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Topix.com, Palo Alto, California Complaints & Reviews - Topix.com Commits fraud!

Topix.com Contacts & Informations

Topix.com

Posted:    Topix Sux

Topix.com Commits fraud!

Complaint Rating:  83 % with 40 votes
Contact information:
Topix.com
Palo Alto, California
United States
I worked with the management team for Palo Alto, California based Topix.com, and wanted to expose some business secrets this company uses to make money off of innocent people. Topix.com allows online users to post stories and topics in their local communities on its website.

However many users use the site to post hateful and defaming remarks about people and businesses, for the fact that the site is not moderated.

Chris Tolles, the company President & CEO, figured his company could make money by allowing users to post negative remarks about others, than charge the attacked entity to remove the remarks in a timely manner. It became a good source of income for Topix, allowing such unethical issues to be posted on their site. They allow the comments to stay on as long as they can, even after numerous complaints are filed to remove them by users who are attacked by others.

They recently removed the payment feature to charge to remove comments, unfortunately so many complaints are coming in, Topix can't handle the burden. The company still refuses to moderate the postings, which continue to fall into the category on internet defamation, in which Mr. Tolles and company are truly guilty of.

I left the company, after being asked to do other unethical practices by management, and felt I should share my issues with the world!

Topix.com

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 19th of Jun, 2010 by   Virginia Hoge +4 Votes
I totally agree. I have been conducting a 10 month investigation of Topix and what I have found out is horrifying. The managment is sponsoring gangs of trolls, plastering their advertising onto their comments, who are beating up commentators across the country. They are practicing censorship, and the persecution of their critics.

here are the articles I have written about my ongoing investigation:

http://open.salon.com/search.php?allwords=virginia+hoge

and also, daily I go onto Topix, and comment to call out the trolling problem, at great personal cost, follow me:

http://open.salon.com/search.php?allwords=virginia+hoge
 19th of Jun, 2010 by   Virginia Hoge +5 Votes
"They allow the comments to stay on as long as they can, even after numerous complaints are filed to remove them by users who are attacked by others."

AND they pay the trolls who are doing the attacking.

The also use Topix employees - like Selecia Jones - he organize bands of trolls and direct them to threads where they proceed to stick their fangs into commentators, to try and get more "hits".

AND they plaster advertising into the comment boxes of some of the worse bully-trolls.
 19th of Jun, 2010 by   Virginia Hoge +2 Votes
AND the censor critics of the trolling problem, after they have first attempted to persecute them off threads with their trolls, if the trolls so not work, they censor critics by shadow-banning them.
 19th of Jun, 2010 by   Virginia Hoge +4 Votes
AND a method of persecution of their critics is to allow the trolls to build Topix attack forums, naming their critic by name, on which the trolls will load the forum down with harsh, foul, profane slurs against their victim.

Here is one of the 20 Topix attack forums built by trolls to attack me:

http://www.topix.net/forum/chicago/T4H45RI3IAA2HVEEK

I have endured persecution like this throughout my Topix investigation.
 19th of Jun, 2010 by   treatotherswithrespect  Best Advice +5 Votes
I really appreciate the honesty of the person who posted this complaint. What is sad is Topix had a pretty good idea with a news page for cities and towns but the forum section is totally ridiculous and criminal. The forums allow criminal activity because libel is a criminal offense. They should be moderated with messages approved by a moderator. It is one thing to comment on true newsstories of the area but you should never be allowed to post anything about an average citizen and then slander his or her name. They not only allow that meaning tons of innocent people have their reputations destroyed, but they charge money to have it removed quickly.

I have seen tons of people trying to run an honest business get attacked because a customer has a problem with them. I have seen children get attacked and even in a few situations had their pictures posted on the site. Some of us are Christians and God is constantly attacked on that site, as our racial groups, etc. Quite often a law abiding citizen gets libeled as well because someone that has hatred in their heart wants to attack a good person or someone wants to spread lies to cost them their job, reputation or try to gain some kind of advantage in a legal dispute.

What is even more insane is newspaper companies like the Tribune, Gannett (USA Today is one of their papers) and the McClatchy Group are part owners. How can anyone take their publications seriously when apparently they have no problem with countless lies being posted. We should all pray Mr.Tolles who apparently doesn't care about the innocent being attacked. My question is how would he or anyone who works at Topix or one of the owners feel if lies were thrown out about their own families. That site should be moderated and you should have to register, that is what is called responsibility but apparently they could care less about being reputable.
 19th of Jun, 2010 by   treatotherswithrespect +4 Votes
Oh I meant to add something else. The sad thing is Mr.Tolles and company totally miss the boat. He might think by having unmoderated forums that he is going to get more "hits" on what is basically National Inquirer journalism but he is running off tons of people. With moderated forums you would have a reputatable website which would enhance his company and bring in those of us who are Christians or simply hate libel occuring to read news on the site. Instead people are being ran off left and right. Those that are on there to slander others are not there to buy the products of the sponsors who run ads I would venture to guess. Personally I would get rid of the forums altogether, but if not make them moderated with messages having to be approved and Ip's shown on the site. You would have a much better service and I would eliminate some of the smaller communities that seldom have news, they are the ones where libel is more likely to occur because people are bored. Those that care about news can look at the larger city sites.

Sadly something needs to be done about that company and more and more people are getting fed up with it.
 20th of Jun, 2010 by   Conned Musician +4 Votes
I have also had defaming and malicious comments made about me on Topix, and they waited weeks to take them down. It seriously effected my relationships with business!

It sounds like someone should start a class action suit against Mr. Tolles and his company! Ms. Hoge ... is such a suit in the works?
 20th of Jun, 2010 by   Virginia Hoge +1 Votes
That is a great idea Conned Musician, I do not know of one but would be very interested in participating!
 20th of Jun, 2010 by   Virginia Hoge +2 Votes
Also, I am using another profile on Topix since the trolls lifted my userpic and created a nasty profile with it.

Follow me on Topix, I am commenting now under Virginia Olive Hoge:

http://www.topix.net/member/profile/virginiaolivehoge
 20th of Jun, 2010 by   Virginia Hoge +3 Votes
treatotherswithrespect: You are dead-on in your comment and your observations.

Beautifully put.

"That site should be moderated and you should have to register, that is what is called responsibility but apparently they could care less about being reputable."

Yes!!
 21st of Jun, 2010 by   Virginia Hoge +2 Votes
"I left the company, after being asked to do other unethical practices by management, and felt I should share my issues with the world!"

I know that Topix is practicing unethical practices. Can you go into more detail about what you have learned?

The lack of moderation is a cover-up to their facilitation of the trolls, who they pay, organize and send out in organized packs on 'hot" threads to beat up commentators and make more "hits" for Topix. The fact that these trolls sometimes carry Topix's advertisers ads right in their comment boxes proves this, and well as what I have learned in my investigation.

The general attititude towards trolling - ignore them - has facilitated this master plan Topix has to not only use the trolls, but make them a central part of its income. Topix ban's opposition to the trolls, and also had the trolls beat-up on anyone who dares speak out.

The huge problem with this is trolls are harming millions of Americans across the country with harassment and vile slander and profanity and debasement, that is causing real psychological damage to hundreds and hundreds of people. Topix is ACCOUNTABLE for the serious harm they are promoting across the country.
 21st of Jun, 2010 by   Brarich +4 Votes
I am thrilled that more and more people are catching on to the horrible site called Topix. I made the mistake of thinking that Topix was a legitimate newssite. I was quickly appalled to learn that in most of the forums, particularly small town forums there was a serious lack of news but plenty of slander. I have seen people I personally know have their names dragged through the mud by some coward who doesn't even have the decency to post his or her name when libeling someone else. Libel is a crime and in a day and age where kids are committing suicide over cyberbullying, I had appalled this is allowed to go on. I let the Tribue Company, The Gannett Company, and the McClatchy Group know that I will no longer be supporting any paper they own, because they are owners in that vicious site.

I am also offended as a Christian by the countless postings against God in many of the forums. As someone who believes all races are created equal, I am also offended by the racial slurs allowed and attacks on children. Freedom of speech is much different than freedom of libel and if any of you don't know the different then that speaks volumes. Topix needs to be held accountable for what they purposely allow to happen on unmoderated forums. You are not a true newssite if your forums are unmoderated and people are allowed to simply post your name and say whatever they want. We need to let all of our politicans know and the people know that this company needs to be investigated and prosecuted for allowing criminal activity to occur. Those of us who are Christians, need to also pray for serious changes made on the Topix site. It is happening all over the country.
 24th of Jun, 2010 by   rpennycollector +4 Votes
Good grief, Topix LLC is the most evil company in this country. The site is not appropriate for children to look at it yet there is no moderation with the company meaning your kid can be libeled and Topix does not care. Anyone can have their reputation destroyed because Topix doesn't really have any rules. You don't have to register, your IP isn't posted, and you can say anything. Even if it does get deleted eventually, it is usually slow and if you want it faster you have to pay money to have something removed. Oh wait, that's if the powers that be decide they WANT to remove it. That's right, they can just take your twenty bucks if they choose. That is criminal.

There is a growing movement of people sick of how they are allowed to break the law and hopefully Topix and the companies that own them are going to get what is coming to them. There is no justification for a site that attacks people and isn't even moderated. Libel is not what was meant by freedom of speech and if anyone doesn't know the difference, that speaks volumes.
 28th of Jun, 2010 by   testing the waters +3 Votes
It's a disgusting site. Spend a half hour on it and you'll want to roll in soap. It's only a matter of time before this subject gets on Oprah. I believe TOPIX days are numbered.
 29th of Jun, 2010 by   Libelisillegal +3 Votes
One can only hope that "testing the waters" is correct. Freedom of speech does not mean you are allowed to libel people. That site allows anyone to go on and make up lies about private citizens that can destroy their lives.

If anyone supports this wicked site, my question is are you parents? Do you have no problem with someone going in and destroying your child's self esteem? Do you have no problem with someone going in and trying to destroy your own life?

That goes on every second on Topix and there are attacks on thousands of people throughout the country daily and there are attacks on God as well and they profit off of it. Cyberbulling is a huge problem in this country, with some children even committing suicide. Does anyone have a problem with the fact someday, if the right accusation was made that your own kid could take his or her own life? That is what this site is going to cause, if it hasn't already occurred. The media needs to wake up and report about this company.
 2nd of Jul, 2010 by   Virginia Hoge 0 Votes
so true, yes. The media needs to wake up, Tolles openly admits to wanting to "kill off" newspapers, they have to understand he is a real threat to everything they hold dear.
 3rd of Jul, 2010 by   Virginia Hoge 0 Votes
here is my latest investigative piece on Open Salon about Topix:

Let the cover-up begin! Topix denies my allegations. Updated

http://open.salon.com/blog/virginia888/2010/07/02/let_the_cover-up_begin_topix_denies_my_allegations#post_comments
 12th of Jul, 2010 by   perfectly imperfect +1 Votes
Topic needs to be deleted..I can't believe how people are allowed to to say whatever about whoever.
its nonsense!!
 8th of Sep, 2010 by   Disgusted Mother +2 Votes
This website is disgusting and allows all the spineless people of the world to hide behind the website...is it any wonder, teens are taking their own lives and being bullied to the point of "psych" disorders. I along with MANY others are pushing to put an end to this site. My attorney and I are working non stop to end this insanity!!!
 8th of Sep, 2010 by   Disgusted Mother +3 Votes
Topix is a "GENERIC" version of other sites that have too much pride and prestige to ever post such trash as Topix does. It is a worldwide epidemic that HATERS can"t stand to see others do good. My family is going through a horrible time right now due to jealousy of others. It is a shame that all these lies are able to be posted about anyone. It has to stop, my attorney is looking into our options. There will always be a small number of "LOSERS" that have nothing other to do than set at a computer and defame and criticize others while waiting for their government checks.

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