Earlier this year a provocative meme began making the social media rounds. It showed photos of an alleged employee of The Gap, who offered a rude response to a simple question. The poster then gave the employee’s name, and some personal information meant to embarrass him and demean his character.

Here is the meme:

Fake poster highlighting Gap employee

I’m sure some people thought it was funny, and some even felt the employee deserved to be called out for his rudeness. Eventually, those who looked closer into these things concluded that the meme was a fake – there was no employee at any Gap with that name.

But the important takeaway is that there is nothing stopping anyone from actually doing this. Who hasn’t had the experience of dealing with a brusque salesperson in a store, or a food server that got your order wrong and didn’t seem to care?

Most people will do nothing, or perhaps bring the situation to the attention of a manager. This meme suggests another form of retribution – do you have any doubt there would be people who would go for it?

Find out how you can protect yourself

Everyone is at Risk

The easy availability of our private information online impacts everyone, not just judges, police, and social workers.

Those in public-facing positions – dining, retail, travel – will contend with unruly customers and may even provide substandard service on a day when they are distracted by other problems (we’re human – it happens). Life is not always convenient. But so many people are much quicker to take any perceived affront personally these days and proclaim their victimhood to social media. With free facial recognition access (though PimEyes and others), data brokers, and other sites that collect information, the target of their anger can be easily located, and find him or herself receiving threats and harassment.

Affordable Online Privacy Protection 

For those in higher-risk professions, we recommend our Premium service, which also includes tools that mask a user’s cell phone number, email address, and online browsing and search activity. This is also the wiser choice for anyone who has been victimized by stalking or domestic violence.

For the rest of the general public, however, our standard protection plan may be sufficient to keep you safer from retribution after a tense personal encounter. By removing your private content from the sites where it is most likely to be found, you’ll also be further protected from phishing scams, robocalls, and identity theft.

Why take chances? Next time the meme could be real – and it could be your face in the photographs.

Protect Yourself Now


Ron Zayas


Ron Zayas is an online privacy expert, speaker, author, and CEO of 360Civic, a provider of online protection to law enforcement, judicial officers, and social workers. For more insight into onli... Read more

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