February 5th, 2015
At Cheezburger, Openness and Honesty are a part of our core values. We’ve taken a first step by issuing this report. In the process, we have learned that we can compile this report faster and provide better detail by improving certain processes. It may seem overkill to publish this when the number of Government Requests are zero, but best practices should be established prior to requests being received.
We’re a small company with a big reach. Although we lack the resources of a larger company in compiling these reports, we don’t receive as many requests. Our challenge was thinking deeply about the impact of our policies on our users and how we can be consistent.
This report includes totals of requests for user information, insight into our policies, and requests for content removal. I realize this report may be a bit dry, so we’ve included a special transparency report item for 2014. We may be a group of Internet cat picture herders, but we love our users and we are proud to stand up for their rights. If we can take this first step, so can everyone else.
If you would like to know the standards we aspire to, visit “Who Has Your Back”. My hope is that by making this the most entertaining Transparency Report you’ll read this year, other startups will (like the evolution of 404 pages) see this an opportunity to communicate with their public and help build their brand.
CEO and Founder
This report covers all sites in the Cheezburger network including Know Your Meme, FAIL Blog, Memebase, I Can Has, The Daily What, Geek Universe, etc.
A government agency or branch (e.g., law enforcement) may ask Cheezburger to remove content, or request information about a particular user. Government requests to withhold notice from users will be reviewed by our counsel for legal weight. Cheezburger’s policy is to disregard requests without binding demands. Our goal is to provide notice to affected users in advance of disclosure unless prohibited by a court order. There will be exceptions to this goal of advance disclosure such as in the case of Emergency Requests as stated in this report.
Warrant Canary Statement:
As of February 5, 2015, Cheezburger has never received a National Security Letter, an order under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or any other classified request for user information.
Government Requests for User Information:
User Accounts Affected
|US Subpoenas from Government||Zero||0|
|US Civil Subpoenas||Nil||0|
|US Search Warrants||Zilch||0|
|National Security Requests||Zip||0|
Conforming with Legal Processes
United States: Subpoenas from Government Entities
Subpoenas are investigatory tools that state and federal governments can usually issue without judicial oversight. Cheezburger is currently in the process of drafting a policy on dealing with subpoenas from Government Entities.
United States: Civil Subpoenas
Unless prohibited by court order, Cheezburger will inform users of state and federal civil subpoenas for their information in order to give them an opportunity to challenge the subpoena(s) before we disclose any information.
United States: Search Warrants
Cheezburger requires a search warrant to be approved by a judge and based on probable cause to disclose user content information, which includes private messages, images, links, and posts/comments that have been deleted or otherwise hidden from public view.
Cheezburger is a US-based company. Therefore, we will not turn over user information in response to a formal request by a non-US government unless a US court requires it. In some cases, a foreign government may use a MLAT (Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty) to seek information through the US justice system and therefore those requests will fall outside this section.
An Emergency Request is not a legal definition, but a class of request by law enforcement or a government agency with clear justification that our action in disclosing user information will result in preventing imminent and serious bodily harm to a person. Cheezburger has received no emergency requests in 2014. Our policy is to request reasoning for all emergency requests in writing prior to carrying out the request. The user will be informed when an Emergency Request has been carried out after the disclosure unless prohibited by a court order.
Content and Trademark-Related Removals:
|Requests:||Complied:||Requests Containing a
Reference to “Your Mom”
|Content Removal Requests:||53|
How we handle requests for content removal:
- Every request for content removal is reviewed by a member of our community team.
- We reject copyright takedown requests if they do not conform to the standards set forth in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA).
- If we receive a copyright request that does not conform to the standards of the DMCA, we will refer them to our copyright policy page. The requester is free to resubmit the request.
- We will make an effort to inform the affected user(s) with the full text of the request based on the contact information supplied to us.
- The user may provide a counter-notification according to our Copyright Policy.
- We will restore any counter-notified content after legally required downtime has passed.
- Any counter-notified content will not count as a strike against the user’s copyright strikes.
How we handle requests related to trademarks:
- Every request related to trademark violations is reviewed by a member of our community team.
- We reject trademark-related requests if they do not conform to the standards set forth in our Terms of Service.
- If we receive a trademark-related request that does not conform to our Terms of Service, we will refer them to our Terms of Service page. The requester is free to resubmit the request.
- We will make an effort to inform the user(s) with the full text of the request based on the contact information supplied to us.
- The user may counter-notify us to dispute the trademark-related request and Cheezburger staff will review the counter-notification.
Cheezburger did not receive any US federal or state government requests for the removal of content in 2014. We also did not receive any removal request form foreign government entities.
Karaoke Songs performed at the Cheezburger Winter Party:
|Solos or Collaborative Performances by Cheezburger Employees||Solos by Cheezburger Guests||Number of Cats at the Party|
Order of Performance by Cheezburgers:
- “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield
- “My Name is Jonas” by Weezer
- “Bust a Move” by Young MC
- “Dancing Queen” by ABBA
- “Faithfully” by Journey
- “Jolene” by Dolly Parton
- “White Wedding” by Billy Idol
- “Wrecking Ball” by Miley Cyrus
- “Teenage Dirtbag” by Wheatus
- “Africa” – by Toto
- “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd
- “Pinball Wizard” by The Who
- “Ain’t Goin’ Down (‘Til the Sun Comes Up)” by Garth Brooks
- “Jane Says” by Jane’s Addiction
- “Fight for Your Right” by Beastie Boys
- “Marry the Night” by Lady Gaga
- “Firework” by Katy Perry
- “Goin’ Back to Cali” by LL Cool J
- “Call Your Girlfriend” by Robyn
- “Love You Like a Love Song” by Selena Gomez
- “Torn” by Natalie Imbruglia
- “Ignition (Remix)” by R. Kelly
- “Legalize It” by Peter Tosh
- “Psycho Killer” by Talking Heads
- “Uptown Funk (with Bruno Mars)” by Mark Ronson
- “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” by Reba McEntire
- “Sex on Fire” by Kings of Leon
- “What I Got” by Sublime
- “All the Small Things” by Blink-182
- “Wannabe” by Spice Girls
- “My Own Worst Enemy” by Lit
- “One Week” by Barenaked Ladies
- “Alone” by Heart
- “Blitzkrieg Bop” by The Ramones
- “Sorry for Party Rocking” by LMFAO
- “0 to 100 (The Catch Up)” by Drake
- “Tearin’ Up My Heart” by NSYNC
- “Thank God I’m a Country Boy” by John Denver
- “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen
- “Come to My Window” by Melissa Etheridge
Order of Solo Performance by Guests:
- “Tomorrow” by Silverchair
- “Head Like a Hole” by Nine Inch Nails
- “Mr. Roboto” by Styx
- “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” by Frankie Valli
How we handle requests related to karaoke songs:
All requests related to the removal of songs from any future karaoke list can be sent here.