Tlusty was targeted
The Jiri Tlusty photo business has already begun to fade out of the press, aside from a few well-played jibes, and that's a good thing. But from the beginning, and still now, there were a few details that didn't get a lot of ink.
Jiri Tlusty's first problem was that he has too many friends.
Facebook certainly played a role in all of the nonsense that went on, and it's not something that was explained in full. I don't have the energy to get into a prolonged description of how the site works, but I will say this much: I'm on Facebook, I have somewhere in the neighbourhood of 100 "friends" and I'm always careful whose invites I accept. I've been hanging around on dark corners of the 'net long enough to know that personal information, no matter how innocuous, isn't something you want in the hands of the unwashed masses.
Now, Facebook "friends" get all sorts of unfettered access and privileges that aren't otherwise available. If someone's not your "friend," they can't, say, dig through your photo album.
Even after all of the publicity he's received recently, Tlusty still has a thriving Facebook account, something you can view here (depending on your level of Peeping Tom-ness). We can't see a heckuva lot there because, well, we're not friends with Tlusty, nor have we asked to be. But we can see who his friends are, and how plentiful they are.
Jiri Tlusty has 1,065 friends.
Maybe he's just a friendly guy, or maybe his social circles run a lot larger than mine, but that's pretty impressive. He's got current teammates on there, members of the Marlies, other NHL players like Mike Comrie — and quite likely a ton of people he has no clue who they are.
Here's a pertinent blurb from the voluminous Facebook code of conduct:
Mr. Taylor is the fellow responsible for putting photos of Tlusty out there, beginning with a rather innocuous one of him with a pal in the Czech Republic, something that eventually roused enough of an odour to produce real dirt when a woman sent more photos to the offending site. (There were never any nude photos on Facebook.)
What's a gossip blogger doing on Tlusty's friend list? Well, he requested to be, was likely mistaken for a fan, and spent the coming weeks rooting through some benign party pictures. One offered the opportunity to throw out some homosexual references and, well, there you have it.
Taylor, whose real name is Zack Teperman, may have more players or celebrities on his extensive "friend" list, and may yet have more quality content as a result. I suppose we'll just have to stay tuned and see.
Tlusty was right when, in the aftermath of all this, he said it was his fault, but let's not sugarcoat what happened here, or lay all of the blame with the player. He clearly didn't know what he was up against — and given the look of his friend list, he still doesn't.