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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A bad turn

For a while now, we've surfed with amusement over to pdxmugshots.com, the website that displays the latest mug shots of some of the ne'er-do-wells arrested in Portland and vicinity. We wondered for a while how the anonymous author of the site kept it going, and figured that eventually he or she would pay for it with advertising revenue.

But alas, it's more sinister than that. Last night as we clicked on the photo of one poor soul apprehended in a suburb, we found a link below the picture: "Click Here To Remove This Mugshot from PDXmugshots.com." And upon clicking, we were brought to a page bearing this message:

Guilty as Charged?

If you were convicted, or pleaded guilty/no contest to the charges and/or plea bargained lesser charges/diversion/etc, we do charge a removal fee of $29.00 USD per instance of removal. This includes removal from PDXmugshots.com, as well as PDXmugshot.com in various search engine results*.

Removal does not cover re-booking for NEW charges**. If you are arrested on new charges a week, a day, or even an hour after we remove you, you will need to pay the fee again.

PDXmugshots.com is NOT associated with any other site that publishes mugshots. If you find another site making this claim, please notify us immediately.

Click here to pay $29 for removal from PDXmugshots.com

* We do not control 3rd party search engines. It can take up to 3 weeks for Google/Yahoo/Bing/Etc's cache of pdxmugshots.com pages to be removed, though it generally happens in 48 hours.

** If you are on some sort of program where you are serving blocks of time, say on the weekends, or on some sort of work release, AND you have paid the removal fee, please email webmaster@pdxmugshots.com and notify us whenever you are released, as we will have record of your payment and will simply remove you with no hassle.

Wow. That's just sleazy -- an abuse of both public records laws and the power of the internet. We'll be heading over there a lot less frequently from here on out.

Comments (7)

Slimy yes, but it's all about the money is it not?

Blackmail is more like the word, but American as apple pie.


a "whoIs" search leads to GoDaddy.com as the host server, witha registration of "Registrants by Proxy", which is a Go daddy subsidiary. So no individual name can be linked directly to the cite. I didn't look, but just by their name I sort of doubt that Registrations by Proxy is going to tell me who the actual individual or corporate registrant is.

Unlike you Jack, I don't see any thing which indicates any abuse of the public records act. Its a private site, and they can put up or take down what they want when they want for whatever fee they can get away with.

Like you and al m., I think its slimy and sleazy, but that isn't actionable.

It would be a more interesting issue if the individual behind it was a Multnomah County Jail, or other, employee.

I think I'll do a little more looking around.

Hi Jack,

You did neglect to mention that I clearly state on the very same page that I will happily remove anyone who had the charges dismissed/acquitted, etc. All it takes is a polite email to me and after a little research and down it goes. That has always been my policy. That will never change.

I implemented the charge for removal mode less than two weeks ago, and only AFTER 6 months of receiving countless removal requests from people who were less than honest. Now they can lie to me all day, and in the end, if they pay the fee, their picture will be removed.

Meanwhile, those who legitimately got the short end of the stick are never charged. I think it is a fair trade off - Those who screwed up pay for it. Those who didn't, don't.

My decision, upon which I heavily weighed the ethical implications, really came down to this:
If I removed the site now, another one would quickly take it's place and that person may not give two craps about those who were found innocent. The "If not me/someone else" reasoning might be the shallowest kind of moral justification there is, but it is absolutely apt in this case.

Abuse of public records? I'm not sure if it is any more abusive than Busted or for that matter, any publication which harvests and publishes most of the same exact info.

- Barry

It's a sleazy, slimy, worthless endeavor--so of *course* it has to look for ways to make money. It's the Google CEO point of view: everything's public, no human has a right to dignity, and if you want a private life you should just "be good".

Pray you never make a mistake, folks--people like this are looking to profit from it.

Anyone remember the dude circa 1994 who got the whole Oregon DMV records, legally, and put them all online, allowing you to search for, e.g., women who are 5'7" weight 110 lbs, blonde hair, and own a corvette.

He got raked through the coals on local/national media, and the site was shut down. And the DMV changed (?) its policies.

You can always go here


to see who has been booked into the Multnomah County Correction system. You can even search by name or leave it blank for a complete list.

I love this site. Only two things I'd like: to find my way around easier on some of the sites and that all different counties & cities had the in-depth info, such as Lane & Multnomah counties.
As for being intrusive, its definitely that, but not against any laws. Moral or righteous judgments don't belong here, so if it offends you, get off it and don't come back. Sorry folks, but its true.
As the man says-at least he gives everybody the same break, and it appears he is concerned with what is published, enough so, that if proven, he'll remove the innocent for free. The crimes were committed by people who break man-written laws, many of which were made to generate extra income for various forms of our government. A little criminal intent there?
As for being anonymous-whats the real issue? And why is it an issue? Many sites have anonymous donors and authors, some are even protected by giving out false information about contributors. Yet, that doesn't stop us from visiting that site an keeping ourselves entertained.
Another semi-interesting thing: on one of the mugshots sites, you'll find my picture and name, with all sorts of information. That doesn't keep me from sharing PDXmugshots with all my friends, which aren't all criminals like me. I like to share the good, fun things in my life, and regardless of all else, that's what mugshots really is. There's lots of other things i could be doing instead, so you mite want to consider that mugshots keeps people from committing crimes, at least sometimes.
Mugshots, keep up the good work, and i truly hope that you have as much fun publishing your site as some of do when visiting. Thank you.
All others: keep an open mind and keep coming back, there must be something here that your wanting to find-i hope you do. Otherwise, have a great day.

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