Ken Starks, known as HeliOS online, is the head of The Reglue Project, an organization that serves all of Central Texas. Their mission is to bridge the digital divide by providing computers to the kids of families who can’t afford one.
Internet access is also paid three months in advance in order to allow the parents or legal guardians to budget for it.
According to their annual funding campaign on IndieGoGo, “What good is being granted a vehicle if we can’t afford the fuel to do computer installations? Or to buy the parts needed to fix that computer? The majority of grant foundations are simply not offering assistance to help with those things any more.“
There was only over two weeks left, and they’re far from their goal of $9,000 USD. Fortunately, it appears that IndieGoGo has extended the campaign and as of writing this, there are 31 days left. So far, $3,380 has been pledged.
Below is a keynote from Starks for this year’s Ohio Linux Fest. Due to surgery that he will have over the holidays, the keynote may be his last public speaking event.
In order to prevent any more bouts with cancer, he is having his larynx removed and will no longer be able to speak vocally.
“They tried adding 400 fake accounts to my personal page and are currently adding a flood of fake accounts to WTF Magazine.” Fyk said.
This isn’t the first time he’s dealt with this group. Business Insider has details on a group dedicated to hijacking fan pages for fun and profit.
Hijackers send a flood of fake likes to a fan page so they can report content that is posted. “Jack Evans along with Austin Harrig, Anthony Machia (Ortiz), Ken Ballou, George Portillo, Dexter Hyman and others have attacked us without cause for years.” Fyk said.
Pages that reach 100,000 likes are a prime target for the group lead by Evans.
In some cases, duplicate accounts are created. They can be used to evade banning while continually harassing the intended target.
The group is known as “The Community,” and their profile claims to be against cyber bullying. The group’s description is only a ruse.
The hijacking of pages began as a way of pulling pranks and was only for fun before things got serious.
Now it can be done for fun and profit.
Below are a couple of screenshots showing the impact of fake likes.
“I managed to get 99% off my personal page but that was a small page and 400 likes in 2 hours is noticeable.” Fyk said.
In terms of content, Fyk explained, “There are always people that do not like things we post. No one likes everything. However if you judge our content off the number of banned pictures as compared to the number we post we stay well within the guidelines of Facebook terms of service.”
In the four years of operation, 20 pictures and five links were banned. In the previous three months, only this link was banned. As for other content, Fyk told me, “Anything to do with [the] Muslim religion gets us being reported into the ground. People get fanatical and its a shame that a few people have a say over that of the masses.”
In response to accusations of dismembered people being posted, he told me that it simply wasn’t true. “You need to realize we have a group of haters that are already at it trying to sabotage our page. They do what is called Social Engineering. What that is, is saying stuff like that, which people don’t know is true or false.” Fyk said.
Page admins have strict instructions to not post racial slurs, child pornography, or attacks on religion.
“We do make fun of the fanatical groups which makes fun of feminists sometimes but I’d also make fun of fat people and I am one.” Fyk said.
A picture of two turtles of all things was reported. While the user initially messaged the page to remove it because they were in it, the admin asked where in the image they were at. Their story changed.
They then said they simply didn’t find it funny and that one of their grandchildren’s friends shared the image.
“There is no reason two turtles are a problem for facebook. Yet it was reported by some overly sensitive individual. But again, it’s not dismembered bodies, torture, self mutilation or anything even close.” Fyk said.
The website’s primary source of revenue is advertising, which is affected by web traffic. Thanks to the fan page, they were able to support a number of families, two of which who have members who are special needs.
“One is an adult who is mildly retarded. The other is a downs syndrome child.” Fyk said.
Since the page was deleted, the publication has been set back four years. Despite this, Fyk plans to support those families until they recover.
In order to rebuild, they are no longer relying on advertising alone. “I can’t announce everything but I am bringing in the CEO of another major publication to help out.” Fyk said.
If the original page is republished, they will emphasize the website instead of solely relying on Facebook. “Our fans won’t like it as much but they will have to come to the site to see the crazier stuff.” Fyk said.
There are also plans of moving beyond Facebook and expanding to other social media sites. This includes building a social media network as well. Regarding additional frustrations, Fyk told me that, “Facebook would not give us a verified brand check mark though we were an established tax paying business.”
Their new fan page may be found here. For those interested in checking out their website, it may be found here.