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Von Brunn's Digital Trail Disappears

Web page, message board rants removed after suspect named

(Newser) - James von Brunn's online presence began to vanish within hours after he was named as the suspect in the Holocaust Museum shooting Wednesday, the Washington Post reports. Users trying to access his personal website received an error message, his user bio on Wikipedia was pulled, and the Free Republic message... More »

Toxic Teen Website Infuriates Parents, Cops

On anonymous message board, free speech becomes personal attacks

(Newser) - The creator of the online message board Peoplesdirt.com says he's just providing an "avenue for people to express their feelings," but parents and teachers disagree. The website allows teenagers to anonymously post slurs and false rumors about fellow students. Although it's legal, it's also hateful and humiliating,... More »

Al-Qaeda's Top Web Sites Disappear

Militants experiencing technical difficulties since hacker attack

(Newser) - All but one of al-Qaeda’s main message boards have disappeared, the Washington Post reports, and militants seem unable to get them back online. All five major al-Qaeda portals went down September 10, putting the kibosh on the group’s much-hyped Sept. 11 anniversary video. Only one of the sites... More »

Blogger Busted for Bad Bank Rumor

Hong Kong post urged customers to take their money and run

(Newser) - As worldwide worries mount about the US financial crisis, a Hong Kong blogger has been arrested after allegedly posting internet rumors that a local bank was in trouble, AP reports. He urged depositors to withdraw their funds, police said. He was arrested for computer use with criminal or dishonest intent.... More »

Big Brother Is Watching... and Talking Back

Comcast redefines customer service by reaching out to bloggers

(Newser) - Some bloggers who have vented online about their Comcast cable service have gotten a surprising—and, for some, a creepy—response: a reply from a customer service agent. Like a growing number of companies, Comcast monitors social network sites, public blogs, and message boards for complaints, but now it's taking... More »

Hackers Trigger Seizures on Epilepsy Board

Griefer group posts flashing images to harm users

(Newser) - Hackers infected an epilepsy message board last week, posting messages designed to induce seizures and migraines, Wired reports. The Epilepsy Foundation shut down its forum as reports rolled in. One woman said she suffered her worst episode in a year: “I don’t fall over and convulse, but it... More »

Whole Foods CEO Sorry for Web Subterfuge

Online shenanigans draw board scrutiny along with SEC probe

(Newser) - The CEO of Whole Foods apologized yesterday for boosting his company and posting snide comments about a rival supermarket chain in Internet forums and said he "had fun doing it." John Mackey's actions over the last 8 years have already triggered an SEC investigation, and the company's board... More »

PR Firms Target Customers' Google Reputations

Imagemakers offer services to improve web persona and dodge bloggers

(Newser) - If your first hit on Google feels like a mafia hit, don't despair. Firms like ReputationDefender and Reputation Management offer clients an enhanced image on the top search engine by creating links, sites, YouTube videos, and MySpace profiles that promote positive Google results, and lower the pageranks of defamatory comments. More »

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