Imagine, for a second if, coming home from a vacation to discover that you were robbed. You quickly call the police only to discover that no one is answering the phone. You then drive down to the station to find it deserted without even an indication where to go if you need help.
That’s exactly how I feel when dealing with opendiary.com and it’s sister sites.
Over the past two months, I have attempted to contact the administrators of this site regarding two different plagiarists. Yet, every attempt to do so has been thwarted. Every email I have sent to the company, including ones to the abuse account and several to the account associated with the domain name, has bounced back.
Despite having over a month to repair their email, nothing has been done and, worse still, calling the number given with their registration info only gave me a standard status report on the site’s servers and no information on contacting the person or people who run it.
There’s simply no way, that I’ve found, to reach a human being regarding this matter…
Of course, the implications of this go far beyond just the inability to report plagiarism. Users, or so I’m forced to assume, can’t get any help if they have problems, other forms of abuse (harassment, adult content, etc.) will go unchecked and the site, more or less, becomes a wild west environment.
After all, without some means of following up on abuse complaints, there’s no way to keep such a large site clean.
In the end, this kind of negligence is completely unethical and, quite fortunately, illegal. The DMCA requires that you provide such contact information and even domain registration requires that people be able to get in touch with you. Taking that avenue, I’ve reported the lack of valid contact info to ICANN, the body that governs domain names, and I’m hoping that this will get opendiary to update their records.
Otherwise, it’s possible that the domain could be deleted as invalid. An unwelcome outcome considering there are many legitimate users of the site, but a possible consequence of breaking the rules that govern the Internet.
In the end though, Opendiary.com is one of the worst and most negligent hosts I have ever had the displeasure of working with. Though I’m holding out hope that they’ll change their ways and become good citizens in the online world, it seems unlikely at best.
It’s not a service I’d want to use and not a service that I want to deal with again.
In the meantime though, I guess I can try snail mail. Perhaps the mailing address is at least somewhat valid.
Note: As is my policy, I attempted to contact the plagiarist directly first. However, OpenDiary thwarted that as well. There are no profiles of people who post and no way for the public to get in touch with the diary owners. In fact, their rules state “No full names, addresses, telephone numbers, or other identifying information allowed.”
[tags]Plagiarism, ICANN, DMCA[/tags]