EDIT 2: EDIT 2: Did Brian receive my e-mail? I DO have his personal e-mail, and have contacted him there before about site issues. I have copies of replies from him. We've also talked about personal issues via mail. I know I sent it & got no reply. I know the security hole was wide open & being indexed by search engines, and I know someone else was posting it publicly. So to accuse me of malice or making things worse by talking about it publicly is ludicrous, and I have NO reason to lie about contacting them.
So, I'll make this brief as I can. I've been a member at Model Mayhem since shortly after the site started. It's been my primary networking tool since 2005. I've been active in the forums, and in real life with the various community members. I volunteered for the site. At one point I was suggested as a mod, and when that was shouted down by some people the former owner, Tyler, asked me to head the then-forming Gatekeeper program. While I declined that, I did head the unofficial Picture of the Day 18+ contest until it was made official & site-wide, whereupon I continued to run it for some time, devoting many hours to it.
I have made a lot of friends and gotten a lot of great work from the site. I'm going out at exactly 69,000 posts in the forums. With that much talk I've rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, but I've helped a few folks & gotten a lot of "thank yous" too.
Now, after almost 5 years and a lot of time, MM has removed my account. They've been looking for a reason to do so for some time, partly because of the blatant personal animosity some of the site administrators have for me, and partly because my involvement with Model Insider patently terrifies them.
Yesterday's events finally gave them the excuse. In short form, they screwed up code on their website and opened a MASSIVE security hole. It was open for several hours without anything being said. Then Pat Yuen blogged it & made some tweets about it. Info on the security hole & events is here.
After Pat's tweets & blog I messaged Brian Diaz (the head mod & site admin) directly (I have his e-mail) and let him know. Nothing was done. So I posted some tongue-in-cheek comments on Twitter & MM's Facebook, making sure they would see them. In fairly short order, they took the site down for about 15 minutes, plugged the hole, brought the site back up, then took it back down to fix out of sync servers, then brought it back up again.
It's kind of funny how fast they fixed something they blamed on a hole in Tyler's infamous "spaghetti code" given their usual claims about how hard it is... Brian & Dean Johnson (one of the other site admins) both said the ENTIRE CODE had been gone thru in that brief time to look for more examples of the breach, given that the "block member" feature has been down for some time, allowing, among other things, a KNOWN STALKER to harass at least one model with no action from the mods or the site. I guess something embarrassing to the MM moderators & IB admins (since the breach allowed a peek behind the curtain at their clear disdain for members and lack of ideas about the site's actual operation) is FAR more important to fix than a simple feature needed to stop a model from being threatened by a dangerous individual.
In the midst of all this, Brian & Dean were posting in the forums & to MM's Facebook & Twitter patently lying about the issue, blaming "outsiders" and "hackers" and "malicious individuals" and such. They flatly denied any changes in their code were at issue. As it became clear this was a lie, they backed off those claims on MM but left them uncorrected on Facebook & Twitter. They also began censoring their Facebook, removing not only posts about the truth but any posts from people ASSOCIATED with some of us who told the truth, even if they were old posts that had nothing to do with the situation.
The lies continued in the MM forums, tho, with them making non-credible claims about people using their bug to do more than just look at mod thread titles, locked/hidden threads, members' brig records, and the names of mods who've locked threads. They claimed some members (and strongly insinuated all along that Pat & I were responsible for it) had used the hole to do things like delete peoples' avatars, which was patently crap.
I stayed out of the fight in Site-Related over the MM mess & went on about my business, chatting with friends, setting up a shoot with another MMer for this weekend, discussing professional associations, giving out some anti-scam advice, reporting a questionable account, a usual day on MM.
Then, about an hour ago at 9:30 PM EST, with no warning or discussion, I received this:
"Your account has been removed from Model Mayhem for the following reasons:
Your actions to disseminate the security flaw yesterday through as viral way as possible without making any attempt to alert the moderator or management team is a clear indication that you are not interested in being a productive member of the MM community. We feel it is time for you to seek a presence elsewhere."
That's fine. It's their site, it's their rules. They want to kick me off, they're welcome to. What I WILL NOT stand for, and what I want the members to know, is that they are lying about me AND lying about what happened on the site.
They screwed up the code, code that they could have fixed (as I noted here, whereupon I was promptly accused of borderline criminal activity by Brian Diaz) long ago. The speed with which they fixed this breach SHOWS how easily they can manage it.
They lied about what happened, and they're blaming the wrong people for it. This has not only affected me, Pat Yuen was also removed from the site. He has also always been a tireless friend to the community. I will NOT apologize for helping expose a massive failure on the part of a multi-million dollar public company like Internet Brands (MM's owners) to run their site & secure it adequately. I did nothing morally or ethically wrong, and I certainly did nothing criminal.
I am upset & hurt by this. Most of all, I want to say to Brian (who I am sure will see this) that I am TERRIBLY disappointed in you. While we haven't always AGREED we have always been civil and I thought we had mutual respect. I sought you out to let you know when I found someone slandering you, we spoke a few times about meeting in real life to share a beer. I realize you have to defend Internet Brands and Model Mayhem, and I have a REALLY good idea of what's going on behind the scenes there & the pressure you are under. But I tried to do the right thing & let you know about this & was ignored, and then you made this out to somehow be my fault. Removing me from the site, that's business and I'll live. The rest hurt. I'd like at least the decency & courtesy for no more lies to be told about me.
Brian, you have insisted time and again that I work for a competing site. So I guess we’re competitors now. If that’s the way it has to be, then that’s the way it has to be. But then you, of all people, should be aware that posting verifiable untruths about your competition is a little more serious than just kicking someone off of your web site. If this is how it is to be, then I suggest you not only stop, but set the record straight. This situation is of your making and your choice, Brian. I expect better from you.
I am opening this blog up for public comments, but I'm filtering them & tracking IPs, so if any of my detractors out there feel like taking cheap shots you can save your typing.
Mirrored to my Model Insider blog: http://www.modelinsider.com/features/blo
X-Posted to a few places here on LJ.