Complaint Remover Gets Rid Of "Negative Links," Including LOLCats

Complaint Remover is a special service that says it gets rid of “defamatory” and “negative links” on the internet for you:

The immediate goal of our service is to stop defamation by positioning links on the Search Engines and by appeals to law to remove negative information. We send cease and desist letters and if necessary, file legal actions against the perpetrators and Internet service providers contributing to the unjust defamation of our members.

Their site has an online chat function with a customer service rep and we decided to ask if they could help us take a crap all over free speech, and how much that would cost…

mynameiskelly.jpg
Hello, My name is Kelly. Is there something I can help you with today?

CLIENT: Do you like the 1st amendment?
Kelly: hy
Kelly: how may i help you?
CLIENT: I have a question
CLIENT: I wonder if your company enjoys the 1st amendment?
Kelly: We are in the business of removing negative information from search engines. If you do not need our services then I have no further information
CLIENT: I do need your services
CLIENT: How much are they?
Kelly: what do you mean?
Kelly: do you have negative links ?
CLIENT: How much does it cost to remove five negative links?
Kelly: it depends…
Kelly: sometime it htake moths to remove negative links…
Kelly: if you are intereseted
CLIENT: So it’s based on time rather than number of links?
Kelly: depends on how much work we have to do on that
Kelly: can you give me your keywords please
CLIENT: Does your company work on all of the internets?
Kelly: yes
Kelly: we remove negative links from all erch engines like
Kelly: google or aol, or yahoo
CLIENT: How does that work? How are you able to get another company to get rid of something that’s part of their business?
Kelly: we push the negative links back in serch engines
Kelly: so nobody will see that ones
CLIENT: So you like make new internets and push the bad internets down
Kelly: yes
CLIENT: My keywords are lolcats
CLIENT: I have a cat breeding business and people keep making pictures of cats with derogatory phrases on them
CLIENT: It’s hampering my ability to attract new clients
Kelly: just a seccond please
Kelly: ok
Kelly: wich one of those you want to be pushed back ?
CLIENT: let
CLIENT: ‘s see
CLIENT: this one is very bad
CLIENT: http://icanhascheezburger.files.wordpress.com/2007/01/ceilingcat9xd.jpgceilingcatmasturbate.jpgCLIENT: it’s from here: http://icanhascheezburger.com/2007/01/24/ceiling-cat-is-watching-you-masturbate/
CLIENT: I have also seen it recreated in other internets
Kelly: an wich one is your domain?
CLIENT: FanciersPlus
CLIENT: Where pet lovers go
CLIENT: http://www.fanciersplus.com
fanciersplus.jpgCLIENT: We also need to push this negative one down the internets
CLIENT: http://www.flickr.com/photos/12943180@N00/296449700/
invisiblebike.jpg
CLIENT: Not only is it blocking people from my site, it promotes dangerous cat behavior
Kelly: can i have you name and you phone please
CLIENT: I’m just looking for a price quote, I don’t want to get in your telemarketing database yet
Kelly: i cant tell you a price..
Kelly: for that you ahve tu discuss with my manager
Kelly: he will call you if you will provide me your name
Kelly: and your phone number
CLIENT: Ok, I understand, but do you think I have a case? Will you be able to push these disgusting “LOLcats” off the internets so people can find my cat breeding page?
Kelly: we can help you with that

I wonder how long it will take ComplaintRemover to push this negative link down on the search engines?

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. B says:

    How much do I have to pay to get LOLcats off the intertubes? I am so sick of those things.

  2. picshereplz says:

    I guess that was kinda cute. Honestly, though, people do maliciously try to get their websites as top search results and it’s an inconvenience for most people, so I don’t see what’s so bad about this service.

    By the way, the First Amendment only applies as against government action.

  3. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    Awww, c’mon lady! You’re telling me you couldn’t tell you were being messed with?

  4. henwy says:

    I’m always surprised that people are so willing to display their ignorance when it comes to the first admendment. You’d think they’d actually know what it says before they go complaining about whining about it.

  5. emona says:

    This makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time. What a world.

  6. MattO says:

    this is what i love about the consumerist :-)

    Kelly is going to be having a very bad day today :-)

  7. evilinkblot says:

    bwahahahahahaha
    bwahahahahahaha
    bwahahahahahaha

  8. catskyfire says:

    I am as much a fan of the first amendment as anyone. However, I’d like to point out that it reads:
    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”

    Congress, and the government, are not in charge of Complaint Remover. Private companies and private individuals are pretty much welcome to limit free speech, even as that’s part of their free speech.

    Now if Congress or your various local governments were doing this, then there’s a big issue. But a company…you may not like it, but it’s not against the 1st amendment, because they aren’t government.

  9. rkmc12 says:

    @picshereplz: I don’t know if services like this will differentiate between what you described and people legitimately complaining about a product or service. Negative comments, as much as companies don’t like them, have a place just as much as positive ones.

    And no, it’s not a First Amendment issue, but sending cease and desist letters to scare off people who have legitimate claims is pretty sleazy.

  10. cockeyed says:

    Wow, can you really trust a company that hires employees that can’t even spell simple words?

  11. keith4298 says:

    @picshereplz: While, you’re correct that it only applies against government action…we don’t exactly need to make it easier for the government by tacitly approving the same behavior for private businesses that we deplore from our elected business.

  12. Bladefist says:

    eh I’m against these kinds of things. She is a person trying to pay her rent. Based on her responses she doesn’t take things too seriously. She couldn’t just disconnect him because its recorded and she could lose her job. People take out their angst on the wrong people. Call the CEO, he is probably one of few there who actually care about what they are doing. Leave these customer service reps alone.

  13. crabbyman6 says:

    I guess this could be anticipated, its like the inverse of bumping up your page’s rank. I wonder how this works, technically speaking, do they, click on other site’s pages through google over and over for months to bump everyone else’s rank up and take yours down? Consumerist, don’t take my lolcats!

  14. arniec says:

    The fact that you tried to get them to stop LOLCats is TREMENDOUS.

    I really like that.

    Hmm…wonder if anyone’s saying anything bad about my site…this service could be useful. If not evil.

  15. Pithlit says:

    It may not technically be a 1st Amendment issue, but this does violate the spirit of the 1st Amendment, and I think that was The Consumerist’s point. The service this website offers seeks to hamper free speech. Anyone who values the internet and free exchange of ideas should be disgusted, and whether or not it is actually a 1st Amendment issue is irrelevant.

  16. FilthyHarry says:

    whats messed up is that they are not offering to remove incorrect information, but negative information. They don’t even pretend to offer an honest service. They flat out say they are going to negate people saying things you don’t like from the net.

  17. CyberSkull says:

    That reminds me, I haven’t visited LOLcats in a few days.

  18. Toof_75_75 says:

    LOLcats, ftw.

  19. macinjosh says:

    Was that Kelly Kapoor?

  20. scoobydoo says:

    $10 says “Kelly” is actually a “Bob” sitting in his moms basement.

  21. DashTheHand says:

    Does anyone else think that “Kelly” doesn’t look like she does in that picture and is in fact from a country where english isn’t the first language?

  22. kelmeister says:

    I’m calling them and getting them to remove links to people seeking to remove links to LOLCats. I can has pictures of cats accompanied by irreverent Photoshopped comments. Two can play this game! ;)

  23. upokyin says:

    It seems like their main business is search engine optimization. Not so much removing unflattering websites from the Internet as displacing them at the top of search results. The cease and desist letters could be pretty shady, but then we don’t know what kind of remarks would trigger such a letter from these guys.

  24. joeblevins says:

    Kelly looks a little like a long haired Kevin Bacon.

  25. BuddyHinton says:

    I looked silly this morning giggling like a little girl in my cubicle…. hilarious….thankyou.

  26. Gev says:

    @catskyfire: Gah, beaten on the whole “The Constitution doesn’t apply to private companies” thing.

    What’s with the screechy, sensationalist take on things here of late?

    The hilarious idea of finding out how much money a sleazy company would charge to have some image macros removed from the internets is kind of diminished by the First Amendment hurf blurfing.

    Also, that embeddedchat thing is creepy.

  27. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    Is this the same company from way back when you did a few cease and desist letter stories or is this a new one?

  28. MrEvil says:

    $10 says Kelly doesn’t actually exist. That conversation looks like a conversation with a bot.

  29. montecon says:

    OK, this is all well and good, but why not actually ask legitimate questions about the service? Like what is included in their “network of thousands of high ranked websites”? Or do they care if the offending information is true or not? Wil they just bring down rankings of competitors regardless of if it includes negative information? Or what if two clients want each others’ websites ranked lower, like if ICHC wants to bring down FanciersPlus? Or better yet, what if a client wants to lower ComplaintRemover.com?!?!?!

  30. Mr. Gunn says:

    SO they’re basically just a regular old SEO firm? To cause a page to lose pagerank you have to promote other links above it, and if you think there’s not already an all out war for the top spot among people who stand to profit from it, you’d be sadly mistaken. So they really don’t have anything to offer that the people who would need their services don’t already have. What’s to stop this company from planting negative comments out there to drum up business?

    I hope nobody invested too much money into this, besides, you can’t stop the lolcats.

    Here’s a novel idea, how about provide excellent customer service so your customers WANT to say good things about you? I’ll be willing to bet it’s cheaper than paying some shady SEO firm.

  31. 4ster says:

    Man that is funny. And Kelly talks a little like an LOLcat.

  32. There is a big difference between “Negative information” and “libel”.
    So if let’s say, Monsanto wanted to remove all of the “negative information” about their company from the web, even though most of what is out there is 100 percent true, should they really have the ability to do that?

    One of the great things about the web is that it gives us access to information. It allows us to seek the truth and be powerful consumers. What would happen if every company with “negative information” here on Consumerist was able to rip that information from our view?

  33. stageright says:

    “sometime it htake moths”

    MOTHS! It takes MOTHS to fight LOLCats!

  34. Jhonka says:

    So it’s like this kind of site… that tries to clean up any bad things you don’t like on the Internets… by using SEO and kindly asking websites to remove information. Wonderful. Not.
    [www.reputationdefender.com]

  35. Here is my little chat with them,

    Hello, My name is JamieB. Is there something I can help you with today?
    CLIENT: I was wondering what legal authority you have to remove links from search engines
    JamieB: Do you have bad links in search engines?
    JamieB: its legal what we do
    CLIENT: How exactly
    CLIENT: The last time I checked the internet was a free place
    JamieB: if you search for your name(or your company name) in google, yahoo, msn or other search engines and a negative link will shown we can remove that by posting positive content about you on higher ranked sites than the negative one , by doing that the negative link will be pushed away in the back of all major search engines where nobody is looking
    JamieB: this is what we do
    CLIENT: But couldent that bury negitive information that could be helpful to a consumer like about a recall or dangerous parts in a product?
    JamieB: nobody will bury negative info from search negative
    CLIENT: Excuse me?
    JamieB: nobody will delete negative info from search negative
    CLIENT: thats true but if my company gets horrible reveiws but I dont want anyone to see them I could pay you to blast those to the bottom of the search so if someone just searched the name of my company they would only see sunshine and rainbows correct?
    JamieB: correct
    CLIENT: that seems rather shady to me

    She then told me to hand out my phone number so a manager could call me I said no thanks.

  36. crabbyman6 says:

    Here’s a good business model. Charge one company X dollars to lower their negative hits. Charge three other companies Y dollars, which can easily be under competitors charges since you’re getting paid both ways, to raise their relevance. That’s actually pretty smart, if you ask me.

  37. Sherryness says:

    Wow, this just boggles my mind in so many ways. First of all, this was just awesome, awesome, awesome. I love the way you guys did this – getting info, giving crap, and making us laugh all at the same time. Second, Manipulating search results really pisses Google off, from what I understand. I wonder what their official opinion of this company’s actions is. Third, this is PR gone insane, just the concept of a company doing that – It just shows that some companies would rather manipulate public opinion instead of address and improve issues and problems within their company. Sad sign of the times, all around!

  38. girly says:

    You need a pic of “the cleaner” from pulp fiction for this story

  39. noquarter says:

    To all the “This isn’t a first amendment issue” people out there, the company says this:

    …by appeals to law to remove negative information. We send cease and desist letters and if necessary, file legal actions against the perpetrators and Internet service providers contributing to the unjust defamation of our members

    If they’re using the courts to try to get words taken down, doesn’t that make it a first amendment issue?

  40. CorporateTool says:

    Oh noes! Not teh kittehs!

  41. CLIENT: now when you guys say you replace negative information with positive do I need to supply it or do you just make it up?
    JamieB: it’s better if you can supply iy
    JamieB: it
    CLIENT: but if I cant you would make it up?
    JamieB: we will find something to work with

  42. Sherryness says:

    Can we get a Digg on this, so I can Digg it? ‘Cause I dig it.

  43. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    @Jhonka: THAT’S the one that was in the earlier Consumerist stories! Thanks!

    The story I was trying to remember: [consumerist.com]

  44. ogremustcrush says:

    Hmm, seeing how their tactics are to lower google search results by posting positive information across the web, I wonder how they would like if others did it to their site. Complaint Remover
    complaintremover.com

  45. Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ゜-゜ノ) says:

    Yup, sometimes it just takes moths instead of humans to remove negative links. I guess they’re attracted to the burning flames of negativity?

  46. ogremustcrush says:

    Bloody comment system makes it look like a link works, but it doesn’t…

  47. ? graffiksguru says:

    Too funny, I bet Kelly is a bot too. I’m kind of curious though, how much do they charge to shit on the first amendment?

  48. ogremustcrush says:

    Still, surely Consumerist should remove the link to them, spell out the address instead. We don’t want to be givng them any undeserved pagerank.

  49. Dead Wrestlers Society says:

    I wouldn’t want to be a CSR for this company. Not that I’d want to be a CSR for any comapny.

  50. Snowblind says:

    @Rectilinear Propagation:

    Pays the same either way.

  51. itsallme says:

    This company has been in trouble in the past.
    [www.news.com]

  52. bohemian says:

    Someone needs to set up a website or stand alone blog full of negative things about these bozos. Then do a googlebomb of it (everyone links to it, puts it in signature lines etc). So it overruns their website’s pagerank. They can’t keep up with enough internet traffic countering it.

    Or just have this story linked everywhere and digged. Later rinse repeat.

  53. bohemian says:

    lather.

  54. darkclawsofchaos says:

    consumerist against lolcats! I though we loved those cats here! And if you won blog of the year, you would had cats all day long. Tax cat cries in a corner

  55. jamesdenver says:

    I can see how companies would want to remove negative info, but tough for them.

    A good example is [www.montereyfinancial.com]

    I bought something from a company who uses this financing company. (i didn’t even know they would outsource it) As soon as I googled them to find where to send a payment i see articles from pissed off consumers and articles from “rip off report.com”

    It immediately gave me a negative view of this company to see so many bad comments and websites.

    but again – tough for them. knowledge is power.

  56. am84 says:

    I can haz negatiif commentz remooved?

  57. cooler_d00d says:

    i LOLZ’d

  58. LoLoAGoGo says:

    Do. Not. Want. Stop. LOLz. Iz be cryn is so funny. Is jeanish Ben. Jeanish.

  59. Steve Trachsel, Ace says:

    Cmon.. This is simple. If you have bad information popping up on page 1 they simple start attaching your company name to more popular sites. They smack your listing on the popular directories like superpages. They get a press release of yours linked to cnn or yahoo.

  60. tdarkdz says:

    Someone should start a “Complaint Improver” site to undo the blatant fraud this company is committing. You could call it an artificial re-inflation of legal negative opinions by actual past customers.

  61. Ssscorpion says:

    There’s somethin’ … I say there’s somethin’ kinda ewww about someone who doesn’t like LOLcats.

  62. mac-phisto says:

    what an awesome business model. considering search engines modify their retrieval info constantly, you could end up paying for this company’s service over & over & over again.

    that’s much more economical than, you know, actually working to keep a positive image of your company.

  63. RvLeshrac says:

    @rkmc12:

    Excepting that if we allow these businesses to propagate, the government will start contracting them.

    Hey, it isn’t a constitutional breach! The government isn’t establishing a law or restricting anything, they’d just be paying a bill for a provided service.

  64. stezton says:

    Kelly types like a LOLcat.

  65. NotMe says:

    Wow, this is great fun. Hit the link, and have a field day.

    I just had the following wonderful exchange…

    Hello, My name is JamieB. Is there something I can help you with today?
    CLIENT: I’m scared of some of the things I see on the internet.
    JamieB: well, there are some scaring things
    JamieB: but our business here is to remove any negative information that you might have
    CLIENT: Like pictures of people hitting other people with sticks and stuff. Violence, and things like that. Some people want to hit me with sticks, and bad comments.
    JamieB: so, you have negative information posted about you on the internet?
    JamieB: we can help you remove those things
    CLIENT: I am a Nigerian scam artist, and people don’t like us. Can you make everyone believe they won $800,000 and I’m a barrister?
    JamieB: no, we can’t do that
    CLIENT: It would be sooooo keen if you can help me with that.
    CLIENT: Okay. I don’t want to waste your time.
    JamieB: i’m sorry, we only remove negative information
    CLIENT: But I would like you to know that you just won $850,000 in the European lottery.
    CLIENT: Or the Heineken contest, or something equally wonderful.
    CLIENT: Okay, well bye, then. You have a bright future, because there’s lots of negative stuff on the old internets.

  66. DJC says:

    How much to push Google off the Internets!!!!! ROFL

  67. This is a great experiment: If this article is still here in a week, we know they don’t work.

  68. SecretChimp says:

    Why start out with asshole lines like “wondering if your company enjoys the first amendment”? Journalists don’t call questionable nursing homes and lead off with “Do you enjoy torturing the elderly?” Seriously…

  69. camille_javal says:

    @rkmc12: and a cease and desist letter implies that the next step is legal action – which is where the government comes in.

    fwiw, suing someone for defamation (one private party against another) is very rarely successful, mostly because the courts cite potential damage to, oh, what’s that thing? The First Amendment.

    It is absolutely true that the Bill of Rights applies only to government actors, but the second a private party tries to get a government actor to enforce their own actions, it could be a Constitutional issue.

  70. katylostherart says:

    @stezton: hahaha!

  71. SO when Sprint invests in this company and then this company disappears in 6 mo.s without a trace, will Sprint be calling on Consumerist to expose these eploitative practices? Cause that would be funny.

  72. @SpiderJerusalem: *exploitative

  73. LOL! Let the banings begin!

    Hello, My name is Kelly. Is there something I can help you with today?
    CLIENT: Hi. I’d like to remove a site from the web.
    Kelly: hi
    Kelly: are you the owner of the site?
    CLIENT: No.
    CLIENT: Otherwise, I’d just remove it myself.
    CLIENT: It’s hurting my buisness.
    Kelly: nobody can remove the site just the owner..
    Kelly: but
    Kelly: we can push thos links backk in serch engines
    CLIENT: Well, I want it knocked down lower on the search engines.
    Kelly: so nobody will se those
    CLIENT: Yeah. That’s what I mean
    Kelly: soo what shoud i search?
    Kelly: too see that negative links
    CLIENT: How about “Remove Negative Links”
    CLIENT: the site name is complaintremover.com
    Kelly: yes
    CLIENT: So how much to push that site lower?
    Kelly: give me your keywords please
    CLIENT: Try “Remove Negative Links”
    Kelly: yes
    CLIENT: Yes
    CLIENT: How much?
    Kelly: what about?
    CLIENT: What about what?
    CLIENT: First base… LOL
    CLIENT: Get it?
    You are banned to this site by operator Kelly. Reason: No reason.
    Connection lost!

  74. I am so tempted to call now. :)

  75. krom says:

    I wonder if Ed Magedson can use the service to take down this URL:
    [www.complaintremover.com]

  76. krom says:

    @SecretChimp: You clearly don’t watch FOX.

  77. chenry says:

    Hey, it’s a good business idea.

    I mean, if you just want to make money off of suckers without doing any real work.

  78. lemur says:

    People have pointed out that it is not properly speaking a 1st amendment issue. True.

    It is however a free speech issue. Free speech is one of the foundational values around which the US society is organized. Because free speech is so important it has shaped how the legal systems handles actions that are just attempts to silence someone. In this case, trying to game Google is not an infringement of free speech but bringing up legal threats is unlikely to be successful precisely because the mere fact that “they are saying negative things about us” is not sufficient. The statements have to be negative and untrue. It is precisely because of free speech that a defamation suit would likely be unsuccessful. I’m not saying that a judge would give “free speech” as the rationale to dismiss the suit but that the legal tests that a defamation suit have to pass have been shaped by a belief that free speech is desirable in a free society.

  79. WNW says:

    @Phillip M. Vector:

    FIRST BASE!!!! You win the thread sir!

  80. CornwallBlank says:

    Now here’s something curious: they’re in my database of known spammer sites. Back in August 2006, the site registration info had:

    Lea Schurz
    ComplaintRemover.com
    info@ccomplaintremover.com
    PO 893
    Tilden, texas 68781 US
    512 3254587

    Today, it has:

    Name: Andrea Schurz
    Organization: none
    Address: X-X8 Redatsky Strasse
    City: Klagenfurt
    Country: AT
    Postal Code: 9020
    Phone: +011.2072216162
    Fax: +011.2072216162
    Email: sales@embeddedchat.com

    and yes, embeddedchat.com are spamming too; do a Google search for “embeddedchat.com ROKSO”.

  81. @WNW: I was checking to see if she was a bot. I don’t think the programmers would’ve programmed in a reply to that one..

    Anyway, I think it’s a real person (though her/his English skills are in question).

  82. keith4298 says:

    If they’re using the courts to try to get words taken down, doesn’t that make it a first amendment issue?
    @noquarter:

    No, it makes it a civil action which is governed by caselaw. The first amendment applies when the government is suing you.

    Let’s not forget about the 9th amendment which contains privacy concerns as well….there are a lot of other amendments out there to trash….any takers?

  83. rustyni says:

    Hello, My name is JamieB. Is there something I can help you with today?
    CLIENT: I’m trying to understand what it is you do.
    JamieB: We are in the bussiness of removing negative information from search engines
    CLIENT: Really, and how so?
    JamieB: Do you have bad links in search engines?
    CLIENT: Could you re-phrase that? I’m not great at deciphering bad grammer.
    JamieB: If you search for your name(or your company name) in google, yahoo, msn or other search engines and a negative link will shown we can remove that by posting positive content about you on higher ranked sites than the negative one , by doing that the negative link will be pushed away in the back of all major search engines where nobody is looking
    JamieB: this is what we do
    CLIENT: How do you know that absolutely no one is looking? Someone could be bored.
    JamieB: Do you need our services?
    CLIENT: Ok so if I’m from WalMart, and Kmart is writing crap about me, you can make them go away?
    JamieB: yes
    CLIENT: for good? like abolish Kmart completely?
    CLIENT: ?
    CLIENT: or are you too overwhelmed with the LOLcats?
    Connect Lost!

  84. LOL!

    I think the jig is up boys. They’re onto us! :)

  85. hanoverfiste says:

    There techniques to “push back links” is likely to use old banned SEO tricks that are deemed spam by Googlebot and search engines. When someone uses one of these website tricks the search engine penalizes them by sorting them later in search or removing them in search results.

    However once a site hits a certain amount of traffic or back links I have doubts that this will have any effect.

    For example it is unlikely they could prevents a message on consumerist or a story on abcnews.

  86. krom says:

    Look, stop talking to the stupid home worker on the chat and start SEOing negative info about Complaint Remover. I suggest we start with this post.

  87. martyz says:

    “So you like make new internets and push the bad internets down” — classic. I LOL’d repeatedly.

  88. yelohbird says:

    They seem to suck at what they do…

    If you google “complaintremover”, first link is to Boing Boing, third link is to a comment about an injunction against them. But the other links show exactly what their SEO tactics are: to create a bunch of worthless spam pages on random sites such as StudioAtHome.com, Quantcast.com, etc. Completely destroys the purpose if your useful link is buried under all of their spam links.

    P.S. this article is the 5th hit if you google “complaint remover” (with a space) :-)
    Way to go, Consumerist!

  89. mac-phisto says:

    @yelohbird: now this article is #1 if you google complaintremover OR complaint remover.

    lol.

    i love the intertubes.

  90. fightinfilipino says:

    people who are commenting that this is not a First Amendment issue aren’t exactly correct.

    this company’s website claims that they will pursue legal options to “remove” negative links from the web. if true, that means that this company will use state and federal government instruments to carry out these suits. that automatically causes the First Amendment to be applicable. any judge worth their salt is not going to agree with a suit asking for restrictions on specific speech without asking some very tough questions. what this service is selling is, well, very questionable and can run into conflict with the First Amendment in a lot of ways.

  91. @mac-phisto: Actually, BoingBoing is pointing to us, so that’s the first article I see. Still the same effect. :)

  92. I just rick rolled them :) my connection got lost before I could save the text. this is the most fun I have had in a long time.

  93. shadowkahn says:

    @picshereplz:

    “the First Amendment only applies as against government action.”

    Yes, and these nitwits are busy asking the courts to step in and violate it.

  94. fuzzycuffs says:

    I fully support this initiative.

    Since LOLCats was only funny for about a week, and now that the unwashed internet masses have taken hold of it, it has become stale and annoying super fast.

  95. If you get banned just go here [www.complaintremover.com] and let the good times roll

  96. this is so crazy I am fully banned now oh well it was fun while it lasted remember the rick roll is your friend

  97. lemur says:

    @fightinfilipino: Your interpretation is incorrect. If it were true, it would never be possible to sue someone for defamation irrespective of the merits of the case. By your interpretation if the court finds the person accused of defamation guilty and orders the accused to stop stating the defaming statements, then because the court is part of the government that is automatically a breach of the first amendment because the government would be infringing on the freedom of speech of an individual.

    The court being involved in defamation suits does not automatically make those suits first amendment cases.

  98. @Deadeyereborn: Still banned. O well. :)

  99. KJones says:

    @noquarter: It is a first amendment issue, and the clowns offering the “service” don’t believe in it, and neither do their clients.

    Anyone who would use that “service” isn’t interested in silencing libel, their interested in silencing valid criticism. Those who have tried to sue negative posters in the past (e.g. investment services) have lost when the criticism was found valid and the poster not profiting from such comments; libelers and illegal traders lost such cases.

  100. Christovir says:

    If you follow the link from itsallme ( [www.news.com] ) you can see the owner of ComplaintRemover.com has already been in trouble with the law for sending death threats among other things. Part of the threatening letter he sent is included below. Note the similar style in poor grammar and misspellings as the “CSRs” Kelly and JamieB. Coincidence?

    Excerpt of death threat below:

    This letter is being sent to you in the name of more than 500 businesses. No matter where you go, we will cause you a problem. Your life is in danger until you comply with our demands. This is your last warning.

    Your neighbors already know about your criminal dealings and how you are making many people loose (sic) their business. You will soon be beaten to a pulp and pounced into the ground six feet under with a baseball bat and sleg (sic) hammer. You will soon be sorry not just from what I am capable of doing to you, but what other members will do as soon as they know exactly where you are. Its (sic) just a matter of time until I get to you.

    Here is what you can do to save your life. But you must act imidiatly (sic). Make what ever deal it takes, you must comply.

  101. Christovir says:

    More warm fuzzy excerpts from those “cease and desist” letters from ComplaintRemover.com:

    I can certainly see how letters like this will do nothing but good things for one’s PR.

    [www.news.com]

    We warned you ed magedson. Did you hear the gun shots last night? Because of you innocent people will die. Your tenants, family members and those that work with you. Think we’re joking? I told you that your site will be down and it is. That is all we want and we will not hurt anyone.

    If ripoff report moves again to new hosting facilities you will not like what we will do next. Your home will burn. Those around you will burn. Do not expect any help from the police.

    Once you have completed with our first list we demand you remove we will give you another list on Saturday and every Saturday from this day forward and you will have 6 hours to do the same from the time we give you that list on each and every Saturday. If the Links work after the 6 there will be a man hunt for you.

    We know where you shop. We know where you bank. Greenfield and Broadway, Greenfield and Main. Are we getting closer ED? What about Basha’s at Higley and Brown?

  102. Gordon_Shumway says:

    Haha, I tried to talk to them, they’re getting all grumpy now though.

  103. nacoran says:

    The internet operates over public right of ways, either by land line or over public airwaves. This is very much a first amendment issue.

    Fascism operates by co-opting liberties with the cooperation of non-governmental agencies or by the government failing to protect civil liberties. Free speech is a human right, not just a constitutional right and may only be abridged by due legal process, and only then in the case of libel/slander or imminent harm. So long as we have the option to ignore it, we must protect it.

  104. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot says:

    I can has link removal?

  105. hi says:

    great article lol

  106. BugMeNot2 says:

    I think they’re Chinese:

    Domain Name: COMPLAINTREMOVER.COM

    Registrar: TODAYNIC.COM, INC.

    Whois Server: whois.todaynic.com

    Referral URL: [www.NOW.CN]

    Name Server: NS1.TRUEDOMAINSECURITY.COM

    Name Server: NS2.TRUEDOMAINSECURITY.COM

    Status: clientTransferProhibited

    Updated Date: 29-feb-2008

    Creation Date: 29-jul-2006

    Expiration Date: 29-jul-2009

    If you go to todaynic.com / now.cn are both chinese domain registering sites. Maybe someone can ask them

    complaintremover.com -> 66.132.144.22

    66.132.144.22 is from United States(US) in region North America

    whois query for 66.132.144.22…

    Results returned from whois.arin.net:

    OrgName: Peer 1 Dedicated Hosting

    OrgID: P1DH-1

    Address: 101 Marietta Street

    Address: Suite 500

    City: Atlanta

    StateProv: GA

    PostalCode: 30303

    Country: US

    Now time to try and get a phone number for the lulz.

  107. TechnoDestructo says:

    Re: Lolcats:

    I think the proof that it had been pretty much run into the ground as soon as it hit the mainstream is that the images that still really seriously make the rounds are the ones which were popular before that fucking site came into being.

  108. SuperJdynamite says:

    @Pithlit: “The service this website offers seeks to hamper free speech.”

    Oh, I don’t know. I can’t really say whether the goals and methods of complaintremover.com are legit, but I can see a niche to be filled whereby a firm can help remove libelous commentaries posted to the ‘net, like if somebody said “the service this website offers seeks to hamper free speech” but had no proof whatsoever to substantiate this statement.

  109. Now would be a good time to start appreciating the freedom of the “early days” [19whatever-present] of the internet, because with this, net neutrality laws, ISPs choking bandwith, the RIAA/MPAA goosestepping to block P2P networks and everything else, the famed and much-beloved Wild West nature of the net is being very deliberately killed.

  110. kellyd says:

    I have a background in support. I think it’s completely inappropriate and douchey to harass a low-level CSR because you have issues with the company. c’mon. self-righteousness does not give you carte blanche to be mean to people trying to earn a living. if I were in that chat with you, you’d have had a taste of your own medicine. I would have been professional and made you feel like the jerk you were being–and I’d have spelled it all correctly. you probably wouldn’t even know until later in the day that I’d smacked you down. I was not surprised at all to guess correctly it was you, Ben, who did this. I love this website, but that was jerk-ish.

  111. @kellyd: LOL. C’mon Kelly. Surely you see it as humorous. I have a background in support as well and I would’ve played along for the sheer humor of it.

    No one is harassing the CSR. They are merely making jokes about the company they work for. Surely, your years of experience as a CSR taught you that.

  112. lostalaska says:

    Here should be the next trick. Contact them and ask them the following.

    client: So you can remove or lower the pageranking of sites that are defamatory toward my company?
    CR: Yes sir we can easily do that.
    client: Excellent, there is a group that are making libelous and infamatory statements about my website directly impacting my ability to do business..
    CR: whats the name of your website?
    client: http://www.atheistsunite.com
    CR: …and whats the name of the website making the statements?
    client: http://www.vatican.va, there’s a lot of defamatory information on there that casts atheists in a bad light.
    CR: not a problem sir, we can get their pages deranked fast any other questions?
    client: besides wondering how you are able to sleep at night, nope…

  113. Let’s make interesting: I wanna retain them to have them fight the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

  114. strathmeyer says:

    I would’ve told her I would wait for someone who knew how to write.

  115. noquarter says:

    @lostalaska: I was thinking someone should pick a name from their state’s sex offender registry and see if complaintremover would be willing to remove that result from Google because it was affecting their new babysitting business.

  116. aydiosmio says:

    Oh stop picking on the poor CSRs. They don’t know what they do.

  117. xerent says:

    client: Hi, I need to inquire about your services and need a quote.
    client: Are you there, can you help me?!
    CR: Do you need to get rid of negative information?
    client: Oh, yes. Quite a bit of negative information.
    CR: Can you give me a web address or keywords that I can look up in google?
    client: I need you to remove LOLcats from the interwebnetz.
    client: [icanhascheezburger.com]
    client: feeding cheezburgers to LOL cats? What’s next?!?! Sausage to cows?! Please, help to do gods work. I will pay any amount. I can offer pubic hair.
    Client Disconnected.

  118. BugMeNot2 says:

    They’re not CSR, they’re bots by the Chinese to extend censorship.

  119. Xerloq says:

    I’ve got legitimate negative links to be removed, but I can’t get the chat to work. Anybody got EECB info on these guys?
    Who is going to make the LOLCAT for this company? I’ve got the caption:

    “I’m in ur surch enginz pushen ur bad internetz down.”

  120. Xerloq says:

    @BayStateDarren: Have them remove Google. It’s blocking my search engine.

  121. kublaconsumer says:

    Yeah, we need a LOLcat for this. Who has a cat and a computer?

  122. falk says:

    ComplaintRemover.com is spammer Bill Stanley. In May of 2007, an Arizona judge issued a restraining order against Stanley because of his “reputation services”, some of which included death threats against web sites that wouldn’t remove content his clients wanted removed.

    For full details, read [news.com.com]

  123. Anonymous says:

    This seems like a fitting time for this lolcats moment: [icanhascheezburger.files.wordpress.com] muhahahaha….errr…oO!

  124. Kanidia says:

    This is pretty sad that the customer rep types like someone on MSN. The only intelligent comment made was the first one, which was automatically generated.

  125. wktmeow says:

    I sent them an e-mail asking them to remove http://www.complaintremover.com from the internets.

  126. KogeLiz says:

    That was a lame conversation. It reminded me of myself… when I was 15.

  127. luz says:

    The internet is already a paid popularity contest. Do we not know this?

    What these people are doing is legal and ethical insofar as Google ads themselves are.

    Retarded, and hilarious that you effed with it, but come on. Some of us are starting to sound like a certain Walter Sobchek.

  128. BeFrugalNotCheap says:

    the kitteh is riding the invisible bike! LOL. Seriously, funny article on a ridiculous “service”.

  129. qmsterling says:

    I only want to be on that one internet that lets everyone express their own views, not quash everything that is in any way derogatory to anything. You want free enterprise? Then you better be willing to handle free speech!

  130. Hello, My name is Kelly. Is there something I can help you with today?
    CLIENT: Hi I am having a problem with internet postings about my company we manufacture toys and some of the new product was tainted with lead
    CLIENT: not much
    CLIENT: but enough for people to get worry and start posting bad stuff about us on the internet
    Kelly: hy
    Kelly: what kind of bad stuff?
    CLIENT: We dont want our customers to know about the lead is there anyway we can get rid of the links
    CLIENT: oh you know
    CLIENT: “(blank) companys toys have lead in them”
    CLIENT: its true but we dont want our customers to know about it
    CLIENT: So anyway we can keep this lead thing hush hush
    Kelly: i see…
    Kelly: can you provide me more information?
    CLIENT: well really I dont want to say too much at this point its a sensitive topic
    CLIENT: I am just wondering if what I am asking would be possible
    Kelly: an what is your company name?
    CLIENT: I have been instructed not to give that out untill I know if you guys can help
    Kelly: by consumerit?
    Kelly: consumerist.com
    CLIENT: I have bever heard of them
    CLIENT: never*
    CLIENT: who is that?
    Kelly: yeah sure…
    CLIENT: well if you are going to take that tone
    CLIENT: I am afraid I will have to take my buisness else where
    CLIENT: thank you

    dang they’re on to us boys

  131. bcgrote says:

    Wow, yeah, I would definitely send those “cease and desist” letters to the FBI and the cops!

    Can we has complaintremover remover? Anyone?

    And here I thought the Google was self-righting, that the sites at the top of the list were the most visited, not the most referred to….

  132. Mr. Gunn says:

    noquarter: That would have been the plan, but you’d better be ready to roll with it, because they’re in high alert right now.

  133. Moosehawk says:

    @Deadeyereborn: So they’re real then?

    Oh boy haha

  134. jetsetter says:

    @picshereplz:
    people have been promoting their own webpages for years. there’s nothing malicious about it, unless you’re trying to slander someone.

  135. lostalaska says:

    @noquarter: You win the best ‘effed up idea award. I thought mine was good, but your idea is fantastic. I complement you for your wonderfully twisted idea, I only wish I had thought of it first.

  136. Daihatsuboy says:

    I love how the “Kelly” types like a five year-old.

    “Kelly: for that you ahve tu discuss with my manager”

    Very professional.

  137. ekairi says:

    I dare someone to suggest to them that their site is a “defamatory” or “Negative link” and would like them to remove themselves or send a cease and desist to themselves because they are taking away from their favorite sites.
    (As you can see I’m too chicken to do it myself. XD)

    I think reading their reaction from that would be hilarious.

  138. Mr. Gunn says:

    scoobydoo: Turns out it was Bill. You almost won.

  139. riverstyxxx says:

    I asked Jamie if she was thinking about getting a real job, she didn’t take too kindly though.

  140. riverstyxxx says:

    @xerent:
    WE DOENT TAEK TEH PUBEZ!!!

  141. Shannon says:

    That was hilarious. Invisible Bike! LMAO!

  142. HeartBurnKid says:
  143. JAYEONE says:

    “dangerous cat behavior”!!
    I read this ten mins ago and I’m still laughing…you guys slay me :)

  144. MYarms says:

    As of today the chat is hit or miss. I think they’re auto disconnecting the chat if they see you’re being referred from consumerist. Anyways Kelly has a different picture now.

  145. PermanentStar says:

    @MrEvil:

    I’d have to say human, looking at the spelling errors and mistyping…unless they program a bot to do that, to make it seem more human.

  146. These people are SERIOUSLY nasty; see the death threats…

  147. Slap_mc says:

    That’s sort of impressive though they’re willing to stalk and murder people and sit in jail to protect their clients, when their clients didn’t ask them to. Sort of like gee, I just wanted that “Slap_mc sux in bed” pushed down the index is all…