Wednesday, November 21, 2007

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:
Remember that although using fake names is a violation of the Facebook Terms of Use, people are not always who they say they are. You should always be careful when sending friend requests to, or accepting friend requests from people you do not know in the real world. And it is always risky to meet anyone in person whom you don't know through real world friends.
Tlusty wasn't careful. He still isn't, apparently:

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.



At 11:08 a.m., November 21, 2007, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Good post, James. I am now deleting you from my friend's list. :)

At 11:10 a.m., November 21, 2007, Blogger McLea said...

This Zack Teperman is a flake. Everybody knows that Loxy (of Rob Schremp facebook pics fame) is the original hockey player voyeur.

At 1:09 p.m., November 21, 2007, Blogger Adam C said...

Interestingly, while we can see from Tlusty's account that he is "friends" with Comrie, Comrie has been careful enough to keep his own "friends" list private.

I can't imagine being a celebrity and putting anything as personal as even a list of friends on a public web site (in fact, my list is already private). Maybe, though, Tlusty didn't realize that he was one...

At 1:11 p.m., November 21, 2007, Blogger FAUXRUMORS 2 said...

1) Saying Tlusty was targeted may be a bit harsh. A better/accutare/more to the point explanation might be he was stupid/naive

At 1:11 p.m., November 21, 2007, Anonymous junior said...

Here via Cox Bloc - great post, and I agree 100% that Zack ought to be at least as embarrassed as Jiri.

At 1:15 p.m., November 21, 2007, Anonymous PPP said...

No Faux, James' description seems to be accurate as it stands.

What a POS.

At 9:01 p.m., November 21, 2007, Blogger Daniel Robitaille said...

I suspect there are quite a few NHL hockey players on Facebook, some with a lot of "friends". But you never know if they are real players or fake ones. A look at the list of friends of someone I know on Facebook who is very much a hockey fan turns out these NHLers on Facebook:

Maxim Afinogenov 4937 friends
Chris Higgins 830 friends
Zach Parise 282 friends
Jordan Staal unknown number of friends
Jarret Stoll unknown number of friends

At 9:48 p.m., November 21, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tlusty made a bad decision, his actions naive and stupid. And he's owned up to that.
Teperman made a despicable decision, his motive to slander another person.


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