Internet Trolls, Online Cyber-Bullies, and Making Money by Scaring the Pants Off You

Internet-Troll

Image source: blogworld.com

I enjoy blogging. A lot, in fact. I generally utilize four different blogs, each one with a different theme, and try to keep the material up to date as possible.

Online Internet Trolls

However, inevitable as it is, internet trolls do exist. Based on some of the posts I have written I have received a variety of mixed feedback. While some have been to the tune of “great advice, that was a lifesaver,” and “great story thanks,” some others have been “I’m surprised at you saying what you do,” meanwhile leaving absolutely no name and phone number. In fact, in one recent case someone created an email address for the sole purpose of talking down to me, and took down that email address shortly afterwards. Strange.

Cyber Bullies

Cyber Bullies also exist. How they differ from Internet trolls is minor, but there is one difference: cyber bullies try to push you around to get you to do something for them, internet trolls just want to make your life miserable for the sake of it, then disappear. Neither one has much of a spine in my humble opinion.

Recently a major digital photo company tried to scare the pants off of me by mailing me a letter stating that I had stolen one of their images, attached a screenshot, and demanded that in addition to taking off the photo, I had to pay them $1,130 in “damages,” though those damages never were specified. Therefore, in a cowardly manner without prior contact, they decided to try to hit me with money that I don’t have. I thank Gd have expenses like everyone else and need to address those before I can wrap my head around such stupidities.

internet-troll-20110516-102141

Image source: getsatisfaction.com


To an ordinary person this would have scared them enough to pay the money, but it’s amazing how brave one gets when one simply doesn’t have that money floating around. I basically replied to this company that, while it’s practically impossible for them to prove that they own a specific image, as a courtesy I took the requested image down. However, I explained, I initially took the image straight from Google Images which indexed it from another site (which I no longer remember). That site, from what I remember, had no copyright issues on it, and there was no “image source: MajorDigitalPhotoCompany” specified. Therefore, the photo was fair game. I then told them to sue Google rather than pick on the little guy. Their reply though (yeah, they actually replied) was that it was their responsibility to protect the maker of the photo, and the amount is what they perceive in damages (let them come to that amount, I dare them) Google was doing their job as a search engine and therefore could not be sued (I’m still not too sure on that). When they replied that they will continue to pursue their case with me, I told them that I will have my lawyer contact them. And yes, I do have a lawyer for these matters.

I highly doubt that they will continue to pursue this case with me as $1,130 is simply not worth pursuing when the plaintiff is in a different country and 3,000 miles away.  Not only that, the digital photo industry is a wishy-washy one to track. For arguments’ sake, I could take/purchase an image from the internet and upload it anywhere and on any site. Nowhere does it say  that I don’t have the right to post the image anywhere once I purchased it. Not only that, but in the documentation, the photo company couldn’t even get my email address right!

And I’m not even a lawyer. Imagine what a lawyer could come up with!

Nonetheless, I’m almost certain that there is a small percentage of people that pay money when threatened with “legal action,” and hey, money is money.

Making Money by Scaring the Pants Off You Apparently is a Big Industry

Apparently there is a big industry in trying to scare the pants off of you. In another case, a year and a half ago I inquired about a hosting plan from a major hosting company for a Magento site. They basically tried to scare me into paying $8,000 a month because only they have an infrastructure where you won’t get audited by the Feds for keeping the database on the same server as the files, something to that effect.

This is nothing new. For thousands of years, healers, shamans and false prophets have made a TON of money by exploiting peoples fears.

While I’m posting about Internet Trolls and the Pants-Scaring industry, let’s paint another person with the same brush: Lance Armstrong. In a recent interview with Oprah Winfrey, “Armstrong chuckled that he had sued so many people, he couldn’t remember if he brought legal action against [a certain person] as well.”

Comments

All the above having been said, the internet is a vast, open space where a lot can go on undetected. However, there are actual rules of netiquette, found on albion.com.

I personally want anyone messing with me to fill out this form below (found it on Facebook):

apology_form

Bottom line, don’t get scammed. And yes, even the big internet companies aren’t all that big, and try to be more than they really are.

I’m just a guy trying to get some points across, and find that blogging provides me with the best forum to do so. Nothing more.

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