Topix has become an embarrassment to the great state of California.
This petition had 88 supporters
California is a great place to live in many ways. Why is it though that it seems like there is an overabundance of immoral websites that are based in the state? Many Californians are outraged by a website called Topix that is spread throughout the entire United States and other countries. It seems that almost every month there is a growing amount of stories regarding the damage that Topix is doing. Many of us support free speech as much as anyone but there is a point where that crosses a line. Based on the comments made and read by Topix CEO, Chris Tolles, the Topix business model does not seem to comprehend that.
In the real word, things such as libel, slander, defamation, stalking, and other immoral things are illegal and not tolerated. Why then is it not only tolerated on the internet but in the case of Topix it is basically encouraged. The Topix company when the media goes after them often claims it is trying to clean up its site, but actions speak louder than words. As a former user of Topix before my conscience got the best of me and I realized the site was not benefitting communites but destroying them, I noticed that even a large number of Topix own users wanted registration with a valid email address and perhaps even a phone number or address. Topix management has refused constantly making excuse afte excuse claiming that users can use a free email address. While that may be true, websites that use things such as Disqus and Facebook have seen a decline in bullying because it does require at least some level of accountability. Topix doesn't want to do this because obviously their concern is one of greed. They fear that if those who hide behind their keyboards with the full intent to libel others will leave the site if they actually are held accountable. That is immoral.
We are also embarrassed that when the media ask Topix for an interview, they always claim they don't want people to bully others and then have been known the next day to go on a Tech site justifying the actions of others. In other words, they aren't serious about reform only trying to tell the media and communities what they want to hear.
If Topix was serious they would make several changes. It is my understanding that if you try calling them their mailbox is always full. This is obviously done because they don't want people to be able to speak to a live person until they have prepared a scripted speech to justify immorality and they don't want to get police and attorneys an easy way to contact them. Second, they claim if you want to contact them to use their feedback system. Based on information obtained Topix only has a handful of moderators and 400,000 forums making it impossible to remove dangerous content in a timely matter if at all. In the past, moderators of the site used to go on Topix and post content often insulting users which was clearly to drive up ad hits. Their feedback system also penalizes those who want to avoid the website at all costs. Third, many of Topix alleged news content is users going in and posting someone's name and assaulting their character. A person should not have to go on and remove their own name. Topix should ban those types of posts and users who post that type of content immediately. Posts should concern real news stories. Topix has an obsessive number of forums which makes the website far too easy to abuse other people. The site would be much easier to maintain, if they were truly serious by cutting down on the forums. If three small towns are side by side, every zipcode does not need a forum of their own. Lastly, Topix does not archive its posts which is also bad news. That means that someone could be libeled years ago and since that post remains, people can go back years later and launch another attack. Once someone is attacked, it appears on google and other sites within five or ten minutes.
I, for one, would love a website that posted community events and aggregated news from all over the area and world to comment on, but that is not what Topix is. It is a gossip and bullying site that claims to be a news aggregator when in fact it is not. It is websites like Topix that reflect badly on all Californians because people around the rest of the United States and other countries think we are the state that promotes immorality and if you base us on Topix, I can understand why people feel that way.
My prediction is Topix managment is going to roll their eyes and make excuses on why they don't even do the little things like require registration. If Topix were to show more legitimate concern, people would back off. I can't help but notice anytime their is an anti-cyberbullying march even sites like Facebook join in to help, while Topix never participates. They won't even post a message at the top of most of their forums stating cyberbullying is illegal and their Terms of Service is vague and subjective.
Intellect debate and discussion are a great thing and Topix could be that. Instead because of its lack of rules and morality, it has become nothing short of filth and that needs to stop. To put it another way, I even read a story that stated a woman who contacted Topix advertisers asking them why they advertised on a site that knowingly allows the bullying of children and Topix attorney sent her a cease and desist letter claiming she was cyberbullying Topix! We ask Topix to stop embarrassing us and please clean up your site and not a haven for immorality.
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