Hell hath no fury like a scorned Internet, as Charles Carreon is finding out the hard way.
First, Carreon sued online comic the Oatmeal on behalf of his client FunnyJunk.com over a blog post published a year ago wherein the Oatmeal’s founder, Matt Inman, criticized FunnyJunk for hosting copies of his comic without proper attribution. Carreon and his client accused Inman of defamation and demanded $20,000 in damages.
Inman’s response was, predictably, to publicly mock Carreon and FunnyJunk in a blog post detailing the ludicrousness of Carreon’s accusations and. Furthermore, Inman responds to the demand of $20,000 in damages by launching a charity campaign where he raises $20,000 but, instead of handing it over to Carreon, he donates it to charity.
Less than two weeks later, Inman had raised $200,000 for charity, ten times his original goal.
Carreon’s response? He has now filed suits agains Inman, the charity fundraising site Inman is using (Indigogo), as well as the charities Inman has selected as the beneficiaries of his charity drive (the National Wildlife Federation and the American Cancer Society). He’s also subpoenaed Ars Technica and Twitter, two venues that flared up with activity that, to put it lightly, disparaged Carreon.
Mr. Carreon has become the latest example of the “Streisand effect, ” whereby efforts to make a problem go away only makes it worse. Anger with Carreon and FunnyJunk is likely only to grow as they make one mis-step after another.