Former Revenge Porn Site Operator Readies For Senate Run By Issuing Bogus Takedown Requests To YouTube

from the a-challenger-appears!-and-he's-problematic! dept

Everyone’s favorite privacy activist — former revenge porn site runner Craig Brittain — is at it again. As the operator of one of the most infamous revenge porn sites, “Is Anybody Down?” Brittain’s view on privacy seemed to be that if you ever sent anything on the internet you no longer had any privacy. As he told On The Media’s Bob Garfield:

My eventual goal is that everyone will have public information posted about them, preferably naked, that it?ll be a normal thing. It?ll no longer be associated with stigma or shame or humiliation, but it will be normal, in about ten years.

He also had a history of mocking those who asked him to take down the nude photos that he had posted on his site. For example, this was posted to Brittain’s site, and preserved by Adam Steinbaugh (Craig took down this and other posts after Steinbaugh wrote about them). What you see below is Craig literally responding “lol” to people freaked out that their naked photos were posted to his site without their knowledge or consent (while the image says “admin,” Craig has publicly admitted he wrote and posted those responses).

These days Brittain’s very concerned about privacy — well, his privacy. A few years back, he suddenly became concerned about his personal info being spread around by notoriously salacious entities like… the Federal Trade Commission. Everyone who covered Brittain’s settlement with the FTC for his porn site sins was listed on his bogus takedown notice over “unauthorized use” of photos of Brittain. Readers whose irony meters hadn’t exploded immediately were advised to quickly take theirs in for recalibration.

Brittain laid relatively low after that, putting the next couple of years into his ride-sharing startup Dryvyng. When his start-up failed to start, Brittain apparently felt all the negative press about his past revenge pornmanship was holding Dryvyng back. The best way to turn that media frown upside down? More bogus DMCA notices. Again, Brittain’s stated justifications for the takedowns were inadvertently hilarious. Here’s what he wrote on the notice asking for the delisting of a Wikipedia article:

Slanderous, libelous and deliberately misleading Wikipedia entry designed to defame and libel me and my company. Please permanently remove this page (and all of Wikipedia itself, which is a left-wing hive for slander and libel) from Google.

So, that’s the mindset Craig’s critics have been dealing with. The mindset has shifted. A little. In possibly one of the illest-advised moves of all time, Craig Brittain has decided to run for senator in Arizona. He’s picked up a few Trumpian notions along the way (you’ll see those in a moment), although his “legalize marijuana everywhere” platform really isn’t what’s expected from someone hitching a ride on the Trump Train. This is going to clash with Arizona voters who like to hear everyone in the media being called “fake news” but also want MOAR COPS BUT HARDER and JOE ARPAIO DID NOTHING WRONG.

No one running for public office likes closet skeletons popping out at inappropriate times. The problem with Brittain is his skeletons are parading around the entryway, when not leaving the house completely to cruise the main drag.

The day after an article about Brittain’s Senate run went live at the Arizona Daily Independent two YouTube accounts were hit with takedown requests for videos containing Brittain at his best/worst. One account hit was Adam Steinbaugh’s. The videos targeted contained Brittain’s interview with a TV station about his revenge porn site (including the interview where he admits to mocking those asking him to take down content from his revenge porn site, while also admitting that he no longer believes he should have mocked them).

The second account hit on the same day was Matt Jarbo’s. His video featured Craig Brittain apparently being caught in the act of buying up paid testimonials for his (still nonexistent) ride-sharing service.

In both cases, the issue cited was… privacy. YouTube suggested blurring faces, etc. to comply but fortunately for both accounts, it did not delete videos or take them offline.

This is just a small part of Brittain’s charm offensive. In the comments of the ADI article, Craig Brittain himself (d/b/a “People for Craig Brittain”) has showed up to declare the whole thing “fake news.” This is actually rather restrained for Brittain. The ADI article points to another piece on his Senate run announcement — one in which he engaged with the electorate on Facebook by calling the more critical ones “piece of shit” and “whore.”

(Craig appears willing and ready to insult all those who don’t swear immediate, undying loyalty. One Twitter user made the mistake of following his campaign account — and the greater mistake of unfollowing it — and received a bunch of insults by DM for her troubles.)

I’ve reached out to Brittain’s campaign headquarters to see if “they” have any comment on Brittain’s abuse of legal processes and social media platforms to shut down criticism. Any comments I receive will be posted, probably in full.

[And here it is, along with Brittain’s demand I print it verbatim. {Said demand also printed verbatim.}]

Full Comment, please print verbatim: “None of that happened – some of my many enemies (haters and losers) made up another fake news story, TechDirt is a fake news website, none of these are political questions and they have nothing to do with my US Senate run, this is a fake news story, the American People want to know about my positions on the issues – the real news is that marijuana will be federally decriminalized soon and the budget will be balanced. Make America Great Again.

For more information visit my website brittainforsenate.com“.

Again please print in full, do not edit, thank you

“None of that happened.” Hmm. Not even the DMCA notices with his name on them? Apparently not, according to Brittain, who responded to my further questions (and my point that people tend not to like Senate candidates who abuse legal systems and social media platforms to silence criticism) with a wall of text. I don’t hate you, so I’ve broken it up into passable paragraphs. I have also added the bracketed, un-italicized commentary at a few key points.

I dispute and fully contest the assertion that any unwarranted or censorious DMCA or removal requests were sent. I have never attempted to censor anyone.

[Quick reality check from Brittain’s own Twitter account:]

However, ?the illegitimate use [they aren’t] of photographs containing my image in deliberate attempts to defame me constitute obvious copyright violations [they don’t] and expose the hypocrisy and lying of people who continuously have harassed me and family on a criminal level for the previous 5 years, including sending death threats, multiple SWAT teams (SWATing), destruction of my property and that of my friends, who have hired individuals to stalk me on an illegal level and have paid anonymous and named teams of Twitter cyberbullies to send abuse to myself and my friends on a level which is fully illegal.

I have never abused the legal system, nor have I ever committed an unjust crime. I have a single violation on my adult record for Vehicular Eluding which happened in December 2002, almost 15 years ago. Any other attempts to knowingly and falsely portray me as a criminal are evidence of lies. As the legal principle goes, False in One, False and All, and so via my enemies lying via spreading false news of convictions that did not happen in order to inflict physical, emotional and financial damages upon myself and my family – including this ‘story’ which is a key example of fake news – the removal attempts are grounded in the principle of removing the rest of their equally defaming and illegal fake news, which is actually harassment and stalking and has inflicted countless monetary, emotional and physical damages upon me.

[Let’s be perfectly clear here: Brittain is arguing a story about removal attempts he denied doing in his first comment — but admits to here — are “fake news” and that videos of him being interviewed about his revenge porn site operation are “defaming” and “illegal.”]

You will never find a more vigorous defender of free speech, [see above] but it’s important for news agencies – especially those funded by and/or operated by members of the US Government – like ABC, NBC, CBS and many others in the mainstream press – to be held accountable for damages they have caused by continuously and constantly lying.

There are no transgressions, I have not done anything wrong with the sole exception of Vehicular Eluding in 2002, 15 years ago, any other allegations are false, defamatory and grounds for a lawsuit, which I would easily win circa [?] Bollea v. Gawker if I simply had the money to hire Charles J. Harder. Sadly, the rigged system is very difficult for the average person to gain justice in and that is part of why I am running for office – to remove the barriers which legally entrench Fake News websites and prevent independent journalists and authors like myself to have full access to free speech. [LMAOOOOOOOOOOOOO]

Speech can only truly be free when it is absolute and that means that the FCC, FTC, and/or any other government agency that interferes with the ability or cost of publishing is fully repealed. These three letter groups are UNCONSTITUTIONAL and I will pass legislation to end all of them – thus fully eliminating the barriers against absolute speech.

It is incredibly hypocritical that I would be targeted for allowing other people to publish speech – all speech is equal, whether it’s a nude photograph, a regular photograph, [someone else’s nude photograph published against their will…] the work of Marquis De Sade, or the Bible (the Nazis burned all of these things. As a person of Jewish descent I am deeply against white supremacism and racism in any form). You are either 100% for absolute free speech – which includes removing all government obstructions to equal publishing that is equally heard, and doing so means removing the existing networks and putting them back on par with the average person’s ability to speak – or you are against 100% absolute free speech, in which case you are against the Constitution and the 1st Amendment.

My opponents are exclusively “Free Speech, except speech I don’t like” – I’m only against harassment attempts and lies. Therefore I merely issued corrections to the people in question – to reform defamatory statements, incorrect/lying statements and things intended to cause damage – not to permanently remove their speech but to correct it on a platform which regularly collaborates with the United States Government. Google would not exist without direct funding from the US Federal Government as well as the activities of the State which establish it as a monopoly in its field – monopolies must be put in check. Therefore, removal of videos from a website and a company which is in fact, a Federal Government Monopoly, cannot be censorious. [wat] They’re welcome to host the same videos on their own websites, and as long as a single copy exists somewhere online, they’re not actually being censored, they’re being regulated. [This coming from someone who just ranted against all forms of regulation…]

These are the same people who said nothing when my wildly popular Twitter/Facebook (also Government-Aided Monopolies) accounts were censored for political speech, after railing at me for years, accusing me of being a censor. In fact, many of them celebrated and attempted to organize and press Twitter/Facebook to censor. Therein, as it is equal, if they suppose I am wrong, then likewise they are also wrong. If I am right, then perhaps we are both right. But it can’t be one way and not the other. I merely wanted corrections to articles like this one – which is perfectly reasonable.

Ethical Journalism requires that the subject be part of the process, and I have not been part of the process for anything they’ve printed, which establishes that under the Society of Professional Journalists code of conduct as well as the FTC rules (which TechDirt claims to love but in fact is in considerable violation of, including failure to disclose affiliation with my political enemies, think tanks and corporations), these news agencies are way out-of-line by journalistic and regulatory standards, and are both allowed and encouraged to do so by the US government and donors with deep pockets.

In many ways, this is an example of anti-Semitism [dear god] that I’ve faced for my entire life, when I was bullied as a child, regularly involved in physical fights with my peers since Kindergarten until almost my 18th birthday, subjected to abuse and neglect of all forms by everyone except my parents, and as I endured things that many other people would consider unimaginable, I never dreamed that I’d grow up into an America dominated by an out-of-control globalist system that regularly and falsely defames me for my attempts to improve the system. [WTF] It is time to end the FCC, break up the speech monopolies and give access to true free speech – where the average person has the same ability to start up a satellite television network as any of the major players, or can easily form their own ISP or deregulated internet or variant – back to the American people who have been criminally prevented by my enemies and their donors of the ability to speak out on a grand level.

Again, if I had the money to hire Charles Harder (and possibly Hulk Hogan too, just to make it fun, Brother) – TechDirt, Gawker, and all of these similar fake news companies would owe me millions upon millions. [Have you spoken to any other Senate candidates lately about their recent litigation attempts?] I will fix the US legal system for all of my fellow Forgotten Men and Women. I will Make America Great Again. I will restore speech and access to the law.

One more time – everything I’ve said is true, everything else printed in unreliable and fake news TechDirt is a lie.
Arizona voters, I look forward to your support, check out my plan at brittainforsenate.com.”

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Comments on “Former Revenge Porn Site Operator Readies For Senate Run By Issuing Bogus Takedown Requests To YouTube”

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62 Comments
orbitalinsertion (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Innovation demands we simply make heavy-duty irony meters that are capable of showing just how far off the charts the irony is. Log scale might be a good idea. Analog meters should be able to go much more than full circle.

Explosion resistance might also be enhanced by converting mere detection into work. Let it power a small generator connected to your home grid or something to bleed off all that overload.

tom (profile) says:

I looked over his Senate campaign site. Several of his stated positions are pretty good and will likely attract a fair number of Libertarian party followers. Given his documented past history, there is no certainty that if elected, he would pay any attention to his stated platform.

From his website since it seems relevant to the topic in this post.

“Craig believes the First Amendment protects all speech without limits. He will repeal many unconstitutional regulations on speech.”

Seems rather at odds with his use of courts to limit other’s free speech.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

His epic wall of text is rather convincingly putting him in the bucket of “train of thought”-driven people and his definition of fake seems to be anything he can’t bend to his will (which is not an unprecedented definition).

At the same time his use of DMCA is legally questionable at best and his attraction to a certain lawyer should start all [censored]-alarms.

No, Britain has moved from bringing naked pictures of others to bringing naked hypocricy to others.

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Re:

Several of his stated positions are pretty good and will likely attract a fair number of Libertarian party followers.

But he’s running as a Republican, isn’t he? I don’t see a party explicitly listed on his website, but Ballotpedia says he’s a Republican.

Libertarians can’t vote in Republican primaries in Arizona, but independents can.

That’s assuming he gets on the ballot.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Since his ego will not let him stay away.

Craig, I have your nudes & rates you charged to perform.
That you didn’t care if it was men or women, you just wanted to be paid.
Nice watch.
You are a boil on the ass of humanity, who believes everything is a plot to get you. You claim you never did anything wrong & even if you did it’s societies fault.
Learn to accept responsibility for your actions.
No one made you post those pics.
No one make you mock them.
No one made you defraud them of money.
No one made you try to pretend you did nothing.

You are to blame for your actions. You are so driven to be rich, but you fail to understand it requires work. The world isn’t going to hand you everything on a plate, just because you want it.

I think you have the right mentality to be in Congress, though that says more about the elected cesspool than any qualifications on your part.

In closing,
DIAFIRL, Nudes online are forever, Your anger makes me happy.

TAC.

JoeCool (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

A crooked lawyer runs a revenge porn site that pushes his crooked law business, gets slapped down by the court, and denies he ever did anything wrong… I’m surprised the major parties aren’t LEAPING to grab this guy for their party. He’s JUST the kind of politician both parties push for major positions.

/wish I were being sarcastic

Thad (user link) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Yeah, I can see the pronoun trouble now.

Jeff Flake is the incumbent, and he’s looking at a tough primary challenge from Kelli Ward (who mounted a primary challenge against McCain last year and, obviously, lost). She’s polling ahead of him right now.

It’s not clear whether Brittain will get on the ballot; he’s probably got an uphill battle ahead of him. But my comment was that if he could peel some votes away from Ward and help Flake get the nomination, I’d breathe a little easier. I don’t want Flake to win the general, but I’d rather see him win it than Ward.

The likely Democratic candidate is my rep, Kyrsten Sinema. I’ve got my issues with her, most of which boil down to the nature of Arizona politics; if you want to get elected in most districts in this state, you have to be pretty conservative, even if you’re a Democrat. But I still consider her an improvement over Flake (who I think is a decent guy but whose politics I don’t support at all).

Anonymous Coward says:

"TechDirt is a fake news website". Well, he's right there!

Techdirt’s take turns turvy-topsy! My recollected impression is that Techdirt said publishing those video/images — AND similarly the Hulk Hogan video — was perfectly okay, taking the position of Brittain now seemingly disparaged above: anything that gets onto a recording device is fair game forever.

But now that he’s emerged as a Trump-like candidate, it’s totally consistent (in Techdirt’s practice) to turn on him and do a hatchet job.

It’d be handy if Techdirt now stated a firm position on revenge porn or public exposures as of Hogan. It’s not explicit anywhere above; all you do is use the topic for clicks, still free to reverse on me yet again in next piece.

As is Brittain free to betray what says now in unlikely event elected. That’d certainly be Trump-like.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: "TechDirt is a fake news website". Well, he's right there!

[This is one of the many pieces that to me strongly suggest the PR scams of ginning up public fights, like pro wrestling in print. Hollywood had/has innumerable contrived dust-ups for publicity. My suspicion is based on that I NEVER see even links to Techdirt, let alone its alleged influence except on Techdirt itself. Is Brittain in league with Techdirt? Or only taken in by its chutzpah?]
PS: intentionally late because who cares? Techdirt is a lightweight piece that just won’t swirl down the tubes.

orbitalinsertion (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Yes, i remember when it went up. Mostly due to "creation science" cranks.

Of course, "the left", in their view, is frequently the former right, from which they seem to be receding at somewhere near 0.5c. "Kill a Commie for Mommy" Reagan would be some kind of communist in their book if they actually had to deal with a live version, as opposed to the beatified state he currently occupies.

Thad (user link) says:

Re: @SenatorBrittain?

I don’t think that’s much of an “if”; I think it’s less a question of whether he’ll win the general than whether he’ll even get enough signatures to make it into the primary.

That said, I never thought Trump would win the primary, let alone the general, so I’ve learned never to count anybody out, no matter how unlikely they seem.

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