Justice Reigns: Stumble Troll BANNED by SU

Written on January 16, 2008 – 5:25 pm | by marty |

TrollToday aimClear contacted the FBI regarding StumbleUpon cyber-harassment incidents, as they deal with Internet harassment. Justice Rules. We got one of the worst StumbleTrolls BANNED by complaining to SU.

Over the last few weeks, there’s been quite a sequence of exchanges between Internet Marketing types and StumbleTrolls.

A StumbleTroll is a social media dreg that follows authentic people around with death slogans and pseudo neo-Nazi meanderings of hate, evil, and terrible poetry.

Our first awareness of StumbleTrolls came to light when our friend AdSenseTracker posted a SUTroll rip-rant which actually explained how to exploit social media malfeasants for traffic. We did a little witch-hunting and found out that for months, SUTrolls had been sniffing like jackals about our heels in sideways ignorance response to a heartfelt (and wildly popular) aimClearBlog post extolling SU virtues. It seems StumbleTrolls want to kill all SEOs, especially me.


Now, one of the worst offenders, “uncertain,” has been thrown out of StumbleUpon in response to our complaint. Here are a few links you HAVE to check out:

Serious Hate
Take a look at the hate proffered on this page (page 2-4 aint seen nothin’ yet). We responded by documenting the seedy StumbleUpon underbelly. Then, check out the comments on my SU profile reviews from “Tyfus and uncertain.” Feel free to leave an encouraging word to push the trolls down.

Then go SEE WHAT GOT THE NASTY SU TROLL BANNED. Scroll down for a real treat including little mustaches drawn on my avatar and symbolism. Then view uncertain’s final SU announcement.

How to Report Cyber and IP Crime
How to Report Computer- and Internet-Related Crime
How to Report Intellectual Property Crime

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  1. 45 Responses to “Justice Reigns: Stumble Troll BANNED by SU”

  2. By Paul-S on Jan 16, 2008 | Reply

    WTG Marty, I’ve had comments left from that cretin Tyfus as well but I just banned him from my page. This ‘uncertain’ dude seems to be crying out for attention though – totally wired up wrong.

  3. By Lee on Jan 16, 2008 | Reply

    I have had my run in with StumbleTrolls. Nice to see that StumbleUpon will actually kick them out. It amazes me that some people are so full of hate that they can not find anything nice to say about anything or anyone. Maybe StumbleUpon should put a filter in that if a person gives to many thumbs down in a 24 hour period they don’t count and don’t get posted.

  4. By Tad Chef on Jan 17, 2008 | Reply

    Good news. These bastards destroy the community. Unfortunately giving trolls publicity only encourages them. So this post is a great present for them.
    Of course I noticed the anti SEO trolls. They especially target female blogger and everybody who does not fit in, like Asians for instance. many of them convene in SU groups about weapons and such stuff.
    SU is very slow to react. It took at least dozen reports and almost a week for a death threat against me to be removed.

    If they attack me I ignore them in most cases or I strike twice as hard when I notice that women and non-whites are targetted.

    Ignoring them makes them stop the attacks as they aim for attention.

  5. By pearl on Jan 17, 2008 | Reply

    this post made my day! I’ve felt so powerless when SU didn’t do anything on the death threat I received… blocking and ignoring them will make them run away to harass someone else but getting them kicked out of the community is the best..

  6. By Sweeping generalizations are fun on Jan 17, 2008 | Reply

    I can rant also…
    Nerds/heavy net users i.e. basement dwellers (‘sup guys) have this very negative perception of SEO types on the(ir) internet. This is because half of SEO is setting your website up to get better pagerank, but the other half is getting linked to by other websites. Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t particularly like getting emails pertaining to Viagra or whatever. And what is so different between getting spam messages sent to my email and spam messages that link to some irrelevant site (they nearly always are) in the middle of relevant content? Observe a typical SEO person’s actions as they roam freely in the wild:


    This would be why people don’t like SEO types. And you can’t change another thing: people don’t like what they don’t like.

    Also, they hate the fact that SEO is one big pathetic excuse to bump your page up a notch by circlejerking with your friends’ websites without actually having better/more relevant content which is collectively ruining other people’s experience of the net. (i.e. Better SEO = higher rank, whereas better content = same rank)

  7. By SEO Consulting - Terry Reeves on Jan 17, 2008 | Reply

    My father always said, the way to beat a bully is to face him down in public. Let everyone know who he is and what he is doing.

    Good job. My father would be proud.

  8. By scott horne on Jan 17, 2008 | Reply

    You reported that to the FBI? Thats pretty retarded.

  9. By Marty on Jan 17, 2008 | Reply

    @Paul: I’d like to see Tyfus bounced. Someday that guy is going to suggest that some fragile person kill themselves…and they will. He’s a serious asshole.

    @Lee: Hopefully we’ll get a chance to get our message through to SU.

    @Tad: Garrett Camp, founder of StumbleUpon, should be made aware of ebay’s NON comittment to keeping SU cleaned up. StumbleTrolls are turning it into a cesspool.

  10. By SU since 2004 on Jan 17, 2008 | Reply

    I’ve been on SU for a long time, since nearly it’s inception. It used to be a nice quiet place where you could find interesting and not-so-interesting sites. Now when I stumble no matter what I thumbs up or down I get the same re-posted pictures, spam blogs, and other useless drivel. Many of the SU trolls, as you call them, have had accounts for as long as I have or longer – so you can’t be upset when you (as in self-promoting SEOs) come in to their camp and litter the place up.

    Yes some can be a little tact-less in their messages, but others can also be a little tact-less in their stumbles and posts. It’s a two-way street.

    There should be no limit on to how many sites a person thumbs down. If you don’t like what someone has to say to you or about you – delete their comments and don’t allow them to contact you. In my many years here I have had my share of rude and off-colored comments, but instead of taking it personally I move on. It’s the internet. Calm down.

  11. By marty on Jan 17, 2008 | Reply

    Thanks to all those who have commented: Pearl, Sweeping Gen, SEO Consulting, & SU 04. I think this thread lays things out nicely. Check out the NASTY stuff trolls are writing in my aimClear SU profile:

  12. By MarshallStaxx on Jan 18, 2008 | Reply

    I am a very fragile fragile individual who is close to the edge. I am thinking about ending it all because some nasty people started bullying me by calling me a horrible names like “troll’, threatening to get me done over by the big boys and worst of all they’ve actually murdered one of my friends and then laughed and bragged about it in public.

    These people are monsters, don’tcha think Marty?

  13. By that one guy on Jan 18, 2008 | Reply

    “Now when I stumble no matter what I thumbs up or down I get the same re-posted pictures, spam blogs, and other useless drivel. Many of the SU trolls, as you call them, have had accounts for as long as I have or longer – so you can’t be upset when you (as in self-promoting SEOs) come in to their camp and litter the place up.”


  14. By marty on Jan 18, 2008 | Reply

    @MarshallStaxx: 1) If the only “horrible names” assholes like UNCERTAIN used were “troll,” then there might be some substance to your position. 2) Being booted off of SU for violating TOS is not “murder” and even using the term speaks to how sophomoric your weak-ass philosophy talents are not. Calling someone a C–T and suggesting that they die by anal R–E IS about death.

    I bet the 11 year old boys in the skateboard park think YOU’RE quite a genius of a poet. You’re the one littering MY house now.

  15. By Tyfus on Jan 18, 2008 | Reply

    Funny, this: Uncertain wasn’t banned for ‘wanting to kill marty” But simply because he used screenshots to show to the world the conversation marty and he had. And that is against the ToS. So can the chestthumping about your ‘great victory’ be over now, please?
    (And ,arty, if you’re too much of a wuss to post this comment, I will know for sure and forever that you are nothing but a lousy leech on the teat of the internet, explaining your lack of spine.)

  16. By MarshallStaxx on Jan 18, 2008 | Reply

    Litter your house? I’d gladly take a diarrhea dump in your food processor, my friend.

  17. By marty on Jan 18, 2008 | Reply

    Greetings Typhus,
    Thank you for the civility of your tone here. Regardless of the specific TOS violation, uncertain makes a practice of viciously attacking innocents.

    The first time anyone attacked me on SU was in response to a post I wrote about how much I love StumbleUpon.

    I joined because I learned that a number of my industry friends LOVE the place and, over time, SU became my most important community to connect with my pals.

    Little did I know that the first time I blogged about it A)the blog would receive over 30,000 unique visitors B)idiots would publicly call for my death by anal rape.

    The chest thumping may be overdone, much like native cultures ritually celebrated killing a buffalo to eat. That said, the overwhelming majority of public and private responses were supportive. Many people have been hurt by the seamy subculture of SU.

    The problem is SU itself actually, not you. The TOS allows brutal attacks without moderation. Just stay in your SU caves, I’ll market on Facebook, and we’ll all call it a day.

    My crime on SU was honesty. Even though the community totally mattered to me, I admitted that I’m a search marketer.

  18. By marty on Jan 18, 2008 | Reply

    @ Anonymous: First I deleted your comment because I don’t accept anonymous comments. Next I actually did talk to the FBI Field office in Minneapolis and found out there was little I could do. I reported the URLs by emails on advice of the officer.

    So…you say there have been no death threats…go read the reviews in my SU profile. “I will kill you” IS in fact a “death threat.”

  19. By Tyfus on Jan 18, 2008 | Reply

    Ah, the old “everybody supports me in e-mail-“gambit. Nice.

    Also: if you really have the feeling that you’re being ‘brutally attacked’ on the internet, I suggest you go seek some professional help. You seriously contacted the FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION because a guy in WARSAW typed ‘die.’ You’re seriously warped, my good man.

  20. By marty on Jan 18, 2008 | Reply

    @ Tyfus: You and your friends are sure spending a lot of time on little old me.

  21. By Tyfus on Jan 19, 2008 | Reply

    My friends? On the internet? These people are just random people who hate you too.

  22. By Tad Chef on Jan 19, 2008 | Reply

    You troll people are insane: You support death threats against people who submit stuff that you don’t like?
    Better look out for an asylum before the police gets you.
    As SU is an Ebay company which employs whole SEO teams I expect that they will take a more firm stance on these trolls abusing the SU system to spread their hate.

  23. By caile on Jan 19, 2008 | Reply

    NOTE: “By Tyfus on Jan 18, 2008 | Reply

    Funny, this: Uncertain wasn’t banned for ‘wanting to kill marty” But simply because he used screenshots to show to the world the conversation marty and he had.”

    Funny THAT should be mentioned. Because most of the “trolls” do the very same thing to other people when it suits them, even though it’s against the rules. I have saved screenshots of them doing this to me and others, as well.

    It’s probably why my computer has been hacked into night before last (since they read the letter about my experience with constant abuse) and I can only operate in safe mode now. Too bad for the trolls that I had uploaded all the screenshots to an FTP site for safekeeping.

  24. By Jeff Quipp on Jan 19, 2008 | Reply

    Ah yes … my good friend Tyfus. We had a brief discussion ourselves … again very civil though (and I do appreciate that). How can you make sweeping generalizations though … all SEOs are bad? Come on … you’re an intelligent adult.

    Sure … some are questionable. Did you also realize though that many many of us focus on creating great content, and on end conversion metrics (ie. sales) rather than traffic. That’s it … that’s the secret of SEO. Its not gaming Google … they’ve got more PhDs than NASA … gaming Google is not sustainable, and has severe long term consequences. Further, traffic without conversion is of no use to clients either. They want business! That said … Stumble doesn’t create sales. Its notoriously poor for doing so.

    So, by suggesting that are SEOs are inherently evil, you’re revealing a great deal about yourself, and your own insecurities. Sure there are some bad apples … we don’t like ’em either. That said, we’re very careful not to throw the preverbial baby out with the bathwater … much as I can definitively say “Dutch people are great for the most part … though there will be a few bad apples, as with any culture”. Nope … no sweeping generalizations.

  25. By marty on Jan 19, 2008 | Reply

    @ Jeff, very well said…for a look at some REALLY serious hatred, check out the most recent reviews in my SU profile…whew…I was going to hide them but I think it’s a good indication of what a cesspool eBay has allowed SU to become. Read a couple of pages in…


  26. By Tyfus on Jan 19, 2008 | Reply

    Hey Jeff: If you’re saying it’s just some bad apples destroying the good name of SEO/SEMs, why don’t you crusade against them? You must have seen what unscrupulous people self-identifying as SEOs are doing on SU, you should see that they are a bigger problem than some (in your view) misguided individuals that got pissed off by a sudden influx of shitty content, thumbed up by bots an cliques. You see the artificially inflated numbers of reviews, you see people using scripts to abuse SU, and you choose to go after us instead? What kind of a message do you think that sends?

  27. By marty on Jan 19, 2008 | Reply

    Typhus, I don’t abuse the system at all. It was your kind that came after ME for loving SU. How many shadow accounts do YOU have? I have none.

  28. By Jeff Quipp on Jan 19, 2008 | Reply

    Take a breath for a second here guys.

    @ Tyfus … I understand your point, and it is valid. I know to someone outside the industry it might seem odd … but here it is in a nutshell. I wish we could! Stumble is our pool too, and we don’t want to piss in it (a really good post by one of our comrades recently). I personally find a good number of really good industry posts and humour alike on Stumble … and when that goes I’m in trouble. I watch virtually no television anymore … I learn much more on Stumble. That said, we SEOs realistically have 2 problems:
    1) knowing who they spammers are … the notorious black hatters (stumble spammers) are unknown even to us. Its like the email spammers … they’re not going to advertise themselves as such. Again … an anonymity induced problem.
    2) even if we could find out who they were … we’ve got no ability to influence their behaviour. Black hat techniques are published everywhere, and we’re a cottage industry. That said, if we could, we certainly would certainly try, or at the very least not invite them back to swim in our pool.

    What we can’t do though, is resort to threats of violence, nor make sweeping generalizations about each other. That can only result in a pissing contest, which sees both groups then pissing in our mutual pool. In the end, it accomplishes nothing, and perhaps only solidifies their resolve to “screw the system” as they get off on the general unrest. The only real mortality is Stumble itself.

    What if (and don’t shoot the messenger here) we maintained clear lines of communication, and together tried to resolve the issues. No shouting, no threats … just good old fashioned discussion.

    I can also assure you that Marty is not one of the people you should be focusing on. He’s stumbled 445 pages in total, and has been a member for an entire year. He has many friends because he is EXTREMELY well respected in our industry … as a white hat seo I might add.

    @ Marty … I think you’ll find Tyfus is very reasonable, and wasn’t one of the individuals threatening you. He’s our best chance for a rational discussion. I’ll argue Tyfus is not a troll … he’s well spoken, intelligent, MATURE, and believes he’s acting in the best interest of Stumble. He’s also not hiding behind anonymity … which I respect immensely. He’s out in the open debating us … and not swearing, cursing, or threatening. He cannot be expected to understand the nuances of our industry … which leads to his position in this matter.

    So guys … we’re reasonable adults here, lets put this crap behind us and move on for the betterment of Stumble itself. How can we all work to resolve this?

    Tyfus … is there anything you can do to help reduce the threats (knowing you’re not involved in those in anyway btw)? I’m assuming its a Stumble group.

  29. By marty on Jan 20, 2008 | Reply

    @ Jeff: Thank you for your measured mediation. At the end of the day, it’s about respect and civility. In my case the first high crime was daring to write about my love of SU. Of course I understand Typuh’s point.

    Bottom line: offensive or hateful behavior are against SU TOS:

    “Prohibited Content. You agree that you will not post any Prohibited Content. “Prohibited Content” includes, without limitation, Content that: (i) is offensive or promotes racism, bigotry, hatred or physical harm of any kind; (ii) harasses or advocates harassment of another person;”

    One of the reviews call for my “death by anal rape.” Another says outright “I will kill you.” Others are worse. Yet, even after my pointing this out to the mods, the users are still there. Worse even, the treatment I’ve received (which I can handle)has been far worse for many others.

    Typhus is like a child that kills both his parents and pleads for leniency on the grounds of being an orphan and has little grounds for the violent positions he proffers…not even that it’s bad poetry and I misunderstand the subculture of paper Nazis. I’ve spent plenty of time in East Berlin and Typhus is a CLASSIC paper jackboot.

    The TOS is clear and it’s a shame eBay doesn’t make SU clean house. When someone breaks the law, it’s too late for mediation…someone goes to jail or makes other restitution. That’s the only way for society to survive in light of judge-jury-executioner THUG mentality.

    SU is owned by a major corporation that likely won’t abide by the upcoming PR that shines a hot white light on behavior that that violates human rights in the name of…well in the name of disliking SEOs. We’re marketers…If the SU jackals want to mistrust me based on stereotypes, I might as well give them some REAL PR to chew on.

  30. By Paul-S on Jan 20, 2008 | Reply

    I abhore the way certain individuals have commented against Marty on his account – there is simply no need for that type of behavior.

    Professional optimisers or marketers do not abuse stumble. Marty is a leading figure within our profession. Your tirade against him was unjust because your fight is with spammers and Marty is anything but!

    However, I am of the same thinking as Jeff here. It is perhaps time for education and for both sides to stop the abuse and listen to what the others are actually saying in order to move forward.

  31. By Tyfus on Jan 20, 2008 | Reply

    “Typhus is like a child that kills both his parents and pleads for leniency on the grounds of being an orphan and has little grounds for the violent positions he proffers…not even that it’s bad poetry and I misunderstand the subculture of paper Nazis. I’ve spent plenty of time in East Berlin and Typhus is a CLASSIC paper jackboot.”

    “violates human rights”

    “If the SU jackals want to mistrust me based on stereotypes, I might as well give them some REAL PR to chew on.”

    Threats? Again? Haven’t you learned anything?

    Marty: You are insane. I’m done discussing this with you.

    Jeff: Sorry, but there is no way in hell I’m ever going to have a discussion with aimclear. The guy is a nut and it looks like he’s only out to provoke things. I can’t do anything about the threats (which are not threats but rather flippant remarks made on the internet) because I’m not the people who said those things and I don’t feel like going out of my way to make things easier for someone who has proven to be a nauseating asshole.
    In conclusion: marty deserves a whole lot of criticism, and I don’t care that much how people choose to word it.

  32. By marty on Jan 20, 2008 | Reply

    @ Typhus: No threats..correct me if I’m wrong but there seems to be PR HERE. I am analyzing what has already happened.

  33. By Tyfus on Jan 20, 2008 | Reply

    I have no interest in further discussing this with you. You seem to be unable to understand why your actions aggravate people. I’m done with you.

  34. By marty on Jan 20, 2008 | Reply

    The nasty SEOs wore out mighty Typhus. Once the shock value of his depraved vulgarities cease to impress and measured logic rules the day, it’s about everyone else “not understanding.” Farewell mighty Typhus. I will work to hold your kind accountable to TOS violations.

  35. By marty on Jan 20, 2008 | Reply

    Update: Most of the seriously violent and obscene reviews in my profile have been cleaned up by the reviewers, presumably to keep from getting tossed for obvious TOS violations. This in itself is an accomplishment. That said, I have screen captures of them all before editing. The abusers M.O: they post known violations just long enough for their hateful purposes, then they backtrack and remove the most damning “evidence” before SU admin gets around to assessing the complaints.

  36. By Tyfus on Jan 20, 2008 | Reply

    marty: stop lying.

  37. By marty on Jan 20, 2008 | Reply

    I am done with you now Typhus. You are dismissed. Thank you for your time sir.

  38. By Imogen Laing on Jan 20, 2008 | Reply


    Someday that guy is going to suggest that some fragile person kill themselves…and they will.

    Aside from the fact that that’s a huge assumption, but what about making up stories about people? For example that they have been involved in Bible sales when they may have been the victim of a Christian fundamentalist cult? Or selling ‘mother and daughter’ pendants when they may have lost a child.’ Would you feel like an ‘asshole’?

    Yes I responded with something ridiculous to make a point, but I would never have done that had you not invented these kind of stories. You’ve been given advice, you just won’t see past anything that you could analyze as potentially breaking the rules which you do yourself.

    I don’t know him really, but I can see that Tyfus is being straightforward here whereas you are behaving in a very manipulative way. This is far worse than swearing. You should be ashamed, not gloating. Now go learn some customer relations, Mr Wannabe Businessman.

  39. By Tyfus on Jan 20, 2008 | Reply

    marty: stop lying…

  40. By marty on Jan 20, 2008 | Reply

    @Imogen Laing: Thank you for your comment, perspective, and civility. I assure you business is rather good and we always strive to grow our ability to provide excellent customer service. I appreciate your concern.

    I can say, when comparing tactics and techniques, that obscenity laced death fantasies hardly rate as “straight forward” in any analysis of ANY “customer service.” LOL. That said, you’re confused as to the difference between business and social. SU is social for me…not business. Customer service has nothing to do with it.

    Your points about Bible sales and mother/child jewelry are well taken and I agree. One question: Why are YOU allowed to respond with “ridiculous” verbiage but if anyone else does it’s bad customer service? Do you have a patent on sarcasm?

  41. By Tyfus on Jan 20, 2008 | Reply

    Marty: Stop Lying. Also: stop trying to make it sound like I’ve indulged in ‘obscenity laden death fantasies.”

  42. By Imogen Laing on Jan 20, 2008 | Reply

    @ Tyfus – he does lie, but to be fair in that instance I think Marty was referring to my obscenity laden death fantasies. It was singular Marty, I only had the one fantasy, and that was after you gave me a lying review.

  43. By Imogen Laing on Jan 20, 2008 | Reply

    @ Marty – ‘allowed’ lol. Seriously though, I’m not the one using Stumbleupon for business and ‘traffic stats’ – I gave you some good advice in there but you seem to thrive off winding people up.

  44. By Tim Nash on Jan 20, 2008 | Reply

    Order of the “Grand High Collective” has deemed this post to have reached a high level of Social Media Disorder and we have temporarily closed the comments to contain this highly infectious outbreak. A doctor has been called!

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