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Offline Anonymous

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« on: May 06, 2007, 02:58:28 PM »
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.c ... 01&sc=1000

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Web can ruin reputation with stroke of a key
Anna Badkhen, Chronicle Staff Writer

Sunday, May 6, 2007

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 The first postings appeared soon after Sue Scheff, who runs a Web-based referral service for parents with troubled teenagers, advised a woman from Louisiana to withdraw her twin sons from a boarding school in 2002.

Scheff is "a con artist," "a crook" and "a fraud," according to the messages, which peppered blogs and Internet forums for parents of troubled teens.

Soon, calls to Scheff's Parents Universal Resource Experts dropped by half, said Scheff, 45, who lives in Weston, Fla. "People would say: 'You know, I just read this about you online. How do I know I can trust you?' "

Scheff, whose 6-year-old service usually draws a lot of traffic, is a victim of an emerging phenomenon: online smear campaigns, which can wreak havoc in the victims' professional and business lives at the touch of a few keystrokes.

"It is happening ... on more or less every Web site where people can create content," said Michael Fertik, a co-founder of ReputationDefender, a Palo Alto-based group that helps clients remove damaging content from the Internet. "From underage people, to university people, to graduate school people, to older people, to people who are being targeted by exes, to people who are being targeted by ex-business partners, colleagues at work."

Millions of Americans use Internet search engines and social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook to learn more about prospective dates, neighbors and colleagues. One in 4 hiring managers use online search engines like Google to screen job candidates, a survey by the CareerBuilder job search engine showed last fall. The Internet has become a 21st century credit report service.

The catch: Anyone can post any information about anyone, however false, on any one of the thousands of Internet sites with modifiable content. Once posted, defamatory information can be stored on the Web forever, accessible to anyone via a simple search.

"You would Google my name, and what would come up was 'beware of Sue Scheff,' " said Scheff, 45, who eventually won an $11.3 million defamation lawsuit last fall against the mother from Louisiana, Carey Bock, the author of most of the original postings accusing Scheff of fraud that started appearing in 2003. "It was ugly. It was horrible."

Bock, 49, told The Chronicle last week that she will appeal the decision, handed down by a jury in Florida's Broward County Circuit Court. "I don't think I've done anything wrong," she said.

"There have always been cases of people speaking their minds without thinking of ramifications," and defamatory postings are "simply a new expression of that," said Rebecca Jeschke, spokeswoman for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco nonprofit legal organization that advocates digital rights and free speech.

In contrast to ReputationDefender, she said, the foundation counsels many people "who are being accused of defamation, who say what they said was an opinion."

Because it is often hard to tell fiction from fact, employers sometimes unwittingly allow falsehoods posted on the Internet to inform their decisions about prospective employees, said Larry Ponemon, president and founder of the Michigan-based Ponemon Institute, which specializes in privacy research.

"Cyber-slamming is a recent phenomenon (that is) going to create an entire area of legal issues for people who were denied potential employment because someone decided to publish slanderous information on them," Ponemon said.

A February survey by the institute showed that roughly one-third of Internet searches by hiring managers yielded content that became the basis for denying jobs to the candidates.

That's what one Yale law student believes happened to her earlier this year when none of the 16 law firms to which she had applied for a summer job made her an offer. The student, who did not want her name used because she feared retribution online, has published articles in legal journals and says she has "great grades."

She was one of several female Yale law students singled out by anonymous contributors to a popular law school message board on AutoAdmit.com, a discussion forum for law students.

The postings contain derogatory references to her mental capacity and sexual activity, claim she had sexually transmitted diseases, and threaten sexual violence against her.

The woman said the law firm representatives who had interviewed her must have seen these comments. She said the representatives had asked her for personal information that she had not included in her resume, but which appears alongside the AutoAdmit.com postings when her name is searched on Google.

"That's really unprecedented; most students get multiple job offers. I have been applying in an area I have an immense expertise in. I knew my stuff," said the student, who said she does not know who wrote the anonymous postings.

Law firms are reluctant to hire students whose names are associated with anything scandalous, said another Yale law student. An AutoAdmit.com chat last winter discussed the student's breasts and posted her photographs.

"They don't want their clients to be able to Google their attorney's names and see this," she explained.

The women had asked Jarret Cohen, the owner of AutoAdmit.com, to remove the discussions, but he had refused.

"It's a slippery slope once you start deciding what is and what isn't allowed to be said," Cohen, a 23-year-old insurance broker in Pennsylvania, wrote in an e-mail to The Chronicle. He acknowledged that violations of privacy on discussion boards are "part of a growing social problem on the Internet."

Harold Koh, dean of Yale Law School, denounced the assertions on AutoAdmit.com as "false and hurtful" in an open letter to the law school students. "These malicious attacks, as well as racist, sexist and homophobic speech, have no place in the Yale Law School community," Koh wrote. AutoAdmit.com is not affiliated with Yale.

Under current law, a court cannot oblige the owner of a site hosting defamatory postings to remove the offensive content, said Fertik, whose company has hundreds of clients across 17 countries.

ReputationDefender (www .reputationdefender.com), which was founded last fall, charges $29.95 to try to remove each item from the Internet, and a monthly fee of $9.95 to continue to monitor postings about an existing client.

Sporadic attempts to rein in defamatory content have been unsuccessful so far. Last month, bloggers denounced as censorship a call to ban anonymous comments and delete abusive posts. The proposal by Tim O'Reilly, a book publisher and chief of O'Reilly Media Inc., came after Kathy Sierra, a Colorado blogger, received anonymous death threats and was frightened into canceling her appearance at O'Reilly's conference in San Diego.

Damaging postings don't always come from ill-wishers. Individuals post provocative information or pictures of themselves, only to learn later that employers see these posts as reason not to hire them, said Jennifer Sullivan, a spokeswoman for CareerBuilder.

Applicants typically get in trouble, she said, by posting "information or photos that show them drinking or using drugs or being irresponsible," Sullivan said.

"The Internet is a big tattooing machine that makes you relive momentary mistakes and lapses in judgment that we all make," said Fertik, who said ReputationDefender often helps people remove items they had posted on the Internet about themselves.

Still, it hurts far more when such postings appear without the knowledge of their subjects -- as happened to Danté Roberson, a jazz and hip-hop drummer from Oakland. When an anonymous posting on MySpace.com in January accused him of being a thief, Roberson hired ReputationDefender, which persuaded the owner of the specific MySpace.com page to remove the offending post that Roberson said could have cost him numerous gigs.

"Who wants to have all that kind of mess in their camp?" said Roberson, who makes a living touring with bands. "You are trying to run a clean and sober camp and all of a sudden this (appears). Who wants to have this dirtiness on them?"

E-mail Anna Badkhen at [email protected].
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline BuzzKill

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« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2007, 07:17:33 PM »
"bout this:

Soon, calls to Scheff's Parents Universal Resource Experts dropped by half, said Scheff, 45, who lives in Weston, Fla. "People would say: 'You know, I just read this about you online. How do I know I can trust you?' "

She didn't say anything at the time, to me, about her calls falling off; or even about people asking questions. And I feel confident, had any of this been true - she most definitely would have said so  - to me, and to every other soul she spoke with.  Sue was never one to suffer in silence.

She was Real Pissed Off about the posting (and no doubt still is) and she talked about it A Lot - all the time - to everyone - but she never did mention business falling off.

Think she might have lied?

  :roll:

And my oh my - If she had business fall off after Carey began her rants - Its a wonder that she has any business left after the word about her actions toward the Whitmore parents got out!
 :o
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2007, 08:55:57 PM »
http://careybock.blogspot.com/2007/05/c ... it-of.html

Sunday, May 6, 2007
Carey Bock Levine Served Writ of Garnishment of Wages
Update as of May 5th, 2007

Although Mrs. Carey Bock Levine still believes she has done nothing wrong and is attempting to use the First Amendment as a crutch for defaming Sue Scheff, PURE and her family on various forums - a jury found it very differently and awarded Ms. Scheff $11.3 Million dollars - $5M of it for punitive damages.

There are no issues to appeal, although Mrs. Bock-Levine will attempt to lead people to this belief. Please take a moment to read the previous posts here to see the inconsistency of Mrs. Bock Levines excuses. Even stooping as low to claim she was a Katrina Victim yet she sold her house 4 weeks prior the horrific hurricane. Furthermore lived in a lovely gated apartment community in League City, TX.

Before you believe the First Amendment supports defamation and slander, please take a moment to read these details.
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Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2007, 09:44:37 PM »
So Scheff is attempting to collect?  While an appeal is pending?  I didn't know one could do that but I'm not a lawyer. Any legal beagles in the house?  If so, would you mind explaining how this works?  Thanks!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »

Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2007, 10:27:58 PM »
I think anyone can file a writ of GARNISHMENT(against the defendant's employer or bank)  to collect a judgment but there has to be a hearing for a judge to decide if the garnshed funds should be awarded to the person who filed the writ.

This is just my understanding, I could be wrong.  One would have to check the laws of civil procedure in Broward County.
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Offline ZenAgent

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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2007, 03:15:28 PM »
Quote from: ""Guest""
http://careybock.blogspot.com/2007/05/carey-bock-levine-served-writ-of.html

Sunday, May 6, 2007
Carey Bock Levine Served Writ of Garnishment of Wages
Update as of May 5th, 2007

Although Mrs. Carey Bock Levine still believes she has done nothing wrong and is attempting to use the First Amendment as a crutch for defaming Sue Scheff, PURE and her family on various forums - a jury found it very differently and awarded Ms. Scheff $11.3 Million dollars - $5M of it for punitive damages.

There are no issues to appeal, although Mrs. Bock-Levine will attempt to lead people to this belief. Please take a moment to read the previous posts here to see the inconsistency of Mrs. Bock Levines excuses. Even stooping as low to claim she was a Katrina Victim yet she sold her house 4 weeks prior the horrific hurricane. Furthermore lived in a lovely gated apartment community in League City, TX.

Before you believe the First Amendment supports defamation and slander, please take a moment to read these details.


Hey, at least Carey will be aware of the court date this time.  How convenient for Sue the first time that Carey was in the process of moving.

Before you believe you can use the Bock case as a shield against criticism, consider that not all allegations made in these forums are untrue.  Someone might be spoiling for a person like Scheff to file a lawsuit to use the resulting publicity and outcome from the case to shut down PURE.

Scheff should know about posting anonymously on forums, she did it often enough on StrugglingTeens, causing Lon Woodbury to be dragged into the WWASP lawsuit.  

Instant Karma's going to get you.  And remember:

Disclaimer: This post does not represent or endorse the accuracy or reliability of any of the information, content collectively, contained on, distributed through, or linked, downloaded or accessed from any of the services contained in this post. The information in this post is based on interviews with victims and parents, information from government officials, and lawyers. None of the contributors, sponsors, administrators or anyone else connected with this post in any way whatsoever can be responsible for the appearance of any inaccurate or libelous information contained in this post. All information provided using this post is only intended to be general summary information to the public.

We'll do it your way...
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
\"Allah does not love the public utterance of hurtful speech, unless it be by one to whom injustice has been done; and Allah is Hearing, Knowing\" - The Qur\'an

_______________________________________________
A PV counselor\'s description of his job:

\"I\'m there to handle kids that are psychotic, suicidal, homicidal, or have commited felonies. Oh yeah, I am also there to take them down when they are rowdy so the nurse can give them the booty juice.\"

Offline Anonymous

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« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2007, 07:21:33 PM »
Sue Scheff's blog, "Carey Bock Levine Served Writ of Garnishment of Wages" certainly gives the impression that Carey Bock has been legally served some type of legal papers/documents.

IF Carey Bock has not, in fact, been served a Writ of Garnishment of Wages; is Sue Scheff protected by her "DISCLAIMER" for posting what certainly would appear to be a bold-face lie?
IF Sue Scheff is posting lies in these BLOGS she keeps cranking out (not calling her a liar, just asking a hypotheical question):
What could be Sheff's defensive for writing them?

Scheff's exact testimony can be read in the WWASP vs PURE transcripts.

Surely, it won't be Scheff's same weak defense in the WWASP vs PURE transcripts:   when Scheff was confronted for her LIES about having a college degree; her LIES about her "medical background;" and her LIES about having psychologists and attorneys on the PURE staff:
 
Scheff's defense in WWASP vs PURE transcipts for these LIES seem to be along the line of, "Oh, I didn't write that  biographical stuff on my webpage; and I seldom read it, so I didn't realize someone else wrote all those misrepresentations about me."  (These are not Scheff's exact words from the testimony, just the overall interpretation of her explanation for the LIES posted on her website----don't call your lawyer, OK Sue-Sue?)

IF Scheff is confronted in court about any possible LIES in these many BLOGS she is postings---will she have some "mysterious blog writer" to blame?

 .
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Offline Nihilanthic

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« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2007, 12:26:05 AM »
I like how she openly admits that the actions of her critics actually work.

 :rofl:

IMAGINE THAT! THIS SHIT WORKS!

We're actually warning people and making them THINK and be CRITICAL! Thats SO WRONG!

CLEARLY SHE SHOULD SUE US FOR EDUCATING PEOPLE!

 :rofl:  :rofl:  :rofl:
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Guest »
DannyB on the internet:I CALLED A LAWYER TODAY TO SEE IF I COULD SUE YOUR ASSES FOR DOING THIS BUT THAT WAS NOT POSSIBLE.

CCMGirl on program restraints: "DON\'T TAZ ME BRO!!!!!"

TheWho on program survivors: "From where I sit I see all the anit-program[sic] people doing all the complaining and crying."