ReputationDefender has asked us to remove or “alter” one of the articles in our archive. They wrote us a very long and nice letter. Our emailed response was this: No.
The article ReputationDefender wanted us to remove concerned , a concert pianist jailed for harassment after he called Priceline.com 215 times to get a refund for a $953 ticket he never purchased. At the time, the NY POST reported:
- “A judge later dismissed the charges, but not before spent 40 hours in a Manhattan holding cell with hardened criminals who laughed at him, threatened him and tried to steal his fancy watch and sneakers.
A tough-looking cellmate asked him, “So, what are you in for?”
“Priceline refund,” the musician sheepishly replied. It went downhill from there.”
Hm, we can see how he might find that, “outdated and disturbing,” and removing it might, “go a long way to help make the Internet a more civil place,” as the letter states.
Perhaps he should try doing more interesting and newsworthy things that would push down his Priceline story in the Google rankings. Something more newsworthy than hiring a firm to finagle internet censorship and information blackouts.
Full letter, inside…
- “ReputationDefender, Inc.
2023 Cherokee Parkway
Louisville, KY 40204
January 10, 2007
Dear Mr. Popken,
We are writing to you in behalf of . He has asked us to contact you and see if you will consider removing the content about him at:
Please allow us to introduce ourselves. We are ReputationDefender, Inc., a company dedicated to helping our clients preserve their good name on the Internet. Our founders and employees are all regular Internet users. Like our clients, and perhaps like you, we think the Internet is sometimes unnecessarily hurtful to the privacy and reputations of everyday people. Even content that is meant to be informative can sometimes have a significant and negative impact on someone’s job prospects, student applications, and personal life. We invite you to learn more about who we are, at http://www.reputationdefender.com.
When our clients sign up with our service, we undertake deep research about them on the Internet to see what the Web is saying about them. We find sites where they are discussed, and we ask our clients how they feel about those sites. Sometimes our clients express strong reservations about the content on particular websites. They may feel hurt, ashamed, or “invaded” by the content about them on those sites.
As you may know, more and more prospective employers, universities, and newfound friends and romantic interests undertake Internet research, and the material they find can strongly impact their impressions of the people they are getting to know. When people apply for jobs, apply for college or graduate school, apply for loans, begin dating, or seek to do any number of other things with their lives, hurtful content about them on the Internet can have a negative impact on their opportunities. At some point or another, most of us say things about ourselves or our friends and acquaintances we later regret. We’re all human, and we all do it!
We are writing to you today because our client, , has told us that he would like the content about him on your website to be removed as it is outdated and disturbing to him. Would you be willing to remove or alter the content? It would mean so much to , and to us. Considerate actions such as these will go a long way to help make the Internet a more civil place.
Thank you very much for your consideration. We are mindful that matters like these can be sensitive. We appreciate your time.
Please let us know if you have removed or changed the content on this site by sending an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reputation Defender Service Team”
— BEN POPKEN