PriceRitePhoto: Shut Down
PriceRitePhoto is, at least for now, off the internet. I received another call this afternoon from the Ed Lopez, the alleged owner of PriceRitePhoto. Ed has said that hackers have taken his site down off the internet. I assume he has been subjected to denial of service attacks that may have been inspired in part by my post on my horrible treatment that I received at his camera store.
This Digg/Slashdot/Boing Boing/Meta Filter, etc., etc., etc. experience has been an interesting one. When used for good I think it shows that the consumer today has an incredible amount of power — particularly when a bad experience strikes a chord with a number of others out there.
It is important to reflect on this experience though and make sure that we think about our reaction to PriceRitePhoto. I’d like to re-emphasize that I do not condone illegal attacks against Mr. Lopez’s business. This includes denial of service attacks and crank phone calls and the like. While these tactics certainly hit PriceRitePhoto where it hurts the most, in their pocketbook, they are in fact illegal. We should strive to use the power of Digg and other online promotional avenues for good but we should respond through legitimate channels — these channels include filing complaints with the Attorney General, contacting the BBB, contacting the Media, blogging it, Digging it, etc. etc. In my opinion we should be careful about not letting an online lynch mob mentality take over and allow us to resort to illegal tactics.
Although my story is very much true, and I think when stories get this big there is typically corroboration from other users one way or the other, it is also important for us all to think about the fact that social networking tools can in fact be misused. We need to be responsible with this power and I think part of being responsible is restricting our response to legal channels.