The Fucked Company community
September 1, 2000 9:44 PM   Subscribe

The Fucked Company community are not being fair to Bryan. (via With various different threads they are being more than cruel to him. I personally found his blog about his startup rather fascinating. This maybe a good time to reevaluated our perception of FC as a website/game/community.
posted by tamim (27 comments total)
Well I don't know about "being fair to Bryan." They're just being juvenile morons. I haven't seen behavior like that since I left usenet behind years ago.

My opinion of the place changed when I saw all the bryan boyer threads, and these two threads (1, 2) in particular are offensive to no end.

What any of this has to do with bad business plans, I don't know, but it's unmoderated and anonymous, so what do you expect?
posted by mathowie at 9:58 PM on September 1, 2000

Dear god, Matt. A link like #2 there should come with some warning next time. For those who may surf there be aware that it contains quite graphic material. And not just the racism either.
posted by Awol at 10:45 PM on September 1, 2000

I have to agree with Matt. I think the single most important lessons of this episode has been that anonymous posting is absolutely stupid.

I've watched countless people imitate me while posting juvenile remarks, which sucks, but Matt is right, the homophobic and racist remarks are just sad. For the record, I have not and will not post to the FC boards.

I would also say that this raises some issues about the responsibility of people who own/run community sites. A number of people including myself have tried to contact Pud (who runs FC) but have only received rude responses. When community content moves into the area of slander or defamation is it the responsibility of the owner to step in?
posted by bryanboyer at 10:50 PM on September 1, 2000

“The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." -Theodore Roosevelt

posted by jbelshaw at 10:55 PM on September 1, 2000

Bryan, there may be a moral obligation for the owner of the forum to do something about slander, but there's no legal obligation. That was actually settled by a special law passed by congress, at the urging of people like AOL and MSN and UUNET and PSINET, who didn't want to have to monitor the gigabyte or so of netnews which passes through their systems every day to remove anything which might look like slander, or in the case of AOL to have to directly monitor in real time all the chat rooms.

The law states clearly that the owner of a system is not responsible legally for slanderous comments posted on that system by its users.

Which nonetheless does not relieve him of any moral obligation he may have -- but that's in the eye of the beholder. He evidently doesn't think he has any such moral obligation.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 11:01 PM on September 1, 2000

I forgot to finish my post. oops. Let me just say, that I was a web developer at the dotcom formerly known as I can definately relate to the bashing and BS that seems to fly after a company goes down. Criticism definately wasn't limited to FC though. The Austin American-Statesman printed this article about us. Definately not fun.
posted by jbelshaw at 11:03 PM on September 1, 2000

Oh, just in passing: what's happening here is libel, not slander. Slander is spoken. Libel is printed or broadcast. None of which changes the fact that the owner of a system on which someone else posts libel is not responsible for that libel, cannot be sued for it, and I believe cannot be compelled to remove it.

However, the owner of the system can be subpoenaed and forced to reveal the identity of the person who did post the libel if they know it, or all information about that poster that they have (like IPs from log records and suchlike) which could be used to trace the person who posted the libel, and the poster can have their tail-feathers sued off.

And if the owner of the system refuses the subpoena then they are in contempt of court, and if after receiving the subpoena they destroy the records then they have committed a felony.

Isn't the law wonderful? (I'm not a lawyer but I'm a knowledgeable layman. You should know as much as you can about anything which might affect your life. I know a lot about medicine, too, though I'm not a doctor.)
posted by Steven Den Beste at 11:18 PM on September 1, 2000

"it's always funny until the joke's on you".

While the comments on the FC message board go way over the line, I think the reaction of "someone must be responsible" is happening because the folks here on MeFi see Bryan as one of "their own".

Get over it.

While I liked Deepleap, I think the conversation on FC about what exactly their business model/plan was is valid.
posted by owillis at 11:19 PM on September 1, 2000

Anyone for registering
posted by Neale at 11:48 PM on September 1, 2000

All the threads I and Matt linked do not talk anything about business model or anything else. They have threads about, which is NOT AN E-COMMERCE SITE. They are picking on a PERSON and his JOURNAL. There are other threads about deepleap, which I did not link.
posted by tamim at 11:50 PM on September 1, 2000

Conversation about a business plan is valid. Racist and homophobic insults hurled at a person who put their best effort into a company which failed is not valid, and inexcusable. It is clearly the work of small, petty minds who have nothing reasonable to offer in the arena of ideas, so they go for the ad hominem. Typical, sad, unexpected, worrisome, bothersome. It not only reflects badly on the writer, but on all of the legitimate discourse at which is tarnished by these unfortunate threads.
posted by Dreama at 12:25 AM on September 2, 2000

I'm with awol. I clicked unknowingly on link #2.

Sick. Hateful. Graphic. Please, warn us
posted by justnobody at 2:43 AM on September 2, 2000

Well Brian's log has been very interesting to me (and I'm sure countless others), and I was amazed when Brian agreed to post some deepleap promotional stickers over to the UK for me. This shows the great lengths Brian was willing to go to to promote deepleap; a very kind gesture.
As for FC; regulation needs to come in the form of mandatory registration before posting. All libellous comments should be removed from the site as they all a) discredit the posters b) are offensive to others and c) topple the status of the website to nothing more than a rabble-rousing bunch of people; FC simply plunges in everyone's estimation.
posted by williamtry at 3:23 AM on September 2, 2000

Those who can, do, those who can't watch and burn with envy... and then post anonymously. Mathowie's right, what else can you expect: FC allows anyone to splutter out their bitterness with absolutely no responsibility. It can only get worse and the rabble will drive away everyone else.
posted by scum at 4:44 AM on September 2, 2000

Interesting. I clicked on link #2 in matthowie's post, and while I thought it was disgusting and evil - I don't seem to have had as virulent a reaction as a couple of the people here. And I'm black. What's that about? Seriously.
posted by owillis at 7:18 AM on September 2, 2000

I'm guessing these little AOLholes had never seen an online diary before.
posted by harmful at 8:32 AM on September 2, 2000

Jumpin Jesus on a pogo stick! I used to tell friends to go check out FC. I feel all dirty (in the bad way).

A possibly great idea gone bad.
posted by Mick at 9:04 AM on September 2, 2000

As an business owner with a handful of e-commerce sites, I periodically check FC headlines to keep track of failings in the dotcom world. On the one hand, I'm amazed at the devotion of Pud's groupies and the popularity of the site. Then again, I'm sickened by the vulgarity, sexism, racism, homophobia and general lack of good taste displayed on the boards.

The discussions are truly sad. IMHO, Mr. Boyer has more determination, guts, brains, talent and class than most and he should be respected for that.

Starting your own business is one of the hardest challenges you're likely to face in this world -- I've toiled in my own personal hell worrying about the things I have and haven't done and the impact my actions have had on my partners, the bottom line, my clients, my family, etc. I can't imagine having the brunt of Pud and his minions commenting on my personal and professional life.

Perhaps it's high time I stopped visiting that damn site. Anyone care to boycott Pud and FC?
posted by argus at 9:15 AM on September 2, 2000

Remember when we were little and were taught to ignore the various crass and cruel things that would inevitably be said/done/written to and about us? Because to respond would only give power to the person for whom our torment brought joy?

Ignore. Ignore. Ignore.

These are small words from small minds.

There is no battle to be fought here.
posted by gsh at 10:04 AM on September 2, 2000

This thread you linked to was a great example of just how easy it is to sit back and do nothing, and mock people who do have the guts to go out and make the effort. Most of those comments read like their posters don't have the intelligence, or the chutzpah to conjure up a great idea, much less found a company and work to make that great idea a reality.

posted by kristin at 11:18 AM on September 2, 2000

Let me see if I understand this:

Any of you actually expected a website called FuckedCompany to be a shining beacon of enlightened, polite, civil discourse ... ?

If you're looking for an alternative to the site, I'd suggest
posted by webmutant at 11:41 AM on September 2, 2000

>>I don't seem to have had as virulent a reaction as a couple of the people here....<<

I was thinking the same thing, that too many of the reactions here seem to have been artificially pumped up. Then I went back to the page and let it load the entire way, and was presented with a jpeg of a skinned penis.
posted by aaron at 12:07 PM on September 2, 2000

I was following the FC message board for a while, it has gone downhill, that's for sure. I think the problem with the Bryan Boyer discussion really got inflamed when someone called 'Bryan_Boyer' attempted to defend Bryan Boyer-- that's when people really started getting sickly abusive, as opposed to the regular FC abuse. However I don't think it's really out of character, the whole point of the site is to bash companies that go out of business... while there are intelligent people who post to the site, as it became more popular, it attracted a really negative, immature, idiotic component that makes just about every thread unbearable to read.
posted by chaz at 1:29 PM on September 2, 2000

I love how everyone is so free-speechy, but when something disagreeable is pointed directly at them it suddenly becomes a censorship ^H, moral issue. You can't have it both ways, if this changes your opinion of FC and now you won't have anything to do with it because of their public mesage board thats fine. But don't expect to be taken seriously when it comes to issues of free expression because your PC sensibilities are insulted every so often and s0-and-so must be silenced or punished. Ignore it or admit you and you only should be the world-wide-web's fascist editor.
posted by skallas at 3:58 PM on September 2, 2000

According to an insistent poster on the FC boards a month or so ago, dotcomfailures is run out of Pud's workplace. A cleaner, office-safe version.

I enjoy FC, but I stopped going to the boards a while ago. Life's too short to read bilious sniping by guys who call themselves ClownPenis.
posted by lileks at 11:38 PM on September 2, 2000

There's no such thing as free speech, and it's a good thing too. Because we all pay for it in our own ways.

Whatever. Having been bullied through most of my childhood, I've reached the point at which I can separate criticism from abuse, and treat the latter with the lack of respect it deserves.

Deepleap probably launched at the wrong time. There are far too many multi-millionaires who built to flip a couple of years ago, and pardon a bit of vicarious jealousy, but in a just world, there's no way that Mark fucking Cuban would be owning a hockey team while the Deepleapers count their debts.

But capitalism isn't a measure of how well you live, in spite of Adam Smith's better intentions. And that I like.
posted by holgate at 6:34 AM on September 3, 2000

Huh? Stick and Stones... Please grow up people. Having a thin skin online is not recommended.
posted by john at 12:14 PM on September 3, 2000

« Older Gore pulls even with Bush   |   Weblogs.. Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments