By July 24, 2009 Read More →

Please do not engage abusers

Yesterday, Lovefraud had an intruder. I saw this guy’s first couple of posts, which struck me as odd, but not necessarily offensive. I decided to keep an eye on him.

Before long, however, several longtime Lovefraud contributors began attacking this individual. I thought the attacks were unwarranted.

We have had occasions in the past when people started accusing newcomers of being sociopaths. I think this is a very dangerous thing to do based on a few posts that may sound different from what we generally see here.

Meaning is missing

Experts have found that 65 percent to 90 percent of the meaning in human communication comes from nonverbal cues—tone of voice, gestures, posture. That means when the primary form of communication is via words on a computer monitor, 65 percent to 90 percent of the meaning is missing.

So how can we be sure of a person’s intentions? Not everyone is an expressive writer—some people may be stiff and formal. And not everyone may speak (and write) English as a first language.

Furthermore, Lovefraud.com is not a closed, invitation-only forum. It is open to the public, so it is quite possible that we have readers who are not victims, or former victims, of sociopaths. People who have been lucky enough not to have experienced the assault of a sociopath have a very different perspective from those of us who have been there. They may wonder, in writing, what all the bellyaching is about. That doesn’t mean they are sociopaths.

We also may have people who jump into a conversation without much of an introduction. There is no prerequisite that people tell their stories before participating in the Lovefraud Blog. Someone may just want to make an observation or pose a question. The post may sound different from what we generally see. That doesn’t make him or her a sociopath.

Jumping to conclusions is not helpful. In one situation, a person was attacked in what I believe was simply a case of mistaken identity.

Negative intentions

Now, it does turn out that everyone who sensed negative intentions on the part of yesterday’s intruder was right. Checking the IP address, I found that it was the same guy who showed up a few days ago. He actually posted on another forum, where predators apparently compare notes, that he hacked into his girlfriend’s computer and found references to Lovefraud. He then invited all his cronies to launch an attack on this blog.

A few Lovefraud contributors did write to me to express concerns, which I appreciate. I was watching this individual. But I admit that he began to show his true colors after I was away from the computer, and I didn’t react quickly. Now, however, I have deleted all his posts.

Personal attacks are not tolerated

The policy at Lovefraud is that personal attacks against other bloggers are not tolerated. I ask everyone, even long-time contributors who suspect a predator, to observe this policy.

So when you believe that someone is here to cause trouble, please do not engage. Do not react. Do not take the bait. Because when we do, we just feed the beast, and the entire Lovefraud conversation degenerates.

It’s important for us to be listening to our intuition. But when we get messages that something is amiss, what should we do? In the real world, we advocate No Contact. I believe we should do the same on Lovefraud.

Remember, they’re looking for a reaction. If we don’t give it, most of them just go away.

Posted in: Donna Andersen

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