Site selling racist Obama stickers shut down

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by BYRON HARRIS

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WFAA

Posted on March 16, 2012 at 8:36 PM

Updated Saturday, Mar 17 at 8:47 AM

DALLAS — One day after News 8 reported on a Web site selling racist bumper stickers about President Obama, the site has disappeared.

It was in part because of the efforts of two men who work in the same office, and stay in touch on Facebook.

Matt Houston and Ben Goerz office next to each other at the same company. Thursday, they didn't even see each other. But they teamed up on Facebook to put a dent in racism.

Matt spotted a Facebook page for "Stumpy's Stickers" and saw its racist bumper stickers using the 'N-word' in connection with President Obama. He posted a comment on Facebook.

"I posted something on my page," Matt said. "'This is why we still have to talk about race in America,' or something like that. And then the feed started."

Comments from his friends, like "That's just disgusting!" and "People are ridiculous," started flowing in.

Ben Goerz picked it up, decided to do something about it and started tracing the company on the Internet.

"I came up with Paypal doing the payments, and a little company called AmericNOC running the server," Goerz said.

Both, he discovered, had terms and conditions that prohibited violations of hate crime laws. He filed "trouble tickets" with them.

By Friday, the bumper sticker web site was gone.

When News 8 contacted Stumpy's Stickers web site via e-mail on Thursday, its related Facebook page disappeared.

Friday, Georz and Houston have a new confidence in the power of social media.

Ben Georz says although the Internet can provide a cover for the Stumpy's Stickers of the world, there is also a trust factor within parts of social networks that can pull together to work for good.

"That's one thing about social media," Goerz said. "A lot of times it has removed anonymity. You can often trust that people on Facebook who have lots of friends that you know are genuine people."

"Good job, Goerz!" said Ben's Facebook page Friday.

E-mail bharris@wfaa.com

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