It seems that an upset ex-girlfriend spammed the memegenerator.net site using her ex-boyfriend’s full name and adding unflattering captions to the images in the process. Google has cached the images and a search for the his name produces some specific results. I first read this on Slashdot this morning (which was a repost of an article from SEO Roundtable).
From the original post:
"You see, she knew to have the source site remove the images but Google still has them in their index. The issue is that although the images appear to be gone, the URLs they are sourced via are actually returning a 200 status code, which to Google means they are still there. They need to return a page not found status code, and they do not."
The site in questions is likely Memegenerator as that’s where all the current images are located. Even if the mother did contact the site, it appears that they didn’t respond or that they are unable to keep up with the number of fresh submissions as the images are clearly still there and not JUST in Google’s cache.
In a statement from the mother:
"My minor son’s ex-girlfriend took a copyrighted picture of him (we own copyright) and uploaded it more than 60 times to a website. On each image she wrote slanderous, defamatory and pornographic captions. The webmaster of the site states he removed the images 6 weeks ago, but Google Search still shows all the images. My son is so stressed out and embarrassed and we’ve done everything we can to get images off of Google including URL removal tool, a letter to Google Legal with all the URLs because of copyright infringement, and nothing has worked!"
So the images are going viral despite the best efforts of the offended ex-boyfriend and his mom to clear his name and image from the web. After doing a quick image search, it seems that the images of the victimized ex-boyfriend are continuing to be uploaded and are still propagating across the net (http://i.imgur.com/WIhTx.jpg) and have given birth to a new meme.
The fact of the matter is that anyone is pretty much powerless to stop the spread of any data or image once it’s on the net. I think the lesson here is that SEO techniques should be used for good practices and not for petty revenge.