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10 July 2010 @ 02:33 pm
The Internet and the Crazy  
Whoa. You know, you hear this stuff all the time, but even reading an old report of the crazy on the internet still sends me into shock.

The Life and Death of Jesse James

It's tough to read stories of people who have messed with people so much. Sure, I guess you can argue that the victims are stupid to be so trusting, but I don't really like to buy into that. Some people are very trusting. And while I consider myself smart, I've been taken for a ride or two before, though no where as close as this disgusting and severe. Or maybe I'm just being naive again.

We hear about versions of this all the time in different fandoms. But you know, when I read stuff like this it just reminds me how normal my problems are. I'm lonely too, and it's easy to get sucked into a mess when you just want someone to talk to. That's why I'm thankful for the friends I know both offline and online who might not be "perfect" but who genuinely care about me and aren't out to make me some sick game.
Current Mood: nauseatednauseated
Nervous, Messed-Up Marionettesuperbadgirl on July 10th, 2010 06:56 pm (UTC)
IIRC, there was someone who pulled stuff like that on OS once upon a time.
Working for the Mandroid: unlikely friendsmoonshayde on July 10th, 2010 07:00 pm (UTC)
It seems like it happens in just about every fandom, doesn't it? varying degrees and all, but still. Like the amount of flounces and internet deaths are crazy.

Do you remember what the OS situation was?
Nervous, Messed-Up Marionette: who monitorssuperbadgirl on July 10th, 2010 07:10 pm (UTC)
Not really too much - she was someone who always had something catastrophic going on, and I am, well, not unsympathetic, but I find that all hard to take. So I avoided interaction and wasn't in on the specifics.
Working for the Mandroid: Sam Flopsmoonshayde on July 10th, 2010 07:13 pm (UTC)
I don't remember this. Hmm.

I admit. Every time I post something going in my life I hesitate and think, geez, people must think I am making all this up. But I guess I'll cross that line once I blow myself up with Cherry Coke when I'm saving kitties from a brush fire on the side of the highway.
Nervous, Messed-Up Marionette: sam bdabrsuperbadgirl on July 10th, 2010 07:20 pm (UTC)
It's different, I think, when you are posting in your own space versus trolling public boards. Hell, I know I've focused too much on what's going wrong in my life on LJ and not enough on the good stuff. Human nature.

But this girl's stuff was ... I dunno.
(Screened comment)
Working for the Mandroidmoonshayde on July 10th, 2010 08:50 pm (UTC)
You mean demons and angels aren't stalking me and trying to possess me or make me their vessels? But I have proof! I just can't show you because my internet keeps going down and an evil clown stole my camera.

You probably did but I'm thinking I blocked it out. I can't remember!
MegTDJ: SPN - Castiel Bobby healedmeg_tdj on July 10th, 2010 11:36 pm (UTC)
*backs away slowly*

Dude, I swear we talked about it just a couple weeks ago! Maybe you did block it out. Weeeeird.
(Anonymous) on July 11th, 2010 12:03 am (UTC)
are you talking about that crazy spiletta girl?
MegTDJ: SPN - Castiel confusedmeg_tdj on July 11th, 2010 12:31 am (UTC)
Why hello there, anonymous. No, I don't know anyone by that name. There was probably more than one person who tried the same game, though.
(Screened comment)
Working for the Mandroid: Sam Cutmoonshayde on July 10th, 2010 08:55 pm (UTC)
A lot of people on the internet are either lonely, or can't find what they want locally (think of people who have internet access but live in vastly rural areas), are people who are home a lot, or "insert other reason."

It's the prefer breeding ground for less than stable people to prey on those.

Of course you have a lot of just plain insane behavior, but I see that every day in the real world too LOL
MegTDJ: CM - Reid not scaredmeg_tdj on July 10th, 2010 11:42 pm (UTC)
The problem is, if you're insane in the real world people tend to know you're insane, or at least get a vibe that something isn't right. You can be insane online and come across as though you're not, which is incredibly creepy. And anybody can (and often do) pretend to be anyone they want online. Those who would never even consider doing something like that don't tend to suspect it in others, you know? That's easily preyed on right there.

I swear, the internet should come with a guidebook spelling out in no uncertain terms that once you turn it on, you have NO idea who you're interacting with. Take everything with a grain of salt and remember that you can't always believe what you read. Some people never really get that, and I think crazy people gravitate towards them knowing they can get away with anything.
Seisachtheiaclaudiapriscus on July 10th, 2010 07:29 pm (UTC)
It's not just in fandom that this kind of thing happens. There was a girl I went to high school with who pretended to be a cancer survivor and a hundred other things. She wasn't even looking for that "poor you" attention, exactly...it was weird.
Working for the Mandroid: Carside SamDeanmoonshayde on July 10th, 2010 08:52 pm (UTC)
I think that happened with a teacher around here once, too. She pretended she had cancer and the school rallied for her and did this fundraisers and stuff and then she ran off with the money. Think she's in jail now or something.
flynn_boyant: West Wing - bad on so many levelsflynn_boyant on July 10th, 2010 08:15 pm (UTC)
Holy Mother of GOD.
I mean, there's just nothing else I can say. There really isn't anything that can sum up just how truly messed up that is. Jesus Frickin' Christ, that poor woman!
Working for the Mandroid: Dean Rebelmoonshayde on July 10th, 2010 08:53 pm (UTC)
Wasn't that something?

I actually wasn't waiting for the big reveal at the end where the writer admits he made the whole thing up and went, haha! Fooled you! But that never happened.

cate12345: bbt wtfcate12345 on July 10th, 2010 09:39 pm (UTC)
Wow, that is fricking scary, and a reminder of being careful who we friend on the 'net. We never truly know who we "meet" on here.
aelfgyfu_meadaelfgyfu_mead on July 11th, 2010 12:04 am (UTC)
I had read that story some time ago, and it still scares me.

A teacher at my high school pulled some stunts. I twigged to it fairly early on; something struck me as wrong about him, and I doubted him before almost anyone else did. I got in trouble, too, when someone repeated something I said to the principal. By the end of the term in which he'd been hired to replace someone else, though, a lot of people had caught him out, and he wasn't hired again.

You'd think that would mean I was smart about people, but nope. I've been suckered since, again in real life, thinking people were my friends who were seriously not my friends. One of my real friends had to pull me aside at one point and warn me about somebody. (I felt a little better when she had to do the same for somebody else, because I knew he was really smart, and he'd made the same mistake!)

Some people are very charismatic and persuasive. Sometimes they fool everyone, at least for a time (see: my high school); sometimes they can only fool some people. That doesn't mean their victims are stupid. It means the con artists are effective. Also, some mentally ill people do believe their lies, so how are other people to realize they're lying?

Fortunately, I do think these people are really few and far between.
Foxy11814foxy11814 on July 11th, 2010 12:50 am (UTC)
Wow, that was crazy but very believable and true. I haven't ran across this personally in any of my fandoms, but I have heard about a case like this from some of my online buds who were in the WWE fandom. (So, yeah, it happens everywhere.)

In this case, there was this girl who friended people who were huges friends of a particular wrestler, and they became genuine friends. Eventually, this girl started posting stories of how she was raising a baby on her own and needed help. She would post pictures and tell cute little baby stories. Eventually, it was discovered that she was taking, saving, and reposting these pictures from another online individual who had just had a baby.

When this was discovered, they confronted the girl and showed everyone the proof by going to the other website where the pictures were posted. They even talked to the real mother.

The girl ended up being banned from the board, but she created new screen names on AOL and at other locations to talk to the people she once socialized with. Many were lucky and recognized it was her. Eventually, the girl got the hint and left these group of friends alone, but I have no doubt she's probably out there somewhere doing the same thing to someone else.

It is scary.

Edited at 2010-07-11 12:52 am (UTC)
jomadge: SG1 - Daniel - bbbbjomadge on July 11th, 2010 01:03 am (UTC)
That was an amazing story, and a billion extra cool points for having Harlan Ellison as one of the key players. But wow. I remember hearing of a crazy woman who had a whole lot of people fooled in the Harry Potter fandom some time back. I've met some fairly eccentric people in fandom, and once saw a woman get herself kicked out of a convention for coming on too strongly to one of the celebrity guests (she thought he was her soul mate), but nothing even close to this level of OMGINSANE.
crayonbreakygalcrayonbreakygal on July 11th, 2010 07:18 am (UTC)
I read that story too. We all want to be trusting, but sometimes. I can totally understand why she did in the first place. She had good friends to pull her through.
brijeana: Strange Balloonbrijeana on July 11th, 2010 09:07 pm (UTC)
Wow. Just... wow. I can understand not liking yourself and wanting to be "someone better" online but THIS?! That's just... wow. I don't want to believe that someone could do that to another person. Talk about a disconnect from reality.
     Mandy: Captain Bitchfacea_phoenixdragon on July 13th, 2010 07:00 am (UTC)
Gads...it' amazing how cruel and awful people can be - and you're right, it doesn't matter how smart you are, it depends on how lonely you are and how sick some of the world is. The Internet just makes it easier for people like this to 'widen' their victim pool. Makes me pissed it does!

*hugs you*