Bizarre Legal Threat Of The Day: Confused Zoo Owner Threatens Popehat Over... Well... Just Read It

from the i-don't-think-it's-legal-help-that-he-needs dept

Almost exactly three years ago, we wrote about a ridiculous situation down in Louisiana, where the "Global Wildlife Center" was able to get a judge to issue an injunction against an obviously satirical site that had written an obviously satirical article about "killer giraffes" and a "recent attack" at the Center. The article was poking fun at recent violent attacks at other zoos, normally involving animals like tigers and bears. It was amazing that a court issued the injunction, and thankfully, less than two weeks later, the injunction was removed and GWC was told to pay the legal costs for the site. And that was the last that we had heard of the Global Wildlife Center... until now.

On Friday, the Center's President apparently threatened to sue lawyer Ken White, better known as Popehat, defender of internet free speech. You see, Popehat had covered the original story too, and for some reason, the President, Ken Matherne, isn't too happy about that (even though it's three years later). Perhaps it was this tidbit in Popehat's original post (which was actually quoted from a local news site):
In addition to filing this lawsuit, via email Global Wildlife Foundation president Ken Matherne threatened to file criminal charges, FCC charges, fraud charges, an IRS complaint, a governor’s office complaint, and a federal lawsuit against Brilleaux. Matherne’s email did not explain any basis for the additional threats.
If that gives you a sense of Matherne's grasp on basic legal concepts, and his willingness to assume that he can use all sorts of totally unrelated laws against people he doesn't like, well, you're just getting a tiny little sense of what Popehat went through on Friday. You kind of have to read the whole thread on Popehat to get the full effect, because each time you think "this can't possibly get more ridiculous," it does exactly that. Assuming Matherne really did send the emails in question, he would appear to have almost as much trouble with the English language as he does with the legal concepts he uses to threaten White. Here's a snippet from the first email:
My last case to decide the Apple vs Microsoft case. I am not joking – you can send this email to the judge and soon as I file suit. I will ask you as I asked that kid to take it down, if you think your malice to to our Foundation is free speech – let’s get real lawyers and hosted judges to find out! It scared teachers, parents and the general public. They were canceling trips, it was malicious, and the evidence given to court was a fraud. I did not say anything at the time. But, I think he would get dis-board by the falsified documents he presented to the judge. His father was a friend or I would have had he dis-board.

Everyone will see the truth of you and your boyfriends. You can print this – You do not have a clue what you did to damage my foundation I created for my daughter. And when you wake up in the morning – hoping you have kids- I want you to think about what you have done. Your site has done more damage than the issue and my guys think your damages will be worse the any free speech issue. And we are ready!

We are going to dp this all legal – get ready – I will have one of your partners, associates , friends , spouses, in dispositions for the at least the next 6 – 12 months. Minimum – 1 lawsuit lasted 12.7 years, the next only 6 . I have the means – so write me back or get ready. This again is no threat. Simply a promise. It is no longer about what the kid did – it is about what your company did! And I promise you we will win = you have damaged my daughters trust for at least 50 years. You are about to meet the best attorneys on the planet.
There's also a discussion about Matherne's belief that White is apparently a dope smoking drug fiend who is having sexual relations with the partners at his law firm (or maybe on Popehat, it's not clear). White, quite calmly, asks Matherne if there was anything specific in the original post that he felt was a false statement of fact, and offered to review such claims and "make adjustments to the post if appropriate." Matherne's response was to just demand that the original Popehat article was taken down "or believe I will do everything for my daughter that you would do for your children !"

And then it got wacky.
Just send me you attorney of record – you will not hurt my daughter – I do not care what it cost ! Ken It was a BS move – and I appreciate that you do that for the best of people – but you always know our kids are first – and I don't care how many $ it takes – my daughter will not live with this – so I will ask you one more time to pull this down – as a gentleman – or I will come to you! My airplane is only 10k an hour – have more cash & Gold in the bank than you can imagine – but if you hurt my daughter through this – my executives has all authority to go until all is done – I only have 1 daughter and it breaks her heart to see this! I would not do this to you or your family!
I really love this line: "My airplane is only 10k an hour – have more cash & Gold in the bank than you can imagine."

White points out, in response, that he is still waiting for any specific inaccuracies, and notes that he's willing to speak to any attorney representing Matherne -- to which Matherne initially sent a simple "Game on!" email, followed by this (not the full email, which has more where this came from):
Get your check book out – and unless you can buy every judge to the State Supreme Court – you will pay damages = not about freedom of speech –
Oh, And I will follow up with everything I said I would do. Ken White, You better have an attorney or get one .

Cannot wait to meet you – You are and I can “quote again” a piece of shit! You do a disservice to mankind. I hope the judge we come before understands what a parasite you are and does not want his kids or grandchildren to be exposed to someone like you!

And I do not care about are inaccuracies about was said or texted. You are wrong and you are libel. Again, I do not lose lawsuits, and I do not think to can pay off the judges!
If I'm reading this right, and I believe that I am, Matherne is not only threatening to take White to court under some ridiculous legal theories, but he is flat out admitting that he does "not care" about "inaccuracies." He also seems to be admitting throughout that he's doing this to tie White up in court. I would imagine that if this ever actually got to a court and wasn't thrown out immediately, these admissions would not help his case very much.

Randomly, out of curiosity, I went to check out the website for the Global Wildlife Foundation, and discovered that if you have Javascript turned off, you can see that they've got a ton of "payday loans" spam links hidden on their page. Either they've been hacked or they're selling link spam. Maybe they should take care of that before issuing bogus legal threats trying to censor a lawyer known for vocally defending the First Amendment.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

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    Ninja (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 11:44am

    Motherfucking Giraffes. Yeah, pretty much the smartest beings in that zoo.

     

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      Glen, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 11:59am

      Re:

      Apparently even smarter than Ken Matherne. Wow...those emails almost made me want to poke my eyes out.

       

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        Designerfx (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 12:27pm

        Re: Re:

        how can someone simultaneously have a gigantic power trip, while being dumb as a rock? Maybe this should be called 50 shades of bogus lawsuits, because sounds like the equivalent of Prenda's filings against people who dare to fight back.

         

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          sorrykb (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 1:09pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          how can someone simultaneously have a gigantic power trip, while being dumb as a rock?

          Have you never had a boss?

           

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          Ninja (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 5:51am

          Re: Re: Re:

          That sounded like a quite funny book.

          That shade thing can be addicting:
          - 50 shades of Bible (sponsored by your nearest Christian "church")
          - 50 shades of green (sponsored by Chris Dodd paycheck)
          - 50 shades of airplanes (sponsored by TSA, cavity searches included)
          - 50 shades of sharing (sponsored by TPB, polar bears, a lot of pirate parties and booze)

          Note: the polar bear part came from one of TPB's replies to takedown requests. Those are hilarious and available in their page if memory serves.

           

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      Zem, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 8:57pm

      Re:

      This is what happens when you leave internet enabled computers inside the giraffe pen without appropriate adult supervision.

       

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      Marcel de Jong (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 3:58am

      Re:

      Aye, there apparently are such things as evil giraffes

       

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    Ima Fish (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 11:49am

    "And then it got wacky."

    Understatement of the year.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 11:54am

    If I received a series of emails like these I'd be so tempted to reply:

    "Br1ng teh Pane"

     

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    Dood, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 11:57am

    English motherfvcker!@#$! do you speak it?

    Just reading that email would drive me to kill myself. How can anyone with any sense of education write like that?!

     

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    Franklin G Ryzzo (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 12:00pm

    Coming soon to a SLAPP proceeding near you...

    From the producers of The Carreon Affair...

    Directed by Teri Bull...

    Pretenda Law presents: Ken Matherne, Ass Clown of the year!


    Keep it up, Ken. There's a lot of 2013 left, and you better make sure you solidify your title strong and early!

     

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    crade (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 12:01pm

    I think if this guy was threatening me with a lawsuit, his email would just end up in the spam folder.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 12:01pm

    "We are going to dp this all legal – get ready"

    Please tell me I'm not the only one who eventually got to that part and literally laughed out loud.

    And might I add, sweet buddah can that guy not write. If I didn't know better I'd say he went to the same school as darryl.

     

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      Baldaur Regis (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 12:17pm

      Re:

      I can honestly say I've never been dp'ed, legally or otherwise.

       

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      lostalaska (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 1:49pm

      Re:

      I read it the same way and all I could think is wow... i sure hope I'm never DP'ed by legal council... does not sound like a good time, lets hope he doesn't up the threat to legal DVDA.

      Also, if this guy has sooOOooo much money why wouldn't he have a lawyer on retainer that could write out these threats in a way that look legit instead of the angry ramblings of another clueless internet bully trying to sound big in an email to get people to back down and do as they will without any actual legal merit?

       

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    Nicholas Weaver (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 12:02pm

    THe payday loan links...

    The payday loan links means they were hacked. There are some VERY bad SEO operators who are injecting that S@#)(* around the web.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 12:15pm

      Re: THe payday loan links...

      Hum...let's assume that they were, indeed, hacked.

      Couldn't the hackers have gotten hold of their email server or email account/credentials and started sending these stupid emails "for teh lulz"?

      Bad grammar + random threats matches with the "script kiddie" profile.

      /a theory

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 12:06pm

    Teri Buhl returns?

    Perhaps Ms. Buhl has an alter-ego that nobody is yet aware of. Or maybe this is the doings one of those scary not-quite-fluent-in-English Chinese hackers that we're supposed to beg the government to protect us from. Hmmm...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 12:08pm

    Those Emails were written by someone who make OOTB look sane!

     

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    Loki, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 12:09pm

    I've received Nigerian 419 scam letters with better English than this.

     

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    RyanNerd (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 12:18pm

    TFUTR

    To F U to read. I could barely get past the first paragraph before I had to stop. My eyeballs started to bleed.

     

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    Divide by Zero (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 12:27pm

    We are going to dp this all legal – get ready

    Yeah, I can see how he'd get porn & frivolous legal threats confused.

     

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    Tali, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 12:27pm

    You are libel

    Careful Mike, or you could find yourself on the receiving end of emails from Matherne, because by writing this, you are libel as well!

     

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    anonymouse, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 12:29pm

    Seriously,

    I am starting to believe that techdirt made a mistake in writing this story and it should be taken down as soon s possible, remember this is a guy that will sue you for the damage you have caused his daughter, and nobody is more serious than someone who is blaming you for causing his daughter pain?????

    But seriously if this is a hack of his website surely it would be better to wait until he confirms it is him emailing. If so then this story is doing him a disservice by reporting on something that was not true and making him lose face around the world. If true then he deserves everything he gets.

     

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    twilightfog, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 12:31pm

    If he locks himself up in his zoo, I predict a flood of visitors coming down to see the fine specimen of mental health he is.

     

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    Watchit, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 12:34pm

    After reading that I still don't understand what he wants to sue popehat for. If he doesn't care about the supposed "inaccuracies" then what? I'm just so confused... Though apparently not as much as the zoo keeper!

     

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    mockingbird (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 12:36pm

    complete misunderstanding

    this is what happens when you're using 'dragon naturally speaking' to dictate a letter with two televisions on in the background.

     

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    out_of_the_blue, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 12:43pm

    Yawn. Yet another unique "legal" anomaly.

    Mike loves this drivel begins gins up fanboys without risk of taking a position.



    Take a loopy tour of Techdirt.com! You always end up at same place!
    http://techdirt.com/
    You've found the site of The Quipper himelf: Mike "Streisand Effect" Masnick!

     

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    Coogan (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 12:44pm

    "you have damaged my daughters trust for at least 50 years"

    Boy, they've got an algorithm to calculate everything, don't they?

     

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    Vidiot (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 12:57pm

    About that daughter

    Yes, I would feel badly if it turned out that his daughter had some affliction and needed care for the next 50 years. But wouldn't her care be better addressed by "...more cash & Gold in the bank than you can imagine"? Whom would he sue if her zoo-owning prospects were dimmed by, oh, say, waning popular interest in zoos? Or aggressive wildlife regulatory enforcement?

     

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    Further Proof, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 1:01pm

    Power/Wealth Disconnect

    It just strikes me as another wealthy businessperson who is so woefully disconnected from reality that he actually BELIEVES this crap. Somehow, since he is "rich and powerful", this allows him to just make up legal ramifications and threaten those "less powerful", regardless of facts, proof or justification. Just more of the same...

     

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      AB, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 1:31pm

      Re: Power/Wealth Disconnect

      Unfortunately, thanks largely to the insane efforts of the mafIAA in changing the laws, this kind of thinking is not only becoming more prevalent it is rapidly becoming the new reality. I don't think things are bad enough - yet - for this case to succeed, but it is a lot more likely then any other time in the last 200 years.

      And was I the only one who thought it sounded like he was threatening to buy off the judges.. *cough* Not that I think any judge anywhere would ever accept a bribe. Just saying.

       

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    Mr. Applegate, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 1:10pm

    I have said it here, and I say it to Mr. White.

    DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS.

    Thank you for your cooperation.

     

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    Colin, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 1:19pm

    Five points to Gryffindor for whoever can explain wtf this guy's daughter has to do with any of this.

     

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      AB, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 1:43pm

      Re:

      I actually have more sympathy for Slytherin - it must really suck to have so many major asshats that you're name becomes synonymous with the term.

      I think he's trying to claim that this is taking food out of his daughters mouth. That's just a guess you understand since if that's what he really is saying it would make a lot more sense to invest the 'cash & Gold' then to waste it on frivolous law suits. But nothing else he said makes much sense either.

       

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      Lurker Keith, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 5:24pm

      Re:

      In that mess of words, I gathered he was trying to say he somehow opened the Zoo for his daughter. What that means isn't intelligible at this time.

       

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    PGP_Protector (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 1:32pm

    If This guys daughter is being damaged by a web posting about giraffes, then she either weaker then a dandelion, or he has her so screwed up that she should be taken away.

     

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    radarmonkey (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 1:32pm

    Alternate tactics

    At least GWF didn't just plagiarizer the original story then take it down with a bogus DMCA claim!

     

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    Gracey (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 1:33pm

    [You are about to meet the best attorneys on the planet.]

    Gosh, how did he manage to hire Google's lawyers away from them?

     

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    Lord Binky, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 1:44pm

    I'm really confused. He speaks as if the foundation IS his daughter. Then he further states he has "have more cash & Gold in the bank than you can imagine", and when I try to imagine that I wonder why he is wasting his very expensive time on this instead of using his unimagineable amount of cash & Gold to fix his daughter, I mean foundation.

     

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    Spyder, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 3:26pm

    Lets step back 3 years, where the whole issue could have been nipped in the bud.

    A simple message to the author of the satirical article saying something along these lines could have put the issue to bed nice and quickly.

    "Hi there, I read your article about our zoo and the 'killer giraffes'. Very funny and clearly satire. However, some people out there who have read that actually believe it to be real! Hysterical, I know! Sadly, though, this is now having an impact on my business, with several visitor group cancellations, citing your article.

    Could I ask that you somehow make that article even more 'out-there', so farcical, that there would be no possible way people could actually think it was an actual statement of fact?

    I know I'm asking a lot, but hopefully you will understand that my business is being impacted here, and I hope we can align between your First Amendment right to post satire, and the health of my company.

    Please give me a call if you want to discuss further. Yours sincerely, (blah blah)"

     

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      Marcel de Jong (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 4:09am

      Re:

      *update 1* News flash: The monkeys have joined the giraffes in their attack, flinging poo absolutely everywhere.

      *update 2* I have just learned that the monkeys are now in fact running the zoo.

       

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    Murray (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 3:28pm

    What is his position with Global Wildlife?

    The Global Wildlife Center is part of the Global Wildlife Foundation which is a public charity. Their IRS Form 990 (a charity's version of a tax return) is a public document. Checking the 2011 Form 990 (the 2012 isn't online yet) reveals the directors, officers and key employees. And Ken Matherne isn't listed. He may have formed this entity, but he isn't listed as having any power there.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 5:20pm

      Re: What is his position with Global Wildlife?

      Well, according to a press release I Googled:

      "Ken and his brother, Lee Matherne Jr., expanded the family’s oilfield service company. Ken started Global Resources Inc., with offices in Lafayette and the Middle East. Matherne retired in 1989 in his early 30s to become “chief baby sitter” of Global Wildlife. As president of Global’s advisory board, Matherne receives no salary."

      I'd also add that, unlike most of the people who make absurd legal threats, Matherne actually seems to have been active in court cases before; see, for instance, SUCCESSION OF MATHERNE 472 So.2d 240 (1985) or MATHERNE v. GUILLIOT 551 So.2d 633 (1989).

       

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    nasch (profile), Mar 4th, 2013 @ 3:58pm

    Consequences

    The consequences will never be the same!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 5:04pm

    Apple vs Microsoft

    My last case to decide the Apple vs Microsoft case. I am not joking – you can send this email to the judge and soon as I file suit.


    Granted, trying to pasre this is probably futile, but what exactly is he talking about here? Is he talking about the Apple v. Microsoft suit over GUI features that ran from 1988 to 1994 and got settled a few years after that? Is he conflating Microsoft with Samsung and/or Google and talking about the ongoing smart phone fracas? Is there any sense here at all?

    In any case, I'm sure that Ken White would love to show that email to the judge as part of his legal defense. I'm always amused by people who make threats about "getting a lawyer", when any real lawyer would immediately tell those people to stop talking.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 5:46pm

    Is Matherne any relation to that "wwebsite as on the internet" guy from awhile back? They sound so similar...

     

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      Marcel de Jong (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 4:12am

      Re:

      that 'wwebsite as on the internet' guy had absolutely made a typo. it should've read "website was on the internet".

      Matherne speaks gibberish.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 4th, 2013 @ 6:14pm

    Oh noes!

    He got the dis board ready to dp the Popehat all legal!

    Seriously though, it's a shame that Matherne has done so much damage to his daughter's foundation with his frivolous lawsuit(s). If he cared about her he should put a stop to his actions at once.

     

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    Lisa Westveld (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 3:26am

    Google: "Applications can offer almost always late fee when life payday loans"

    I've Googled the part of their spam links and noticed that GWC fills the first 15 to 25 entries with this exact text.
    But the explanation is simple. The spam has a "nemonn" class name, which has been identified as a hack. At WordPress support (see URL) they have mentioned it and basically it seems to be an additional PHP file that's included in their website which will insert the spam in this specific paragraph.
    The purpose of this all is a bit unclear to me, although I suspect the hacker wants to get a higher ranking in search engines for these specific websites. I don't think the hacker would like to draw much attention to it...

     

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    Bob Hansen (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 5:25am

    Poor Form

    This is the kind of light reporting that is fun to read at TechDirt: smirky, tongue-in-cheek head-shaking at the world. Matherne set himself up, decided to forgo spell-checking, and to assert his own bizarre legal system on the rest of the world. A perfect bump and set for widespread mockery on the internet.

    After 16 paragraphs of well-deserved ribbing of his theories and correspondence, however, you decided to shift gears into an ad hominem attack of the structure of his website. Perhaps it was just to besmirch his character as a link-spammer, but I think it degraded your rhetoric on his ideas by going there. You can't do much about what people below the line right, but as a supporter, I'd ask that you keep it classy on top.

     

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      Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 7th, 2013 @ 12:25am

      Re: Poor Form

      After 16 paragraphs of well-deserved ribbing of his theories and correspondence, however, you decided to shift gears into an ad hominem attack of the structure of his website.

      I don't think "ad hominem" means what you think it means.

      Separately I'm not sure I understand your complaint here. There was nothing gratuitous about pointing that out. It's highlighting additional issues with the way this organization goes about its business.

       

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    ahow628 (profile), Mar 5th, 2013 @ 8:40am

    Stroke

    Add this to the list of "Signs you are having a stroke."

     

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    alanbleiweiss (profile), Mar 6th, 2013 @ 12:48am

    My dead rich uncle, a king of his tribe in Nigeria

    I swear, when I tried to read through Matherne's writing, it came across just like an email wanting me to deposit $50,000 into an overseas bank account for which I would be compensated twelve million dollars. Can't wait to see how this one unfolds.

     

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    timmaguire42 (profile), Mar 6th, 2013 @ 8:49am

    have more cash & Gold in the bank than you can imagine

    Did anyone else think of this?

    Luke: Rich, powerful. Listen, if you were to rescue her. The reward would be...
    Han: What?
    Luke: Well more wealth than you can imagine.
    Han: I don't know. I can imagine quite a lot.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    网站设计, Mar 9th, 2013 @ 6:56pm

    Ad homnem

    Is it even in English? Very funny post about wildlife

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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