Yesterday, I wrote about a pretty insane mishap that would be a great addition to my WWE.com's worst mistakes list. WWE let fans upload photos to a gallery at WWELiveTour.com and didn't moderate them, leading to exactly what you'd expect to happen: Total chaos.
It started with a nude photo of former WWE Diva Taryn "Tiffany" Terrell from a Playboy publication being uploaded. When that got attention, fans started hitting the site with as much as they could, including a photo of Chyna's clitoris from her sex tape with Sean Waltman, accompanying images used to form a comic strip slideshow, and a photo of Trish Stratus strategically posed in just a thong.
WWE quickly tried to pull all of the photos and eventually the site was pulled, with the URL redirected to the main WWE.com site. Today, in the new issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter available to paid subscribers at F4WOnline.com, Dave Meltzer reported some additional details about what happened.
My friend Keith Harris had speculated yesterday that this may have been tied into the recent management changes at WWE.com that came about from the site being moved to the creative department headed by Stephanie McMahon. He was right: With traffic down, one of the website staffs new ideas was to start a gallery of photos shot by fans at live events.
It's a good idea in theory, but WWE executed it wrong in every possible way. Obviously, the biggest misstep was not moderating the gallery, allowing user uploads to show up instantly.
In addition, all that users had to agree to before uploading photos was that they had the rights to upload the photo. No registration was required, WWE didn't try to get any license to the photos, etc.
According to Meltzer's report, the issues that some people had with accessing the site were from it crashing from a huge deluge of traffic. It seems like a lot of people wanted easy access to photos of naked ladies or a major website that they could mess with.
When Stephanie found out, she called an emergency meeting of the website staff that did not go well for them. When the time came to deem who was responsible, everyone was blaming everyone else.
Meltzer echoed Bleacher Report commenter Rovert's thoughts that this was similar to the closing of the WWE Fan Nation social networking site.
The lack of company oversight led to various joke accounts of various degrees of crassness (Chris & Daniel Benoit, WWE outside counsel Jerry McDevitt, and others) and it was closed because the company felt it was an embarrassment.
I'm curious if the gallery will return in moderated form or if the idea will be completely dropped, because nobody wants to rock the boat and suggest that they bring it back.