Today I received the letter below from David Warrington of LeClair Ryan on behalf of Xcentric Ventures LLC, which operates RipoffReport.com. According to Warrington, RipoffReport is in the pre-complaint stage of a claim based on alleged
anti-competitive busines practices and a conspiracy to damage the business of Xcenetric in its operations of the RipoffReport.com website and related services to consumers, the public, and businesses.
According one federal court, RipoffReport is an organization whose “very raison d’etre”, is to “commercialize on its ability to sell [services] to counter the offensive content the Ripoff Report encouraged”. Vision Security, LLC v. Xcentric Ventures, LLC, No. 2:13-cv-00926-CW-BCW (D. Utah Aug. 27, 2015) (finding that RipoffReport “had an interest in, and encouraged, negative content [refusing] to remove the content, even when told by the author that it was false and he wanted it removed”).
In my view, RipoffReport is not just a platform to monetize defamation but also to bully its critics. According to former RipoffReport employee Darren Meade, whose jobs duties included “post[ing] reports anonymously that the manager of Ripoff Report (Ed Magedson) had personally dictated to me,” when Magedson heard that I might represent his arch enemy he directed Meade “to discredit Bennet Kelley and continually write rebuttals to keep it listing high in Google.”¹
So apparently an organization whose “very raison d’etre” is to peddle in offensive content and/or smear its potential opponents, has hurt “feewings” when its victims say bad things about it.
In my case, it appears that merely reporting on an Iowa District Attorney’s investigation into alleged witness tampering by RipoffReport and other court cases involving it through Huffington Post, my radio show and this blog is sufficient to make me part of the conspiracy according to the letter.
So naturally, RipoffReport would turn to Warrington, a lawyer for the Trump campaign to pursue its effort to silence its critics. As Brian Knappenberger demonstrated in Nobody Speak: Trials of the Free Press, using litigation and intimidation to silence critics is in vogue among Trump and his allies. It is known as the “Gawker effect,” after the Peter Thiel funded litigation that drove Gawker into bankruptcy. Just ask Techdirt publisher Michael Masnick who was sued for $15 million for expressing his opinion that a millionaire’s claim that he invented email when he was a 14-year old high school student was “complete bullshit.”
These suits often are brought in jurisdictions with weak or no anti-SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation) laws, which only highlights the need for federal legislation in this area.
For about ten years now, I have represented and advocated for victims of online harassment. If standing up to bullies and reporting the truth makes someone a conspirator, then I am a proudly a conspirator.
1. See State’s Response To Xcentric Ventures (DBA www.Ripoffreport.Com), Defendant’s Motion To Disqualify County Attorney: Attachment “B” (06/16/2014 Email from Darren Mitchell to Kavon Adli). There are other RipoffReport entries about me which I believe are attributable to my serial stalker for the last seven years.
P.S. – Mr. Warrington, can you try spelling at least one of my names right.
Tiny Sac County Indicts RipOffReport.com Operative Darren Meade