This isn’t intended to be used by trolls or people who deserve to be outed. But hey, if they find it, they find it. The internet is a jungle and should be run under the law of the jungle, and not policed any more than is absolutely necessary.
This is a detailed, comprehensive guide, not a 6-step WikiHow. You can scroll down to DIVERSION for intercepting employers’ and others’ Google searches by SEO blogging, or scroll down further to DISCREDITING for info on refuting the claims of those who out you. Scroll down to DYSFUNCTION for quick stuff you can do right now in another tab while you read this (also relevant to protecting anonymity).
A QUICK WORD ON WHY I WROTE THIS
The techie site Lifehacker once offered an article on ‘How to commit internet suicide’ but forgot to mention forum posts and blog comments which you cannot delete. The day I saw that article, I considered writing this. (Lifehacker is a joke anyway; its information is only useful if you don’t own the product it is talking about and can’t be bothered googling the info). It is almost impossible, if not actually impossible, to commit internet suicide and in any case you’ll probably find yourself on the internet again when you manage a new project at work or someone mentions you online or something. It’s also unneccessary when you’re just trying to get rid of a few posts.
If you’re anonymous, especially an anonymous blogger, it’s worth having a game plan for if you lose your anonymity (whether because one of your ‘friends’ outs you, a journo finds you, someone online who doesn’t like you doxes you, or you out yourself accidentally through posting to the wrong account or letting slip your real name). The best anti-tracking, IP address protecting technology in the world is pretty useless if your own friend outs you or you post too many personal details. I’m not saying don’t post personal details, just know it is a risk you are choosing to take if you do so. If being outed would not be a disaster (or you don’t want people claiming to be you, or are planning to out yourself in future) then posting identifying information may not be a problem. Ironically, though, it may mean that you can not expose much identifying information on your non-anonymous or real identity accounts.
Now, I wouldn’t know much about how to blog anonymously, but although there are articles on how to blog anonymously, the issue of how to go back to being anonymous after outing isn’t that well written on.
Anonymous blogging and sometimes anonymous tweeting or posting to Reddit always comes with the risk of being outed and losing anonymity, but although you can’t completely regain anonymity after outing, you can at least stop employers and friends from finding out. Google and other search engines will keep the record for ever, but pushing Google search results down the page will mean that the only people who know your identity will be those who are trying to dox or hack you, and you’ll be safe from family and your boss. You’ll stay anonymous and maybe (depending on the situation) even be able to get back to blogging anonymously.
How to regain anonymity and fix your Google print once you’re outed
So, you’ve been outed for anonymous blogging, whistleblowing, being gay or transgender, your lifestyle, sex blogging, posting pornography, social media trolling, having previously been a call girl, Reddit trolling, being any kind of sex worker or trolling anywhere. Perhaps a bully has written nasty things about you online, or even posted naked photos of you online with your details and you can’t get the content taken down and don’t want people to see it. Or, you’re still anonymous but want a game plan for if you do get outed (if you post lots of personal information or tend to post to the wrong account then you probably should have one).
The key to fixing being outed is SEO – Search Engine Optimisation. My job is writing blogs for SEO marketing purposes. So if you’ve been outed and there are 20 websites outing you, you just need to create other websites and blogs with lots of mentions of your name and Google will pick them up. When someone searches your name, the sites that out you will be a few pages back.
If you’ve ever googled a public figure, celebrity or online community, you might have noticed that Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc are sponsored sites that are right at the top of the page when you search a group’s or person’s name. Blogging sites like tumblr, blogspot and WordPress are usually under these, followed by all other sites. This is great, because it means you only have to create a couple of social media accounts and a few blogs to push the outing results onto the next page. You can create more if you want to push the outing results back further. (You can also ask Google to remove the content, but it takes months and you need a good reason such as libel).
DIVERSION (SEO BLOGGING)
This sounds like lots of work but it’s not. Imagine your name is Kathryn Simpson. If you’ve been outed then all you have to do is create a blog for Google to pick up. For maximum optimisation, make your name the blog title/address e.g. kathrynsimpson.wordpress.com, or if that’s been taken then thekathrynsimpson.wordpress.com, etc. Then for all your blog posts put ‘Kathryn Simpson’ in the title for maximum SEO, and mention your name multiple times in each post. If there’s a search term that people might associate with your name (for example, what you were outed for or where you work) then put that after your name in the content, for example if you’re outed for being a furry then put ‘Kathryn Simpson furry’. Obviously the content can’t out you, and it has to be believable – you can’t just put that phrase all the way through or people will suss what you’re up to. Instead, deny it by making your posts about how those accusations are libel: “Lately some blogs have gone up about Kathryn Simpson furry, though this is not true and it is unclear why people are blogging about Kathryn Simpson being a furry. It is unclear whether this amounts to cyberbullying of Kathryn Simpson, or perhaps even libel as the allegations that Kathryn Simpson is a furry are not rooted in fact. This Kathryn Simpson furry thing might just be a plea for attention. Or perhaps a misunderstanding; we don’t yet know. More details as they arise.”
You only have to use the SEO term ‘Kathryn Simpson furry’ TWICE for it to work! Although if many people are blogging against you, and if those blogs are also on WordPress or Blogger, try to use it as many times as you like. Using the terms ‘Kathryn Simpson’ or ‘furry’ on their own isn’t that good but they can help if used a few times. Think of it like getting some hot guy to sleep with you – make your blog/site the one Google picks out from all the competing blogs. Bombard Google with your terms until he’s so dazzled that he crumbles and says yes.
Create a template that you can use to do this and replicate it on as many different blogging platforms as you can (especially Blogger, WordPress, tumblr and blogspot). However don’t replicate it 100% or Google will sense that the content is copied and will only show your first blog. You have to change a word in each line, because even one line of copied content will make a blog post or article useless.
Do not blog as yourself, or people will not believe you (though having one SEO blog under your name is okay, but don’t blog as yourself on multiple blogs and sites). Or, better yet, pretend to be a bot (an advertising or scam program which runs hacked blogs/sites for marketing purposes).
If you want to know which search terms are most used to google you, or which search terms lead people to the sites which out you, there are programs for that. But for these programs to be of much use, you would have to be mildly famous (or infamous) in which case these tricks aren’t going to help you. However, these tricks will:
1.Stand by what you did and don’t be ashamed.
2.Or, if it was bad, apologise but try to convince people it wasn’t such a big deal.
3.Write a blog or book about it, or, like Brutsch, get interviewed on TV.
For most people, the search terms used to find them will be their name, perhaps combined with their location, workplace or occupation. So Kathryn’s potential employer might find her by searching ‘Kathryn Simpson writer’. So you can intercept these searches like this:
“Kathryn Simpson, a Glasgow writer, has been accused of being a furry by some random people on the internet. These people don’t appear to be from Glasgow or anyone that the writer knows, but this is unclear and time will tell. As well as writing lies about writer Kathryn Simpson, some of these bloggers appear to be targeting other writers, though none in the Glasgow area. Unfortunately for Kathryn Simpson, searches for Kathryn Simpson writer, Kathryn Simpson Glasgow and Kathryn Simpson furry lead people directly to the whole Kathryn Simpson furry mess.”
Again, you just have to use ‘Kathryn Simpson Glasgow’ and ‘Kathryn Simpson writer’ twice for it to work, and using the terms separately will also help.
DIVERSION (SEO BLOGGING: HOW TO PRETEND TO BE A BOT)
This is easy, and actually you can make your outers’ blogs work against them by linking to their blogs. This sounds counterproductive, but remember people are going to see your enemies’ blogs anyway.
All you have to do is the same thing, except with a spammy tone. It’s actually easier because you don’t have to care if the SEO looks contrived, and you can put in as much SEO as you want:
“Are you looking for Kathryn Simpson furry? We have lots of Kathryn Simpson furry! Furry Glasgow fans of Kathryn Simpson will love this. Free Kathryn Simpson furry.We have many furry girls, designer watches, furry dating sites, cam furry writer in Glasgow, anything you can think of for Kathryn Simpson furry! Free miracle treatment WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE! Mum is 65 and looks 40 Buy Kathryn Simpson furry now! Kathryn Simpson live free Kathryn Simpson BUY KATHRYN SIMPSON FURRY GLASGOW KATHRYN SIMPSON FLUFFY KATHRYN SIMPSON CUDDLY GLASGOW KATHRYN SIMPSON WRITER KATHRYN SIMPSON TEACHER KATHRYN SAMPSON FURRY KATHRYN SUMPSON FURRY KATHRINE SIMPSON free live girls free live girls GREAT DEAL ON CAR INSURANCE” and so on and on.
That way, even if people do find the blogs that outed you, they look less legit after scrolling through your spam sites. Putting different spellings and similar words adds to the spam feel. If you’re outed for being a sexworker, try words like girl, cam girl, live girls, etc. If you’re outed for being kinky, try words like coily, curly, twisted, bendy, etc. Bad or non-existent grammar is also your friend. And be sure to chuck in gems like “mum is 50 but looks 20 DISCOVER HER SECRET” and “free diet pill LOSE 2 STONE IN 2 DAYS” or “8 ways to lose weight fast”.
DISCREDITING: LINKING TO BLOGS WHICH OUT YOU
Now that you’ve done your SEO blog about how it’s libel, link to the blogs as examples of that libel. Say you will post more links if you find any. You don’t have to link to all the blogs, just the ones that come up first in a Google search. Once you’ve discredited a few, you discredit them all. Making up a story like this: “I’d been pestered by certain bloggers ever since drama got started last June on an [insert hobby here] site. Well I knew the knobs were immature little pricks, but I didn’t think they’d actually do this: [link to site]”. You could also use a popular site’s name (such as a new comments section) as the place where the trouble started.
For your spam blog(s) (if you’re doing spam blogs) write stuff like this: “For Kathryn Sammpson go here buy Kathryn Sumpsonn NOW!” Chances are, most people won’t click, and when they see those same blog addresses further down their Google search, they won’t click on them. Even if they do click on your links, they’ll be very doubtful about the content of the blogs, which is a much better result than if you didn’t link and they just saw the blogs via Google.
With SEO blogging, you just want to divert people to your SEO blog, whether you’re making up a convincing ‘it was libel’ story or not. With discrediting, however, you might want to think about a really believable ‘it was libel’ story with much less SEO to make it more believable. Consider linking to this Discrediting blog from your LinkedIn/Facebook accounts or your existing website. Commenting with your Discrediting lie-fest on blogs and sites which out you is a good move, though they may delete the comments. You could also try commenting under other identities so they don’t delete the comments.
DYSFUNCTION (BECAUSE I COULDN’T THINK OF A BETTER ALLITERATIVE WORD)
These tips are also good for protecting anonymity if you haven’t been outed. They might interfere with you networking if you can’t be found, so if networking is essential for your work then try to do this stuff on social media networks you don’t use.
The point of search engines is to pinpoint the information. You need to make those searches go all over the place. By this stage, you’ve done that to an extent – you’ve got several “it was libel” blogs and maybe one or two spam blogs; you’ve created social media accounts with your name. Now it gets easier and more fun.
Create several social media accounts with the same name or display name so Googlers will be confused. You can change a middle initial each time. Facebook and LinkedIn let you have as many same name accounts as you want; they just require a different email address every time. Mail.com grants you unlimited aliases with just one (free) account. With Twitter you can have many accounts with different account names but the same display name, which Google does pick up.
With these accounts, create different locations, ages and jobs. This will really confuse Googlers or anyone trying to dox you, because it effectively gives them more leads to follow up. Doxing is like being a detective; you eliminate all the possible suspects until you have one left. (If you’re still anonymous it’s worth doing this because it will add hours or days onto the doxer’s time, and they won’t be sure which of several identities is yours until they find any blog posts or forum comments where you give out personal information.) Have a few accounts that are nearly you – i.e. a Kathryn Simpson who’s a chef in Glasgow, or a Kathryn Simpson who’s a writer in London. This will confuse them more. You don’t need photos, because if the person already knows what you look like having photos of others will just let them know the fake accounts are not you. Because social media sites come up first in a Google search, creating just a few will push the outing sites further down.
Create other blogs and websites about yourself – showcase your art, cookery, mountain biking adventures, your childhood, your thoughts about films or music, or advertise a service! These can be true; the more sites you have, the further the blogs that out you will be pushed down the Google Search. Or create a blog all about how you suffered from the lies of those who outed you.
Admit it and run with it. Even if you’ve done something bad like trolling, people might want to hear your story. Start a blog about why you did it and your experiences being outed, fired or jailed or whatever happened to you.
Admit it and play it down. Emphasise how people are exaggerating what you did and how it was nothing special really.
Hack their blogs off the web…but if you knew how to do that, you wouldn’t be reading this post, would you? ;-D