Google: Cyberbullying for profit

An anonymous Australian web-site reveals how Google has a financial incentive to cyber-bully people by elevating smear-and-extort sites like The Ripoff Report.

(I will not link to it, but here is Wikipedia’s entry on the Ripoff Report):

[Side-note: One of my attackers on the web seems to have been affiliated with this site,  which essentially runs an extortion racket by smearing people via hired proxies and then asking for money from the victims to remove the smears.]

UPDATE September 20th 2013: Victory

A large number of major companies have removed their advertisements from Ripoff Report.

This webpage contains an overview of the project.

The updated full report can be downloaded from this url:

https://www.adrive.com/public/9u3aau/Cyberbullying for Profit September 2013.zip

A list of examples URLs from Ripoff Report containing offensive material about children, public figures and individuals is contained in an attachment to the report but an also be found here:

This video explains how Google priorities links from Ripoff Report in its search results.

This video shows that Google considers Ripoff Report has unacceptable  business practices. So why does it advertise on its webpages? The answer is…..advertising revenue for  Google (see above).

Overview

The website Ripoff Report and other websites that emulate the business model of ‘cyberbullying for profit’  publish false and offensive information about minors, teenager, adults and businesses and these are often accompanied by photographs and identifying details.   Ripoff Report also publishes extremely racist and homophobic material, offensive material about religious groups, public figures and ‘celebrities’. While the material about public figures appears to be given a low Google page rank, the names of children, teenagers, ordinary people and small business owners ‘reported’ on these websites is contained in snippets displayed at or near the top of the Google search results (SERPs). These snippets contain names and location details couched in terms such as ‘ripoff’, ‘fraud, ‘pedophile’, ‘scam’, ‘whore’, ‘slut, ‘prostitute’, ‘skank’, ‘murderer’, ‘bitch’ ‘faggot’ ‘liar’ ‘drug abuser’, ‘cunt’, ‘stalker’, ‘HIV’ and/or ‘AIDS’ and other accusatory and derogatory terms.  

Ripoff Report earns revenue from two sources – advertising and payments from victims to the website to ‘rehabilitate’ their reputation in the Google search results or remove the false material. Despite the fact that the claims are false, if a person cannot pay their life is ruined because, as stated by Google, their search engine is often ‘the first place people look for information that’s published’ about a person.

Even if the allegations can be proven to be false Ripoff Report will not remove the material unless they are paid a substantial corporate advocacy’, or ‘arbitration’ feeIn response to removal requests, Google provides a number of excuses and victims must find an ‘ex-gratia’ payment in order to ensure the material is removed from the Google index and ameliorate the danger towards their children and/0r save their livelihoods and businesses. Furthermore, Ripoff Report publishes registered trade names and copyrighted photographs without permission. It claims a copyright over the webpages. This business model is enabled by both a high Google page rank  and advertising revenue. The companies and business that advertise on Ripoff Report supply this revenue and support the endangerment and cyberbullying of children, teenagers and adults and the destruction of careers and livelihoods. This project arose out of my own experience with the publication of false and defamatory material on these websites.

Despite the fact that it takes only a couple of minutes to remove links from the Google index, after four years of notifications, pleading with the website and Google, and litigation against Google it has not been removed. ……I sued Google for defamation in February 2011 with the hope that it would simply remove the links and I could then move on with my life. My hope was misplaced. …….

…Despite the fact that Google refuse most removal requests, they have quietly removed links for other victims of Ripoff Report.

[Lila: I have seen Google actively suppress information that exposes the financial mafia,which is to the left, politically.]

“For obvious reasons I cannot and will not publish the names of these people because they likely paid a substantial amount to either the websites or Google to save their families and livelihoods.

However, Google can and does remove websites and links without much effort.

For example, since December 2011 Google has removed almost 90,000 links from its index at the request of Ripoff Report. Many of those links contained registered trademarks and copyrighted photographs but it appears that Ripoff Report is  not questioned about these DMCA issues by Google. My blog, was also removed from the Google index soon after it went online.  If this appears difficult to believe consider that the removal occurred  after I drew attention to the blog by applying for AdSense advertising as an experiment.

In fact, I clearly stated on my blog that I was suing Google. Apparently’ freedom of speech’ only applies unless one says something negative about Google.

My blog was magically re-indexed in the Google index within hours of my public complaint in a blog conversation in which Matt Cutts was participating. The documents showing the removal and reinstatement of my blog in the Google SERPs can be downloaded from this link.

[Lila : Here is a previous blog post of mine, from 2009, where I reference Ripoff  Report and its owner, in the context of describing the nexus of organized crime and short-sellers.]

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