Anger Management: The Key to an Unpopular Mugshot

If you’re not famous and you’re not arrested for some sort of spectacular crime, chances are good that your mugshot won’t become fodder for a humorous mugshot collection. After all, FBI estimates suggest that more than 34,000 people are arrested each and every day. There’s no way that every mugshot could be popular or amusing or interesting. If you commit a little crime and your mugshot proceeds normally, you could be lost in the shuffle of time and buried under the images of people who have done much more spectacular things. This could all go to pieces, however, if you lose your temper when you’re arrested.

Some people who are arrested find the experience so humiliating and so upsetting that they simply seethe with anger. They may start to get angry when the police car shows up and bathes them in unflattering rays of red and blue, and by the time they’re asked to pose for a mugshot, they may have reached the breaking point of anger. Now, they’re ready to perform minor acts of civil disobedience in order to express their displeasure, and the camera is right there to capture the anger. Some of these people smile when they’re photographed. Others stick out their tongues. Some even refuse to cooperate at all, forcing police officers to hold up the person’s face as the shutter clicks.

Granted, when many people are arrested, they’re either drunk or under the influence of some kind of intoxicant. They’re not thinking clearly and behaving rationally. But some people just lose their tempers in the heat of the moment, and they believe that acting out is the best way to express their displeasure. Unfortunately, this is a technique that harms more than it helps. If your mugshot is funny or amusing, you can bet that it will appear in another place in no time at all, and removing that mugshot might be difficult, when there are hundreds of copies swirling through the internet.

An article in Mental News Today suggests that people who are angry should follow these steps to delay their responses and stay in control:

  1. Count to 10
  2. Visualize a relaxing experience
  3. Use words to express emotions, not gestures or faces
  4. Take slow and deep breaths

We also suggest that you focus on getting through the moment as quickly as possible, and then asking for help as soon as you’ve been released. We can remove your mugshot from all of the popular mugshot databases within minutes, ensuring that copies don’t appear on private blogs and in news collections. We can also monitor your online reputation, and notify you if new copies of your mugshot appear anywhere at all. Our solutions are effective, and we work quickly.

Mugshot Memes: Understanding the Damage They Can Cause

When the internet was in its infancy, words were key. Writers were asked to create long articles full of snappy quotes and interesting lists, all in the hopes of luring in readers and keeping their interest for hours at a time. Now, evidence suggests that the internet is becoming a gigantic repository for photographs and other images. That’s the only way to explain the popularity of websites like Pintrest, which has a reported 17.8 million unique viewers in a typical month with no real words at all.

It’s easy to see why images would be more popular than words. An image can be snapped up and understood in mere minutes, after all, where a long article might take precious time to read and understand. However, there is one way in which the Internet is blending photographs and words, and it could have a devastating impact on your reputation if you’re arrested.

An internet meme begins with a striking image of some sort. The image could be interesting, in and of itself, or it could be a bland image that could have many different meanings all packed inside. Clever users then use websites like the Meme Generator to tack captions on the photograph, typically using one line above the image and one below. The resulting meme that combines the image and the text then could be shared via almost any media format at all.

Multiple mugshots have been turned into memes. One famous example involves an attractive woman who was arrested and looked rather lovely in her mugshot. The “attractive convict mom” meme has become so popular that the woman involved has been subject to a barrage of marriage proposals and email messages. On a strikingly different note, a man who looks positively frightening in his mugshot has been subject to an “angry” meme full of all sorts of comments that just aren’t printable here. Even famous people can be subject to a meme, as the football player Desmond Bryant discovered when his mugshot became a standard with-text meme, as well as a photo-manipulation meme.

An interesting article from the Berglund Center for Internet Studies suggests that memes can quickly spread a thought or an idea throughout the web, as they’re easy to produce and easy to understand. The experts here suggest that the more times a meme is shared, the more dangerous it can become as it will be viewed more frequently and alive for longer periods of time. Memes that are somehow universal, rather than being tied to one specific point in time, are also considered more dangerous, as they tend to be the types of images that persist for months or years on end.

The one saving grace of a mugshot meme is that the images aren’t typically attached to a specific person’s name. As a result, a mugshot that becomes a meme won’t necessarily be something that appears in a web search for a person’s name. However, it’s also easy to use Google to track a meme back to a specific person. By using Google’s image search tool, users can find duplicate copies of the images they use in their memes, and if they can find the website that hosted the original mugshot, they can likely find the name and address of the person in that image.

If your photo appears on a mugshot website, you could quickly become a victim of a meme. Your best solution? Removing the mugshot from the hosting site, and we can help. In just a few minutes, we can pull your photograph down, so it can’t be copied and used in any meme anywhere. Our work is guaranteed, and we work quickly.

Richland, South Carolina, Stops Publishing Mugshots, But You Still Could Be at Risk

The South Carolina Freedom of Information Act is designed to ensure that people can monitor the workings of governmental agencies by looking through all of the documents these agencies produce on a regular basis. Each time a person makes a request under this law, someone has to process that request and handle the issue properly, and obviously, this takes a significant amount of time and money to accomplish. Some clever counties have chosen to lighten their workload by posting all of their documents online on a regular basis. They’re sharing, but they’re not dealing with requests. Many sheriffs’ offices are sharing mugshots in this way, for example, but one county is choosing to buck the system.

In October of 2012, according to news reports, the authorities in Richland, South Carolina discovered that mugshot websites were copying photos from their website and they were using those photos to populate their own sites. These mugshot sites then attached fees to the mugshots, forcing people to pay a premium in order to remove their images from the mugshot sites. It’s all very clever, and it’s perfectly legal, but the authorities found this distasteful and they chose to stop publishing photos on their sites.

Some news outlets were quick to report that they could still obtain photographs if they’d like to do so, but they’d have to file a formal request for the photos. Even so, the decision should have made the mugshot industry a little less of a problem in Richland, South Carolina, as mugshot sites would have a little less data to work with.

On the surface, this tactic may have worked. SouthCarolinaMugshotsDatabase.com, for example, only contains photographs from Richland County that were taken in the early parts of October of 2012. Similarly, SouthCarolina.Arrests.org also only contains photographs from the early part of October, with no recent entries at all. On the surface, therefore, it might seem as though people in this county are safe. But there are some serious reasons to be concerned, as there is one notable exception to this rule.

Mugshots.com, one of the largest mugshot websites in the world, continues to publish the names of people who are arrested in Richland County, and those names are indexed to Google. There are no photographs associated with these entries, but the names still exist and they’re still easily found via a quick search for a person’s name. As a result, they can still do a significant amount of damage. Additionally, since news agencies are still publishing photographs of people who are arrested in the county, the site administrators still have access to some photos. They just have to go to news sites to get them, not to jail sites. As a result, some people arrested in the county still appear with their photos attached.

Since Mugshots.com is still publishing arrest information, and since that information is still easy to find via a Google search, we don’t think anyone who is arrested in the county can rest and relax due to this change in policy. The data is still out there, and it’s still damaging. You need to act now to get it removed, and we can help. In fact, we’re one of the only companies that can get photos removed from Mugshots.com, and we can even remove news articles pertaining to your arrest.

Federal Mugshots and the Freedom of Information Act: Reporters Take on Eric Holder

In most cases, mugshot websites focus on images snapped in state facilities by local law enforcement officials. The images are often sorted by county, which makes browsing for arrested friends and neighbors just a little easier, and they’re often accessed directly from the websites of these local law enforcement officials. If reporters have their way, however, these sites could soon be populated with images of people who have been arrested by federal agents.

Much of this issue came to light in 2011, when a man asked Federal Marshalls for a copy of a mugshot of the owner of an investment firm. His request for that photo was denied, and the issue worked all the way up to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, according to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. Here, the experts found that mugshots were a “unique and powerful type of photograph that raises personal privacy interest distinct from normal photographs,” and that releasing the photos wouldn’t serve in the public’s interests.

Many reporters seized on this information, and they began agitating for change. Some law experts also jumped on the bandwagon, wondering what kinds of information the U.S. Marshals would have to obtain that would merit public scrutiny. In an article about the issue, one lawyer suggests that salary information or residence information might be more useful than a photograph. It was an interesting, academic time for mugshots, to be sure.

At the same time, the government seemed to be moving in the opposite direction of lawyers and reporters, and they were tightening restrictions yet more on what photos would and would not be released. In fact, in December of 2012, Gerald M. Auerbach, General Counsel for the U.S. Department of Justice, released a statement saying that mugshots would no longer be released to the public on a routine basis. Instead, they would only be released when a legitimate law-enforcement-related purpose could be identified. It’s likely that few photos would meet these stringent standards, as most people arrested by U.S. Marshals are still in custody or their whereabouts are known. Releasing their photos doesn’t help to solve a crime or compensate a victim. It just serves to pique curiosity.

This move doesn’t sit well with reporters, and they’re taking to the airwaves to fight for the ability to see the mugshots of people who are arrested. According to the Columbia Journalism Review, some reporters are sending letters to the Justice Department, asking for some sort of change in policy. Others are just writing blog entries about the issue and trying to drum up public support.

It’s unclear if this is a tactic that will work. After all, the Justice Department isn’t likely to be swayed by the wants and needs of a few reporters when there are plenty of other pressing issues that should be dealt with right now that concern life and death. However, this issue is sparking a discussion about the intersection of open government and privacy rights. Do journalists have the ability to ruin reputations because they’d like to do so, or does the government have the responsibility to release all records to prove it is doing the work properly? People who are arrested are the pawns in this game, and it’s unclear how it will all turn out.

At this point, we’re encouraging everyone who has been arrested, no matter where that arrest took place, to search for mugshots online. If the laws change, federal mugshots could flood the marketplace and once they’re available, it’s hard to stem the tide. If you spot your mugshot on a search like this, visit us at www.mugshotremovalcompany.com for a customized solution. We can help. 

Teen Posts Principal’s Mugshot, Gets Arrested

A high school principal in Georgia was arrested in March of 2013 for missing a court date that related to a speeding ticket. It’s a minor offense, but it is something that could end up in an arrest, and an arrest typically ends with a mugshot. That photo quickly showed up on a variety of databases, both locally and nationally, and an enterprising young student stumbled across the image and decided to share it on Instagram, along with the suggestion that the principal had been arrested for driving under the influence.

All of this is public knowledge, and it’s been reported on the Daily News and on the Huffington Post. But what happened as a result of this little incident intrigues us as reputation management experts. In fact, we might argue that this whole incident could have been avoided with a little proactive planning on behalf of the arrested principal.

When the principal got wind of the mugshot on Instagram, she called the student into her office and allegedly asked the local police officer to arrest the boy. It’s hard to know exactly what happened in this closed-door conversation, but it’s likely things were said that weren’t really pleasant or conducive to a healthy relationship. The boy wasn’t arrested, but he was given a 4-day suspension, and he seems to have used his time productively. He’s given several interviews on the incident, and he’s come out quite well in these talks, seeming like a young man who made a mistake and who was harshly punished.

The principal, on the other hand, now has a much larger issue to deal with. Instead of having one copy of a mugshot available on specific websites devoted to such photos, there are hundreds of news articles about the problem, and they all contain her real name and the name of the city in which she lives. Many of these stories also contain original images of the mugshot.

As most loyal readers of this blog know, newspaper editors can be remarkably reluctant to retract news articles they’ve published, as they believe that removing the articles means somehow removing history. Editors can also be remarkably resistant to the idea that their work causes harm, and they often provide no real avenue people can follow to remove those photos. As a result, this principal might be forced to deal with this negative coverage for a long, long time and her name might be besmirched as a result.

The solution to this problem is simple: When people are arrested, they need to act quickly to get the mugshots taken down. The longer the photos stay in place, the more likely they are to be shared via social media. It doesn’t matter if the arrest was for a small infraction, and it doesn’t matter if the charges are under dispute and might be dropped. People need to get those photos down now, so they won’t be shared. And if the photos are shared, the issue should be dealt with in a sensitive, confidential manner that doesn’t provoke news coverage. Overreacting, in this case, could lead to yet more reputation damage.

If you’ve seen your mugshot online, and if you’ve already been targeted by news agencies due to your mugshot, we can help. Our talented programmers can pull your photo down, and we can work to unpublish articles about your arrest.

What to Do When You find Your Mugshot On The Internet

At MugshotRemovalCompany.com we specialize in helping people remove mugshot records and harmful information from the Internet.

mugshot off Internet

 

In the early part of May of 2013, a young woman with tantalizingly long hair and a low-cut top was arrested for criminal trespass. In a formal press release from the police department, only a few sketchy details about the arrest are available. Here, it seems as though the woman may have entered a place where she wasn’t wanted, and her appearance may have violated a warning, and she was charged with a Class B Misdemeanor as a result.

 

There’s very little to be amused about here, as this sounds like a routine, low-level issue between two people that is being investigated by the police. However, a Denver newspaper chose to poke relentless fun of this woman in a remarkable 290-word entry that’s full of mean-spirited, spiteful language.

 

 

 

Here, the writer suggests that the woman:

  • May not be wearing a shirt
  • Is a stalker
  • Has “devilish intensity and a will to get things done”
  • Should not “be messed with”

 

It’s likely that the writer is attempting to be amusing here, but the piece really is an amazing attack on the woman’s character. After reading this short story, it’s easy to assume that the woman is mentally unbalanced, perhaps dangerous, and that she’s certainly guilty of the crimes of which she’s accused.

Unfortunately, this kind of attack is far from uncommon. In fact, according to Wikipedia, there are more than 50 newspapers in the Denver area alone (just to stick to the same geographical are in which this blog entry was published), and many of these newspapers also run blogs about the day’s crimes. Many of these blogs also utilize mugshots, or they’re based on mugshots that have been taken in the area.

It’s likely that almost any mugshot blog will contain a snarky tone and a suggestion of guilt. In fact, according to a study in the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, sarcastic tones are considered ideal for blogs, and most blogs also allow for the defamation of character and the wild supposition of facts. Given that this is how blogs are designed to be written, it’s not surprising that mugshot blogs would use this tone. The writers likely just thought they were doing their jobs properly.

This should be distressing to everyone who monitors the mugshot industry, as much of the legislation currently working through states on this issue contains specific protections for news media outlets. For example, Georgia law HB 150 allows news media outlets to utilize mugshots at will, with no restrictions whatsoever. This law is only designed to tamp down on mugshot sites that charge a fee for photo removal. As a result, people who are attacked in the blogs of reputable newspapers might not have any way in which to fight back on their own.

Thankfully, we can help. Our team of programmers, writers and legal experts can get damaging blog entries like this removed with lightening speed, and we can also create a buffer of positive information that could protect you against future reputation attack. We can also remove mugshots within minutes, ensuring that they won’t arouse the interest of blog writers working on a deadline.

12 Ways You Can Get Tagged on Arrests.org

Buried deep within the DNA of almost every human being is the need to humiliate and poke fun at other people. Often, we find it funny to do so. In fact, according to research published in the journal Humor, both men and women appreciate humiliation-based humor, in which one person’s plight is exploited for the amusement of others. It’s a little disturbing, but it’s a theory the developers of Arrests.org seem to understand very well. Here, people can directly participate in the humiliation of others by “tagging” their photos with a variety of nasty little phrases. Photos that are tagged seem just funnier, and they’re more apt to be highlighted on the site and found just a little easier as a result.

Here are the 12 tags that could plague your photo if you’re arrested and your photo appears on Arrests.org:

  1. Beat Up: Reserved for people who sport visible wounds on their faces.
  2. Celebrity: Local, national or international figures merit this tag.
  3. Handicap: Any kind of physical assistance device that appears in a photograph, from a walker to an inhaler to a hearing aid, could attract this tag.
  4. Grills: Strange teeth, or no teeth at all, could get you this tag.
  5. Hair: Long, tangled, colored or missing hair could draw the attention of this tag.
  6. Hunks: Physically attractive men often get tagged with this label.
  7. Hotties: Not surprisingly, physically attractive women get this label.
  8. Scary: Frowning, yelling, gesturing, glaring or some other kind of menacing behavior during a mugshot could cause you to obtain this label.
  9. Tatted Up: Tattoos that are visible in a mugshot merit this label.
  10. Transgender: Feminine-seeming males or masculine-seeming females tend to get smacked with this tag.
  11. Wino: People who are arrested for public intoxication, and who seem a little inebriated in their mugshot photographs, are often tagged in this way.
  12. WTF: This nasty little tag is reserved for people who seem somehow unusual in their photographs, either due to their expressions or due to their physical characteristics.

Getting tagged in a photo could be devastating to your reputation, as it’s all too easy for humor artists to scour Arrests.org and click on the tags to find the photos others have thought were amusing. Moments after you’re tagged, your photo could spread like wildfire through the internet. In addition, getting tagged might mean allowing your photo to appear in front of people you might meet later in life. According to a study in the Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, having a distinctive face that gets you tagged also means having a face people just don’t forget. People may not remember where they’ve seen you before, but they may remember that it was somewhere unseemly. You could miss out on jobs, relationships, apartments and more, all due to a tag some wisecracker chose to put on your photograph.

If you’ve been arrested and your photograph appears on Arrests.org, you need to do something now. We can help. Our programmers can remove photos and arrest information in mere minutes. In fact, we offer one of the fastest removal options in the marketplace today. Feel free to contact us for removal of your arrests.org record.

How Your Mugshot Could Spread Across the Internet

As reputation management experts, we often tell our clients that they need to take action immediately when they see their mugshots online. In fact, we believe so strongly in an immediate response that we’ve designed an entire suite of solutions that can remove a mugshot the very same day. In some cases, we can remove mugshots immediately. Often, however, we encounter clients who want to “wait and see” if their photos will disappear before they choose to do something about the problem. While we understand, we also know just how dangerous watchful waiting is when it comes to mugshots. In fact, it could be the worst decision a person could make. Perhaps this example will make the dangers all too clear and spur people to take the appropriate action.

In June of 2007, according to The Smoking Gun, the same woman was arrested twice and she was crying openly in both mugshots. This isn’t a run-of-the-mill crying jag that leaves behind a few tear trails and a couple added frown lines, either. These are photos of a tear-streaked face with a gaping open mouth. There’s no question that this is a person who is unhappy about her arrests. One photo, in particular, makes the woman look just miserable. Some people found this photo pretty darn funny, and as a result, they started sharing it.

Tumblr users may have started the problem by copying the photo from The Smoking Gun and putting it on their own websites. Bloggers did the same. Even entertainment sites copied the photograph and used the image under headings like “Unhappiest Mugshots.”

Most chillingly, some mugshot websites and so-called “background check” sites started using this photo in their banner advertisements. This means that people just randomly searching the web could see this crying woman both at the top and the side of the websites they’re reading. We’ve seen this photograph hundreds of times, for example, and each time we see it, we cringe.

Once a mugshot spreads this far and wide, it’s hard to undo the damage. The photo has likely been shared and re-shared and shared again by hundreds and hundreds of people, and each person might claim that the photo is part of the public domain and can stay in place, no matter what the crying woman might say. Even going to court might not help, as the Neiman Journalism Lab suggests that mugshot ads aren’t really breaking the law unless the images somehow suggest that the person shown endorses the advertisement. This woman clearly isn’t endorsing anything, so a lawsuit to get her photo removed from the ad might fail as well.

As this little story makes all too clear, time is of the essence when it comes to mugshot websites. By getting your photo down now, you’re reducing the likelihood that someone will share it, copy it, repost it or use it to promote another company. After all, people can’t grab things that just aren’t there. Visit www.internetreputation.com to find out more.

 

Salt Lake City Council Fights Back Against the Mugshot Industry

People who know little to nothing about Utah may think it's a pristine state full of devout people who might never challenge authority, cause a fuss or break the law. Based on the research we've conducted over the last few days, these people would be wrong on almost every single count, and the ways in which Utah is unique could be incredibly damaging to the mugshot industry.

First up is the issue of crime. Even though many people in Utah really are devout, law-abiding citizens, crimes do take place from time to time within the state. In the first six months of 2012, for example, 59,303 arrests took place, according to the Department of Public Safety. This represents an increase from the year prior. Burglary and larceny seem to be the two most common crimes committed within the borders of the state, but there are times in which people do really terrible things, and there's quite a bit of public interest in these crimes and the people who commit them.

For example, in April of 2013, a Salt Lake City doctor was arrested and charged with murder. Nearly 2 years prior, this man's ex-wife was found in an overflowing bathtub, and the speculation about who committed the crime and why was fodder for many late-night discussions and who-done-it news articles. An arrest like this is big news.

When people are arrested in Utah, they're photographed as part of the booking process, and those photos are considered part of the public record for the state. Reporters who wanted to cover the arrest of the doctor in Salt Lake could walk down to the Sheriff's office, fill out a form and obtain a copy of the photo they could run alongside their story. A mugshot website administrator could do the same, but that's not typically how these sites work.

A mugshot website relies on a vast amount of data, and many people who get swept up in the net have done nothing at all, and might not be of interest to anyone at all. They might be falsely accused of a crime they didn't commit. They might be guilty of an uninteresting crime like failure to appear in court. The mugshot site administrators don't really care about all this. What they'd like is a large number of photographs, so they can populate a site with those photos and allow people to pull out and comment on the photos they find funny or interesting. Volume is key, and the Salt Lake City Council is blocking this kind of volume.

According to an article in The Salt Lake Tribune, the founder of one mugshot website asked the Salt Lake City Sheriff for all of the 1,388 mugshots taken during a specific time period in January. The Sheriff denied the request, and the Council backed that decision. In essence, the Council told the mugshot administrator that case-by-case requests could be honored when they were performed in writing via the proper channels, but there was no obligation for the group to comply with bulk requests.

If the state continues to uphold this policy, it could mean that mugshot websites would stop showing photographs of people who are arrested in Salt Lake City. After all, few mugshot administrators have the time or the energy to submit paper-based requests for mugshots on a daily basis. They might just look for other cities in which to do business. But, it might not be surprising if mugshot websites appealed this decision to a higher authority. Their livelihood is at stake, after all, and they might choose to fight back in court in order to get the photos they want.

This is an issue we’ll be following closely, but in the interim, we encourage diligence. If you've been arrested, don't rely on city councils to protect you. Hire an expert to help you remove those photos for good. We can provide you with fast, effective and guaranteed mugshot removals, at prices that are lower than those you might expect. Visit www.internetreputation.com to find out more.

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