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.]

Robert Bolt On Reputation Versus Reality

At times I regret the loss of privacy and the vulnerability to slander that anyone who writes publicly has to face. It seems that no good deed goes unpunished by the mob that sees only upto the horizons of its own vulgar perspective.

Being a thief itself, it sees thieves in honest people. Being a liar itself, it calls what is patently truthful a lie. Motivated solely by venality and malice, it can see no other motivation in people who obviously struggle  to hew to their conscience, even when it endangers themselves.

How to escape slander without losing privacy to the envious, the malevolent, the pathological? You cannot. But you can consider your real audience, as Sir Thomas More suggests, in Robert Bolt’s fine play “A Man for All Seasons” (1960). More’s counsel addresses Richard Rich, an academic who despairs that the virtues of a great teacher can never be known beyond a small circle, but it’s advice that applies as well to anyone who has ever suffered from slander directed at them, when their actions were not only not dishonorable, they were more than ordinarily brave and honorable.

“MORE:  Why not be a teacher? You’d be a fine teacher.

Perhaps even a great one.

RICH: And if I was, who would know it?

MORE: You, your pupils, your friends, God. Not a bad public, that . . . Oh, and a quiet life.”

Duvall ‘Fesses Up To Bark, Not Bite

Now Mike Duvall admits to “inappropriate story-telling” but denies having had an affair with either of the two lobbyists. That denial is seconded by Ms. Barsuglia. The man to whom he told the story now denies hearing it. He wasn’t paying attention, he says. Duvall talks a lot.

We were wondering ourselves…..

If the denials are accurate, it looks like Ms. Barsuglia and her family might have a case for defamation.

We’re all agog.

And we have another question: Just what level of IQ does it take to be a California assemblyman?

We’re all agog about that too.

Many’s the time  we’ve seen a female employee slandered for no more than being more personable and competent than the males around her. Her career is then almost sure to be attributed to her sexual wiles.

If Duvall is any indication, there seem to be married men whose rich imaginations don’t come equipped with the ethical compass that tells them that dragging your associates into your adolescent fantasies does irreparable damage to their professional credibility and personal reputation.

If the denials hold water, Ms. Barsuglia should be paid substantially for the damage done to her career and her family’s sensibilities.

Of course, the denials may not hold water.

Thought Control and the Sex Police

The media these days has an unhealthy and strange preoccupation with the sex lives of politicians and “public figures”… especially when they’re adulterous.

All this, despite journalists’ protests that they’re interested in “privacy”…

The issue becomes doubly important because of the role sexual blackmail…or worse yet, sexual libel.… plays and has played in controlling political mavericks, reformers, or even whistle-blowers, whether in government or elsewhere.

I call it strange, because modernity is supposed to have removed itself so far from oppressive mores and bourgeois conventions….and yet in most commentary on the subject, one finds nothing more than the same hideous cliches – about guilt, predation, sex-pots, cheating, and high drama….
In point of fact, most spouses wander (or more accurately, cultivate fantasies of wandering) because of lack of emotional connection in their marriage.

That’s clear from Mark Sanford’s tepid (yawn) revelations..

Now, as a good Tory-Bohemian, I find myself often on both sides of this issue.

On the one hand, the nostalgic popular imagery of It’s a Wonderful Life, and Father Knows Best…..

And, as a Christian – even an unorthodox one, the fact that one is supposed to admire the impossible standard set in the Sermon On the Mount…

A standard that no normal human could follow to the letter..
A standard that perhaps no normal human should follow to the letter.
[I wonder if that was the point Jesus was trying to make?]

Yet, while no one casts stones at anyone for not giving away all his belongings, or for failing to keep the sabbath, or for slandering or lying, or for fraudulent business practices, strange that even the most benign friendship should bring out the sex police.

(As an example, think of McCain’s supposed affair with a lobbyist – an affair both of them denied and for which no proof existed beyond the media’s fervent desire for a little dirt…and mind you, if one were to be precise, it was McCain’s marriage itself that was grounded in adultery…Cindy being a former ‘other woman’).

Stranger yet, the sex police these days are usually so-called leftists and liberals.
Their modus operandi would have made the gestapo proud…

If there’s anything calculated to keep women out of public life, it’s this intensely misogynistic and pornographic scrutiny. If you don’t think that’s what all this is, why haven’t we been treated to sexualized nudes of, say, George Bush, as we have of Hillary?

Why wasn’t Ralph Nader lynched by the media mob in the same way as Cindy Sheehan?

So my sympathies are with scarlet women (and men), then and now, paraded up and down while the public stones them symbolically. Even Eliot Spitzer has my sympathy. The man after all did try to cordon off his extramarital life from his wife and children. He had that much concern for them. It was the guardians of public morality who had none.

I admit it. When there’s a stoning, I’ll take the side of Hester Prynne and Anna K.

I prefer Tolstoi’s intelligent, ambitious, restless, sexual, and deeply moral adulteress, to either her vain, shallow lover or her wooden, hypocritical husband….or even to her brother’s long-suffering wife, the plaintive, babied-out Dolly – so aptly named.

Tolstoi, being a man, could give Anna no credit for anything except beauty or sexuality, but the fact is, you read the novel for her. ..and not for Dolly, or for Levin, or for Karenin, or for Vronsky. She’s worth them all.

The other woman…..

Who’s to say how much this unspeakable she profited countless miserable marriages, neutered husbands, and pathetic, damaged children…by taking up the slack (physical or emotional) of the immoral “business arrangement,” by which I loan you my body to make babies and play with, and in return you fork over 50% or more of everything you make, or will ever make, while we endlessly bait, hurt, rob, insult, control, extort, blackmail, bore, manipulate, wound, sue, demean, abuse, and torture each other verbally, emotionally, and physically….all in the name of holy matrimony.

What a fraud….

And that’s how many children are raised today. Any wonder they became traumatized adults, easily manipulated by propaganda?

Where would respectable Victorian marriage have been without the brothel, asked Shaw..

And where would the nuclear family be without countless other women, whether they were only friends, sisters, neighbors, and “office wives,” or whether they crossed the boundary into a physical relationship?

Thank God for other women….and for other men.

It takes a village to raise a married couple…..

We all have an image of the other woman in our heads: the calculating predator who moves in on happily coupled men. The cloistered, diamond-draped mistress. The office sexpot who’s always just a little too close to your guy at his holiday party. She’s a staple of novels, movies, tabloids, even history books – from the restless Emma in Madame Bovary to Fatal Attraction’s bunny boiler to, most recently, Eliot Spitzer’s hotel call girl. And if you’ve never seen it, go YouTube the legendary clip of Marilyn Monroe purring “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” to her rumored lover, J.F.K. That’s the other woman as we usually imagine her.

More at Glamour, via Truth to Power blog.