I previously wrote an article entitled “The Legality Of Social Media Gaming”. I analyzed a legal dispute between USocial and the social media giant Digg. USocial is an Australia based company in the business of selling Diggs for money. They are in the business of gaming Digg. I analyzed the Cease and Desist sent by Digg to USocial. I looked at whether Digg would win a lawsuit against USocial or could shut them down through economic warchest superiority. After writing the article I emailed USocial advising them that I was an attorney and had written about the case. I asked if they would keep me updated as to any developments. I received a very nice reply stating that they would be happy do so. After not hearing anything for a month I once again wrote USocial asking for an update. I was not expecting to get anything more than a perfunctory response with the current status if I received any response at all. I was surprised when received an email basically laying out their position and admitting they use a software program to game Digg. I contacted USocial to confirm that this information was already in the public domain. I received a response that it was. My article addressed most of the issues raised although I admittedly did miss the fact that USocial is based in Australia. I have no experience in international jurisdiction issues or how any business USocial does with Diggers residing in the United States(if any) would affect venue. I will leave that one alone. Digg could also go after those involved in the design and marketing of the software aruging that its sole purpose is to game Digg and whatever legal arguments go with that. As it appears that none of the involved parties lived in the United States, it is questionable whether Digg, being in the weak financial it is would do anything unless it could get venue in the United States. Here is the email. It is self-explanatory.
My apologies for not getting back to you sooner, we’ve been getting flogged here with work. We’ve just conducted interviews with several UK publications, a few Australian radio stations and now we have an upcoming story in the LA Times tech section this week so I think things are going to get even more hectic and as such, it’s slipped my mind to send you a reply.
I am being stalked in the social media universe by a Fanboy. It sounds like something out of Nightmare On Elm Street doesn’t it? Here is the deal. Some idiot named Mike Pinto who runs a website called Fanboy has been spending his “valuable” time hunting down my blog content on the Digg social media site leaving arguably defamatory comments. What is a Fanboy? Here is the term as defined by Wikipedia:
“Fanboy is a term used to describe any individual who is devoted to a single subject in an emotional or fanatical manner, or to a single point of view within that subject, often to the point where it is considered an obsession.”
That says everything you need to know about Mr. Pinto. For some unknown reason he has been “social media obsessing” about me for the last few months. His Fanboy site is actually pretty cool focusing on anime, science fiction, science in general among other geek type stuff. I happen to be a Trekkie and the guy has put some cool Star-Trek content up. I have no problem giving his site some props.
The guy is still an idiot. It is res ipsa loquitur. Here is why. An article I wrote about former professional wrestler Jeff Gaylord was posted on Digg. The Digg comments are all pretty inane in general, none having anything to do with the story. That is not unusual within the social media universe. The social media community is no different than any other. There will be those who like you and dislike you based on perceptions formed. The posted comments will to a degree reflect that. These perceptions are never grounded in reality. They can not be because 99 percent of the people have never even met or spoken to each other. We simply know user names and the type of content submitted by a person. I am no different. There are people in the social media realm that like me and dislike me for whatever reason they use to legitimize their feelings. In the Digg realm there are those who do not like me because I wrote an article about getting banned for scripts and admitting that I had gamed the Digg system so some of my content could reach their front page. Ironically that article was my last to make the Digg front page. There are also those in social media who do not like me simply because they do not like my brother. The reasons are limitless bounded only by the limits of what people who have never met either of us can conjure up in their minds. The angry people are easy to spot because the comments are always about Mark or me personally and not the content. I have no issue with it. If it makes “Diggers” or other social media users feel better they can rant away and move on to the next thing that angers them that day.
It is the obsessive Pinto Fanboy/ stalker behavior that is creepy. Not as creepy as the fixation SEC attorney Jeffrey Norris had with Mark Cuban but creepy just the same. It makes you contemplate the things that go through a person’s mind to negatively fixate on someone they have never met in a realm meant to be fun and entertaining. Here is Fanboy Michael Pinto’s comment in response to a my Jeff Gaylord article:
“Isn’t Brian Cuban under investigation from SEC for insider trading charges? Before he yammers on about anything relating to the law shouldn’t he wait until he’s in the clear?”
He has left minor variations of the exact same comment on three other posts of mine that showed up on Digg. Considering not everything I write gets submitted to Digg it is a pretty high fanboy/stalker ratio. So why is Pinto an idiot? The answer is in his comments. Pinto is clearly so wrapped up in his Star Trek fantasy world so as to be completely unaware of anything going on in the real world around him To be unaware that it is my brother Mark who is involved with the SEC. To have missed the international news coverage. The coverage on CNN, Fox, NBC when it was announced is pretty oblivious to the world around you.
It is possible that I am not giving Pinto enough credit. I admittedly do not know him. He may be very aware of the facts. If that is the case he must have missed the part of my blog where it talks about my occupation as an attorney before he began posting arguably defamatory statements about my being investigated by the SEC. Hopefully he is not under some illusion that because he posed it as a question, it is a defense to a defamation lawsuit. If he wants to ring me up, I will be happy to “yammer” on to him about the law of defamation. My non-legal advice to Pinto is that should I decide to pursue legal action his best bet is to claim what I first said about him. Simply admit he is an idiot and did not know the true facts.
I am being tongue and cheek to an extent. The people who know me are for the most part educated and intelligent. They actually pay attention to the world around them beyond Star Trek, Star Wars and Anime. My skin is also thick. I have no interest in winning a legal judgment against Mr. Pinto and taking Fanboy from him. If I did, in the nature of a true Cuban family “greed is good” profiteer, I would change the web site name to “Dallas Mavericks Fanboy” and start selling Dallas Mavs merchandise on it. I hear William Shatner is a Mavs fan. Instead I will be happy to give Mr. Pinto some true facts about myself. This will give him some much needed social media credibility should he wish to continue “yammering” on about me in the social media universe. It will also give him protection in a defamation lawsuit since truth is an absolute defense. Here you go Mike:
I know If I tried even a little I could find better things to do on a Friday night than to rant about a meaningless subject. In my own defense I AM an alcoholic divorcee. That entitles me to act like a meaningless child now and then.
“Live Long And Prosper”
Added on 16 April 2014