Mugshot sites and mugshot removal sites: unholy blackmail symbiosis

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22 Responses to “Mugshot sites and mugshot removal sites: unholy blackmail symbiosis”

  1. Sagodjur says:

    “Founder Ron Wiggen does not include his own mugshot in the arrests.org database.”

    Because he can now more than afford the cost of removing it from the database…

  2. betatron says:

    Paying this reptile to put one’s name on their name on his robots.txt doesn’t mean much.  Anyone could make their own version of arrests.org, or maybe simply make lookalike / sockpuppets based on arrests.org’s robots file. 

    imagine: pay the ransom and find yourself on thirty more websites the next day.

  3. Xof says:

    Can someone explain to me what possible public purpose the release of mugshots of those not convicted of crimes can possibly serve?

  4. knoxblox says:

    Of course, the downside for me is that I seem to be guilty of many various types of domestic assault offenses as well as a few general assault offenses. The upside, though, is that my name is common enough that I appear to be the man of a thousand faces, or at minimum, a hundred.

    An additional issue I can see to public shaming is the difficulty posed in trying to find work in this age of internet job application submissions. HR departments these days don’t seem to care about hearing any explanations for “apparent” bad behavior, whether the accused has been found guilty or not. They just drop you from the applicant pool with the press of a button.

  5. waldowv says:

    How many people pronounce URL as “earl” (as this article indicates)?  Do those same people pronounce WTF as “wuhteef”?

  6. Antinous / Moderator says:

    So basically the credit repair industry, but with pictures.

  7. nosehat says:

    So his business model is blackmail, plain and simple.  And it’s perfectly legal.

    This cozy business model will only work as long as there’s just one main website posting the mugshots.  I could register anotherfloridamugshotwebsite.com today, get my mugshots the same way this guy does, but refuse to take them down when requested by RemoveSlander.  Or charge RemoveSlander $1000 per removal, instead of the $20 that this site does.   This would effectively put both RemoveSlander and Florida.arrests.org out of business.

  8. angusm says:

    Another option would be to post a whole bunch of pictures of yourself petting kittens, helping old ladies across the road, curing cancer etc etc. Then do some SEO work to ensure that those images/pages come first in Google’s search results, while that embarrassing mugshot gets driven down to page 432 of Google’s results.

    This service is available from my website KittenMyMugshot.com at a special introductory price of just $250 (introductory offer includes 10 pictures with your choice of up to 5 kittens each, additional kittens are available for just $19.99).

  9. Soliloquy says:

    Huh. They do not include Bay county.

  10. This is just like credit restoration, its crazy that this site would release the photos of the people and  charge them to take it off. Its like going to the local supermarket and making a  purchase then your photo is taken and put out to the public of what you bought and  the location of the store. Then you have to pay them just to erase  the public record of you being at  the store which is absurd.

  11. The_Tim says:

    HAH!  I was poking around on that florida.arrests.org site to see what all the fuss was about and happened on this mug shot of a “14 year old.”
    http://florida.arrests.org/Arrests/Elizabeth_Schmidt_5616564/

  12. Philipshade says:

    I’m lucky none of my bad my mug shots aren’t in the system. I was sufficiently strange enough that the cops  took them all home to show their friends. <- not kidding.

  13. Mike Homyack says:

    Now this is the sort of business that I’d be happy to see get hacked on a daily basis.  Surely there are some LolzSec or Anon hackers out there who’d be happy to do some good by nuking these jerks?

  14. AirPillo says:

    I hate to be the raincloud in the room, but:
    Someone actually thinks that sympathy for the rights of accused criminals will lead the public to think negatively about transparency?

    Doesn’t that sound a little bit naive? People seem pretty content to simply assume that anything bad happening after an arrest is the result of being guilty.

    • Petty Irks says:

      The key word being “Accused” and not “Guilty”. This web site doesn’t make that distinction, which can have severe effects upon someone caught up in that situation.

      • Keisar Betancourt says:

        right… not including the outcome is intentional libelous even if not used for blackmail. in fact if it was NOT libelous, it wouldn’t be able to be used for blackmail anyway in many cases.

    • knoxblox says:

      “Someone actually thinks that sympathy for the rights of accused
      criminals will lead the public to think negatively about transparency?”

      Well, it seems to be happening for a few forums posters over on the piece Cory did about the suspected cellphone thief.

      Of course, this makes the issue much more problematic. Is it fair to post mugshots (accused, but not guilty or innocent…yet), but not “have you seen this man/woman” images?

  15. mikenon says:

    In Florida, arrest records including pictures are used in print and TV broadcasts called news. florida.arrests.org is also reporting public information, albeit on a much larger scale. Should they publicize their removal tools? Absolutely. But they aren’t really the problem. They aren’t charging hundreds of dollars for an automated removal.

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