*Anyone can use the internet to make false accusations.
    *Some people will believe anything they read online or in print.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

On Facebook, even relatives can be friends.
But enemies can contact your friends.

The internet in general, and Facebook in particular, are wonderful tools for communicating. They make it easy and free to debate important issues and trivia, announce good news, commiserate about bad news, and spread lies and hurt people.

The smart-and-evil asshole who attacked me set up a blog on Friday with multiple phony claims about my alleged criminal activities, with a picture of me, a picture of my house, my address, fax number, business name and other real and fabricated details of my life.

Also on Friday, he set up a petition page on Change.org, to gather signatures calling for me to be put on the "Connecticut Sex Offences Register." He got that name wrong, used the name of a phony organization to sponsor the petition, and as of today has signatures from just two people. It's entirely possible that "Jordan Rosenthal" and "Georgina Francis" are not real people, but exist only in the mind of the man who has been diagnosed as a paranoid psycopath.

He also set up a "petition page" on Facebook, to gather support to have me put on the pervert list. By yesterday afternoon about a dozen people (possibly real, possibly fake) had signed up. The defenders of morality and the young and innocent expressed appropriate fear and loathing, and wanted to see my head on a pike, or below the chopping platform of a guillotine.

Fortunately, after complaints, Facebook deleted the petition page.
  • If the people on the page are real, I offer them an ancient middle-eastern curse, "May the fleas of a thousand syphilitic camels infest the crotch of your first-born son."
  • And, a curse from eastern Europe, "May all of your teeth fall out, except one; and that tooth should give you a toothache."
After the blog and the petitions were in place, on Saturday morning the perpetrator started sending messages to my Facebook friends. I'm not quite as popular as Barack Obama or Lindsay Lohan, but nearly 90 people are willing to be identified as my friends. The messages were signed by various aliases, including "Kevin Phillips," "Larry Carlson," "Mike Joseph," "Chad Betz" and my favorite, "Jonah Ark."

Some FB friends are people I know since first grade, back in 1951. Some of them I have not seen since we graduated from high school in 1964. Some are people I "know" only online. Some I don't know, but if they want to be my friends, I can be friendly, too. Some of my FB friends are actually my relatives.

By mid-morning Saturday I started getting phone calls and emails from concerned, confused and comforting friends.

A few -- who know of my penchant for April Foolery and other creative but harmless spoofs -- thought that I had planted the fakes. As someone who prides himself on superb bullshitting, I will admit that the work was fairly well done -- but not as well done as I could have done it -- but I am not crazy enough to publicly accuse myself of child rape. I like publicity, but not that kind.

The support and public endorsements I received were widespread, sincere, and extremely welcome. One message even made me weepy. It's good things like this that redeem the web.

I thank all of my friends very, very much. This is a tough time, and I have no idea how long it will last or what the outcome will be. It's good to have you on my side, and on my PC screen.

No comments:

Post a Comment