How SRW Got Started
You won't find anyone advocating for awareness, victim's rights or law reform if they themselves haven't been affected in the very area in which they're trying to bring about change. Passion led us here.
In May 2020 my then very recent ex-boyfriend, who turned out to be a narcissistic cyber psychopath (an iPredopath according to a groundbreaking concept developed by cyber criminal psychologist Dr. Michael Nuccitelli, PsyD) decided he would be an utter dick and make a fews posts about me on public shaming sites.
He texted me a screenshot of the first post the next day. What on earth was The Dirty? What was a public shaming site? People did this?! I had never even heard of "shamesites" before I met him.
A week later my best friend sent me a link to another post, a new one, and then yet another two weeks later. He copied and pasted the posts on different public shaming sites, too. When you googled my name, the defamatory posts were at the top of the list.
I wasn't the only one he had posted about. I am but one of dozens of victims this predator has harassed, stalked, blackmailed, cat fished, defamed, assaulted and cheated on in recent years. Just prior to the defamation, I had discovered he was in intimate partner relationships with at least seven other women at the same time as me. We all knew he had been cheating. We just never suspected the depth of his depravity or his mental illness.
It turns out that his criminal defense was cleverly thought out ahead of time. His pre-emptive defamation of me was used to discredit me as a witness and turn the other victims against each other. Routine public defamation of his victims results in him looking like the injured party.
"Viciously brutal and revealing all the skeletons in my closet, posting links to pornography he'd unearthed through stalking and researching me for months and revealing my whole identity, business, my children's medical condition and our home address plus accusing me of criminal activity against minors and having STDs, these posts were straight up criminal harassment."
Enter The For-Profit Defamation Industry
Although the police assisted in getting us protection orders, invested hundreds of man hours carrying out a painstaking, complicated investigation and petitioned the Crown for charges, there was nothing anyone could do to help those of us who had been defamed online. We were not only victims of criminal harassment, we were victims of an industry I hadn't even known had existed: the for-profit defamation industry.
I started my journey of trying to get the terrible posts taken down. I couldn't find a single story of success. One woman had successfully sued the Dirty years prior, but it had taken years, she had been destroyed and then the courts overturned the ruling.
Predators Have Evolved
Visit iPredator.co to find out more about the types and psychology of online predators, checklists and screening tools. Don't become a target of a cyberstalker. And if you do, know your enemy.
Getting a Post Taken Down
notes from the field
As a law-abiding Canadian citizen who was the victim of criminal harassment by a known person, I had four options if I could prove I owned the pictures he had stolen. Support from victim's services and legal advocates regarding cyber defamation and harassment is not available in most countries. If you can prove me wrong please do.
Option 1: Ultimately Useless
Submit a DMCA Takedown Notice
As per the instructions on the shamesite: submit a DMCA takedown notice to a specific email address and wait. As you click send, know in your heart that it's going straight into their trash.
Update: still waiting! Almost a year now. The site says if you don't hear back it's because your request was denied and not to write again or they will immediately block you. Such lovely customer service.
Option 2: Costly Counsel
Hire an Attorney to Get a Subpoena
A lawyer told me this would cost between $3,500-$5,000 and that it tended to be pretty traumatic. In order to get a subpoena you have to be able to prove defamation in court which makes you have to relive it. In my case the defamation was obvious and the cops were all over him. I chose to stay silent in order to not 'interfere' with the investigation. That was a huge mistake.
If you go to court and are successful (and I hope you are) the next step is to mail the subpoena to the shamesite if they have any info on there and send it to Google. With a valid subpoena Google will de-index the defamatory, infringing material. And no one will ever be able to find it again. That's all we really care about, anyway. Let your lawyer handle this part to help earn that $5,000.
Option 3: Straight Up Extortion
Hire a Removal Company
Based on the quotes I got, the industry standard seems to average between $1,500 to $5,000 a page. Six posts qualified for a DMCA Takedown for a total of $13,500 USD. That quote was from the DMCA itself, who complained to me that sometimes these sites took the money and then didn't comply. There were no guarantees that anything would be taken down; I was warned it was likely the text would stay intact and only the pictures would be removed, if anything. The pages would all still be indexed in Google. To fix that I needed a subpoena or a lot more money.
Option 4: Guerilla Warfare
Mix and Match
Pick and or all of the above options plus take the person who posted about you to court for defamation, libel and harassment. Problem is, it can be hard to find an attorney to represent you if the offender doesn't have a lot of disposable income--or if you don't either. Speaking to a lawyer about your options is smart. If you'd like to channel your desire for revenge into something bigger than yourself, come join the community at our sister site, CleanTheDirty.com
"Hey Mom, I need to Google you for school."
Even with the testimony and evidence from twelve victims and proof from the police, the Crown simply decided they couldn't win and dropped the entire case. Internet predators are already covering their tracks as they're committing the offence. Law enforcement is as powerless as we are in these situations.
During a conversation it cost me $200 just to have, I found out that public shaming sites have "administrative fees." That's why they never responded to my DMCA takedown request. They'll only respond to the removal company's DMCA takedown request, as long as that company had paid the administrative fee. They even cut some of the removal companies deals. The man I spoke to was very candid. He told me that most of my $13,500 would be paid directly to the shaming site.
And then, it dawned on me. TheDirty was essentially a blog. Blog's get pretty good ranking on Google. A new post everyday keeps the SEO up and running and the keywords used are just people's names and locations. That way if anyone ever searches for your name, the shameful post is the first thing that comes up.
I had had a successful blog until my stalker spammed it into submission. I took a really good look around these public shaming sites and I figured out how they do it. It was simple. I could do the same thing myself, but with good news. Right?
The removal companies told me that this wouldn't work because the original posts would always be there. True, I thought, but I'm sure I can find a way to bump them onto the third page. No one looks there.
Google relies on fresh content with your keywords so new posts about myself would quickly outrank the old ones he had made. and if I could do this for myself, why couldn't I do it for everyone?
I sat on the idea while I dealt with the physical stalking, harassment and blitzkrieg of cat fishing until one day my son told me he was going to Google me to find a pretty picture of me to put on his tablet at school.
And later that day, this website was born.
If you retaliate against the person who hurt you by making more slanderous posts, you discredit your own case and make the Internet a crappier place to be. At Social Responsibility Warriors we are more about justice than revenge. Empowering yourself, undoing the damage that criminal did you to (for free no less!) and rising above feels much better than petty revenge. Trust us. Take this pain and turn it into something beautiful.
That doesn't mean we don't think you shouldn't tell your story and name your abuser. We've got room for those of you who want to apply the radical concept of social responsibility as a form of justice.
We know the system is broken. Canaries in the coal mine were ignored, laws passed twenty years ago still cannot be enforced and those in charge are overwhelmed. I'm afraid it might be too broken to help those of us who have already been defamed, slandered, bullied, intimidated, blackmailed and stalked. If the tools aren't there, we are going to have to create them. We'll heal ourselves and in turn, teach others to protect themselves.
Take Control of Your Digital Reputation
If you want to take the ideas you've learned from this page and start your own blog, please do! We just ask that you don't profit from it. If you do, you'll be part of the same industry that hurt you in the first place. Pay it forward by promoting the great work and accomplishments of other people and the Universe will reward you in its own way.
For more information, suggestions for managing your digital reputation and making posts like the ones you'll find here, information on starting your own blog, becoming your own email administrator, starting a website and password management for targets of cyberstalking , please visit our sister sites Clean The Dirty and CyberStalking Awareness.
Manage Your Rep
Have your say, clear your name and repair damage done by cyber libel, defamation and slander at Clean The Dirty.
We don't charge fees. We use the power of community and positivity to increase our Google rankings.
Come check us out. We're doing some pretty cool things.