business

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.”

DMCA’ing The Slashdot Asshat Who Stole My Pen Name

I had running battles with the asshats (a.k.a., Anonymous Cowards) on Slashdot for the last three months, starting with the asshat who falsely accused me of threatening to shoot him, the asshats who claim that only “real nerds” making $200,000+ per year in Silicon Valley can read Slashdot, and the other asshats who hound me for being the fat retarded kid on the short bus. For some of these asshats, replying to my comments isn’t enough for them. They started their own comment threads without me, posting how I sucked my cock all day (this is what a $100,000+ university education gets you these days). I took all this in stride as success in life means putting up with all the haters. That is until I noticed a user account in my pen name, “cdreimer” (4974007), replying obscenely to my comments as if they were from me. This was no longer personal, it became business. At the start of the Memorial Day weekend, I filed a DMCA takedown notice to protect my pen name and, indirectly, my copyrights. This morning I “pwned” the account, “cdreimer” (4977441) — and silencing the asshats for a while.

My user account, “creimer” (824291), existed ten years before I started using my pen name for publication and prior to the Dot Com Bust in 2001. I never bothered to create a user account for my pen name as I didn’t consider Slashdot as a platform for attracting a literary audience. With the asshats hounding me day-to-day over my comments that drove traffic to here (my personal blog), Slashdot became a new ad revenue stream for my side business. I read and write my comments as I normally do each day, the asshats make an epic fuss, and curious readers click on my “homepage” to come to this blog and enter my somewhat broken marketing funnel for generating revenues.

Another reason for keeping my venerable user account is that I have accumulated 9,167 karma points (see the output below from my Python scraper script).

Pages Processed: 623, Comments (Accepted/Total): 9319/9336
Oldest Date: 2008-08-04, Newest Date: 2017-05-30
Scores  (9167) | -1: 76, 0: 384, 1: 6969, 2: 1004, 3: 400, 4: 328, 5: 158
Bonuses (1250) | Flamebait: 32, Funny: 298, Informative: 199, Insightful: 331, Interesting: 269, Offtopic: 47, Redundant: 11, Troll: 63
Total Time: 00:12:39.00

That was something that the asshat who created the “cdreimer” user account found out in short order. A new user, or “n00b” in the Slashdot vernacular, starts off with little karma. Moderators (mods) will reward karma points to promote (up vote) a comment or demote (down vote) a comment. Those karma points get added or subtracted to the user’s karma count. Too many negative comments will reduce karma to zero and restrict comment posting to twice a day. After a handful of negative comments, “cdreimer” got sidelined by bad karma. That, of course, prompted another user account, “criemer” (4975517), with the letters “e” and “i” switched around, to come into existence, starting this thread where asshats turned on each other as they thought it was me. When I pointed out elsewhere that it wasn’t me, I got called a liar.

Since I get up voted more than I get down voted each day, and I’m a lifetime away from ever having zero karma again, I don’t have to worry about the mods. If I was posting under “cdreimer”, I would have to cultivate karma points (or “karma whoring”) quite carefully for an extended period of time. Given my “rabid” following on Slashdot, I’m sure they will give me hell all the way.

I haven’t filed a DMCA takedown notice in years. Since I started publishing my ebooks in 2010, I would occasionally receive a Google Alert informing me that one of my FREE ebooks got posted in some obscure corner of the Internet. A DMCA takedown notice  was  easy to prove since I can point to my author website as the authoritative source for my ebooks. Over the last seven years, I’ve never had a DMCA takedown notice rejected.

Technically, a DMCA takedown notice doesn’t apply to user accounts. As an attention getter, a DMCA takedown notice is quite effective. I pointed out that I’ve used my pen name for ten years, the three-day-old “cdreimer” account got created for the express purpose of harassing me, and provided the nine comment URLs that my Python scraper script found. When the account got deleted this morning, I immediately created a new user account and posted a comment to prove that I own it now.

As I tried to explain to the asshats, this is business. I have an obligation to protect my pen name and my copyrights. If I don’t, they become worthless over time.