Comprehensive Information About the Destructive Undermoderated Topix Forums
TOPIX is a so-called "new s" website located in Palo Alto, CA who is majority owned by Gannett (USA Today's parent), McClatchy and Tribune. Topix allows people to post anonymous hate, racism, defamation and cyberbullying in their forums. Topix does not review posts first and old posts are never archived. Not ever.
Hundreds of innocent Americans have repeatedly reported abuse to TOPIX about harassment, cyber bullying, cyber stalking, antisemitism, attacks on personal and business reputations, and other damage over lies, personal attacks and outdated outbursts. Many have been slandered for years on Topix and have suffered emotional, psychological, and financial harm from lost jobs and destroyed reputations.
Topix posts are harming adults and children right now yet Topix refuses to archive or adequately moderate their site and according to court documents dedicates less than ten humans to moderate over 300,000 forums.
Please consider reading this site fully but most importantly, please consider TAKING ACTION to help fight against Topix destructive forums.
Topix claims to be a news site but they neither investigate nor author news. Web searches on Topix generally bring up local forums which are heavily biased towards gossip and salacious banter. They claim to be a community but their community receives over 1000 complaints a day and is not considered to be a valuable social networking tool by a single mainstream news source. Topix tricks search engines into landing on its site, to sell ads for profit some of which goes to GANNETT, TRIBUNE and McClatchy.
Stop Topix - What YOU Can Do NOW
1) STOP USING TOPIX - Stop commenting there, even if you are commenting about how much you hate it. You are being sucked into their community & are boosting their traffic and web searches, diverting readers from other websites. Topix is littered with comments from their own victims inadvertently creating bigger profits for TOPIX. Post about TOPIX anywhere except on TOPIX.COM. Click here if you are or know a victim.
2) CONTACT CONGRESS, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL IN YOUR STATE OR THE PRESIDENT - It is our opinion that TOPIX may be in violation of portions of its AGREEMENT WITH 32 ATTORNEY GENERALS. TOPIX agreed to help fight Cyberbullying but Topix only employs 28 people total and can't possibly moderate their 100,000 anonymous posts per day. Did TOPIX simply lie to 32 Attorneys General? LIST OF AGs BY STATE // SAMPLE LETTER. We also have further info on why the law is ineffective in fighting TOPIX. Email us if you have access to lawmakers. firstname.lastname@example.org
3) Contact the PRESS - The press has covered specific stories of abuse on TOPIX but they have yet to cover the TOPIX PROBLEM in broad enough terms. The public deserves to know what TOPIX really is and is not.. Contact local media and tell them what you've seen on Topix. This is our #1 need! Several TV Stations and Newspapers have run stories recently.stories.
4) Join the TOXIC 360. Refuse to buy from or do business with any company whose ad you see on TOPIX for 360 days. In desperation, Topix now litters their pages with pop up and rotating ads, trying to trick you away from doing this. Tell businesses who you work with that you will boycott them if they advertise on Topix. Here's a FLIER.
5) DO NOT EVER CLICK ON AN ADVERTISEMENT ON A TOPIX PAGE. NEVER.
6) Sign the petition here .
7) Help Get Topix Out of Schools. We have been contacted by several organizations who are interested in ensuring that Topix is removed from schools and that companies who partner with Topix are not used in education or supported by non-profit work. Please email us at email@example.com.
PLEASE NOTE: SIMPLY AGREEING WITH THIS WEBSITE WILL NOT HELP! WE DO NEED TO PROMOTE THIS SITE BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY WE HAVE TO TAKE ACTION. BAD PUBLICITY WILL ONLY SLOW TOPIX.
ABOUT TOXIC TOPIX: We are a team of concerned educators, parents, community members and victims of Topix forums who have now found each other and designed this site to provide critical information to all interested parties on who Topix is, why Topix is a problem, and what action needs to be taken by the community to Stop Topix un-moderated internet forums, a major source of defamation, cyber bullying, racism, intolerance and hate on the internet which has d estroyed the lives of dozens of individuals. TOXIC TOPIX will only employee ethical and legal means toward this end. Any posts referring to this website in other places (including TOPIX.COM) are neither our responsibility nor our sponsorship.
Introduction to Topix.com / Topix.net - Using The Internet to Abuse
The internet is the greatest communication and media tool ever created. In just a few short decades it has lept above every form of media as the number one source for information. However, we are all aware that with the benefits have come a darker side: Internet porn, hate, defamation and cyber-bullying are prevalent on the internet and is as accessible as typing a few words into a search engine.
However a silent toxicity has emerged in the past few years, from a seemingly harmless website called TOPIX.COM and their TOPIX FORUMS, which have devasted the lives of dozens of innocent people including children.
This site has been created to communicate our understanding of TOPIX.COM and TOPIX.NET, how it works, how it harms, who it takes advantage of and why its defense is both legal and unethical. Topix stands behind laws that were never created to allow it to do what it does and its impact is particularly harmful, compared with sites like Facebook and MySpace which operate with an ethical compass. The creator of this site will not be responsible for incorrect information as these are simply our observations and opinions, however we have taken every reasonable effort to be accurate and therefore, would like to hear from you if you spot any inaccuracies so that we can correct them. Information here has come from educators, counselors and concerned parents. We do not compete with Topix and have no financial interest whatsoever (in fact some of us are spending our own money to get the word out).
So, grab a cup of coffee, and give us 30 minutes of your time as we show you how a company which most people have never heard of, has single handedly created a business model that brings in millions of dollars in profit by creating a platform that is not just ripe for abuse, but which has actually destroyed many lives and will continue to do so until something changes.
Dozens of concerned parents, educators and counselors have contacted the companies who do business with Topix and almost every one of these companies has responded with an almost unanimous agreement to the problem. See here for a partial list of companies who refuse to work with Topix.com any longer.
One of Topix primary income sources is advertising. Every page on their site is quilted with ads and TOPIX has recently increased their ads to presumably boost their profits. Some are obvious, like ads for cars and communications services but others are very sneaky, such as showing you discounts on appliances which in most cases are just ads from SEARS. Topix will show you your local weather, pulled in from a weather site, and will even show you links to find a job (again from a website who topix charges to show you that link). It will even connect you to a dating website, MATCH.COM. Yet if you CLICK THROUGH on any of these ads, Topix will get some money. Almost all commercial websites do this to some degree and it is a source of income for them just like ads on TV and radio. But television and radio have to deliver you entertainment in order to attract your visit, whereas Topix just has to have unmoderated forums to 'attract' attention. Topix takes no responsibility for what the ads say either, as they are mostly just selling the 'window space' but they do use their excellent software to ensure that you see ads that it thinks you might be interested in, whether the ad matches the subject matter that you are reading about or the locality where you are detected to be.
These are all good web design practices and they are part of what makes Topix a good website from a programing standpoint. The problem is that the only reason that many people are viewing the ads on a Topix forum is because they came there to read abuse, create abuse or they have been abused and are reading what has been said about them.
And remember that Topix will also draw in legitimate news stories from reliable media sources such as newspapers and TV stations so it will really look like they are a very legitimate news site when in fact, anything posted on their forums is completely unverifiable.
You can help by never ever clicking on a TOPIX AD. Everytime you click, you help TOPIX to profit. When you see a company advertised on TOPIX, then consider that company TOXIC for 360 days. Send a strong message that ADS on Topix will get you NOT TO BUY.
By supporting TOPIX advertisers, you say "yes" to TOPIX money making operation. Therefore the second step after informing and educating the public about TOPIX and its destructive anonymous forums is ensuring that TOPIX no longer is able to make money through advertising.
UPDATE: Television and newspaper stations have dissociated with TOPIX commenting platform in droves. More details here. Many newspapers and television stations who want to have an online discussion portion of their website have partnered with TOPIX. TOPIX provides access to their site through the newspapers website and when you are commenting on that newspapers site, you are commenting on TOPIX. TOPIX partnership with these media companies is also a source of income. In today's world, newspapers are dropping like flies and your ability to cancel subscriptions to these newspapers gives you the leverage to contact them and tell them that you wont buy their paper any more until they dissociate from Topix. Dont' be bashful because dozen of media companies have said NO to TOPIX.
Every media company who we have been in touch with has shared the same story of frustration with out of control Topix forums and they have either expressed a desire to drop Topix or they have dropped Topix, not because we contacted them but because their readers have been complaining.
You can really help by contacting any local media company who uses Topix as their online commenting platform. The major reason that companies stay with Topix is because Topix forums are easy for them to use and are cheap, but at what price does a legitimate media company partner with a company who is profiting on abuse?
To date the author is aware of no legal way to stop Topix from hosting the material that they do on their forums, nor to stop GOOGLE from indexing them. They may be insulated from responsibility by internet laws discussed further on this site. While it may be too little too late for TOPIX, the following changes might succeed in demonstrating some ethical concern about the problem created by TOPIX FORUMS:
1) Make people register. It's not a perfect solution because anyone can make up an email address, but at least it gives people reason to pause before posting.
2) Allow people who have been commented about to request removal. Interestingly, TOPIX has been forced to do this in Switzerland, where the law gives one the right to not have comments made about them on the internet. No such law exists in the United States.
3) Provide a real phone number and/or email address for people whose names have been attacked on TOPIX. Employees of the company do not realize that we are not talking about those who sit at Topix forums all day by choice and have had nasty things said about them. We are talking about ordinary citizens who have suddenly found their names thrust into the TOPIX spotlight by someone else and who have lost jobs, community standing reputations, friends or whose children refuse to go to school because of what is said about them on TOPIX. This is not a college kids game for these people and they need to be able to contact a real person so that they can be taken seriously. The number used to be in the dozens. Now they are in the hundreds.
3) Allow posts to expire. This is the best solution. It really gives TOPIX a bit of what they want, but removes the horrible permanence of TOPIX posts. Simply archiving posts after some time removes posts from google searches and allows people to get on with their lives who have been damaged by TOPIX. Opinions and views change over time, but failing to archive posts destroys the ability of opinions to evolve. Whatever you say on TOPIX never goes away. What kind of community is that? The fact that TOPIX does not archive posts proves that they are not interested in generating conversation and facilitating free speech. They are only interested in attracting surfers who will view and click on their ads. Keeping two year old posts about someone's private life does not constitute a vibrant community, but a willingness to allow anothers heartache to generate web traffic for profit. I have seen bored Topix users just find old posts and post nonsense (yeah! or whatever!) two years later just to resurface the post. The SEATTLE TIMES website closes thread after 72 hours, insuring that discussion is fresh and relevant.
Washington Post says the same. COMMENTS ARE CLOSED
By complaining on Topix you are simply joining their community, attracting posts, fueling debates and bringing in money for them through ad views and clickthrough.
While other pages such as this one are trying to bring in GOOGLE searches on this troubling issue, your posts to Topix itself simply draw traffic away from unbiased sites and land you in forums that Topix can control. Don't think that Topix censors? Try posting a link to this site and you will see.
When Mark Lesher sued anonymous defamatory posters to get Topix to reveal their IP addresses, TOPIX placed a big billboard on every single Topix web page allowing you to comment about the situation ON TOPIX. So, GOOGLE searches about the issue only found the Topix comment forum about it (which Topix controls of course) and therefore most comments about this story occurred on Topix where Topix could eventually take it down. Topix successfully eliminated most web commentary on the lawsuit by ensuring that comments were made on Topix!