Will the Internet Bite You in the Ass?

      22 Comments on Will the Internet Bite You in the Ass?

Geez, I hope not.

It hasn’t bit me yet. *knocks wood*

Google me. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

See? Just boring storyboard blog stuff.

No drunken photos of me licking people’s faces, making obscene gestures or my leg draped around strange men.

No videos of me lip syncing to AC/DC, swilling beer or screaming curse words.

No sirree.

All that stuff is safely tucked away in photo albums and video tapes on my bookshelf.

Right where they should be.

That they are only on my bookshelf is one of the benefits of being an old fart. No camera phones and YouTube when I was in my twenties.

Thank friggin’ gawd.

Well now that I’ve opened myself up for my friends to post my dirty laundry on Facebook, I’ll get to the point.

What would happen if I Googled you?

Because you know, that’s what bosses do these days. And Human Resources people. And your co-workers.

Just something to think about.

I bring this up because of a little thing that happened to someone I know. He’s a storyboard artist too.

We’ll call him Mr. X (because I’m so damn original).

Turns out Mr. X was the subject of a post on some fairly famous comic book artist’s blog recently. (At least I think he’s fairly famous. I’m not really up on my ‘famous comic book artists’.)

Anyway, Famous Comic Artist Guy found the online portfolio of Mr. X. And lo and behold, it had some of his old storyboard drawings on it. Apparently Famous Comic Artist Guy used to do storyboards too.

So he called out Mr. X in his post and people left all sorts of nasty comments about Mr. X because he was passing off this guy’s work as his own.

On the Internet.

Pretty dumb, huh?

Lesson One: Don’t steal other people’s stuff and pass it off as your own. Ever. You’re a complete tool if you do.

Lesson Two: If you don’t mind being a tool and still want to steal someone else’s work and pass it off as your own…don’t post it on the friggin’ Internet! You will be found out. And you’ll be found out if you do it in the ‘real world’ too. Eventually. (Tool!)

But the story doesn’t end there.

Mr. X showed up in the comments to defend himself. He was a little high and mighty about things, but basically explained that this was all a horrible mistake and his “assistant” (possible translation: girlfriend) posted those up by mistake.

He had them as reference on his computer, files got lumped together, it got posted, bla bla bla. Long story short, he apologized to the guy on the phone and everything was cool.

I’m sure fans of Famous Comic Artist Guy still don’t quite believe Mr. X. Which is understandable. I doubt I’d believe him either.

If I didn’t know him.

But I do.

And I do believe it was a mistake. Why? Because despite some organizational issues, Mr. X is an exceptional storyboard artist. He has no possible reason to pass off someone else’s work as his own. He has a huge body of work and it just didn’t make sense.

So I believe it was mistake.


The damage is done.

Other comic book forums picked up the story and linked to it. That original post is still on Famous Comic Artist Guy’s blog.

And guess what happens when I Google Mr. X?


All that stuff will be there for a long time. He can’t really erase it. His name is kinda muddy and tarnished. His trust factor is way down.

Because of one stupid mistake.

Lesson Three: Do your portfolio site yourself or check and double check everything before your site goes live. Mistakes like that last a long time on the Internet.

Don’t trust your Internet presence with anyone else.

Especially assistant/intern-girlfriend/boyfriends. : )

Now go Google yourself and report back.

Read the Storyboard Blog by RSS Feed or by email in case I do ever decide to post pictures of me licking someone’s face.

22 thoughts on “Will the Internet Bite You in the Ass?

  1. Ivan

    Dude, that sucks. Anyways, I always wanted to leave the first comment on one of your blog. And I did πŸ™‚
    Sadly it’s the insomnia that keeps me awake at this hour.

  2. Level_Head

    An interesting variation is that the damage is done whether any of the original statements are true. The Internet being what it is, fabrications have no barrier to publishing.

    I’ve been extremely fortunate so far. I’ve been running a blog with a few hundred readers and a number of anonymous posters for most of a decade, and I’ve never had a situation go bad. But my own history is a bit odd; both the political left and the political right claim me as their own, in different forums. I’m happy to be able to say that the things I wrote on Compuserve and on BBSs nearly two decades ago I’m still pretty happy with now.

    Of course, some folks think I might be crazy… πŸ˜‰

    Writing something on a blog or forum that is flameworthy, or posting something inappropriate — that IS crazy. Sometimes I see people posting comments and wonder what their kids or grandkids will think about the writing, years hence.

    I did have one interesting experience in this regard. One time I discovered something embarrassing — not for me, but for someone else. It became well known — but the next day, Google erased a quarter million links to me. So it depends on whose side you’re on, perhaps — the Internet can indeed be made to forget.

    ===|==============/ Level Head

  3. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    @ Ivan – Firsties for you! Now go get some sleep already. πŸ™‚

    @ Level_Head – Oooo…could it be Level-Head is part of the ‘old farts club’ too? Wee! I remember Compuserve, though I didn’t really use it.

    Get this: the first computer I ever worked on was an Amiga.

    I know what you mean about the comments. The anonymity of the Internet turns folks into cavemen. I worry for some kids today. They are growing up thinking that kind of crap is appropriate and normal. (OK, officially old if I’m talking like that!)

    Anyway, it’s good to hear things do get pushed into oblivion and ‘erased’ on the internet sometimes. Worked out for you.

    (And you know, “crazy” is a term of endearment πŸ˜‰ )

  4. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    @ Nathan – Whoa! Talk about a “tool”! I’ve seen those T-shirts too.

    So all you have to do is rip off other artists and make a bundle, huh? Why haven’t I thought of that?? πŸ˜‰

  5. Friar

    And THIS…is exactly why I DON’T give out my real name on my blog!


    “No drunken photos of me licking people’s faces, making obscene gestures or my leg draped around strange men.”


    …DAMN! πŸ™

  6. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    I think it’s more about the angry old folks in Splat Creek coming at you with pitch forks if you did. No?

    And to be clear…I *knew* the men. They were just…strange. πŸ˜‰

  7. Friar

    Yep….(especially that old fart, who came knocking on my door to give me hell!).

    Not to mention Big Brother at the Widget Factory. They don’t take kindly to anyone making fun of the Factory.

  8. Lorin Wood

    I can relate, only I was the victim (it takes two…I wasn’t thinking and the offending party was an idiot…see?).

    I was working as a previz animator on ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’ back at the end of ’07. Myself and a fellow animator were really not pleased about the direction that Gort the robot was taking design-wise (WHY they decided to remake the movie was beyond us, but hey…). So we took it upon ourselves to redesign him one day. I eventually passed the sketch along to my previz supervisor and eventually the vfx super, Mr. Okun. Both liked it and filed it away, for legal reasons. Fast-forward to the the middle of last year and My previz buddy IM’s me with a link to a one ainticoolnews.com. I pop it open and find a front page spread with my sketch and the headline “official concept art leaked.” I go into “oh sh@$ mode” and dive into damage control (Fox’s lawyers send hit-squads after people for less). Spend the weekend calling Harry Knowles asking him to put a disclaimer on the site that it was not official but my screwing around in my spare time (the problem was it went around the world in about an hour; all pointing right back to the AICN article.

    Turns out one of their gossip trawlers did a web search, found the movie title, my name and the sketch I stupidly posted before the film’s release thinking nothing of it, and put two and five together to get “D”.

    On the upside, everyone and their dog visited my portfolio which was wonderful publicity for yours truly.

    Would I do it again…in a heartbeat πŸ˜‰

  9. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    @ Friar – Yes, you and Brett watch your back. Big Widget Brother is watching! Be careful out there. πŸ˜‰

    @ Lorin – Thanks for sharing! Sounds like quite the heart-stopper. You don’t want the Fox hit squad coming after you. Are they worse than the Disney hit squad?

    And too funny that you’d do it again. Ha! πŸ™‚

  10. Lalena

    Well, I’m not too worried. Google my name and all you get is downhill mountain bike race results and Kyokushin karate results.


  11. Lorin Wood

    Well, as a matter of fact I also worked over at the Disney Studio lot before Fox; their wetworks team dress all in black and wear those novelty mouse ears. Kind of dichotomy. You’re laughing even as they place a pillow over your head.

  12. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    @ Lalena – But it was naked downhill mountain bike racing, right? πŸ˜‰

    @ Lorin – I think you have a cartoon in the making right there! πŸ™‚


  13. t.sterling

    Fortunately, typing my whole name “t. sterling watson” will bring you to my Behance Network profile where I publish my recent poetry, my MySpace space, and of course the Indoob! All these pages link to each other too. Yet Facebook gets left out, oh well. I also found a couple YouTube videos I forgot about, my friend posted my short film and me singing at a poetry show from a few years ago.

    Wherever I am on the Internet, I like to have a certain demeanor that’s like what my dad told me about leaving the house: Always looks presentable and respectable because you never know who you’ll meet. I don’t know what it says about me if someone sees that picture of me licking a can of Sprite.

    As for posting/publishing anything I didn’t create, I always give credit where credit is due, even if I don’t know the source (because I don’t want to get sued).

  14. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    Don’t forget breakfast foods!

    Sounds like you’ve got the right idea T. The way we conduct ourselves online should be how we conduct ourselves in real life.

    But lots of people don’t, unfortunately. Even if you operate anonymously, it doesn’t give you free reign to be a nasty jerk. My opinion of course.

    And I wouldn’t worry too much about licking a can of Sprite. It’s better than someone’s face! πŸ˜‰

  15. t.sterling

    …About that…

    Is there a picture of you licking someone’s face (or faces!?)? Please say yes and include a brief story just for a quick giggle.

    And I can’t wait to start working on my new Indoob design for my blog now that IHOP is in town.

  16. Karen J Lloyd Post author

    Yes. Yes there is.

    It’s a little habit I have (sometimes) that on the “count of 3” I’ll turn and lick the lucky individual I’m getting the picture taken with.

    Try it sometime. Lotsa laughs. πŸ˜‰
    (Woo hoo IHOP! Those are pretty darn scarce in these parts. Yummy.)

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