In recent weeks I seem to have to repeat myself over and over to defend myself against lies and attacks by an Internet user I know as Big Al.
Big Al has also used the following aliases on various other forums and/or these other names may have been attributed to him- Alan James, and De Master Yoda. He will also occasionally post under completely random names or steal the names of other well known users such at myself or other forum admins he dislikes to ruin their names as well.
I personally do not believe any of the above names are really his- and I am not sure anyone has his real name. He very much values his privacy because in my opinion he is a coward- he has no problem using my real name or home address and no problem giving this info to others, including known criminals in an attempt to harass and extort me. My name and address are out there- I am not a coward- I stand behind every word I say here and those who have a problem with it can look me up.
I first had the unfortunate misfortune of being introduced to Big Al in 2010. He came to my off-topic web forum (JUOT.net) after some other user using the name “BiGal” began posting nonsense that was clearly intended to bait Big Al here- and it worked.
JUOT is described as an acrasial off topic web forum- the best definition I can come up with for that is hard to manage or ill tempered. This forum was born after a popular Jeep forum closed their off topic section because it was causing too may problems for the rest of the users on their site. We’re a great group of people and we enjoy reading each other’s posts- many of us have met in person and we have a shared history going back over a decade. It was unusual for non-Jeep people to join the forum but it is an open forum and outsiders are welcomed. They are however warned what the nature of the site is.
Generally I do not delete threads- and any allegations Big Al makes that I delete threads I don’t agree with or which defame me are completely false- but Big Al often lies as you will come to find out. If you don’t believe me just look around JUOT (The bulk of which requires logging in so it is not accessible to Google) and you will find quite a few threads where people argue with, insult, or otherwise “defame” me- but such is life and I knew what I was getting into when I started this site.
Big Al and this “BiGal” user battled for sometime- frankly both myself and most of the membership of JUOT didn’t care about anything either had to say as we weren’t familiar with their history and didn’t care to learn about it. Neither took the hint however and both continued to post. Eventually the user BiGal became someone I began to know as Soyl. Soyl was an Engineer from India, an older man (old than me anyway, not quite as old as Big Al) who Big Al had been chasing for years under the delusion Soyl is some kind of hacker and/or scammer. In truth I don’t know for sure what Soyl is or is not but I really don’t care- what I do know is that unlike Big Al, Soyl eventually started posting interesting content on JUOT where Big Al was not.
Eventually the back and forth got to the point that something needed to be done. Soyl posted a link to a clearly fake Twitter account – @BigDumbAl – and a link to an entry in Encyclopedia Dramatica about Big Al- Big Al – Encyclopedia Dramatica. This greatly angered Big Al. He was unable to get Twitter or Encyclopedia Dramatica to actually remove the content so he decided I needed to remove the links to the content. As my forum is generally uncensored- a trait Big Al claims to embrace – I refused to remove the links. He was still free at this point to post anything he wanted in response.
His banning only served to increase his anger at me and the forum. For several days he constantly harassed me by email including sending pornography that he finally stopped only after I threatened to report to his email provider. This unsolicited pornography was him trying to explain why Soyl and other people Soyl knew were bad people. He had zero evidence of course and there was no reason he needed to send actual pornography rather than just explain what he was trying to say.
As far as I was concerned I was done with Big Al and did not want anything further to do with him- but he was not done with me.
In the upcoming years Big Al would attempt to get me fired from a support position I had with vBulletin support. (vBulletin being the software that both mine and Big Al’s forum runs on.) He would threaten me and my family by using names of my relatives in posts against me. He has contacted my web host on multiple occasions trying to get my site shut down. He has made false reports of malware and viruses on my site again in an attempt to have my site shut down- he made similar false reports about another vBulletin forum on a host that wasn’t as diligent as mine who did temporarily take down the forum based solely on Big Al’s false report. When my host began to ignore Big Al’s requests and insisted, like I did, he file a valid DMCA request he started reporting my web host to the state Attorney General’s office of the state they reside in. Of course nothing came of this but it is Big Al’s way. He googles for anyone he can complain to. He even complained recently to the governor of California Jerry Brown– but in Big Al’s defense he thought Jerry Brown was the California Attorney General. Of course we don’t know if he had any success but we can imagine what “folder” Big Al’s email were filed under at the Governor’s office.
At some point another user with a beef against Big Al joined JUOT and had used a small picture as an avatar. This picture is apparently Big Al. When first asked Big Al denied this was his image – therefore according to the rules of JUOT which would have prohibited posting of a member’s photo without their permission the photo was allowed . When Big Al realized the rule he changed his story to say the photo really was him and he wanted it removed. Unfortunately for Big Al by this time I had learned he was a serial liar and could not be believed- he would say anything he could to get his way regardless of the truth. Therefore I told Big Al if he wants the image removed he would have to file a valid DMCA complaint. Big Al responded by sending an email from a fake name demanding removal. I explained to Big Al his email was not a valid DMCA takedown request. A valid request needs to have the real name and contact info of the person claiming copyright- anonymous Internet trolls cannot make DMCA requests. If he wanted this picture removed he would have to finally fess up and provide his real name.
As you can imagine that did not go over well. Soon after my forum came under a prolonged and sustained Distributed Denial of Service Attack- one that continues to this day anytime I attempt to switch back to a basic hosting plan. I am being forced to pay for more expensive DDoS Protected hosting. I cannot prove Big Al is behind it but what I have learned about himself and his black-hat tactics this is right up his alley.
[Editor’s Note – Big Al strongly denies he was behind the DDoS Attack and to be clear I have absolutely no proof he had anything to do with it. ]
When the DDoS attack didn’t immediately succeed Big Al began posting at forums I frequent complaining about me, “warning” other about me, complaining about vBulletin and their parent company Internet Brands because they blew him off when he was complaining about me to my supervisors and their supervisors as well. vBulletin investigated and found nothing to substantiate any of the claims he was making. I was told to keep up the good work and he was told to stop emailing them.
More recently he has begun posting false reviews about myself, JUOT.net, and other sites I own. He has no problem using my real name and location even though the only thing we know about him is that he is an old man from Brisbane, Australia with too much time on his hands.
Big Al is the unfortunate combination of angry and – for lack of a better word- stupid. This makes him dangerous. It recently came to my attention he was been attributing quotes to me (Joe DiBiasi) that were from Joe R, a high ranking officer of vBulletin and Internet Brands. He does not comprehend that I, a bottom level support technician would not be writing press releases for the company and the Joe in question is not me. He had the same problem with a Lynn who is a major stock holder of the company and another woman with a similar name who is a support rep. A support rep doesn’t own 1.45% of a near billion dollar company, if she did she would not be doing support!
The truth is I do not want to continue this battle with Big Al- frankly I have more to lose than he does. But I will not compromise my principles and I will not remove a link to an obvious parody twitter account that I know I am under no legal obligation to do so.
More than once I have asked Big Al if he would be willing to let things go if I remove the image that he now claims is his own image. (An image which he claims was stolen by a hacker from his computer using a keylogger.) However he refuses- he will not settle until what he considers “all defaming” content is removed including perfectly legal links to Twitter and Encyclopedia Dramtica. Those are not on the table- he is lucky I would even consider removing the image without him making a valid DMCA complaint. It makes little since he even cares about these links anymore as they have been copied and reposted now at sites all over the web and are well indexed by search engines- whether the links exist or not on JUOT will not do anything to remove the actual content from these sites.
I am a reasonable guy but I do not give in to attempts at extortion. When I find a post by Big Al with the names of my mother, sister, grandmother, and dead father I am not going to be in the mood to do a single damned thing to help him. I do not let anonymous internet trolls dictate the content of my site. If Big Al is so fond of free speech like he claims he needs to understand people always don’t say what we want them to say- it’s easy to say you’re for free speech when everyone agrees with you. The real test is if you respect free speech when people do not post things you are fond of. People post things I’m not fond of of JUOT every day- that’s why I enjoy it.
You will see Big Al often refer to my medication and my disability- low blows obviously but Big Al will use anything he can to get his way. The truth is, yes, I am disabled. A long illness in 2009-2010 left me with severe neuropathy (called critical illness neuropathy) leaving me unable to walk. Worse, due to complications in the hospital I had 3 severe and extremely painful stage 4 (the worst stage) bedsores. Because of the incredible pain of these I had been on morphine in the hospital and was prescribed a strong pain killer when I got home. I do not like taking drugs and when the pain became bearable as my body healed I attempted to stop the pain killers completely but I was hit with very real withdrawal symptoms that made me miserable. My “body” (but not my mind) had become “addicted” to the drugs. So I did post on my forum about my clinical addiction to pain killers and the fact I was on a step-down plan to safely ween myself off the pain killers. After a few months I was able to stop taking pain killers completely and haven’t had any regular pain killers now in over 3 years. Big Al obviously reads my forum so he knows this- but like everything Big Al does- the truth is irrelevant- anything he can latch on to no matter how old, outdated, or completely untrue he does.
So that’s my side of the story- I give Big Al far more attention than he deserves already. He knows how to “push my buttons” so I just assume avoid direct confrontation. Nothing I can say can do a better job of showing the unhealthy obsession he has than his own posts in a thread like this – Delusional BirdOPrey5 AKA Joe. | The Rant Board – The Ultimate Free Speech Forum and this – What independent people say about BirdOPrey5, | The Rant Board – The Ultimate Free Speech Forum . Quotes taken out of context, some not even referring to me at all made over the course of a week- and I’m sure the threads will continue to grow.
I’m not going to open this thread up for discussion but if anyone has any serious questions feel free to PM me for additional info.