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Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Cop Watchdog Website Shut Down

posted by on March 12 at 11:40 AM

A new web service that lets users rate and comment on the uniformed police officers in their community is scrambling to restore service Tuesday, after hosting company GoDaddy unceremonious pulled-the-plug on the site in the wake of outrage from criticism-leery cops.

Visitors to on Tuesday were redirected to a GoDaddy page reading, “Oops!!!”, which urged the site owner to contact GoDaddy to find out why the company pulled the plug.

RateMyCop founder Gino Sesto says he was given no notice of the suspension. When he called GoDaddy, the company told him that he’d been shut down for “suspicious activity.”

Then the site went live on February 28th. It stores the names and, in some cases, badge numbers of over 140,000 cops in as many as 500 police departments, and allows users to post comments about police they’ve interacted with, and rate them. The site garnered media interest this week as cops around the country complained that they’d be put at risk if their names were on the internet.

A GoDaddy spokeswoman says the company can’t comment on the RateMyCop takedown due to its privacy policy.

The site hasn’t gone back up yet but if/when it does, I’d be interested to see if SPD is rateable. Did any of you Sloggers visit Ratemycop before it went down?

Via Wired

RSS icon Comments


Yes, the SPD was listed on that site.

Posted by packratt | March 12, 2008 11:48 AM

The site's back up now.

Posted by Roboti | March 12, 2008 11:57 AM

Everyone should be nice to cops, because someday each one of you will be a cop and you'll wish people were nicer to you.

Posted by Gabriel | March 12, 2008 12:10 PM

@2, you sure? Is there a new URL?

Posted by chicago | March 12, 2008 12:12 PM

Cops aren't public officials, they should be subject to official review by the community and their peers, but should expect a reasonable amount of personal privacy.

That site is basically Yelp, for cops. And like Yelp, the slight majority of it is bullshit.

Posted by Dougsf | March 12, 2008 12:17 PM

GoDaddy is evil. I suggest using GANDI instead for your domain registrations. They have spoken openly about how they would handle complaints without the knee-jerk reaction.

Posted by Phil m | March 12, 2008 12:22 PM

Doug@5 I haven't looked at either of those sites, but I dispute that only public officials should be subject to such public reviews. How is it any different from sites like Rate My Professor? We rate people in all walks of life on all variety of criteria. The web just makes it easier to gather a lot of those ratings from users and tabulate them.

Posted by Gabriel | March 12, 2008 12:23 PM
Posted by Phil M | March 12, 2008 12:24 PM

Rate My Professors is not the same for the simple reason that professors don't deal with the same kind of junk cops do. Cops have to enforce unpopular laws and positions, and tell people that they can't do whatever the fuck they want. Earning a D+ in a class because the tests are too hard is nowhere near the same as being arrested for beating your wife.

Posted by Marty | March 12, 2008 12:27 PM

Marty @ 9, did I suggest that the two domains were the same? No. That doesn't mean that a ratings systems for cops wouldn't be useful for citizens and possibly for the officers themselves too. If the system's being abused, that sucks, but it doesn't mean the idea is intrinsically bad.

Posted by Gabriel | March 12, 2008 12:33 PM

Seems they could put the site back up by using am overseas web server. There is a social network called that uses an off shore server. There are all sorts of ways to undermine police censorship.

Posted by Heather | March 12, 2008 12:36 PM

But what is the purpose of the site, really? Unlike other rating sites its not like you can then go choose which cop you want to pull you over based on how good a review they got. I mean, this is obviously intended as a forum where people can vent about cops.

Posted by Nat | March 12, 2008 12:53 PM

Wht don't they just use the badge numbers?

Posted by elswinger | March 12, 2008 1:09 PM

Surprised nobody else has said this yet - EVERY GoDaddy site was down yesterday. Last year, and again this year, on March 12th somebody or other did a DDOS attack on GoDaddy. According to that most reliable of sources, the Internet, the mystery attacker is mad about GoDaddy (an AZ-based company) not observing Daylight Savings Time.

Posted by hillside_hoyden | March 12, 2008 1:25 PM

click my name for the SPD link

Posted by RateMyCop SPD | March 12, 2008 2:30 PM

GoDaddy is run by a hoo-rah ex-Marine, pro-torture, pro-Vietnam War jingo. His previous company made financial and religious software.

Seriously..., with the GoDaddy Girls (aka ex-Playboy/SI models) looks like Sports with Brooks for domain names.

RateYourCop should take Parsons' Rule 12 to heart:

12. Never let anybody push you around.
In our society, with our laws and even playing field, you have just as much right to what you're doing as anyone else, provided that what you're doing is legal.

Oh, and Parsons' blog from April 2007:

There was some good that came out of the Vietnam conflict. Perhaps the best thing was that it established the importance of the Freedom of the Press and solidified our First Amendment rights.

Go fuckin figure.

Posted by K | March 12, 2008 3:47 PM

Public oversight should he be handled by civilian committees, not by some stupid website that rates cops. I'm all for policing the police, but I don't think some dumbass rating system or invasive website is the way to go about doing it. Is this what kind of culture we're becoming? One where everyone can be viewed and rated by the public? When does the vouyeurism and invasiveness stop? This is no less Orwellian than huge databases with personal information and ratings for average citizens. Would you want someone photographing you at your job and rating you on the internet or spilling your information all over the place.

Cops need oversight, but this isn't oversight. This is just typical internet bullshit. Why should I find these ratings/reviews credible to begin with? I consider myself a civil libertarian, but this is just dumbing down and killing the principles that civil libertarianism is based on.

Posted by Jay | March 12, 2008 4:32 PM

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