The Slashdot Asshat(s) Who Stole My Pictures

Last week I took back a Slashdot user account under my pen name with a DMCA takedown notice. The quick response by management scared the asshats into silence for 48 hours. A different group of asshats started harassing me towards the weekend. One of them posted a link to my 350-pound picture from my author website. When I clicked on the link and noticed that the picture was from May 2016, I replaced the image with a picture taken last month by saving to the same filename.  That provoked an angry response for not using different filenames. The response puzzled me until I realized that my jowls were puffier in the 2016 picture, the “ten-pound tire” around my neck that the asshats love to moan about. I then implemented a 403 (forbidden) rule in the .htaccess file to prevent the external linking of my images and created a Slashdot page with the 2017 picture on my author website. Those actions provoked even more anger. The retaliation was my 2016 picture appearing on image websites. Out came the DMCA takedown notices to protect my pen name and copyrights.

The first image website was Hosting Pics, a French-based picture website that U.S. law like the DMCA doesn’t apply to. I initially tried the contact form that appears dodgy (i.e., “Unable to find MySQL database.”), tried again successfully, and found a contact email address to send the DMCA takedown notice (just in case the contact form was dodgy after all). The email I got the next morning indicated that the source was the contact form, informing me that my picture got removed. Less than 24 hours later, an asshat uploaded the picture and left me a note in French“I think that’s it. Good morning, Heavy Barbara.” Another request got the picture removed the following morning.

Other locations included 4chan and Imgur. Both had email addresses for sending DMCA takedown notices. I got an email from 4chan the next morning that my picture got removed. Imgur didn’t send out an email notification but they did remove my picture the following afternoon.

An asshat pointed out that Google has cached copies of my pictures that will live forever on the Internet and there was nothing I could do about it. That comment made me laugh.

Google has a help page for removing images from the search results, especially deleted images that are no longer accessible to the web crawlers. By placing a 403 rule to prevent external linking to all my images, the search engine regards those images as deleted. A removal request gets those links out of the search results sooner rather than later. After 4chan removed my picture from their site, I put in a request to remove those links. With a half-dozen open requests, I should have the search results cleaned up in a few days.

I’m once again enjoying the calmness that comes from scaring off the asshats with my awesome powers as a content creator. The few asshats who are still around are sharing a link to my picture, but this time it’s the Slashdot link to my author website. The more exposure that link gets, the more web traffic and ad revenues I get. Since the brouhaha with the asshats got started three months ago, I made $80 in ad revenues as curious readers left Slashdot to visit my websites. As Warren Buffett once said, “When it’s raining gold, reach for a bucket, not a thimble.”

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