Lycos Steps Up Legal Threats To Get Meanypants CS Manager's Photo Down

Somehow Lycos took time off from deleting customer’s emails to send off more photo removal requests, and now they’ve got their general counsel involved.

Look, if you want the photo removed, here’s how it goes down.

1. Apologize to Whitney
2. Restore her deleted emails
3. Photo gets removed
4. Profit!!!

Actually, step 4 is going to be hard for Lycos, but, theoretically, the option is available.

Legal missives, inside.

from: [redacted]
Date: February 2, 2007 1:04:23 PM EST
To: [redacted]
Subject: Lycos Legal Complaint and Request for Removal

Dear Sir or Madame:

I am following up on an issue that I believe has already been brought to your attention, but has yet to receive a response from you. On your website,, one of your users has posted personal information and a photo of a Lycos customer service employee, Michael Jandreau. Since that posting, Michael has received over 50 threatening emails, many of which have contained death threats. In addition, at least 6 individuals have come to our office looking for Michael. Although the text of the blog itself contains numerous false, defamatory, and libelous statements regarding both Lycos and Mr. Jandreau, Lycos is not concerned with censoring this individual’s speech. However, it is very concerned with the posting of personal information and photo of our employee. This goes well beyond what is necessary to voice a complaint about actions of customer service, and unquestionably rises to the level of harassment in violation of your Terms of Use. As such, Lycos requests that Gawker immediately remove Mr. Jandreau’s photo and any personal information concerning Mr. Jandreau from this website. Especially in light of the death threats received, and the potential liability of Gawker if it ignores this request despite knowledge of such threats, I would hope that Gawker would comply promptly with this request.

Thank you and regards,

Mark O. Blais
Deputy General Counsel
Lycos, Inc.


My complaint with this has nothing to do with “her”, it has to do with my personal photo being displaying on YOUR website, without any permission, written or implied.

This is against Privacy laws.

You’re free to post whatever stories you’d like, and have your visitors comment all they want, that does not bother me in the slightest. I simply want my photo to be removed from your website, as it’s unauthorized, and jeopardizing my personal safety.

Please comply with this simple request.

Mike Jandreau
Customer Service Manager
Lycos, Inc

Ms. Darbyshire:

I am responding on behalf of Mr. Jandreau and Lycos, and am attaching the text of an email I just sent to your legal email address that renews Mr. Jandreau’s request. As the below text points out, Lycos is not asking that any of the content or substance posted on this website be removed, even though certain of the material on there is in fact erroneous. Lycos respects internet users’, including its own users’, right to voice their opinions, criticisms and concerns without censorship (except where they violate a third party’s rights, of course). However, Lycos believes that the posting of Mr. Jandreau’s photo is out of bounds, violates his privacy rights, and violates your own Terms of Use as rising to the level harassment. If the posting of someone’s photo, which really has no relevance at all to the matter at hand, isn’t harassment, then this term in your Terms of Use is essentially meaningless. Given the photo’s complete lack of relevance or bearing on the applicable issue, there can be only one reason for its display — to harass. Moreover, that death threats are now being levied against Mr. Jandreau and individuals are now showing up at Lycos (thereby disrupting Lycos’s business), the justification to take this photo down is beyond question. Your continued display of this photo, or any personal information for that matter, having no relevance other than for purposes of harassment potentially opens Gawker to liability, especially if something were to happen to Mr. Jandreau. Taking down the photo is a very limited and reasonable request, and does not in any way impede the free speech of your users. Please act responsibly and take this photo down asap. Thank you.

Mark O. Blais
Deputy General Counsel
Lycos, Inc


Note: Whitney’s original blog entry down to CPU overload, here’s a Google cache.