Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The FriendsReunited Conspiracy (?) – Part 2 – The Claim

In summary a group of people have been after me for years and have completed a 12-year investigation into the history of FR in an attempt to discredit me.

For background to this story read:
The FriendsReunited Conspiracy (?) – Part 1 - Introduction

Now to discuss in more detail what they actually claim.

In simple terms, these people allege that we have lied about the setting up of FR – from how we set the site up, the dates when we did so, the ISP we used, to when the first version of the site went live. Their objective is to show that we effectively took the FR idea from them: a developer they used – whom we are supposed to know – is alleged to have been the person who told us about the online school reunion concept before we came up with it.

Background. Julie had the idea for FriendsReunited in 1999. In June 2000, we registered the FriendsReunited URL, and launched the first simple version of the site. This will all be discussed in a later blog.

These people claim to have come up with their similar idea in July 2000 (according to their statement) but didn’t launch until late 2000/early 2001 it appears.

Here’s the thing:

They claim we did not actually launch till late 2000.

They claim that we know the developer they initially engaged to write their site.

They claim that our site idea came directly from their developer.

They claim that we somehow backdated our domain registration, and were in collusion with the first ISP we used (and, it appears, with Nominet too) to falsely backdate our story.

In essence, they claim the whole story of FR from 1999 to early 2001 is a lie.

They claim that since then we have been involved in a massive cover up -nearly everyone associated with FR is in on this.

They allege that we have done nothing to help them in researching their insulting claims, and have continued to lie and deceive over the “cover-up”.

Julie and I, along with dozens of family and friends who worked on FR are extremely proud of what we created and achieved with FR. It helped tens of thousands of people in a positive way and for that we are truly humble. We also worked unbelievably hard, not just since the launch of FR in June 2000, but for many years building up to then.

Over its history we had to deal with many issues, mostly positive but also the negative and in some cases malicious. From threats to being blamed for breakups to boring contractual stuff – all were dealt with. However, in all my working life I have never felt such disgust or anger as I have through dealing with these absurd allegations, over the past 7 years. How these people can devote so much of their life, finances and time in trying to discredit us amazes me. It is a disgrace and all involved should be ashamed of themselves.

For long periods we have ignored these people but when someone continually tries to discredit a whole 18-month period of your life – basically saying we lied about it all – then you can understand why I am now doing this.

I have given them simple, unequivocal proof of the setup of FR. They choose not just to ignore the incontrovertible facts but also to contort them so that those facts are warped into fitting their wild conspiracy theory. And they use some pretty, heavy tactics in doing so.

Well gloves off – in future blogs I will write further about the history of FR and show with embarrassing clarity how deluded these people’s claims are.

But first, coming next – The FriendsReunited Conspiracy (?) – Part 3 – Their Contact



  1. Steve, I really wouldn't bother wasting your energy on this. People will always talk shite. I've had people walk into my studios and tell me they are the best mate of the bloke who runs it, more times than I can think of. My staff usually crease up laughing when it happens.

  2. Rog - I know, I have ignored for years but been going onto too long and with too much intrusion now. If only it was people saying they knew me.
    And actually enjoying going over the past after such a long gap.

  3. In 1986 I distinctly remember saying to Jules that it would be a great idea if we had some way of keeping in touch. Therefore I demand loads of cash because it is obvious that Friends Reunited was originally my idea. A bloke I met down the pub says I've got you banged to rights and he should know because sometimes he takes solicitors in his taxi. I have loads of witnesses to back me up because all my mates down the pub say that I am not capable of making this sort of thing up since I'm a top bloke who is always buying rounds. I also have a piece of paper which definitely says it was my idea to create a website called mates get back together and is dated well before Friends Reunited. Although this was before the Internet was invented, this is because Tim Berners Lee nicked that idea from me too and I will prove that when I sue him next. the paper has now been stored in a safe place in case you plan to send your minions to steal it. I will however show it to you once I have received my check for 1 beeelion pounds.

    Congratulations, you have joined an exclusive club with the likes of Mark Zukerberg and J.K.Rowling in being shaked down. Unfortunately this seems to be the price of success in this X-Factor, get rich quick world we live in now. Don't bother to do any work, bide your time, and employ your army of lawyers to cash in when the time is right.

    There will always be people who think for whatever reason that the world owes them something(ranging from plain jealousy to full blown insanity) . They could be criminal or just plain delusional. If it is the former they will probably just give up eventually to find easier marks. The latter are more difficult. They will see a conspiracy everywhere. The more evidence that is presented against their world view, the greater the conspiracy becomes. There is no way you will ever convince them otherwise. The best you can do is exhaust all their avenues of attack. I feel really sorry that you and your family have had to go through this. On the plus side it does make me feel a lot better that I'm not a reclusive millionaire :)

    1. We were wondering who you were then hired a private investigator (well searched for your id on the internet) and .... hello Tony - how are you. That was a lifetime ago of playing squash in the 80's. Jules (or Julie to me) says hi too.

      Perfect comment - your analysis is spot on (i.e. the later) Had to go public as was fed up with it all and I do realise nothing will ever convince them. But sort of enjoying writing these and been approached to even do a book now!

      Cheque in the post btw.

  4. Wayback machine proves a version of the site was live in the middle of August 2000.

    Well before their claims of when they launched!


  5. Alex
    Yes you would have thought but I received this from them in the summer-
    "No, absolutely not. With regard to the Way Back When Machine, it is possible for webmasters to submit backdated versions of their site to them, so it is not a perfect system"
    Never checked whether that is right or not (and don't care) - just the thought my cover up went to such lengths is amazing. My evil twisted mind is quite something?

    1. Hilarious!

      The "Way Back When Machine" - they can't even get the name right!

      I'm looking forward to the next installment. Sorry to comment anonymously, but I'm worried they'll come round and tell me I owe them something...