A scary tale – keep your distance

I read a disturbing blog yesterday. In fact I probably spent most of the morning reading it, and the nearly 300 comments on the first post.

Ironically, I found it through a vegan blog, which I had found from another vegan blog, but this was nothing to do with food or vegan principles.

It was however, very much about principles, ethics, and values.

The reason I read this blog was because the author was basically publicly criticising a popular blogger on fire who shot to fame in a fairly short space of time. Not only was he Freshly Pressed, he was interviewed by the Daily Post about his wonderful success.

I’d read this popular blogger before he was FPd and interviewed. I followed him for a few short months some two years ago and commented from time to time. Some posts were mildly witty, mildly funny. So were some of the comments. A lot weren’t. They were very sycophantic.

It was clear that there was a real inner circle of followers, and I wasn’t one. Nor was I destined to become one. Fortunately.

He followed one or two of my blogs and made the odd comment, here and there, but rarely.

Some readers may remember I wrote about being accused of trolling on a blog. This was the one. The event was approximately 18 months ago, and I wrote about it after a couple of months. Always best to let these things pass and then write with, hopefully, some objectivity. I didn’t name him or his blog. Anyone who read his blog would know exactly who it was. Anyone who didn’t wouldn’t be interested in the cult following he was creating with his increasingly bizarre posts.

Our difference of opinion came when he was organising a competition for people to be entered on his blogroll (as far as memory serves). I made a comment about not wanting to enter, whereupon he promptly entered me. I think to enter you had to write 20 posts on your own blog saying how wonderful he was and link back to him. I exaggerate but you get the idea. And of course it was one of those silly ‘vote for ME’ competitions which I moaned about on the last post.

I then said I did not want to join in the stupid competition, (I’m paraphrasing here). There was a bit of a huff and then he removed me from it. Hey, you want to put me on your blogroll, fine. You don’t want to, that’s fine too. But I’m not wasting time on MY blog boosting someone else’s ego.

And this is where I was a very naughty little girl. I pointed out that the whole palaver was not designed for everyone else to boost their readership and followers (which he claimed) but that it was aimed at increasing his circus.

The email I received from him was polite. If I didn’t like what he was creating could I stop visiting. I did (stop visiting). I didn’t reply to his email either, employing my usual PR rule of if it isn’t worth answering, leave it alone.

So that was the end of it. I was apparently (almost) the only one on WordPress who had visited his blog and didn’t think he was the bees’ knees, and wondered why people were falling over to worship him. No drama, and I thought no more about it, apart from to mention it in a blog post a couple of months later as a general example of odd behaviour.

But as well as the blog I read from time to time, he had also started another one. Ostensibly to write about his son’s ADHD (I think), but he started asking other people to write guest posts. I’d only looked a few times, so I’ve no idea what happened to that blog after I stopped reading his supposed ‘humour’ blog.

It seems however, that he would ask people to write posts on his second blog about any mental health problems, abuse etc they had suffered in the past. And then he would send them personal emails. Some of them were VERY personal. Remember too, that they were sent to women who had already written in public about any mental health problems they had in the past, and/or any abuse they had suffered ie sexual.

Eventually one woman decided to ‘out’ the said strange blogger. In the few weeks since she did that last month, she has received hate mail and has now closed comments on her blog. In fact she has stopped the blog, although it is still open to be read. In the small window when she put up her last post and comments were still open, they had been closed by the time I had typed a lengthy comment to say I admired her bravery and her stance.

The strange blogger has taken down his blogs. So I can’t give you links, nor would I waste your time, even if he hadn’t scrapped his blogs. There is still his magnificent interview on The Daily Post, if you want to read his view of himself. If you want to play detective I have given the odd clue on this post.

Why write about this? Because there are a lot of good lessons in here. And while I can’t comment on the woman’s blog, I can write a post on my own blog.

1) Go with your gut instinct. If you don’t like a situation in real life you would walk away. If you don’t like one on the internet do the same. You don’t need to be part of the in-crowd. That was a VERY big part of the problem – creating the desire to be accepted. Very nasty.

2) If you are going to guest post – and I would think carefully before you do that – ask yourself why you are doing it. Bluntly speaking, who is getting more out of it – you or the blog host? Also, if you really want to write personal posts about your mental health or abuse that still attract stigma in today’s society, don’t do it on someone else’s blog. Do it on your own, or create a new one, maybe with a new ID.

3) If you want to indulge in internet flirting, keep control. If it goes beyond what you want, walk away. Don’t try and renegotiate the terms and conditions. Someone else has just done that and you need to reject them. Point blank.

4) WordPress has this really odd feature that has always surprised me as it is a total lack of confidentiality. As soon as you comment on someone’s blog, they have your email address. I am always surprised when people ask me for my email address when they already have it. In which case I invariably reply, you already have it, or don’t reply at all on the grounds they are thick. Once one person has it, they can pass it around. This woman has received extremely nasty comments by personal email. Posting comments on a blog is one thing, sending vicious emails anonymously is a whole different level. In my entire blogging life (which is all of seven years) I think I am still in single figures for the amount of people who have sent me emails. And of those, most have been one-offs, some have disappeared, and others come and go as they choose. Suits me.

5) Remember the playground? I’ll show you yours if you show me mine. Watch what you do with your photos. Sending personal photos by email if you don’t put them on a blog is not a good idea. Sending email photos at all is a very risky adventure. Putting lots of them on your blog may not be a good idea if you are a woman. I had a friend some years back who was seriously freaked by a stalker, she felt she had said too much about her personal life and published too many photos.

6) Don’t victimise people and don’t pile in with pack mentality. I saw an exchange the other day where I could have contributed. But why? Not my blog, and the blog author was perfectly in control. If you want to join in, do it to support someone, but not to hurt someone.

7) If someone annoys you either by email or on your blog, wait before you reply. I usually wait 24 hours or so (when I’m really annoyed). If I think the same way the following day – and – I think it needs a reply, then I’ll write.

A total side point, but apparently this strange blog he wrote was meant to be feminist, as were his high priestesses. People have crazy ideas about feminism, but unless you seriously have a grip on it, don’t go there. I never saw anything remotely feminist, but maybe I didn’t hang around long enough.

I don’t need to say any of this to my readers because you won’t get into any of these situations. But I was saddened to read that someone had been courageous enough to post a different viewpoint of a supposedly popular blogger, no – supposedly is wrong – he was, and then to receive a load of grief and stress for doing so. She received emails from other women citing the same behaviour, who didn’t want to comment on her blog because they were too frightened to agree in public.

On the other hand, some people – ie women – have written blog posts about his behaviour to them, and how they felt about having been on the receiving end of similar tactics. Does he merit all this attention?

No. But the principles, values and ethics, or lack of them in this case, do matter.

Advertisements

About roughseasinthemed

I write about my life as an English person living in Spain and Gibraltar, on Roughseas, subjects range from politics and current developments in Gib to book reviews, cooking and getting on with life. My views and thoughts on a variety of topics - depending on my mood of the day - can be found over on Clouds. A few pix are over on Everypic - although it is not a photoblog. And of course my dog had his own blog, but most of you knew that anyway. Pippadogblog etc
This entry was posted in blogging, feminism, relationships, thoughts, WPlongform. Bookmark the permalink.

60 Responses to A scary tale – keep your distance

  1. pinkagendist says:

    Excellent advice. I found the whole debacle rather shocking and extremely distasteful- but I can’t say I’m terribly surprised. It’s not unusual that people with an inclination to take advantage of others look for positions where they can do so with a certain degree of impunity/safety. That’s why priests target altar boys and women who were abused in childhood are at a higher risk to be party to abusive relationships as adults.
    The worse part of it all is anyone with half a brain could see some of the people involved in this were extremely sensitive- you know, in a way we’re not. That should really give people pause before they embark on an adventure with someone they know nothing about. Lions on the Serengeti don’t go after other lions, they go for the easiest prey. If you’re a limping antelope, beware.

    Like

    • Thanks. I knew you would peg it straight away, especially as you commented on CR’s. I thought she made a bold move, I have to say. I doubt I would have bothered to do it.

      My readers don’t need the advice. But maybe someone else will read it.

      I found the saga, not sexually distasteful, but manipulatively so. Especially reading some of the other blogs, which I have to confess I have ended up looking at. To me there are two strands (at least) to the whole issue, 1) the sexual nature of the personal relationships and 2) the sheer power/control mob pack idea. Oh, I forgot 3) the personal command and control one. The second is the one that I find more disgusting. 1) is easy to deal with. Unwanted sexual comments? two options, either a) fuck off or b) ignore. Same for 3).

      All the other insidious aspects beneath the laughs and frivolity on his blog? Not nice at all. Not just on the blog, FaceBook, emails, mass lynchings of ND, which I didn’t read, although her blog left me cold.

      Unlike you, I am surprised how deep it went, and how far. I never got engaged in it though, happily persona non grata. My solitary email from him was in a whole different league to the ones Rae posted. It still didn’t work on me, although a clever try. Or maybe he was just pissed off at me? Who knows or cares? I didn’t.

      Anyway, I don’t smoke so I am not his type. And I try not to limp too much.

      Liked by 1 person

      • pinkagendist says:

        I’ll correct myself- I am surprised people don’t say f-off sooner. But I’ve read that people who are victimized are precisely the ones who wouldn’t. That’s what makes it more egregious. I get the impression that C.R. is going through a very difficult time emotionally because of all of this- I find that a bit strange too because people can call me the devil incarnate and I wouldn’t flinch- but anyway, I hope they all find a way to just say goodbye and be out of each other’s lives without more damage.

        Like

        • Victimisation comes in many guises. Fuck off is a verbal way of dealing with it, and walking is another. But it isn’t always easy. eg familial relationships? Wanting approval, to be loved. Because that’s what LC/ER was playing on. Cleverly, I have to add, he was successful, far more than you and I, in a certain way. But not something either of us would want.

          Egregious is a very nice word. My choice would have been sick.

          I think she genuinely felt she was doing a good thing. If I had known he was preying on women and his lynch pack were out there I might have written differently more than a year ago. But I walked, and so should everyone else from people that don’t play within the rules. I didn’t have enough information to write a blog post about him, merely, someone I encountered and left behind.

          I guess that’s how Hitler got to power. Mass adulation by the mob.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Calamity Rae says:

          *waves hello* I just wanted to sneak in real quick and say: my rough time with it all is probably summed up in the very last post I made on the blog. I would also say because a lot of my initial “supporters” seemed to have fled once I started talking about how I was receiving hate mail. I am hurt that we still live in a rape culture. I’m hurt because I allowed myself to become slightly unglued when the vitriol really started coming my way and no one really stood up for me, but I had stood up to an apparent “blogging giant” with a mob who followed him around. I mean, I strong, but I’m still a human being – one that is fractured due to childhood abuse.

          anyway, thanks for letting me stop by and thanks for posting on this. Rough, you had good sense to simply ignore the man from the get go. My involvement with him lasted exactly ONE month (I did not know about him prior to that, as I’m new to blogging.)

          Liked by 1 person

          • Thanks CR. Perhaps your initial “supporters” were all too close or involved in the fracas circus? I don’t know. 18 months since I even looked at it. Some guy says he doesn’t want me to visit his blog? Fine by me. No more to say. OK, the email was a little more, are you doing this, or are you saying that, or are … – which is why I walked. Not playing those games. I play games on my terms.

            You’d said that people were frightened and didn’t want to say anything publicly. Even had I read your post earlier, my experience was nothing because I chose to ignore it. However, I am sorry that people are frightened of hate mail. That we live in a rape culture. A sexual predatory one. (See I really am a feminist!).

            Childhood abuse is all around us in many different ways. It’s hard to get away from and can take years.

            I’m very pleased you’ve visited, thank you. No, I didn’t ignore him initially. If you look on my roughseas blog he is there on my about page, you may recognise the type of technique and language. What I didn’t do was beg to become a follower or answer his solitary email.

            I’ve been blogging a few years and I’m quite old πŸ˜€

            Chin up sweetheart, you did the blogging world a favour. No-one would have listened to me had I posted ‘this guy is a tosser, what do you all see in him?’ You had evidence to prove that, I just had instinct.

            Don’t regret what you did.

            Like

          • pinkagendist says:

            I’m glad to hear you’re doing okay. For a second it seemed it was all too much for you. It’s probably not my place to tell you what to do, but if I were in your position I wouldn’t stop writing, communicating and moving forward. The objective of hate mail is to silence people. I don’t really believe you want to be silenced.
            A dose of belligerence isn’t always a bad thing πŸ™‚

            Like

          • Calamity Rae says:

            oh, if you only knew how my tongue has been bleeding! I’m just taking a “break” – I’ve reopened my self-hosted blog, if you are interested. Although, I’m still on a break in order to gain some clarity so that I’m sharp as a whip when I return.

            Like

          • Calamity Rae says:

            no, go right ahead.

            Like

          • Done and catch you later. It will be the writing blog yes? that will be good.

            Like

          • Calamity Rae says:

            yes! (I’m an actual published writer! Who found herself messed up with the “wrong crowd” – all because I wanted to WRITE for what I thought was an important platform.*sigh*)

            Like

          • It was an important platform – just the wrong host.

            I’m a published writer too, but there again, it’s a bit difficult not to be when you train and qualify as a journalist πŸ˜€ and I’ve done the odd bit of freelancing as well, I should really make the effort to do more.

            Like

  2. cobbies69 says:

    Firstly Kj,Thank you for your comment on my post, You have created and suggested some great advice here, It is unfortunate that people think it is okay to abuse or use others. There are so many people with a good heart that gets taken, purely because they see good in all people. It is the people that actually think it is fun or whatever other reason to do this that surprises me. You highlight this brilliantly and I think it should be made more aware. Not just in the blogging world as well.

    Like

    • Thanks Gerry.

      So good to see you around again, seriously. Great Christmas story and then – silence – for obvious reasons now. Do hope you are starting to feel much better. I’d dish out the standard advice but I’m sure the medics have already done that.

      The problem with this story is that it is quite complex. I couldn’t give the links to the one because he is down, all blogs and FB gone too, and it is a relatively old story, ie a couple of weeks, so what I wanted to do was remind people of the basics. Not about just blogging but about engaging in an internet relationship via email.

      Pink above made a valid point about prey. The internet is totally mentally orientated. I suspect more than ever that ‘sticks and stones etc’ no longer applies. Words do, and can, hurt people.

      To me, what this particular example highlights, is how a pack mentality and a creation of an inner circle is something to avoid. Even if his blogs were still up there would be no point linking, because you would need to have read it over time for some weeks etc etc and plough through the comments. I could link to hers, but you would have needed to have read the whole circus to understand.

      So better to use this not very nice example to point out some lessons and remind people to take care.

      Like

      • cobbies69 says:

        Links as you say would be no point, I would probably not waste my time clicking them anyway. But i do know what you are saying because I also had a link and follower a year or so back that was just plain ignorant and rude to everyone and thing that was said. To me these people are a waste of my energy, but I do see how others can get caught up. By the way Kj it is nice to back, a little slow at the moment but sure it wont be too long. Thanks.

        Like

        • I think my readers wouldn’t click either. As I said, it’s what to take out of it, and to learn the right approach to dealing – or rather not dealing – with manipulative people. For example this person told people when he defriended them from facebook and unfollowed them, that is serious punishing type of behaviour. Bad news.

          I see how people can get caught up too. I’m slightly sorry that the sort of people who would don’t read my blogs, but there you go.

          hey, I’m slow right now, got too much else on. But will see you around. πŸ™‚

          Like

  3. Disturbing for sure. It reminds me of several incidents I have had to deal with over the years. None of them involved blogging on wordpress but there were still the same markers: slow steady-increased predatory behavior, barely-concealed aggression, victimization and, of course, most of it aided by weak privacy restrictions and knowledge. The message remains: every base, sordid personal human interaction has at least one digital equivalent and generally a zero-trust model is to be adopted on all but the most trivial matters.
    In the end, though, pathological personalities can only hide themselves for so long. The monster generally shows itself. The thing is, it is often too late.

    Like

    • And the bad news is, he was Canadian! The trouble is, many people don’t realise it until they have been sucked in. Very sad. And even worse, that people who do get sucked in are lacking in self-confidence due to whatever reason. Do I want to be Ms Popular or in the Top Team? Do I give a shit? But that comes with age and shed loads of confidence.

      Later posts on this whole issue suggest there is a real-life problem with sexual harassment too. A very disturbing tale, and I have to say one that will stay with me and remind me that it’s good to be nice, but only so far.

      Like

  4. Interesting post and comment exchange even though I don’t have a clue what it is all about – looks like this one passed me by!

    Like

    • Not really your sort of blog, and as I said most of my readers wouldn’t have been there, or if they had they would have left.

      Short story, new blogger creates whacky site, with huge ego, encourages followers and pack mentality. Grows site, gets FP’d (ha!!) but starts to cut people off if they don’t behave. And sends personal emails, in some case sexual ones. One of those people (there were more than one) decided to write about it in public. If you want two days worth of reading I can send you the links πŸ˜€ otherwise, all I was trying to do was point out what people should be thinking of when they engage in this sort of circus.

      Like

      • Thanks for the offer of the link but I haven’t got 2 days to spare, I’m too busy promoting my own blog, getting more followers and trying to get freshly pressed!

        Like

        • You attention seeker you! I read today about someone who was freshly pressed four times. Someone made a post out of it in the same way we carp on about it, and was criticised for saying it was unfair! Trouble was this person did want to be freshly pressed, and happily for her, later received that glorious accolade. [insert *irony* or whatever people do these days, rolly eyes is more like it].

          Like

  5. Vicky says:

    A good post, with some excellent advice.
    Now if you were FP’d your advice would reach far and wide, hopefully helping stop more innocent folk from getting snared by the ‘internet bullies’
    I remember a long time ago on a forum, there was a similar person, getting their kicks from dropping the stone in the mill pond then sitting back and watching the ripples.
    Whether it’s forums, blogs, networking sites or the like, there is always someone lurking in the wings, waiting to pounce on the emotions of the innocent and those who have gone through the mill.
    Unlike the school bullies and their followers, Internet bullies are able to hide behind the keyboard they type on.

    Like

    • Thoughtful comment Vicky. I doubt WP would FP a post that criticises a blog they had not only FPd but interviewed as an example of rip-roaring success.

      As I said, this was last month and I was late to discover it, but I thought it was worth highlighting for the lessons. Always best to remind ourselves. And as I had a sort of encounter with this person, I did have a personal interest in the story. Just very sorry for the people who were badly affected by the blogger. Me, I walked, but not everyone can. I’ve learned a lot about abuse, manipulation and games from reading through this saga. Why read? To learn something I don’t know and understand where other people are coming from. One excellent post explained it all, I’ll look up the link.

      Like

  6. EllaDee says:

    Very interesting. At one stage I checked out that particular blog, but it wasn’t my thing.
    That when you leave a comment on a blog at WordPress.com, your email address is made available to the owner of the blog when they see your comment, I’m not sure is widely known, as early on I received a couple of well meaning emails from people whose posts I commented on, advising me of it. It’s good to be aware but I never write anything I wouldn’t stand up for.
    I had a discussion with a family member over the holidays about internet saviness, passwords, email addresses, IP addresses, being aware that much of what you share online you have no control over once you hit enter yada yada. The conversation started around Facebook, as I explained I’m very selective about Facebook friends.
    In the same way, I’m selective, and becoming more so about WordPress “friends”, who and what I comment on. Generally blogs I follow, comment on, I have in common with other bloggers I follow, and so on.
    I’ve not had any bad online experiences. My Yahoo email was hacked once but Yahoo were onto it, and it was fixed by me setting a better password, within 20 minutes of it occurring.
    But like you say if something, someone doesn’t feel right – walk. Delete. Spam it. Report it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think I had two split views (a bit like my schizo life!) about it. On the one hand a few posts were an ok read, and on the other, I thought some were just crass. But like everyone, I suppose I was amazed at the following, and wondered if I was missing something until the penny dropped that this was one big ego trip.

      Pink (elsewhere) described it as a Ponzi scheme. Me, I’d just have said it was a sham or a facade. Reading the fallout (rather than falling out) there were some interesting posts.

      One woman was so, so keen to be included in the blogroll. Totally opposite to me. But she was also dead keen to be Freshly Pressed (which luckily for her she finally got). And it’s this need for acceptance in what is perceived to be the golden set, or the cool kids, or whatever you want to call it. She was gutted when he dropped her as a FB friend and stopped following her. He went to the trouble of telling her he was doing that. How egotistical is that? Me I haven’t a clue who follows or unfollows me, nor would I care. She wrote a good and honest post about it all though. I think it is Alice at Wonderland or something. Not a bad blog. I got distracted yesterday reading her reviews and those of her two daughers, of the Twilight films. Having read the books but not seen the films, I found them pretty funny. I would prob have FP’d them.

      The other one I found educational was by Life of a Fallen Angel. He did a post called Case Study of a Predator. In his post he described how a predator will manipulate a survivor of abuse, and also why, the victim doesn’t or rather can’t just walk, as I suggested in my post.

      Another woman wrote about narcissism and NPD, about which I knew stuff all until all this started to circulate. That was a good read too. Amidst all the back-biting, mud-slinging, vitriol and hatred directed towards Calamity Rae, there have been some very thoughtul and considered posts. I read these after I wrote my post on here. I haven’t changed anything on mine, because I can’t write from that perspective, so all I could add was what I did, and do, in these sort of situations.

      I think the issue about the email thing, is that it emphasises the need to read at least more than one post on a blog, and check out the about page (even if it is a tissue of lies) before you leave a comment. And certainly don’t leave a comment on someone’s blog saying ‘thank you for liking me’ and thereby attracting a load of spam.

      Maybe I noticed it early on because I go into comments a lot. To check for spam, to edit, to make sure I haven’t missed anything etc. I still think it is odd.

      I think FaceBook just gets worse and worse. I’ve not been on for two or three years now, and neither has Pippa (:D). Partner is still on and never looks, so I flit on there once every few months. A bit like twitter, it’s not really me.

      The circles fascinate me. I’m not sure they are Dunbar ones though. But you could do a beautiul Venn diagram of them I suspect. That would be an interesting task for an empty day if one ever exists. Even looking at this post, Pink and CR mix from time to time in similar circles (Pink found me through LC and my infamous disagreement with LC), and Vicky reads and comments on your blogs and vice versa. Maurice mixes in a different circle, as do Gerry and Andrew, although you can draw secondary links between some of them. I digress.

      I can’t say I have particularly. Arguments yes, but you either shrug your shoulders and leave, or put it all behind and hope the others are adult enough to do so too. I got some nasty comments on a few feminist posts on blogger which I trashed, and one on here about diet telling me I was talking a load of garbage (it was a bit more abusive than that), so that got trashed too. I meant to make a post about it and totally forgot!

      Me, I’d just walk, because that’s my natural behaviour and that’s also why I thought CR was brave and strong-minded to do what she did. And then you discover she wasn’t the only one. If you want to read her blog about LC, just google the obvious words – it comes up on the first page. Sorry, long reply, but serious issues.

      Like

  7. jennypellett says:

    Found this all extremely interesting. I had a brush with a ‘tosser’ a while back but clocked him straight away and got rid once and for all – but not before he had managed to extricate delicate information from a couple of other blogger friends who are less cynical than me. He was outraged that I questioned his motives and was determined to have the last word on the matter. The fact that his gravatar was a doily pattern was a first cause for suspicion as far as I was concerned and his defensiveness on my first enquiring question was beyond belief. I haven’t been bothered since I managed to put him in his place – and he never had the satisfaction of me leaving a message on his blog – unfortunately for my blogging buddy it was all done through her blog and she was mortified. But I coped – I trained as a journo too, back in the dark ages, and as you say, instinct never leaves you and nor does the need for self preservation.
    Hope lots of people get directed here as this post is well worth a read.
    Who wants to be Freshly Pressed anyway? From what I’ve read on blogs that are, I haven’t been terribly impressed. Maybe we could start an alternative award – Unimpressed? Just a thought. Sorry … I’m rambling.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They are all over are they not? But I thought this was a very strong example of someone building up a following and people (women) trusting him, and then being very badly manipulated. Bad news.

      There is something about going into journalism. I would have been happy to write about flower shows, but you soon learn it is something else again. Maybe you learn the skills, or maybe they are there anyway. And that’s why you can do the job.

      It’s not just wishy washy writing, it’s a much harder trade/profession than it ever gets credit for. hey! I can write! I can be a journalist. Yeah, sure.

      Thanks jenny. As I left his blog and didn’t mix with the circles doubt I will get people reading from there. And how to publicise to young impressionables? They will make their own mistakes I suppose.

      Someone gave me a link to ‘I’ve not been freshly pressed’. It’s over on roughseas. It was good. I’ll have to look it up.

      Unimpressed is good though, especially as I usually am πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

  8. None of this came my way…but I was horrified by what you describe.
    I like being able to see an e mail address on a comment…and I do check new people making comments…after the stalking experience from my husband’s family it seems advisable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was an odd scenario. There was a very intense following on this blog and it felt very real. He did do a clever job, and I won’t take that away from him. Luckily it wasn’t my thing. I’m happy to laugh, joke, disagree with people, whatever suits, but I don’t need fans to boost my ego. I’ve used all the words above but it was a classic example of cult following, inner circle and cliques.

      If people want to flirt on the internet, it’s fine when it’s harmless, but before you know it, something changes and you are no longer in control. And it’s harder than a real life situation in many ways, because you can’t sense or see it changing. Or maybe you can, but you need to read between the lines. It’s not just the flirting though, it’s the total manipulation, playing on people’s emotions and causing distress. That is downright nasty.

      I think having been stalked puts a different light on wanting to know who is commenting, but for 90+% of people, I’m guessing it is irrelevant. It can be handy if you want to make a private comment by email, but I’ve rarely used it. 99% of what I say can go as a blog comment. It’s a good reminder to always check out someone’s blog before you comment though.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Kev says:

    Wow! Some really great advice on here, Kate. I’ll have to come back and read again to comment more. I still haven’t gone through all the conversations with Pink yet. I’ll have to start giving his site a more serious turn since he usually has something valid to add and doesn’t just bs his way through things. πŸ™‚

    Like

    • It’s basic advice, but no harm in reiterating it, using a case example. Plus, as I couldn’t write on Calamity Rae’s site, I wanted to post something somewhere that said how much I admired her.

      Similarly Pink has written about the Grace Church in Seattle for their anti-gay messages, well anti-everything if you don’t agree with them would be more accurate. He has an interesting blog and writes about a range of topics. A bit like you do. So it can vary from news to garden or dog photos, or food or whatever.

      I don’t see anything wrong with criticising other blogs (I do it all the time :D) but I think with this incident with Calamity Rae and the personal emails, that is taking it to another level. She was right to make public what had happened.

      Like

      • Kev says:

        It may seem basic to people like ourselves, but there are a lot of folks out there that either don’t/can’t think for themselves or are completely clueless and wouldn’t know what to do if they did get into a spot of bother.

        Advice like this can make a huge difference to them, make them think whereas they wouldn’t have otherwise. πŸ™‚

        Like

        • It’s always easy to trust or mistrust people over the internet eh? The important thing is to be clear what you both want out of it and if you are worried, you don’t get any further involved I walked from that particular scenario because I didn’t like what he said or what he was creating on his blog. I didn’t realise how spooky it was because it never came to that with me.

          And if it had, as I said to Pink, right at the top of the comments on here, I would have told him to fuck off anyway.

          Internet relationships are difficult. We need to take people on trust, but also protect ourselves. I try and balance it. Hopefully it works out.

          Like

          • Kev says:

            That’s true. You don’t really know the person, but I think weirdos will out. It’s in their nature. It’s a shame that they can ruin the whole internet experience for some though.

            That’s why I have the anti-bullying page. I think it’s a clear enough message for potential harassers that I’m not going to take any shit and I’ll get involved if they are harassing anybody I know as well…can’t stand people like that and they seriously don’t want to see that side of me.

            On the other hand, I’m smart enough to recognize a simple or even not so simple misunderstanding and I’m willing to do my bit to fix it even though I realize not everyone has the intellectual capacity for such ends.

            So, like yourself I also strive for a balance and hope it works out. πŸ™‚

            Like

          • I can’t even remember if said bitch-slapper ever commented on mine, but after that, although I agreed with a lot of his points and posts, he went.

            I have disagreed with people on here too. But some people seem to be able to get over it, and still come back to comment which is good, I think. Being able to disagree is important. Defending an indefensible position is not the best idea in the world.

            Liked by 1 person

  10. I wandered over to his blog – and thought it was all odd: the blogger and many of the commenters. There’s funny, there’s sarcasm/satire, and then there’s just odd.
    Read it for a while, but really didn’t fit in. And I’m not much on so many guest posts and all that over sharing – not sure a great deal of that is really healthy or “healing” no matter what anyone says. Once stuff is put on the net, it’s there – no control. People should be more careful. A lot of trolls, and bad people out there. Have family experience with a very dangerous stalker (restraining orders in multiple states…the laws are there, but “so hard to make case”…especially if you don’t want to bother as you really suspect it’s the female’s fault. FB is very dangerous place.
    I tend to check out commenters carefully. It’s easy to present a false face online.
    Sounds like he was one ugly person when crossed (and funny how many bloggers get irate if you mention an opposing view. I should stop poking the ant bed and just go play elsewhere…unless really bored?)

    Like

    • Oh snarl. didn’t proofread and typing too fast .sarcasm/satire. There’s probably other errors, but Molly is annoyed about something outside. (I’ll do better – don’t ban me. giggles)

      Like

      • Not being able to edit comments means you can’t change what you said, which is good, but is annoying in that irritating spellings are there for all. Fixed. Can’t ban you, how would I hear about Molly and the German?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thanks. The German was having some tummy issues so came here for a few days to calm down- and be only a few steps to outdoor grass. She’s got a very delicate stomach and tends to be tense/stressed, so change of scenery helps quickly – plus there’s a friend – and squirrels to chase. Molly was terribly sad after she left. They do have their spats (which is why I was crawling around the backyard in the last post just keeping an eye on them for a bit.) Once they get past the territory claims of couches, sharing (duplicate) toys, and both get tired (but not exhausted), they do OK. We’d get a dog pet for Molly, but then we’d end up with 3 dogs on occasion. Not good to be outnumbered.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Poor German 😦 I get tummy issues when I’m stressed too. She needs to come here and destress with Pippaβ€”No, Snowy, not you, go play with Molly. We had three, I liked it. Trouble is when you get the third, the first often dies … but if the German was just visiting that wouldn’t apply. RC might feel the realm was being invaded though.

            Liked by 1 person

          • Yeah, the little fur flying is what holds us back – she’s getting a bit old to be continually asked to adapt…but if we lived on a big place with more room instead of tiny patch that turns from grass to muddy runway. It’s the mud. (Snowy wouldn’t mind, though – just move fast and it won’t stick? We just got back from a drenching dog walk…) Paw waves..oh, just let me wipe that mud off there)

            Like

          • Silly dog tried a stand off with another, backed onto a tyre and has a black mark down his side. Gotta protect the pack. At all dirty costs.

            Liked by 1 person

          • at least it wasn’t a skunk…

            Like

    • I thought it was sort of interesting, and I fitted in ok until I started to find my feet … it seemed to escalate into one big ego trip.

      I think his MH, Black Box, or something blog, was meant to be a safe place. Except it wasn’t.

      I left FB years back. Only on now for a closed book review group.

      I suppose it is. So many of us use a pseudonym for whatever reason. Although one can read beneath that.

      Yes, opposing views are not usually welcomed. Depends on the ego of the blogger. The bigger the ego, the more testosterone, the less the welcome.

      Like

      • It seemed like everyone visited that blog. I guess I was lucky. When I responded to a harsh comment there with a solid opposing view, the commenter went ballistic, but I didn’t back down – or get obnoxious. Actually LC also weighed in on my side, too. And even emailed to say not to worry/pay attention to what the guy said as he was a jerk. Wonder if it’s because he thought Phil was a male?
        People still read differently if a male writes it. (Sounds vaguely classically familiar?)
        Blogging should be fun – some places have better discussions than others. (Women bloggers can get just as huffy.) But bottom line, as the reader, you can always shut the computer if it gets to you…unless you’re just bored and want to annoy the puffed up little ants….like any of it or us really matter – it’s blogging. (unless the national security people have a grudge against you? Giggles) Oh, yowling RC Cat. She’s apparently realized the dogs will not hurt her and if she’s really loud and annoying staff will throw yet another bowl of food at her…

        Like

        • Like I say, he was great with me, until I challenged his premise for publicising people that seemed awfully weighted in his favour if people had to write ten mentions about him on their blogs. Or something. I forget the detail as I refused to play. Bad rebellious Roughseas not playing party games.

          I think a few people still think you are male. You could be Philippa of course but you would probably be Philly or Pippa. How many people think Pippa’s a girl? It’s all in a name. I’ve done the male ID thing too. Fascinating. Respect and friendliness from the women, less from the men. Seen as competition by the men maybe? Ha. Ironic. Doubt I would be seen like that if they saw a middle-aged woman (my alter ego is half my age).

          Agreed, all bloggers can be huffy. I still think the worst displays have come from some men though. *Shrugs* beats doing the washing up but I have to do it at some time. Just puts off the inevitable.

          I knew Snowy had got his barking demanding tips from somewhere. Plus he sits like a cat with his tail draped just so, poised to twitch. I think he has been in secret correspondence with RC.

          Like

          • Sounds like you were much more in the LC” in-crowd”. I was being cautious until I understood the terrain, but wandered off a lot to other blogs. So I never really understood what his game plan was ( and there were indications that there was one). What you are relaying is interesting. Some people use blog for more than writing and entertainment – the schemers are annoying. Recently had a few run ins with one “new inexperienced blogger” (ha) who was constantly grabbing and reblogging my (and others’) posts – loft ideas for his blog site as a reference of info for others (sociology/techie/science/philosophy…h kept expanding his “focus”) Never wrote an original post/never asked permission. Removed the reblog button (again) and we went round a bit more. He seems to have gone away…probably still stealing from those unaware of “flattered”. I do think men are the worst at being devious bloggers..women seem to weep and whine and cry (Don’t let them ever see you cry. Didn’t your mom tell you that? Fall back into the “poor little woman who needs to be protected, pitied, and helped as they can’t do it themselves.” )
            Some day all individuals will stand on their own two feet and managed life with grace, skill, intelligence, and compassion….(but we may have to wait for a bunch to die off.)
            The name thing. Worked in male dominated careers most of my life – and hung out with the boys in school (they were so much more logical to talk with. Less time spent figuring out what they meant.) Men at work were intimidated, they said so – not because I was mean/ugly to them, but could out think them , fast. The smart ones figured it out and partnered up. My last job was a nightmare – all women. I made them nervous. They never got satire, irony, or much humor at all.
            So not knowing the lay of the land with blogs, I decided on a vague name.
            Here as in many places, people see what they want to see. (going to any WP gathering would crush readers’ image of me, too, no doubt.
            One thing I do regret is not visiting Gib when I was close. So much history. Spain was making difficult to get there at the time. We do deserve a chat at a local cafe or overlooking the sea. We can carry pictures of avatars for identification…although we’d recognize Pippa, Snowy and Molly instantly. Of course they have to come.

            Like

  11. Great post by the way.

    I would add
    2a) Do it under a pen name! Keep some personal details private. I also do everything through a proxy to help cover my internet foot prints. That is true styles is NOT my last name. /smirk It’s a pen name.

    4a) Use an alias Email and DO NOT attach it in anyway to other person emails or cell phones. Use it only for blogging and personal conversations with strangers on the internet.

    5a) If you discover a stalker get a restraining order ASAP!

    And one more to you list. Set comments to β€œneed approval” If you feel the comment is distasteful or meant to hurt you or someone else click delete. I have never had to delete one yet but I bet a time will come.

    Protecting yourself online isn’t to hard with a little common sense. People know I live in Hawaii and that I surf. I am not to hard to find but I have many surfing buddies and I always meet people in groups. Ladies can do things to protect themselves IRL and on the internet.

    You now have my email and if someone dug into it they would see it attached to my blog and nothing else. The TCPIP address isn’t my real one and services that help you stay anonymous online aren’t very expensive. There is no cell phone attached. When required put in 800 555-1212 (toll free information) haha, So many easy things maybe I should write a how to remain nameless on-line post.. πŸ™‚

    Safety and security just take a little thought. Also last thing use a tough password maybe not as anal as my 32 character upper/lower case with numbers and special symbols passwords but always use good strong passwords. Your cats name is fine but rather than use buttersworth try something like Butt3rsworth or Butter$worth or get real fancy and make Bu77er$w0rth! see how quickly a simple password can be made much more difficult??

    Great post. πŸ™‚

    Like

  12. Thanks for your visit Michelle. I’ve not got round to visiting yours, my apologies. I have meant to. That’s all good advice. I guess most of us are pretty complacent. But most of us don’t get too much cyber grief or real life grief. From your comments, it sounds like you have. Visit your blog soonish.

    Again, thanks for your visit, comment and excellent advice.

    Like

    • I don’t get much grief but I am a rape survivor and the men responsible are still in jail. They don’t know one of them produced an off spring (only because I couldn’t murder the child) and I don’t think of him as theirs only mine. So I have reason to protect my real identity though my story is on the blog and someday someone will notice it and I may have to face to face with one of more of these monsters but it will be a decade away at the soonest still. πŸ™‚

      In the mean time I try not to make myself a victim or easy to victimize. I manage to still see the good in people this way.

      Like

      • Rape is every woman’s fear. Or at least it is mine. But to go through it and survive and bring up a child takes incredible fortitude.

        You are a very strong woman. My heart goes out to you. Not that it helps, but I can’t imagine what you have gone through. I wish you much love in your current post-rape life. Nasty, evil people.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Tiribulus says:

    If possible, this had even less to do with than I though it would.

    Like

    • That’s because you look at the world from your perspective. There are more views than yours.

      Like

      • Tiribulus says:

        I have absolutely nothing in common with this person except we both have 2 eyes, a nose and a mouth. I seek NO traffic at my so called blog and you will find nobody saying I acted this way. Ever. An episode of Spongebob is as relevant to me. (cue Arch)

        Like

        • That’s a fair enough comment. No you don’t seek traffic for your blog at all. I will agree with that unreservedly. The issue that concerns everyone, is offering to take sensitive and emotional conversations to email. Arch don’t read my blog.

          Like

          • Tiribulus says:

            “That’s a fair enough comment. No you don’t seek traffic for your blog at all. I will agree with that unreservedly.”
            Well. πŸ™‚ Thank you. I must admit, it feels good to have you give me a fair shake, I appreciate that that very much.

            I’m not on an ego trip maam. Ya know what I do with the people I deal with? I send them to churches in their town. Churches that never heard of me. I get nothing out of that except the joy of helping somebody like I was helped and knowing that my God is pleased.

            Strong>The issue that concerns everyone, is offering to take sensitive and emotional conversations to email.
            Yes, I do do that. That is my right, as it is theirs to turn me down at which time I leave them alone. However, at least as often, they come to me. (yes, they really do) More women (for whatever reason) it’s true, but men too.

            You don’t understand Christianity. All past tension aside for a moment. All I am is an instrument, in my belief. Chasing and begging and pressuring people is for cults. Yes, I present biblical truth as purely and persuasively as I reasonably can. As much by my genuine friendship, as anything else. I actually really care about them. (which people can tell) What God does with that is up to Him. I trust Him. It’s His word after all πŸ™‚

            If they wind up not wanting to talk, fine. I still love them and leave my hand always out. Sometimes they come back. Months or even far longer later. Sometimes I never hear from them again. I am however never sorry I met anybody, though when you really develop an affection for somebody (male or female) it’s a bummer when they leave, but I let them go.

            That’s actually the truth.

            Like

          • My interest/knowledge of Christianity has always been academic. Do I want to understand it from the inside? No. Life is too short to waste my time on that.

            ‘Chasing and begging is for cults’, and yet you say you present your truth as persuasively as you can? That is evil stuff however you look at it. It is so Elmer Gantry it isn’t true. Except it is.

            Can you see why you appear to be trying to manipulate people by taking them away from a public arena? It’s very easy to do. You may not be the same as the person quoted above but if you want to ‘persuade’ people there is little difference.

            And yes, email relationships come, and they go. And there is sadness when they go, for whatever reason. But our reasons for emailing people are not the same.

            Like

          • Tiribulus says:

            We have different reasons for opening our eyes in the morning my dear.

            Like

          • Indeed. We have different reasons for living our lives. Both are equally valid.

            Like

I appreciate any comments you leave, so long as they are relatively polite. And thanks for reading.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s