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Just this site alone would make them millionaires
January 11, 2007 9:20 AM   Subscribe

Reputation Defender It was only a matter of time before someone came up with THIS business plan.
posted by konolia (62 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Next, we DESTROY.

I'd like to hear how they plan on removing data from professional review websites and online news sources.
posted by null terminated at 9:24 AM on January 11, 2007


Finally! Now all the emo kids on myspace will know who I am and what I'm about.
posted by clovis at 9:24 AM on January 11, 2007


hey, HEY!! ... you guys better watch what you say about them ... they DESTROY
posted by pyramid termite at 9:25 AM on January 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


Can they destroy the part of my mom's brain that found my blog? I'd pay for that.
posted by Cyrano at 9:28 AM on January 11, 2007


Reputation Defender in "action".
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:31 AM on January 11, 2007


The ferret dog ate the baby's toes.
posted by jimmythefish at 9:32 AM on January 11, 2007


That's pretty rough when you get told to eat dicks right out the gate.
posted by The Straightener at 9:36 AM on January 11, 2007


Will they protect me from myself and DESTROY all the asinine comments I've littered this place with?
posted by sonofslim at 9:38 AM on January 11, 2007


new improved reputation defender - they not only DESTROY but they EAT DICKS, too
posted by pyramid termite at 9:39 AM on January 11, 2007


Client from hell? Goatse guy.
posted by found missing at 9:42 AM on January 11, 2007 [3 favorites]


They could retire on the revenue they could make just by cleaning up MeFi threads.

Seriously though, they use tools to destroy information held on other people's sites? How is that not hacking?

Does this mean I can make money by partnering with them, writing inflammatory stuff about people and then splitting the charge to remove it?
posted by fenriq at 9:45 AM on January 11, 2007


Do you think perhaps Michael Fertik was maybe inspired a little bit by the way he looks here and here?
posted by Partial Law at 9:50 AM on January 11, 2007


So they SEARCH, they DESTROY, you better look out Mama 'cause they're usin' technology... are they, by any chance, streetwalkin' cheetahs with hearts full of napalm?
posted by arto at 9:55 AM on January 11, 2007


NOBODY expects the Reputation Defender!
Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise....
Our two weapons are fear and surprise... and ruthless efficiency....
Our three weapons are fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...
and an almost fanatical devotion to mySpace....
Our four... no...
Amongst our weapons... Amongst our weaponry...
are such elements as fear, surprise...

I'll come in again.
posted by hal9k at 9:55 AM on January 11, 2007


Our trained and expert online reputation advocates use an array of proprietary techniques developed in-house to correct and/or completely remove the selected unwanted content from the web.

Sending a letter asking "pretty please with sugar on top" is a proprietary technique?

I think I'll start another business called "Reputation Enhancer" where I will post compliments about my clients all over the internet.

Bondcliff has a large penis and kisses like a nymphomaniac on death row.
posted by bondcliff at 9:57 AM on January 11, 2007


I have met every single employee of Reputation Defender, and let me tell you, they were the most rude, disgusting, belligerent, and filth-encrusted individuals I have ever seen. They couldn't go a minute without several seconds of enthusiastic, brutal fornication. And the STENCH....

There. If this comment hasn't been DESTROYED by next week, somebody's reputation just got a little dirtier.
posted by tehloki at 10:06 AM on January 11, 2007


trust me - this works!
posted by quonsar at 10:06 AM on January 11, 2007


When I was younger and first learned about 'Social Security' I thought this is what they meant.

Seriously.

I mean, just think about it.
posted by owenkun at 10:10 AM on January 11, 2007


Hey, boncliff ... wanna' have drinks tonight?
posted by ericb at 10:10 AM on January 11, 2007


*bondcliff* ;-)
posted by ericb at 10:10 AM on January 11, 2007


Maybe if they don't get their way, with consumerist or others, they'll just DESTROY the whole internets as a fallback.

Or sell juicy shit they find through their other company: ReputationDestroyer.
posted by imperium at 10:11 AM on January 11, 2007


You know who else needed his reputation improved on the Internet?

That's right... Hitler.
posted by found missing at 10:14 AM on January 11, 2007 [1 favorite]


*rrrrrrrrrrrrring*

"reputation defender, may i help you?"

"please hold for the president of the united states"

"HOT DAMN!! JACKPOT!!!"
posted by pyramid termite at 10:22 AM on January 11, 2007


Can ReputationDestroyer be far behind?
posted by nanojath at 10:27 AM on January 11, 2007


ericb, if you are implying that bondcliff likes the dudes you should know that I can hire a company who will DESTROY YOU for even thinking that.

I have a reputation to defend, you know.
posted by bondcliff at 10:29 AM on January 11, 2007


From the About page:
Michael Fertik is a repeat Internet entrepreneur

I'm sure he'll get it right eventually.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:30 AM on January 11, 2007


bondcliff, not that there's anything wrong with that!
posted by ericb at 10:36 AM on January 11, 2007


from their FAQ:
Does ReputationDefender simply send cease-and-desist letters or sue everybody when it seeks to "Destroy" content?

No. Most of our approaches to effecting correction or removal of content are non-legal. We will only pursue legal options with the express consent of our clients, and these techniques are strictly optional and usually the last resort. They may incur additional cost.
(my italics & bolds)

So basically, they're hackers.
Patriot Act and DMCA violations, ahoy!
posted by Chrischris at 10:36 AM on January 11, 2007


This enterprise seems to me like a botched business school abortion that somehow managed to drag itself mewling from the womb with a clotted mass of scar tissue on its forehead where the clothes hanger puncture used to be.
posted by The Straightener at 10:36 AM on January 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


I quote from their site:

If we find an item of online content you don't like, we'll carry out our proprietary DESTROY process for you on that item for the one-time low fee of $29.95. This is where the rubber hits the road. It is an arduous and time-consuming process for our team of specialists, but we work hard so you can sleep better at night. You don't pay this till you command us to DESTROY unwanted online content.

In other words, they don't have to actually get the content removed, all they have to do is "carry out [their] proprietary DESTROY process": i.e., send a nice letter. Actually, they may not even have to do that: "You don't pay this till you command us" implies that every time you ask them to DESTROY they rack up another $29.95. Nice work if you can get it!
posted by languagehat at 10:44 AM on January 11, 2007


ericb, you're not accusing me of homophobia, are you? Because I can pay a modest fee and have ReputationDefenders ask you very nicely to not do that.

You'll be sorry.
posted by bondcliff at 10:45 AM on January 11, 2007


This is great. I shall begin with the systematic destruction of the presence of others on the internet with the same name as me, until at least, I have the highest page-rank for my name
posted by poppo at 10:45 AM on January 11, 2007


All I have to say is
............................COMMENT DESTROYED.............................
posted by briank at 10:51 AM on January 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


A little story.

While editing Wikipedia, I came across an individual -- I will use no other clue but "Hollywood" -- who was almost certainly the subject of the article he was editing, and who was unhappy with cited source material that was, in a sense, unflattering (I didn't think he came off that badly, but he was clearly not "over" the event). When I insisted that there was no reason for us to remove material that was cited to reliable news sources, and that his problem was with the sources, he proceeded over the next several weeks to (apparently) lawyer-letter them to take the stories out of their archives, and then edit the article noting that the source no longer existed.

I was appalled, although the fact that he was so tenacious and pathetic factored into that. I could still cite via Nexis or something, but it wasn't worth that much effort to me.
posted by dhartung at 10:52 AM on January 11, 2007


They wouldn't go to the trouble of hacking for $29.95. No, undoubtedly what they will do is modify entries they have access to (like wikipedia); alert you to posts here and there (like on youtube or facebook); and send out some letters.

There is no way they are going to use "the law" for $30. At most they can threaten.

The better biz model is just the searching - but it is overpriced. I can't see your average college kid sobering up from years of keg stands and deciding to spend $10-15 a month for some company to do a google search in the hopes of catching bad stuff before a future employer finds it.

The better, better biz model is selling the searching not to individuals but to corporate clients doing background checks, and gee, that's been done for a long, long time.
posted by Muddler at 10:56 AM on January 11, 2007


I think by "non-legal" they mean not using the courts or lawyers, not "illegal".
posted by mrnutty at 11:03 AM on January 11, 2007


(but regardless, that's stunningly bad copy)
posted by mrnutty at 11:04 AM on January 11, 2007


Can someone please think of the children? They do.

As a parent in the Internet Age, there are three new and essential questions you may be asking about your child's safety, reputation, and future. They are: What is my child saying about himself or herself online? And what are other people saying about him or her online? As a parent, do I have the technical expertise and time to keep up with my child's online activity? Can I do anything about all of this? How do I get access to all of the information on the Internet when I don't even have access to many of the websites most frequented by kids and teenagers? The founders of ReputationDefender know where you are coming from and we have the answer for these new and essential questions of parenthood. That answer is MyChild.
posted by darkripper at 11:15 AM on January 11, 2007


is your child being victimized by bullies on and offline? ... don't worry, reputationdefender will DESTROY those mean kiddies with our patented BLACK TRENCH COAT method ...
posted by pyramid termite at 11:26 AM on January 11, 2007


We will always and only be in YOUR corner.

What if they get hired by two people who are each other's personal nemesis, bent on each other's personal destruction?... Will the site implode from trying to defend them both?
posted by amyms at 11:31 AM on January 11, 2007


A little story.

While editing Wikipedia, I came across an individual -- I will use no other clue but "Hollywood" -- who was almost certainly the subject of the article he was editing, and who was unhappy with cited source material that was, in a sense, unflattering (I didn't think he came off that badly, but he was clearly not "over" the event). When I insisted that there was no reason for us to remove material that was cited to reliable news sources, and that his problem was with the sources, he proceeded over the next several weeks to (apparently) lawyer-letter them to take the stories out of their archives, and then edit the article noting that the source no longer existed.

I was appalled, although the fact that he was so tenacious and pathetic factored into that. I could still cite via Nexis or something, but it wasn't worth that much effort to me.


Are we referring to a sc**nt*l*g*st couch-bouncer perchance?
posted by konolia at 11:31 AM on January 11, 2007


So, let's say we want to get a very clear idea of Reputation Defender's methods and thoroughness. What we'd need, then, is a client.

Let's call him Client X. (He'd need a better name than that, of course—ideally something plausible but unique, to make searching more straightforward and avoid accidentally libelling the hell out of an innocent bystandard.)

We create a rough dossier of Client X—a sketch biography, a few key incidents worth talking about. We then distribute this dossier to as wide a net of bloggers as possible, including a few Primary Sources and a larger number of Secondary Linkers.

The Primary Sources would act as news outlets, each posting a story regarding our Client X's unflattering behavior. The Secondary Linkers would link to the Primaries, to discuss and spread linkage.

It would be ideal if Client X could also make posts to various forums. Administrators of said forums, if they were participants in this project, could even create backdated posts and discussions to add a further air of temporal plausibility to the whole thing.

This initial seeding would go on for a month or two—some lovely, strange collaborative storytelling, fun in its own right—and then we'd hire on RepDef to resolve the situation.

And we'd document the correspondence on all ends.

That might be something.
posted by cortex at 11:36 AM on January 11, 2007 [2 favorites]


I guess they're smart enough not to send actionably bogus DMCA takedown notices, which was my first guess on how they operated.
posted by exogenous at 11:37 AM on January 11, 2007


innocent bystandard

I would like to pretend that this was not a typo but a genuine eggcorn, because it's so great.
posted by cortex at 11:38 AM on January 11, 2007


once something is online for awhile, it usually gets cached at the internet archive right? And there isn't really a way to get things removed from it, ..that i know of. Good luck with that one.
posted by thisisdrew at 11:50 AM on January 11, 2007


We scour the Internet to dig up every possible piece of information about you and present it in an interactive monthly report.

Apart from the fact that doing this (i.e., "digging up every possible piece of information") would be impossible, it is also quite absurd.
posted by blucevalo at 11:56 AM on January 11, 2007


But can they change your GPA?
posted by itchylick at 12:05 PM on January 11, 2007


You’re not destroying anything. You’re not removing this data. If you do, my foot soldiers who go up and down Wilshire Boulevard each day will blow your brains out.
posted by Smart Dalek at 12:13 PM on January 11, 2007


Reputation Defender deserve a batshitinsane tag.
posted by darkripper at 12:23 PM on January 11, 2007


They going to cut class and hang out all day at 7/11 blowing quarters too?
posted by Smedleyman at 12:36 PM on January 11, 2007


Maybe NoKa should hire them...
posted by ob at 12:43 PM on January 11, 2007


Wouldn't it be awesome if this site was operated by the same people who ran the online "little black book" site? Talk about cross-selling.
posted by maxwelton at 1:06 PM on January 11, 2007


We will help you understand your online reputation, and we will doggedly seek removal or alternation of unwelcome content if you instruct us to do so.
Oooh they are going to alternate some shit!
posted by Mister_A at 1:22 PM on January 11, 2007


Basically the social version of professional level grinders in MMORPG's. Putting forth real effort just sucks.
posted by beta male at 1:27 PM on January 11, 2007


IM IN YUR INTERNETS ALTERNATING YUR REPUTATION LOL
posted by found missing at 1:43 PM on January 11, 2007


While editing Wikipedia, I came across an individual -- I will use no other clue but "Hollywood" -- who was almost certainly the subject of the article he was editing, and who was unhappy with cited source material that was, in a sense, unflattering. . . he proceeded over the next several weeks to (apparently) lawyer-letter them to take the stories out of their archives

Hmm, I wonder who this might be?
posted by dgaicun at 2:04 PM on January 11, 2007


Do they have a team of translators standing by or can I continue spreading totally fabricated lies in swedish hoping somewhere out there a bilingual CEO or date will pass due to the duct tape, hamster claws and fermented tea leaves rumours? I've made it to the Ds in the Minnesota phonebook, it would be a shame if all this work was for nothing.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 2:53 PM on January 11, 2007


I wonder if their "proprietary DESTROY process" really goes for a "ONE-TIME" fee of $29.95, or if you'd keep getting reminders that if you don't keep paying they'll put the info back up -- or worse. That's how blackmail works in the movies anyway, "Ya gotta get the negatives." If you care enough to pay you care enough to keep paying, right?

Of course if I cared about my reputation in that fashion I'd've been toast about 10 years ago, from when I posted to a non-binaries newsgroup proof of my very small hands.
posted by davy at 5:11 PM on January 11, 2007


By the way, according to a certain encyclopedia article, Mr. Né Mapother and the current head honcho of a very expensive religion are "best friends." I don't suppose that'd be Best Friends à la Bogart and Bacall, eh?
posted by davy at 6:01 PM on January 11, 2007


Uh oh. Methinks a plot is afoot. Strangely, I'm not moved by this development.
posted by disclaimer at 1:37 PM on January 12, 2007


Hey, looks like there's a relatively recent example of their work.
posted by dilettante at 7:39 PM on January 13, 2007


Except that Robert E. Chambers conceived of the idea in 1895 in his short story "The Repairer of Reputations" in The King in Yellow.
posted by asfuller at 11:59 PM on January 13, 2007


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