Google: The ultimate cockblocker

By SCOTT FAYNER  |  September 27, 2010

Which means that for the innocent, one single defaming blog post can turn a life upside down. Ex-boyfriends are notorious for online revenge stunts; so are disgruntled employees. Here's what I'm trying to say — and you might want to sit down for this: not everything written on the Internet is true. Hell, forget about the falsehoods I've written about other people online — I'm responsible for spreading lies about myself. Sure, I'm a porn writer: but what about you? The laws regulating what people can and can't write on the Internet are flimsy and unenforceable. Don't think so? Go ahead, try suing the anonymous dipshit who edited your Wikipedia page.

Once I realized that I could never fully expunge my feral reputation by simply packing up my life and coming home to Boston, I had a decision to make. I could leave my past out there, in the google-able wilds, and resign myself to a life of torrid infamy. Or I could try to learn how to downplay certain credentials beforehand, at least when I knew someone would be looking at them.

There's a growing industry in de-googling yourself; for about $100 per year, sites like reputationdefender.com claim to be able to "control the message people see when they google you" and "[push] undesirable content down in search results." For those with just a few brutal mistakes to live down, it's worth it. But this doesn't always work: legitimate news sites won't remove an old story just because it embarrasses you, and good luck trying to get a porn-tube site to stop streaming your amateur sex tape. (Newsflash: letting your new boy-toy tape your wild escapades might not be the best look if you're one day hoping to become a US senator.)

Removing your name from Google searches is an option for some, though not for me. I've been blogging since 2002, and there are thousands of links to my repellent ramblings that would take a decade to track down. My only hope against Google's tattletales, the experts tell me, is to replace the ugly stuff at the top of my Google Search with new and positive online chatter

Like my year-old Web-based dog magazine, massarf.com.

You may think I'm kidding. But the links from celebrity gossip sites that used to point to Kristin Davis blowjob pics now redirect you to a page that celebrates the "Top Shelter Dogs," and a slideshow of New England Patriots cheerleaders soaping up pups in a benefit for the MSPCA. It's the start of my very long, very slow battle against the Internet — one that I realize I may never win.

Google is no friend of the despondent. I should know. When there's a potage of juicy tidbits about you swimming free in cyberspace, learning to fight it becomes second nature. In the meantime, a suggestion: pre-emptively announce a brief, carefully plotted — yet honest! — rundown of your mishaps to any prospective love interest or potential boss. It probably won't steer them away from digging deeper into your past than you'd like, but it beats the "You were married to a what?" look when you get back from the pisser. And don't be shocked to find that your search results are permanent deal-killers — that article about your scandalous run-in with a transsexual is a tough one to hide from Google's ever-prying eye, no matter how much money you have or how many posts you contribute to Jesus Web sites.

So here's my second suggestion: never use your real name. Ever.

Problem solved.

Scott Fayner lives in Boston and runs the Web site massarf.com with his dogs Rib-Eye and La Bella. He still occasionally writes for Hustler, but you probably knew that by now. He can be reached at fayneralmighty@gmail.com.

< prev  1  |  2  |  3  | 
  Topics: Lifestyle Features , Internet, Dogs, Google,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY SCOTT FAYNER
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   MY TRIP TO THE LAND OF WRINKLY DICKS  |  August 29, 2012
    When your job is to visit porn movie sets and report on them, you get used to seeing other guys' dicks pretty quickly.
  •   EVERYDAY SUNSHINE: THE STORY OF FISHBONE  |  November 15, 2011
    Lev Anderson and Chris Metzler's documentary details Fishbone's quarter-century journey from musically-diverse South Central middle school classmates to becoming one of the most influential Los Angeles bands of the '80s.
  •   UNDERGROUND NO MORE, KOSTAS SEREMETIS COMES HOME  |  September 21, 2011
    West Roxbury native Kostas Seremetis cut his teeth as an underground artist in Boston in the 1990s — his commissions included painting the walls of the Lansdowne Street punk club Axis, and creating movies for an unknown Boston band that went on to become the Elevator Drops.
  •   SUMMER OF THE SWEDISH NANNY  |  June 23, 2011
    It's been 15 years since the top half of Holmer's body was discovered in a Fenway dumpster. The crime fascinated Boston, paralyzed its nightlife, and spurred an investigation that sputtered along for years. But the police never caught her killer.  
  •   NINE MILES OF MUDDY HELL  |  May 26, 2011
    The parking lot is deathly silent. People with muscles and strong jaws stop in their tracks as the sound of cheers pour down from the early competitors on the mountain. Our coffee buzz long gone, the effects of the joint we puffed on the drive are creeping up and I start feeling lightheaded.

 See all articles by: SCOTT FAYNER