Update: Several days after writing this post, Fox News and DailyMail both updated their articles to credit me instead of Gregg Re…. they even apologized to me! After a week of back-and-forth with the CEO of The Post Millennial (and after Libby Emmons blocked me on Twitter and refused to respond to my emails), he forced Libby to update her article to properly credit me. Since Gregg refused to update his social media posts to credit my research, and blocked me, and has apparently done this to other bloggers too, I decided to launch a website for him at greggre.com for posterity sake.
Update: I have discovered that Gregg also stole research from another blogger, Aidan Kearney, who went public about it… there’s no telling how many others this guy has stolen from.
If you have ever wondered how major media outlets discover stories and the (shady) process it goes through before landing on a show like Tucker Carlson or major news sites like Yahoo News, this might be mildly interesting…
Well I have a side project called Hucksters for tracking online spam and scams, and other cruft in that general arena. In the past few years I have exclusively exposed a few interesting people such as:
Matt Drudge’s Armenian boyfriend who was illegally re-publishing New York Times articles to help the Drudge Report avoid paywalls (DNyuz)
An infamous Craigslist scammer based in Indonesia selling fake “vehicle reports”
The main email spammer for the Republican Party and Trump
A few days ago, Libs Of TikTok shared a post from an anonymous doctor from Wake Forest Medical School because she confessed to injuring a patient on purpose because of his political views, and this sounded scary so I did my thing and figured out who she was:
Almost immediately, a producer Gregg Re from Fox News “liked” my tweet, since it was also going viral… but 5 hours later, that same person posted his own tweet, with the exact same information that I had already published… but with zero credit to me.
A few more hours beyond that, and a right-wing blogger Libby Emmons from The Post Millennial, quoted that Fox News producer in a news article, insinuating he was the one who exposed the doctor.
Assuming it was a mistake, I contacted the TPM journalist and told her, and she responded “thanks for letting me know!” and then disappeared. After some time, I asked when she would be issuing a correction on her piece or linking back to my blog/tweet? She ignored me.
I then emailed all 4 of the top employees at TPM asking about this, which also went ignored, besides their CEO responding back to insult me.
Deciding to ask the Fox News producer about it instead, assuming we were on good terms since he had already “liked” my tweet, I sent him a DM and email, CC’ing the TPM people, asking him to clarify my blog was his source. Again, this went ignored, until I told the entire lot of them that I would be blogging about their journalistic fraud if they weren’t willing to credit my research as their original source.
Suddenly, he responded: he blocked me on Twitter, and then emailed me back threatening to sue me if I proceeded with exposing their content theft. Right now as I type this, he is madly posting on Twitter “new” information about the story (getting ready for a Tucker segment no doubt) with screenshots of emails he sent to Wake Forest demanding ANSWERS!!! about whether this doctor was still treating patients or not… lmao
This might sound like just another goofy part of the internet, but for me (an independent blogger just trying to expose scams in my free time) it was extremely eye-opening that Fox News apparently steals whatever research they want without credit, and then threatens to sue if you speak up.
Now dozens of major media outlets are republishing this story, and all of them credit TPM and this one Fox producer’s tweet.
The research exposing “Doctor” Kychelle Del Rosario and Wake Forest medical malpractice was stolen by Fox News from an independent blogger who they threatened to sue if I said anything.
This is conservative media in a nutshell these days… a circle-jerk of grifters — a “mean girls” club — who lie, steal, and cheat their way up the ladder for retweets and future book sales.
I’ve also posted about this here:
I’ve used Facebook on and off since 2003, during my freshman year at university (back when it was a platform for college students). Over the years, I’ve taken a few hiatuses from the website, and I’ve never been terribly active there in any case.
However, a few years ago when the “Facebook groups” feature started taking off, I found it a rather useful tool to organize assignments for a few university-level courses I was teaching, and I ended up joining several other groups later on in a variety of categories.
Fast forward to around 2018, and I noticed that the occasional photo or post that I shared was suddenly only getting a few “likes” or comments, despite previously getting dozens (or hundreds). Furthermore, I noticed that the few people still seeing and responding to my posts were almost entirely “conservative”. In other words, I began to suspect I had been partially shadowbanned and assigned to an internal Facebook ghetto along with several friends, most (but not all) of whom seemed to have right-of-center beliefs. In fact, even when I posted to Facebook pages for the brands that I owned (pages on which I had spent thousands of dollars in Facebook Ads and thousands of hours publishing and updating content over the years), those posts seemed to be drastically limited to a tiny audience, too. (Even when I attempted several times to do the GPS location verification, Facebook said every single time that it had “failed”.)
I asked a few friends about it, and they said similar things had been happening to them, too. One friend even said that he felt Facebook was purposefully targeting him, at one point removing unremarkable photos of food he had posted; soon afterwards, some of his private messages with family and friends were also deleted by Facebook because they claimed he was “inciting violence”. (Facebook failed to specify which part of his private messages were “violent”, however, even after he repeatedly asked them about it.)
But assuming that Facebook really is segregating users they disagree with politically, surely it would require manual review by Facebook employees. I mean, just because you “follow” the Facebook page for Donald Trump doesn’t mean you support him, so I assumed I was being (or had been) actively monitored by Zuckerberg.
Why? I have no idea. I had a few back-and-forth political arguments and so forth in a few private groups, but I rarely posted outright political commentary on my actual profile. So I assume what probably set this in motion was being “reported” at some point by random Facebook users who disagreed with me. (I also noticed that in a popular group I had started in 2016, my own posts as the actual group Administrator were only being seen by a few dozen members, even though I had thousands of reactions previously. To make matters worse, this group wasn’t even political.)
Fast forward again to January 2021, in the days after the violence at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, and I noticed some off-handed comment in a Facebook group that President Trump had “incited rioters” in his speech that day, and I responded fallaciously:
“I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard!” — @realDonaldTrump January 6, 2021
Literally, that is the only thing I posted. Almost immediately, I got a big red notice from Facebook that my account had been restricted, and that I had “multiple restrictions” including not being able to “go live”, and not being able to run any advertising campaigns for 30 days. But then a few hours later, a new notice arrived from Facebook, stating, “We understand that mistakes happen, so we didn’t restrict your account”… as if moderators had manually reviewed it and realized I hadn’t posted anything nefarious. Despite this update, to this day a yellow warning message remains on my account that says:
Your account may be restricted if you violate again.
So is my account restricted or not? Again, I don’t know if I’m officially restricted or not, or if this is just a 3-month-long “bug” in their software system. But I do know that, regardless, most of my friends can’t see my posts anymore, most of my group members can’t see my posts anymore even for my own groups or pages, and if I try to comment or leave a review on any Facebook page, it is completely hidden from view from other users (shadowbanned).
This is now hurting my company’s reputation. A few days ago, some spammers from the Firstwire Apps company got angry at me for reporting their illegal email spam to Amazon AWS, so they retaliated by leaving fake reviews on my Facebook pages… when I reported their fake Facebook profile, an email was immediately sent back to me from Facebook saying, “We reviewed the profile you reported and found that it doesn’t go against any of our Community Standards” … but it arrived so quickly, it seemed like an auto-responder for accounts like mine that are “restricted” or something.
I then tried to leave a review on Firstwire Apps page, and it shows up for me when I’m logged in, but Facebook is secretly hiding my review from everyone else (yet again).
So, anonymous trolls are allowed to slander my company, but I’m not allowed to respond in kind, let alone report them.
My question is how many millions of other Americans (and beyond) is this now happening to? This isn’t some conspiracy about a future society, it is happening right now, in mass, and it is effecting ordinary people’s relationships with family and friends, not to mention the very existence of businesses and brands they have spent years (and thousands of dollars) growing up until now.
In my case, I invested more or less 17 years into mastering Facebook, just to be restricted for a mundane comment that wasn’t even offensive or threatening on any possible scale.
I setup a new Skype account that is tied to my business email address, which I have been using for nearly a decade. It is the email that pretty much all my clients and associates have saved for me.
Out of the blue, I discovered I wasn’t able to make international “Skype Out” phone calls anymore, but I hadn’t received any notices or anything so I figured it was a temporary glitch, or that my VPN app on Android (NordVPN) was acting funny.
After a few hours of trying different settings, I logged in to my Skype profile page and found a warning message that said “Your account has been restricted from using Skype’s paid features. Fix your account.” and filled out a few verification questions.
Twice I completed this process, and twice I received an email almost immediately from Microsoft stating that it had not been accepted and that I needed to try again.
Growing more frustrated I found the (rather hidden) customer support chat feature on Microsoft’s support portal and talked with someone from the Philippines about my account. After verifying me, they assured me that it would be fixed immediately and they just needed to review my status with their security team.
Several hours later, I received a final email as below:
Thank you for reaching out to Microsoft Support, glad to be of assistance to you today.
Unfortunately we were unable to release your account. You will not be able to access this account again due to various violations of Microsoft Service Agreement and that was why the account was blocked. Kindly Open a new account and ensure you set it up appropriately to avoid this from happening again.
Here are the top 5 possible reasons why an account gets restricted from using Skype’s paid features:
- We notice unusual activity, for example markedly different usage of your Skype Credit or subscription, that suggests someone other than you might have taken control of it.
- You are disputing a payment (also called a chargeback), since this indicates that there is a problem with either your payment method or your account or your payment instrument has been reported to the payment providers.
- Sending multiple contact request, spam calling, or making a call in a short time frame which leads to other Skype users to report your account.
- Using VPN (Virtual Private Network) which Skype detects recycled IP addresses or your IP address has been reported to the Internet Service Providers.
Please find below the link to view the service Agreement: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/servicesagreement
We Apologize for the inconvenience this must have caused and hope to serve you better in the future.
We value your business and hope to have you as our customer for years to come.
Microsoft Skype Support
I had no issues with billing or otherwise, so apparently Microsoft has permanently banned me from using Skype because of NordVPN, probably the most popular VPN app in existence.
(Up until now, I’ve barely used the account, so it would also be impossible to have been reported for spam, etc, even if a group of people had tried to simultaneously report me.)
This is after years of users complaining about problems with using Skype with VPNs and Microsoft’s support repeatedly saying that VPNs are in fact allowed, but that you may simply need to adjust settings in certain cases, such as changing locations.
But Microsoft refused to tell me the precise reason.
However, it sounds almost certainly like they have banned me for simply using a VPN, which they say is allowed. And now the money I had deposited is stuck there, too.