Feeds

Feds arrest man who juiced Google's 'just be evil' search

Comeuppance for foul-mouthed bully

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Federal authorities on Monday arrested a website operator accused of selling counterfeit eyeglasses who subjected customers to foul-mouthed tirades when they complained about the quality of the goods.

“GO FUCK YOURSELF COCKSUCKER ... I pee on your negative [comments]” Vitaly Borker, 34, of Brooklyn, New York, allegedly wrote in an October 27 email to one customer. He went on to claim he'd direct an assistant to “crush” the man's glasses and then “take the pieces of what is left of his glasses and use the label he sent to ship the powder back to him.”

Borker's brusque email-side manner was documented in late November by The New York Times, which claimed that the vast number of consumer complaints caused his DecorMyEyes.com website to boost sales thanks to the resulting boost in its Google ranking. In other words, the nastier he got, the more prominent his site became.

“I’ve exploited this opportunity because it works,” Borker was quoted as telling The NYT. “No matter where they post their negative comments, it helps my return on investment. So I decided, why not use that negativity to my advantage?”

Authorities who arrested Borker and searched his home allegedly found “several firearms and ammunition,” according to prosecutors. He has been charged with one count each of cyberstalking, making interstate threats, mail fraud and wire fraud. He is expected to be arraigned soon.

Google responded to the episode by announcing changes to its search algorithm that, in effect stops rewarding people for being evil. Google didn't disclose much about the fix other than to say engineers “developed an algorithmic solution which detects the merchant from the Times article along with hundreds of other merchants that, in our opinion, provide an extremely poor user experience."

A PDF of the criminal complaint charging Borker is here. ®

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...
FYI this isn't just going to target Windows, Linux and OS X fans
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
'Regin': The 'New Stuxnet' spook-grade SOFTWARE WEAPON described
'A degree of technical competence rarely seen'
Astro-boffins start opening universe simulation data
Got a supercomputer? Want to simulate a universe? Here you go
prev story

Whitepapers

Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.