I have chosen to shut down Political Friendster for a variety of reasons.
The site was becoming full of spam content. Images, profile bios, comments, etc. I do not have the bandwidth or inclination to either monitor the site or to create the necessary safegaurds to prevent spam bots from ruining the site. The amount of spam was also causing atechnical problem, not just muddying up the site. So much spam content was being submitted that my hosting service's database was exceeding the designated limits.
The Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) provides safe-harbor provision for user generated content-hosting sites like Political Friendster. However, this doesn't mean that people can't still try to sue me (even if they can't win), leading to legal bills that I simply don't want to risk. This has already happened, and it's simply not worth the hassle again.
Stupid California Law
New legislation in California makes it "a crime to falsely impersonate another in either his or her private or official capacity." It seems California lawmakers don't like the free speech protection of satire of political figures. While this isn't a law I agree with, it's not one I'm willing to fight against if it ever comes down to it. For more information see Senate Bill 1411.
I would like to thank everyone who was involved in the PF project. It started as a silly side project and grew into something people actually used and enjoyed. I'm sorry I don't have the ability to keep the site going, but I hope you understand my reasons. You can contact me if you have questions.
All user generated data including all entity bios, all connections, and all comments are available for download. Each table in the database is available as a CSV file, which you can open with Excel or any spreadsheet program (like OpenOffice). You can also easily import these CSV files into your own database.
Download the full data (24 mb).
Download the images (198 mb).
- Doug McCune