As anyone who reads my Mideast blog posts knows, I have strongly dovish views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In order to make my views and blog more widely known, I participate in several Mideast forums discussions. It appears that lots of right-wing, testosterone-inflated male egos lurk in the shadows of these forums. They like to surface to assault posters like me who in their intolerant, angry world view represent hateful, anti-Israeli views. You get lots of varieties of infantile abuse from them (like calling me “ickie” or “Ritchie”). You get some who ask you whether you’ve heard any bullets flying past your ear lately. And then one who visited the About Me page of this blog and stole my photo image in order to post it at the forum site as a form of intimidation. After this type of thing happens to you often enough, you steel yourself to not let it bother or intimidate. After all, that’s just what bullies like these want: to force you to contrain your free expression.
In case this ever happens to you (God, I hope not!), you don’t have many options short of asking forum moderators to police their boards better. But one response to the image theft (in which this thief actually posted my image linked directly to my blog server thereby stealing bandwith) could be to post a smart & snappy reply in the form of a file with the same exact name as the former image. This message would then appear in the forum thread in place of the image.
The problem with this is that these guys, who seem to have plenty of time to engage in this type of mischief, would return to the site & look for the photo image’s new name and start their shenanigans all over again.
I’ve submitted a Help ticket asking Typepad to consider disallowing external linking to individual images on the TP server. This would allow much better control of one’s images and prevent their ‘theft’ by wrongdoers. But frankly, I don’t think Typepad is yet paying enough attention to the ways in which Typepad bloggers and their sites can be and are abused.