to talk about their own personal situation as a victim of cyber stalking and character defamation. One may think that justice will be easy and swift in a libel (written) defamation situation but it is not. My thoughts go out to all of the innocent families targeted and exploited, stay strong and have faith.