- Internet & the Web
How you can have a forum post or whole thread written about you removed from Topix, remove bad posts
Although originally created for spreading legitimate news, having intelligent debates and advertising community happenings, Topix.com has become somewhat of a venue foe gossips to post their latest findings to a mass audience. Much of the time, what is posted here is untrue and hurtful to the parties involved. This has shown to be especially true in small towns. If you or someone you care about is ever the victim of a Topix attack, you will want to know how to have these posts removed.
Please note that posts will most likely only be removed if the moderator of the website believes that these posts are harmful. If you believe that you are being threatened via the forum, contact your local law enforcement agency immediately. If you believe that your reputation is being destroyed (for example, you may be a business owner whose career is being flushed down the drain by libelous statements), you may go further and contact an attorney. Keep in mind that due to the First Amendment of the US Constitution, you cannot have a post removed solely because it expresses an opinion that differs from your own.
Since Topix runs on its own servers, it is highly unlikely that the average layperson will be able to trace the IP addresses of the posters. (I don’t mean that offensively, I myself am one of these people who wouldn’t have the faintest idea where to start.) Another thing that makes it even more unlikely that you will be able to track down who is posting about you is the fact that Topix does not require posters to register with a username, birth date and IP address. You simply type in an alias and post. You can change this on everything you post, if you like. Also, even though Topix will generate a random location in your area stating where you are based on the location of your internet service provider, simply resetting your router will generate a new location, making it seem as though more than one different person is doing the posting.
Also, don’t assume that you can walk into any police station and they will get their best investigators on the case to find out who is posting about you. Unless there is threat of serious physical harm being done, chances are slim, mostly due to the plethora of cases reported. It is popping up in the mainstream news more and more that the postings on Topix are destroying people’s personal relationships and sometimes, their whole lives. There are cases in the legal system between individuals/state governments vs. Topix. It is widely suggested that Topix require users to register before posting, making it much harder for posters to veil their identities. However, at present, there is currently only one way to have a post/thread removed from Topix.
If you are reading this article, this assumes that you already know how to access the Topix website. However, if you don’t… type www.topix.com and hit go in your address bar of your internet browser.
To access your town, click on “Change City” and enter the five digit zip code of the forum you wish to access.
Find the thread that contains the post that you intend to report so that it can be removed.
In the post that is offensive, you will see a link that says “Report Abuse.” Click this.
A form will come up. You will need to select “Report abuse in the forums.” in this case at the top. (It will usually already be pre-selected.)
It will have a field in which you are to enter the permalink, which will tell the Topix moderators exactly where the post is located. However, if you have clicked “Report Abuse” from inside the thread as instructed, then the link should already be entered. If for some reason it is not, there are instructions on this screen to assist you with obtaining the permalink, a fairly simple task.
Topix will go on to ask you for your name and phone number, but these are optional fields. You can leave them blank, if you wish. However, you will be required to provide an email address in case Topix wants to contact you further about the issue. You will also be ask to enter a reason why you want the post removed. I have done this on occasion myself, and have found that a simple “This post is libelous and destructive of character.” usually suffices. At the bottom you will be asked to enter a captcha (rewriting the characters that you see off to the side, to ensure that it is a real person posting and not a bot), and then click “Submit Feedback.”
My own personal experience with this is that although it says it usually takes up to 48-72 hours for Topix moderators to review and remove a post, it can be done in about 24. Also, I have noticed that when brought to the attention of the moderators, if a whole thread is libelous, vulgar, inappropriate, etc., then most of the time the whole thread is removed.
Hopefully, you will see action soon and these hurtful posts will be removed before you know it. However, you may want to stay on your toes and be on the look out for threads to somehow ressurect themselves. By that, I mean, if someone is spiteful enough to post a thread about you in the first place, they’re probably going to become even more spiteful when they notice that it’s been removed and will often start another one back up. Sad as it is, this is just the way it goes until Topix changes it’s Terms of Service to prevent such actions. Unless it is seriously affecting your personal or professional life, it may be best to keep your head high and brush it off. Once again, though, if you feel your personal safety is at stake, do not hesitate to contact the proper authorities.