A few days ago, I posted something about a former head of the Michigan College Republicans by the name of Justin Zetkoff, who, in an attempt to hide some embarrassing details about his past, threatened me, and a bunch of other folks, saying that we’d be sued pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DCMA), if we didn’t immediately remove photos which he, in 2006, maintained showed evidence of a severe beating by strangers. (It was suggested that said attack was a hate crime, carried out by the young man’s liberal enemies, but the subsequent police investigation found that not to be the case.) Well, as you may recall, some readers of this site came forward and contributed artwork to replace the photo of Zatkoff which had been removed, and several others took to the internet spreading memes, and sharing the story in various venues. Well, it would appear that, over the past few days, Mr. Zetkoff, now a law student working for relative who happens to be a federal judge, has been having these items pulled down as quickly as they go up. He’s used the DCMA to have the meme images removed, and he’s been actively editing the various wiki pages that have sprouted up to document his past.
Soon after my article went up, the following was posted by a reader of this site to the Wikipedia page for the Streisand effect. (The Streisand effect is the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide or remove a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicizing the information more widely.)
He’s also done the same thing on ArborWiki.
And, yesterday, when a reader of this site by the name of Ken Boyd, posted a mosaic made from the photo in question, Zatkoff had that removed from the internet as well. Boyd, though, took it as a challenge, and responded with an entirely original piece of work, which you can see here.
And it will never be removed from the internet.
One last thing… I mentioned it in my original post, but I think it bears repeating…
…Being a bleeding heart liberal, I’m somewhat conflicted about this. Zatkoff was likely about 20 when this original incident took place. Vaguely remembering what life was like at that age, I can imagine that he was confused, upset and embarrassed when he got his ass kicked by a friend for being… to quote the Michigan Daily… “obnoxious” and “out of control.” I can easily imagine how someone in that situation might tell police, as Zatkoff did, that he didn’t know his attackers. I cannot begin to fathom, however, how he could allow the “hate crime” lie to spread across the internet, knowing full well that it wasn’t the case. While it’s unclear to me as to whether or not the idea to blame the attack on “liberal thugs” actually originated with Zatkoff, it’s obvious that he didn’t do anything to stop that narrative from spreading prior to the 2006 election. And I find that to be absolutely despicable. Not only were our limited police resources being diverted unnecessarily from other vital tasks, but the student members of BAMN, and others, had to experience the indignity of being investigated as suspects, and confront the very real threat of serving time in jail for a violent crime that they didn’t commit…