Thursday, June 11, 2009

Bloggers (and readers) beware

In the last two weeks I have found myself having followed two seperate blogs which in one way or another turned out to be fake. I do not wish to draw anymore attention to these poor ladies than is necessary, those of you whom follow other blogs will likely know who I mean. Having come across these ladies blogs through other blogs I read, I got caught up in their stories of unwell children and eventful pregnancies. As it turns out both these women are very unwell and unstable, one harming her own child for attention and the other never having been pregnant at all.

I find it incredibly sad that so many people got very close emotionally to both these blogs and the children they were about. Many people invested time, money and their services to help out the families in need. There are many people today I think wary of following other's blogs they don't know personally.

I myself do not regret the time I spent reading either of these blogs. In one situation there is a sweet little girl deserving of good thoughts and prayers, regardless of the Mother's actions and misleading blog. In another the young lady is obviousle unstable and still in need of good thoughts and well wishes. I don't think there is anything wrong in sending some good, positive vibes or prayers out there, no matter of the recepient they are aimed at. In one way or another everyone needs them.

But I also think it is a time for bloggers and blog readers to protect themselves. Not to become quite so emotionally involved in another's blog until you can be certain of their motives. With the access to the internet and an abundance of medical info out there, it is all too easy for someone to pose as being sick, having an unwell child or significant other. Whether this be for money or for attention the result is still devestating for those who follow their made up lives when the truth becomes clear. And it always does.

So I would like to encourage those whom blog and read to make sure:
1) If you are posting photos onto the internet please watermark them with your name
2)If you blog please consider disabling the right click function. Just makes things a little harder for the scammers out there.
3)Never give details of where exactly you live, plans for outings until they are over, or information about your child's school or preschool
4)It's OK I think to use first names, but be wary of letting you entire name be known through your blog. It then only becomes a matter of elimination for people to track you down.
5) Be wary of a blog asking for donations until you are entirely sure of the bloggers motives, know them or trust someone who does know them.
6)Be wary if a relatively new blogger begins running competitions to bump up their blog views when they also run adds on their site. This is how one of the scammers made their money.

Overall just take care of yourself. If it turns out someone you have been following is a scammer, delete them from your following list and move on. Don't beat yourself up and don't let it stop you from enjoying other people's blogs. There are so many lovely, genuine bloggers out there.

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