I've always believed a person's online identity is truly who that person is. You can present yourself in public in many ways, however, when it comes to your online general behavior that's really who you are deep down.
With that said, I've seen a lot of catfishing and other questionable behavior this past year online, and in my case what I've seen comes predominantly from ambitious, opportunistic, aggressive bloggers who sometimes even cross over as fiction authors. These are always people who would never have had a voice in public...anywhere...if it hadn't been for the Internet, multiple free social media accounts, and free access to a Word Press blog. You wouldn't even have known they were alive if it hadn't been for the Internet because their biggest talent is having the ability to manipulate nice, innocent people for their own personal gain.
Those of you who have been catfished and duped online know exactly what I'm talking about. What makes all this even worse is that many of these devious opportunistic catfishers have built a loyal fan base that run to their defense when their devious behavior is finally exposed. In one case this year, a very well known romance book blogger/reviewer was forced to admit that she was not only running a hugely successful (and profitable) publishing blog, but also writing books in the same genre she blogs about daily, with a pen name and a completely fictitious identity. For several years, this aggressive, manipulative, clever blogger catfished in private forums and basically duped everyone with whom she came into contact. And when she was finally exposed, her loyal online minions ran to her defense and even started a crowdfunding page for her.
There have been many other cases that aren't worth getting into, however, the point is that people who have been catfished often feel completely hopeless because the catfisher is almost always clever enough to put a spin on it and come out looking good in spite of all the pain and emotional distress he or she has caused people. In some cases I've seen them build networks with other questionable types who will come to their defense. And the victims wind up feeling helpless while the criminal continues to move forward unscathed.
So here is an interesting web site that talks about what you can do if you believe it to be true that you have been the victim of a catfishing scam. I haven't seen many charges pressed against these online criminals but I do think that's going to change in the future as more of them are exposed.
The main problem with catfishing and the law is this:
The answer is not clear cut, it depends.
So until more victims start pressing charges against these online criminals, the most important thing anyone can do now is to remain prudent with any online relationships.
Philly Gay Bashing Trial Tweets
Here's another new twist in the alleged Philadelphia gay bashing trial that makes social media even more relevant in modern daily life.
A judge ruled Tuesday that a suspect’s anti-gay tweets can be introduced at her trial next month, according to Philly.com.
Kathryn Knott, one of the three Bucks County defendants charged in the September 2014 assault on a gay couple in Center City, is the only one to have claimed trial.
Her two alleged accomplices Philip Williams, 25 and Kevin Harrigan, 26, will not serve any time behind bars after accepting a plea deal.
Here's one of her tweets:
‘this camo song is gay like all the other brad paisley songs’
You can read the rest here. I guess she never heard the saying, "What you say online remains online forever."
The Remove Adam Lambert Petition
There are 11,000 signatures in an online petition to remove Adam Lambert from a New Year's Eve concert in Singapore.
It is not known who started the petition which is signed, ‘For the love of Singapore, our family and our future, Concerned citizens, Concerned parents, Concerned individuals.’
Describing the singer as a ‘performer fraught with controversy even in his home country’, it lists the American Idol Sean 8 runner-up has having ‘engaged in sexualized acts, including kissing a male band member on stage’ and ‘featur(ing) female showgirls and male strippers performing acts of indecency.’
It goes on to say, ‘Singaporeans can enjoy a good show without their consciences being affronted by lewd acts in the name of entertainment.’
I don't know much about Adam Lambert or his act so I can't comment...other than saying I don't think I've ever heard of anyone wanting to ban Ricky Martin from anything.
Here's the rest.
Fangsters: Book 2
Gang Bang Fangsters