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Rhymes with plunder

It’s so cute how the main page features a legal disclaimer.

I am not a member of Smoke and Thunder, much less a recently active one. I never asked to join and never gave permission to use my brand in that capacity. I find it odd that a site that tells us how much gun blogs suck feels the need to lie and use a gun blog’s brand without permission. I’m also fairly certain that Glock, Ruger and The American Rifleman aren’t really members either.

Update: Oops. Inadvertently used that title from Alan who used it in email who may want to use it later. So, it has been changed.

65 Responses to “Rhymes with plunder”

  1. North and the Gun Blog Black List Says:

    TTAG gun blog of the year?

    Is this is an attempt to list legitimate gun blogs as members to shore up numbers?

  2. SayUncle Says:

    That’s what it looks like to me. I imagine TTAG isn’t involved any more than I am.

  3. North and the Gun Blog Black List Says:

    They want to SELL user names? Yeah, wow. Looks like it is all about making money on the backs of the (hated) gun bloggers.

  4. Robb Allen Says:

    Nothing like a blog claiming they know their way around the interweb tubes better than anyone starting out by insulting other gun bloggers.

    I’m sure they’ll go real far.

  5. Ancient Woodsman Says:

    Be nice. To every thing there is a pupose.

    Students of Yeager, Severe, et alii need to go somewhere that they won’t get laughed off the internet, and attempting to seriously call themselves the Number One gun blog – while stealing association to & belittling others – is marketing precisely to that niche. I’m guessing that tactic is one of the “big boy rules” of gun blogging.

  6. Alan Says:

    Feel free to use Smoking Blunder, I wasn’t going to give them the publicity

  7. Caleb Says:

    I like that they’re all “we are t3h internets awesome” and their site design pretty much blows ass.

  8. ZerCool Says:

    Hm. Gun Blog of the Year 2012, in February ’12? That’s as awesome as B-O being nominated for a peace prize before he was in office.

  9. SayUncle Says:

    Well, Caleb, I see you’re ‘member’ too.

  10. Miguel Says:

    And they reserved some usernames for sale?

    Are you frigging kidding me?

    BTW, I registered. Find me and friend me under NotSarahBrady while it lasts.

  11. Laughingdog Says:

    I’m amazed you can see anything about you being members. It looks like virtually everything there beyond the basic posts about how awesome they are requires membership to view.

    The fact that the site basically makes the browser on my work machine freeze for minutes at a time is pretty sad though.

  12. Tango Says:

    lol the forum just redirects you to THR. That’s Oleg’s forum, ain’t it? Does he know they’re doing that?

  13. Disavowed With Honor Says:

    Maybe they should change their name to “Smoke and Mirrors”.

    DWH

  14. Freiheit Says:

    Tango – THR is no longer Olegs. Oleg is now gunrightsmedia.com . There was a bit of a spat over ownership last year.

  15. Tango Says:

    freiheit, thanks for the heads up!

  16. Caleb Says:

    Yeah, I just noticed I was a “member” so I sent them an email that asked them to remove that profile. I am really not a big fan of the “ambush profile” where an organization will create a user profile and then you can “claim it”.

  17. breda Says:

    @Caleb (& everyone else who has a “profile”)

    You won’t get anywhere by emailing them. I went round and round with them a couple of weeks ago, after I got an email from them informing me of their awesome new gun site. First I asked them not to use my photo, then they told me they’d just use one from Google images. Then I told them I didn’t want a false profile in my name and they replied with this:

    “Those who choose not to participate simply get a static profile, which is little more than a glorified link. The disclaimer “This profile created and maintained by Smokeandthunder.com” makes that abundantly clear. Nothing false or misleading whatsoever.”

    Then I screencapped them claiming I was one of their “recently active members” which I most certainly am NOT.

    So, yeah. I have a feeling this will end badly for them.

  18. Sigivald Says:

    “Let’s face it, most gun blogs aren’t very interactive and many are stuck in the stone-age when it comes to technology and social networking. It’s 2012 and the internet has been around for a while, yet I still see major gun blogs that offer their users little more than a basic text commenting system.”

    Well, yes. The problem there is that those “Smoke and Thunder” people appear to be New Media Douchebags who are under the impression that Everything Should Be Social Networks.

    Gun blogs are indeed not social networks.

    And nobody else wants them to be.

  19. FarmGirl Says:

    Caleb, Breda, Uncle, and anyone else who has a fake profile there that I could find an email address for, check your mail. You’ll find info to log into the site under an ID I created to look around out of curiosity. It is linked to it’s own gmail account now, login info of which is also in the email I sent you all.

    Do whatever you want to with the info, but if they’re using your image and name I figure you should at least be able to see what they’re doing with it.

  20. Caleb Says:

    Thanks for the heads up, Breda. If that’s how they want to play it, I don’t imagine they’re going to like how it turns out.

  21. SGB Says:

    I went in and looked around. It’s atrocious. They have failed miserably in their internet lawyer speak. They will have some ‘splaining to do since they persist in thinking they know the law.

  22. SPQR Says:

    Their conduct is a tort, that of appropriation of a person’s image for commercial purposes.

  23. Matthew Carberry Says:

    My first thought on seeing TTAG voted Best Blog by their staff is that this is just Farago doubling down on the stupid.

  24. mike w. Says:

    “Their conduct is a tort, that of appropriation of a person’s image for commercial purposes.”

    This. Talk about stepping in it from the get go. I suspect they won’t be around long.

    I can’t tell if I”m an “active member” and I’m not creating an account right now just to find out. What a bunch of douchebags. I’m not the least bit surprised they’ve got a hard-on for TTAG.

  25. FarmGirl Says:

    Mike, quick search of “Mike W” and “Another Gun Blog” didn’t turn anything up, so I’d say you’re not on there… yet.

  26. Aubrey Turner Says:

    On their front page (I guess it’s a blog of sorts), they claim that you were supposed to read their “claim profile” page: http://smokeandthunder.com/claim-profile/

    It gets better. If you read that page, they refer to people who don’t want their images used as “Cranky Bloggers” -> http://smokeandthunder.com/cranky-blogger/

    From Breda’s comment above, I can only imagine they are referring to her. Not very nice. Certainly not a good way to enter into the gun-o-sphere (as it were).

  27. Alan Says:

    I’m gonna need a LOT more popcorn for this one.

  28. ExurbanKevin Says:

    Nice to see the the former employees of Righthaven have found something occupy themselves.

    This is not going to end well for them.

  29. Alan Says:

    “We aim to bring a touch of class to the would of firearms…”

    Here’s a clue, classy people don’t have to tell you they’re classy and they don’t act like douchebags on the Internet.

  30. FarmGirl Says:

    yeah they’re classy as hell. Looks like they deleted the profile I made this morning… no notice, won’t send a password reset email, nada.

  31. chris Says:

    How dare they call Breda a blogger!

  32. breda Says:

    THANK you! Sheesh.

  33. Barron Barnett Says:

    I just did one blog post a little while ago, I think there might be a second tonight once I can get into this little trolls site.

    I’ve already found some bigger red flags on the site as I’ve been poking and prodding.

  34. comatus Says:

    False flag operation? Fast and furious blogwalking?
    Stakeholder. To a white oak tree, in Wilkesboro.

  35. Ted N Says:

    Those’re some classy guys!

  36. FarmGirl Says:

    correction: changed the password on the account, it’s back now.

  37. Bubblehead Les Says:

    WTF? How stupid do they think they are? Trying to take over the GunBlogging Community AND becoming a Gunnie Facebook by pissing off the Gun GunBlogging Community? And Stealing from other sites Private Property?

    These guys are Dumber than the Occupy Crowd, and that takes some doing!

  38. DirtCrashr Says:

    What is their “Activity Stream,” pissing in the wind? Isn’t Gun-Up already the People-of-the-Gun social media device? Can’t believe Oleg is really a part of this douchebaggery…

  39. Robb Allen Says:

    DirtCrashr, Oleg isn’t. From my understanding, he logged in to change the name of his icon / profile / whatever.

  40. milquetoast Says:

    “We aim to bring a touch of class to the would of firearms”

    Everyone knows speech impediments are classy.

    I notice the rollover for Oleg in the “recently active members” went from “Oleg Volk (inactive dummy account)” to just “Oleg Volk”. The cranky blogger link says the disclaimer “This profile created and maintained by Smokeandthunder.com” makes it abundantly clear who created a given profile but it looks like you have to be logged in to see the disclaimer – at least I didn’t see the disclaimer anywhere.

    So much drama for what is probably just some kid’s blog.

  41. Smoke & Thunder Admin Says:

    Bubblehead Les and many (but not all) others… Unfortuntely, knuckleheads like you failed to read the disclaimer “This profile created and maintained by Smoke & Thunder” on every profile that Smoke & Thunder generates, and also failed to read the policies concerning the use, transfer, or sale of certain usernames and who can claim them.

    Smoke & Thunder does not impersonate anyone or create “fake profiles”, much less mispresresent anyone as having created the profile themselves. The usernames of real people profiled on Smoke & Thunder ARE NOT FOR SALE. Furthermore, the profiles of real people can only be claimed by the actual verifiable person profiled. Only generic/iconic usernames like “@ammo” or “@50bmg” or “@revolver” are for sale.

    Several of the comments above are a sad commentary on many (but not all) of the personalities in the online gun “community”. Pissy, quick to judge, little or no understanding of what “fair use” is, and perhaps most importantly, little or no appeal to newbies and young people who are the furture of gun ownership.

    Barron… the THR link is only there until I pre-fill the forum with topics and content.

    Alan… I will bring the butter, Grade A. The “gun community” is so out of touch with the younger generation it’s ridiculous. It’s no wonder so many young people are ill-informed or turned off by firearms ownership.

    SGB and SPQR… the reposting of a copyrighted image for direct or indirect commerical gain can certainly fall within the fair use clause, depending on other significant factors. Yelp.com doesn’t delete a company’s profile info and picture (which is there for reference, research, criticism, praise, and disambiguation… and is therefore acceptable fair use) just because that company doesn’t like the reviews they are getting. Yelp.com is a billion dollar business because of this. **Nobody is immume from being profiled, spotlighted, reviewed, praised, or criticised** Please go back to armchair gun talk and stay away from armchair lawyering.

    Robb Allem… Can you see your hand when you wave it in front of your face? Smoke & Thunder is not a blog, it’s a social network above all else. My opinion is that many (but not all) gun blogs do more to damage the future of gun ownership than they do to encourage it. Take it or leave it. The average teenager or young adult non-gun owner is not interested in the average gun blog. Why should they be? Most of them are written for exclusively gun fanatics and other gun bloggers, with no regard and no appeal for newbies and young people.

    I just talked all of this over at length with Caleb and Oleg. They seem to understand “fair use” very well, in addition to the whole *anyone can be profiled, reviewed, praised, and criticized* thing. At least two people see the big picture. I’m not saying that they endorse me in any way, just that they have a clue about fair use and the value of review/reference websites.

    I’m a friend to the future of gun ownership, not an adversary. Please read my site before you go off half-cocked. Please do something, anything, to appeal to potential new gun owners and newbies. Talk to a teenager. Instill respect in them for firearms and for the older generation. If you won’t, I will.

  42. Alan Says:

    My, aren’t we grandiose.

  43. Breda Says:

    Holy crap, this is hilarious. :D

  44. Linoge Says:

    Instill respect in them for firearms and for the older generation. If you won’t, I will.

    If your knowledge of firearms is in any way commensurate to your knowledge of “social media” and how to use / operate / grow it, that is exactly what we are afraid of.

  45. Robb Allen Says:

    Dunning-Kruger effect anyone?

    Robb Allem… Can you see your hand when you wave it in front of your face? Smoke & Thunder is not a blog, it’s a social network above all else.

    Don’t know who this Robb Allem guy is, but I assume he’s good looking and that he won’t mind me speaking for him. What ‘social network’ are you talking about? How many actual people have signed up who aren’t just wondering why some 2-bit shmuck is claiming they are members?

    My opinion is that many (but not all) gun blogs do more to damage the future of gun ownership than they do to encourage it. Take it or leave it.

    I’ll take Leave It for $500 Alex.

  46. pdb Says:

    LOLs for days!

    Someday, all the toolbags in the world will band together and build a statue of this guy, as king of the toolbags.

  47. ExurbanKevin Says:

    Somebody needs to figure out the “social” part of social media…

  48. Ancient Woodsman Says:

    As one of the “above” what I get from the horrendously lengthy post by the S&T Admin is nothing more than,”It rubs the lotion on it’s skin…”

  49. CapitalistPig Says:

    How strange! The 13 year old that shot the Rio steel match tonight never mentioned that the internet needs more arrogance and anti-social media.

    Perhaps, Smoke & Mirrors is a blog for a much younger demographic.

  50. Breda Says:

    By the way, just look at the response here and THEN try to claim that gunbloggers don’t know about “social networking.”

    Heh.

  51. Jim Says:

    He’s obviously trolling to acquire the “not yet old enough to legally buy a gun” demographic.

    Jim
    Sunk New Dawn
    Galveston, TX

  52. PMain Says:

    Wow. just wow. Smoke & Thunder, the site for people who aren’t happy just being an outright interdouche.

  53. SPQR Says:

    Smoke and Thunder, your understanding of copyright law is about as incompetent as we’d expect from the rest of your behavior.

    If it turns out that you are residing in a jurisdiction in which I’m licensed to practice law, I’d be happy to represent any or all of the people whose rights your so brazenly, and stupidly, violated.

  54. SPQR Says:

    Hmmm, so Mr. Smokeandthunder has the whois blocked. That’s OK, a subpoena will open that right up.

  55. Smoke & Thunder Admin Says:

    SPQR… or you could go after Yelp for allowing users to post reviews about incompetent lawyers like yourself. Yelp has some major issues and slimy practices, but they went where no website had gone before and lived to tell about it… building profiles on people and businesses or just having users submit them, invite the world to criticize, praise, and socialize, give their users all the power, and become a billion dollar company overnight. Maybe you missed that one.

    From Google news 15 hours ago—- People are lining up to sue sites like Yelp and Ripoff Report over their users’ misbehavior, but courts continue to slam the door in their face. A new report shows the sites’ traditional legal shield is still strong, but that some are trying to use intellectual property laws to crack it. In “2011 State of the Law Regarding Website Owner Liability for User-Generated Content,” Internet lawyer Catherine Gellis offers a helpful update of websites’ ongoing effort to fight off lawsuits created by their users. Gellis found that websites’ core legal shield (Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act) continued to gain traction as courts last year again confirmed that businesses like auctioneers and consumer review sites can’t be sued over what their users do. The legal shield, created in 1996 to ensure that the fledgling Internet economy was not brought down by lawsuits, works by ensuring websites are not responsible for obscene, defamatory or criminal acts of their users. The shield stays up as long as the sites don’t take an active part in their users’ activity—if they do, they lose their immunity and become instead content creators who can sued like anyone else. Overall, Gellis notes the shield may even be getting stronger—recent cases show sites like Yelp and Roommates.com are protected even if they curate content. While the ongoing strength of Section 512 is good news for Internet companies, the bad news is that plaintiffs are trying even harder to use intellectual property law as a backdoor around it. What this means in practice is that aggrieved individuals are gussying up libel complaints as copyright or trademark cases. Doctors and dentists, for instance, have been trying to use copyright law to force websites to take down negative reviews.

  56. Erin Palette Says:

    Hey, I want in on this too!

    Smoke & Thunder, tell me how I’m a grandiose bloviating windbag who’s driving young people away from buying guns!

  57. SGB Says:

    Yelp has enough money to continue to file court fees while multiple people sue them. Those add up. But that’s a lesson one has to learn. $250 to $1000 per case just to defend yourself is expensive.

    But that’s neither here nor there. Instead of building a website, which you could have done with a lot of support had you approached this correctly, you’ve challenged a bunch of people who always answer the bell on challenges.

    Which is why you are a troll. GunsAmerica, Brady….all will out soon enough. Funny thing about private registration is that it isn’t very private.

  58. mikee Says:

    Dear Smoke & Thunder Admin: I have no blog. I am a lowly reader of, and commenter on, the blogs of others. I don’t social network, having once tried and failed to Facebook. I am a hobbyist gun owner, never having taken a tacticool course in firearm use other than that required for my concealed handgun license. Heck, I even own Glocks and Rugers, probably the uncoolest firearm brands there are, other than Rossi. Oops, I own a Rossi, too. I am even of an older generation, being >50 years old.

    Having all that as a disclaimer, I have introduced half a dozen new shooters to firearms use in a safe and responsible manner, and all were teenagers. At least two now own their own firearms. One even became an NRA member. So please take your age-hate back to your social network website, it is inappropriate in the extreme. Where firearms are concerned, old guys and gals know stuff, and love passing their knowledge to younger people. Some do it by blogging (even if they aren’t that old) and some do it like me, in person, one at a time.

    I accidentally went to your website following links by the bloggers in the comments here. I won’t make that mistake again.

  59. mike w. Says:

    “Alan… I will bring the butter, Grade A. The “gun community” is so out of touch with the younger generation it’s ridiculous.”

    Excuse me, but as part of that “gun community” and the “younger generation” let me just say this. You are a fucking moron, and you and your cohorts at smoke & thunder and utterly classless.

    You need us bloggers to drive traffic to your pitiful disgrace of a website, so you create fake profiles with the names, images and website links of bloggers who are far more popular and respected in the online community than you fools could ever hope to be.

    These are bloggers who, by the way, don’t want to have a damn thing to do with you. If you can’t understand how going about things this way is both disgraceful and a terrible business practice then I can’t help you. You can’t fix stupid.

    Newsflash asshole. Pissing off and alienating the gunblogging community will not help you grow your website.

    Get back to me when you learn what the hell “fair use” means, if you or anyone else and Smoke and Thunder possess the necessary brain power to figure it out.

  60. mike w. Says:

    “I’m a friend to the future of gun ownership, not an adversary.”

    Given your behavior in this thread and how you treated Breda I’m gonna go ahead and call bullshit.

    I have no respect and very little patience for assholes like yourself. If we want to grow our ranks the folks at Smoke & Thunder are exactly the sort we DON’T need. We need folks of good character, like most of the people tearing you a new one here in comments. (many of whom I know personally)

  61. boyd Says:

    Wait Wait! I want to be a grandiose bloviating windbag too!! Can I huh can I? I hang out with bloggers sometimes… :)

  62. Ted Says:

    I’ll jump on the bandwagon with SPQR in saying that you’re going beyond fair use. Whether you bury a disclaimer in the profiles you create or not, your representation of gun bloggers that have never actually had anything to do with your site as “active members” is much more than simply creating a page where folks can talk about them. When you claim them as active members, you strongly imply (if not come right out and say) that they affirmatively went to your site, registered, and participate in whatever activities you hold. You are obviously doing this to entice more members to come to your site. This is appropriation, and it’s arguably actionable. Smoke and Thunder isn’t merely curating, it is actively creating.

  63. El Bombardero Says:

    S&T Admin needs to get off Yelp’s nut.

  64. RWC Says:

    LMAO at the video with the electronic voice.

  65. Keads Says:

    I’m disappointed. I did not rate as a “gun blogger”. Sigh…..

Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.

Uncle Pays the Bills


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