Sunday, January 28, 2007


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by Lisa Lerer

MySpace doesn't ask its members for much--it just wants them to be at least 14 years old.

But even that low bar is easy to hurdle for a determined youngster: News Corp.'s popular social networking site simply asks new users to supply a name, ZIP code, valid e-mail address and a qualifying birth date.

That's just fine with the MySpace users who have created 150 million profiles on the site. But it worries some parents, regulators and lawmakers, who worry that the site doesn't do enough to keep kids safe from malicious adults.

MySpace has spent the past year responding to the critics. Last April, the company hired Hemanshu Nigam, a former Microsoft security chief and federal prosecutor, to head the company's security efforts.

In December, Nigam announced a partnership with Miami-based identity-verification company Sentinel Tech Holding to build a database of the 550,000 registered sex offenders in the U.S. The site will delete the profile of any MySpace member who matches up. Last week, the company acknowledged that it's developing special software that will allow parents to monitor the public information visible on their children's profiles. And this week the company said it would broadcast Amber alerts on the site, alerting users to abducted children in their area.

Yet none of these measures will prevent underage users from signing up. That's because there is no effective way to do so, MySpace argues.

A coalition of 34 state attorneys general, led by Connecticut's Richard Blumenthal, doesn't buy it. "If we can put a man on the moon, or create the Internet for that matter, we can have effective age verification," he says. The attorneys general say that MySpace better find a way to start carding--and fast--or the company will end up in court.

Checking online age and identities may not be rocket science. But even sites that want to scrutinize their visitors have a hard time keeping children out. In large part that's because young people, unlike adults, don't generate a lot of usable data fingerprints. "We don't view teenagers as legal entities, so there's no paper trail on them," says Sentinel Tech Chief Executive John Cardillo.

Cardillo, whose company verifies identities for age-sensitive sites like dating services and cigarette vendors, starts by asking users for basic information. Name, address, birth date, and partial Social Security number are the standard first questions. Sentinel then runs those facts through various databases, searching for confirming documents like property records, vehicle registration and voter rolls. Anyone who doesn't make the cut is locked out of the site.

For the average adult, Cardillo says he can usually find about 15 different points of reference. But for most people under 21, there's simply not enough data. "You might find a handful in any batch you run on users 18-21, but there's not enough information that could you could call it an effective solution," he says.
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But minors do have one very comprehensive source of information: their parents. Several identification companies peddle products that include parents in the sign-up process.

Zoey's Room, an online community for girls aged 10 to 14, uses a service from Atlanta-based IDology. The site sends an e-mail to a member's parents asking them to confirm their child's membership, and charges them $20 to participate in the chat room and message boards. When parents pay, IDology confirms that they are the legal guardian. The fee, according to the site, funds the safety features.

Xologi, another social network aimed at children also uses IDology but hopes to take safety a step further by involving their schools. To get on the site, anyone under 18 first has to get permission from his or her parents. A school moderator then verifies the identity of each student and signs them up according to class. Xologi then e-mails the parent, who activates the child's account. Only after everyone has signed off do the children get an e-mail with a password allowing them into the site.
"I don't want to be the Web company that when you put in 'boob' all this stuff will come up," says Xologi President Bryant Campbell. "There's a place for everyone online, but you don't need kids in all of them."
U.K.-based NetIDMe takes a similar approach. The company offers children an electronic business card that they can swap with others before they start to chat. Before they can get the card, they need permission from both a parent and another adult, like a priest or a teacher. NetIDMe verifies both adults' identities through traditional means. In its first few months of operation, NetIDMe signed up 100,000 users. The company is in talks with social networking sites, says Managing Director Alex Hewitt, but not with MySpace.

Some sites try monitoring young users without parental involvement. In 2005, Facebook started accepting high school students, forcing the site to deal with the age issue. Previously the site was used only by college students and alumni, who were required to sign up using their university-issued e-mail address.

About 15% of high schools also issue their own e-mails, according to Facebook Privacy Officer Chris Kelly, and the site accepts those, no questions asked. The other 85% of high schoolers can get on the site only through an invitation from an existing member. "There's a neighborhood watch program around who gets into a high school network," says Kelly. Users can see only the full profiles of their friends, or people who have accepted their invitation.

Facebook's verification-heavy system comes at a cost. The site lags behind MySpace in page views and members. Facebook has 14 million registered members, a tenth of MySpace's population. Last November, MySpace got about 57 million unique visitors, more than three times Facebook's 16.7 million, according to comScore Media Metrix data.
"It definitely slows the growth of the community," says Kelly. "But it also validates it, because ultimately you're reaching real people." Or at least older people.


Saturday, January 27, 2007


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(North Carolina, USA) A young woman said she was sexually assaulted over the weekend by a man who she had been talking to online.

The 21-year-old said she had been talking to the man through an online dating service and that this had been their first meeting. She said they met in public and he convinced her to follow him to his house where he later attacked her.

Investigators said sex crimes linked to the internet are on the rise...


Wednesday, January 24, 2007

22-year-old Killed in Deadly Internet Love Triangle

By Carolyn Thompson
BUFFALO, N.Y. -He was an 18-year-old Marine headed to war.

She was an attractive young woman sending him off with pictures and lingerie.

Or so each one thought.

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In reality, they were two middle-aged people carrying on an Internet fantasy based on seemingly harmless lies.

When a truthful 22-year-old was drawn in, authorities say, their cyber escape turned deadly.

"When you're on the Internet talking, you haven't got a clue who that is on the other end," Erie County Sheriff's Lt. Ron Kenyon said. "You don't have a clue."

When Brian Barrett was shot to death Sept. 15 outside the factory where he worked to help pay for college, investigators and his family were stumped.

Barrett, 22, was an aspiring industrial arts teacher, an accomplished high school athlete who had coached Little League all summer and helped his father coach soccer. Those who knew the Buffalo State College student described him as quiet and unassuming.

He had clearly been targeted. Barrett was shot three times at close range in the neck and left arm after climbing into his truck about 10 p.m. at the end of a shift at Dynabrade Corp. in Clarence, 20 miles outside of Buffalo. His body was found two days later when a co-worker spotted his pickup in an isolated part of the company parking lot.
"He was just a nice kid, a gentleman," said Starpoint High School Athletic Director Tom Sarkovics, who was Barrett's baseball coach for two years. "I don't think anybody could say a bad thing about him."
On Nov. 27, Barrett's 47-year-old co-worker and friend, Thomas Montgomery, was charged with Barrett's murder. The motive, investigators said, was jealousy over Barrett's budding Internet relationship with the same 18-year-old woman Montgomery had been wooing since the previous year.

What neither man knew was that the woman was really a 40-something West Virginia mother using her daughter's identity to attract Internet suitors. Cyberspace, it appeared, was enough for her, and it was a near certainty she would never have met either man.

"The game would have been over at that point and time for sure," Kenyon said.

When Montgomery began chatting with the woman in 2005, the former Marine portrayed himself as perhaps a previous version of himself - a young Marine preparing for deployment to Iraq, Assistant District Attorney Ken Case said.

For a time, they communicated strictly through chat rooms and e-mail.

Then the woman began sending gifts to Montgomery's home, Case said. Pictures of the woman's daughter, lingerie and a set of custom-made dog tags arrived at the pale yellow suburban house that Montgomery shared with his wife and two teenage children.
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Montgomery's wife intercepted one of the packages, Case said. She wrote back to the woman at the return address, and included a family portrait to make her point.
"As you can see, Tom's not 18," Case said she wrote. "He's married and he's a father of two. He's 47 and I'm his wife." And, believing she was writing to an 18-year-old: "You've obviously been fooled."
The West Virginia woman - whom authorities will not identify - remembered a friend named Brian that Montgomery had mentioned. She recalled enough of his computer screen name to contact Barrett to ask him about what Montgomery's wife had told her.

Soon Barrett was in regular contact with the woman. Despite knowing the truth about Montgomery, the woman remained in contact with him as well, Case said.

The woman made no secret of the fact she was chatting with Barrett, Case said, and Barrett talked about the relationship at work. Montgomery, authorities say, became jealous.

Sheriff's investigators believe Barrett's killer wore camouflage and a ski mask when he approached Barrett in the parking lot with a .30-caliber rifle and fired at close range.

Montgomery is being held without bail after pleading not guilty to second-degree murder. Tall and with thinning hair, glasses and a mustache, he said nothing at a procedural court appearance on Jan. 10. He is due back in court in June.

His wife, whom authorities have not named, has begun divorce proceedings, Case said. She did not respond to a message left at Montgomery's home in suburban Cheektowaga or answer a reporter's knock there.

Internet crime expert J.A. Hitchcock, author of "Net Crimes & Misdemeanors," said the case illustrates the dangers that lurk on the web.
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"I'm hoping that this case will make people think twice about what they do online and what their actions can cause in the long run," she said.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Finding Love(?) on the World Wide Web

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.....Not all online relationships follow the happy course..., however. When senior Heather Baker's online relationship took a turn for the worse, it was too late for her to log off.

Unplugging the cord

Although Baker's former online boyfriend, Bryan, lived 500 miles away in Michigan, he still managed to exert control over her life through phone and IM conversations, destroying her self-esteem and her parents' trust in her judgment.

Baker now realizes that she never would have let her relationship with Bryan become as destructive as it did had it developed out of face-to-face interaction. "I told him a lot of things about me that I wouldn't tell other people. I thought, 'Hey, I don't know this guy and he doesn't know my friends, maybe it's okay to tell him these things,'" she says.

Baker found it difficult to recognize the warning signs of an abusive relationship when they took shape on the Internet. "I didn't see it would harm me. If it's physical, there's eminent danger and there are ways you can physically get yourself out," she explains. "When you're online or on the phone, you don't see the harm it's going to do to you, but it really can hurt you."

Bryan initially drew Baker in with compliments, telling her that he loved her. But after they decided to become a couple, Baker says, the compliments stopped. Bryan became jealous and possessive. He wanted to know "every aspect of [her] life," became angry when she talked about her other male friends and persuaded her to have phone sex with him, says Baker. (sounds like our past cyberpath, Dorksy)

Bryan was a hypocrite: He didn't follow the rules he set for his girlfriend. "He'd tell me that he cheated on me because I wasn't pretty enough for him and then have me come back to him after he apologized," Baker says.

The first people to notice the effect Bryan's treatment was having on Baker were her parents. "They saw a visible change in me. They saw I was more disobedient, argumentative, obstinate. And that's when they said I wasn't able to talk to [Bryan] anymore," she recounts.

But their restrictions meant nothing to Baker. She sneaked onto the computer in the afternoons to talk to Bryan and ran up a $680 phone bill calling him when her parents weren't home. Each time they caught her, fights broke out in her house, shattering the trust she had built with her parents in the past - a trust Baker is sure she could have preserved if both she and her parents had met Bryan in person before the situation got out of hand.

But that trust was already lost and with it, the focus of Baker's life. Her grades started to drop from As and Bs to Cs and Ds. "I started to plan my entire life around what [Bryan] wanted: what college I would go to, where I would live, how many kids I would have. I had handed my entire life over to someone I had never met," says Baker.
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Eventually, though, Baker started to compare the uncaring way Bryan treated her with the way her other male friends acted towards her. She had an "awakening" and realized that she needed to break up with Bryan. "I told him I was sick of lying to my parents, that I was sick of him lying to me and that I wanted it to end," she says.

Baker thought that she finally was rid of Bryan, but in March, Bryan contacted her through e-mail for the first time in two years. He told her that he was getting married but that he wished they could "have something like [they] had before."

Baker refused to let him back into her life. "Why is he doing this to me? Why is he trying to pressure me again?" she wondered. "I'm not gonna let him get under my skin." (because he was a CYBERPATH!!! Most of them go back for more!! good for her for kicking him to the e-curb! - Fighter)

Reflecting on her experiences, Baker realizes that her sense of fear was in part because of the uncertainty that is inherent in any online relationship. "Basically, you could be dating a stranger. For all you know, that person could be telling you all lies," she says.

(Thanks to our E-Group member *F* for finding this article and bringing it to our attention!- Fighter)

Saturday, January 20, 2007


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WILMINGTON -- A fugitive on the run from another state was caught in Wilmington today after a Google search by a suspicious business woman.

The suspect's history pegs him as a scam artist, a man who smooth-talks unsuspecting women out hundreds of thousands of dollars. Now the Wilmington Police Department wants to make sure he didn't scam anyone here.

Joseph Johnson has a long criminal history that spans across four states. Police say Johnson poses as an attorney for Phillip Morris, gains female clients' trust and then steals their credit cards and blank checks. And Thursday afternoon police got a tip he was hiding out here in Wilmington.

Sgt. Warren Kennedy said, "A concerned citizen became suspicious of him, Googled his name and the FBI and Postal Service wanted poster popped up."

The citizen notified Wilmington Police and they found out about Johnson's past.

Police say he has many alias names and e-mail address. He's been known to go by Edward, Kevin, Michael, Norman, Joey and Edmund Johnson.

"If anyone in the Wilmington area has had any dealings with him the last few days they are asked to contact the Wilmington Police Department," Sgt. Kennedy said.

Detectives finished interviewing Johnson around 4:30 Thursday afternoon. He was then taken to New Hanover County jail under no bond.

Right now the only charges he faces are fugitive from justice and probation violation in Florida.

If you know Johnson or have had any business dealings with him lately call the WPD at 343-3645.



Friday, January 19, 2007


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Four families have sued News Corp. and its MySpace social-networking site after their underage daughters were sexually abused by adults they met on the site, lawyers for the families said Thursday.

The law firms, Barry & Loewy LLP of Austin, Texas, and Arnold & Itkin LLP of Houston, said families from New York, Texas, Pennsylvania and South Carolina filed separate suits Wednesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging negligence, recklessness, fraud and negligent misrepresentation by the companies.
"In our view, MySpace waited entirely too long to attempt to institute meaningful security measures that effectively increase the safety of their underage users," said Jason A. Itkin, an Arnold & Itkin lawyer.
MySpace, based in Los Angeles, did not immediately return calls for comment.

Critics including parents, school officials and police have been increasingly warning of online predators at sites like MySpace, where youth-oriented visitors are encouraged to expand their circles of friends using free messaging tools and personal profile pages.

MySpace has responded with added educational efforts and partnerships with law enforcement. The company has also placed restrictions on how adults may contact younger users on MySpace, while developing technologies such as one announced Wednesday to let parents see some aspects of their child's online profile, including the stated age. That tool is expected this summer.

The lawyers who filed the latest lawsuits said the plaintiffs include a 15-year-old girl from Texas who was lured to a meeting, drugged and assaulted in 2006 by an adult MySpace user, who is currently serving a 10-year sentence in Texas after pleading guilty to sexual assault.

The others are a 15-year-old girl from Pennsylvania, a 14-year-old from New York and two South Carolina sisters, ages 14 and 15.

Last June, the mother of a 14-year-old who says she was sexually assaulted by a 19-year-old user sued MySpace and News Corp., seeking $30 million in damages. That lawsuit, filed in a Texas state court, claims the 19-year-old lied about being a senior in high school to gain her trust and phone number.

(Who thinks the online dating sites are next? - Fighter)

Thanks to BETH R. for this gem!

US Weekly Editor Guilty in Sex Solicitation Case

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FBI's Craigslist ad aimed at pedophiles snares former gossip columnist

LAS VEGAS - Former UsWeekly gossip columnist Timothy McDarrah, arrested in New York last year by undercover federal agents, has been found guilty of charges related to soliciting sex with a minor.

McDarrah, a former reporter at the Las Vegas Sun, was arrested after being charged with trying to seduce an undercover federal agent posing on the Internet as a 13-year-old girl.

He was charged with one count of using a computer and the Internet "to attempt to entice, induce, coerce and persuade a minor to engage in sexual activity," according to an indictment handed up in November 2005. He was convicted Dec. 20, 2006 after an eight-day jury trial in New York, and faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison, according to court documents.
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McDarrah, 44, responded in June 2005 to a posting on the craigslist.com Web site offering introductions to the "freshest, youngest" girls in New York, an FBI affidavit said. The gossip writer told an undercover FBI agent, who had posted the advertisement to lure pedophiles, that he would pay $200 for sex with a 13-year-old girl, the affidavit said.

After his arrest, McDarrah was suspended without pay from his post as the editor of Us Weekly’s "Hot Stuff" column. From 2002 to 2004, he worked as a gossip columnist at the Las Vegas Sun.


Thursday, January 18, 2007


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We heard from no less than five (5) women about this guy. Only two were willing to talk - in the hopes Campbell would get help - and then only guarded-ly. The others were afraid and one may have a child by him. We also heard from one of his former band members who anonymously confirms everything we were told about him and more.

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All the women said their marriage or relationships were having problems. Most said they were naive and trusting -- and that Campbell used his "I am a good Christian" rap on them along with pretending to be a 'shoulder to cry on.' (PREDATORS ALWAYS HUNT WOMEN LIKE THIS!!)

Campbell tend to use instant messenger programs. He stays up late at night on the internet. (RED FLAG!!) He admitted to a couple women he has a bad porn addiction problem and sees women as OBJECTS. (MANY Cyberpaths do)

All of them said there were times he would tell me things and later act like he forgot or say what they remembered never happened and "it was all in my head." (This is called the 'CONFUSION TECHNIQUE' - its a form of Gaslighting.

Sounds EXACTLY like our March 2006 Cyberpath "Yidwithlid"! Same word salad, same bullpocky)

They all said during the relationship they walked around in a fog, all the while there were signs that something wasn't right. (that's the effects of mind control, seduction science and sexual NLP - a lot of victims talk about this mental fog or feeling like "a wet blanket on their brain & common sense" You are NOT alone!! That's a sign something is very wrong but the Cyberpath will convince you its "LOVE" -- its not -- it's MIND CONTROL.)

Campbell would say things on email and IM that were very provocative and contradictory. (typical) He lied all the time. Not one of the women we heard from had never done anything remotely like this before! It was out of character for them all. (Once again, most victims report this same thing - a sign you are being hypnotized & manipulated. Sandra Brown's book WOMEN WHO LOVE PSYCHOPATHS report this phenomenom MANY times with the victims of these men.)

They all found he was doing this at the same time juggling multiple other women. (Yes!) Since Campbell was in a Blues band, he has access to a lot of women -- many that he gets 'involved' with.
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They all found out too late that Campbell was a known philanderer. Even more truth about Mike came to light then. He has a history of breaking up other people's marriages. (Yes, most Cyberpaths tend to have a pattern and continue to follow it)
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Campbell frequently approaches others ask for forgiveness and tell them he was "getting right", (yes! Cyberpaths when caught often say they are getting counseling or religious help or trying to 'do the right thing.' Don't hold your breath! They ONLY DO THIS TO GET YOU TO KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!) According to his last wife, he is still doing it, and because of that they split up. (Surprise! NOT...)

Campbell routinely said things that just didn't make sense. (WORD SALAD) But like all predators, he keeps his women in too much in a fog to understand it. He jokes in passing about how he has "studied women for a long time." (SEXUAL & EMOTIONAL PREDATOR)
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This man fits most criteria for being a sociopath & a cyberpath completely. Stay away!


If only these Cyberpaths would stop trying to BULLY their victims into silence with "bogus legal charges" and smear campaigns against people they have already hurt (like a schoolyard bully taking some nice kid's lunch money, huh?) - and put their energies into cleaning up their acts and making amends to their victims instead of running away and pointing fingers. However, that seems to NEVER happen - Fighter

Monday, January 15, 2007


It won't take much imagination, as you read this article - to transfer many of these tips to flirting ONLINE!

Here's just a few:
Try to respond to your e-mails as quickly as you can. This shows the person sending the message that you have interest and will make him or her feel good about corresponding with you.

Start out by asking 'innocent' questions. For example, when you first start communication with someone, you could ask, "Did you do anything special this week?" or "Do you have any great plans for the weekend?" This will help you learn more about the person without seeming nosey. After you have been communicating with someone special for a while, you can use innocent questions to see if you can find an opening in time when the two of you might meet.

Another way to flirt is by hinting at something interesting without actually giving away too much information. Perhaps you could say something like, "After this last weekend, I had to buy a new pair of shoes." Your comment leaves much to the imagination, drawing the person into the conversation and interested in learning what you did over the weekend that required the new shoes.

Remind yourself that just a little will go a long way. Although a good joke or pun is fun, too much of a good thing will ruin it all. Therefore, keep your messages nice and short but interesting. If a day goes by and you have not heard from that person, rather than inundate the individual’s mailbox with messages, leave one short, sweet message that provides a small hint to prompt him or her to reply.
BE CAREFUL - a Cyberpath CAN & WILL use these - ON YOU!! and he won't MEAN ONE THING HE SAYS!!!



Friday, January 12, 2007

Internet Dating: The Costco of Romance


The holiday season is upon us and we know what that means - it's time to go shopping! And let's all just take a moment to be honest. When we're out purchasing presents for those on our mandatory gift-giving list, we're really just buying useless crap we'd enjoy. So, what do you really want this year? Love? Romance? A quick piece of hot ass? The future Mr. or Mrs.?

Thanks to the convenience of the World Wide Web, you can shop for gadgets to enlarge your penis, prescription medicines, toasters, stuffed animals and Mr. or Ms. Right (Now). Keeping with the theme of holiday honesty, we can all admit that we've done a little shopping through personal ads on the 'net. It's okay. It's not 1986 anymore. Everybody's doing it - even married folks.

To assist with your holiday shopping, I'll provide some helpful hints on the joys of internet dating in a three part series. At this point, there may be some concern as to my expertise in this field. Fear not. I've had more internet dates than a $2 crack whore has given back alley **** jobs. You're in safe hands.

As this is the season of unrealistic expectations, the unrelenting feeling that you somehow just don't measure up and WHY the f**k is your family so screwed up, I'll focus on the websites that cater to "normal" people. You do want to be normal, don't you?

The Merchandise
Mr. or Ms. No Picture: They'll tell you they don't have a photo because they want to protect their privacy. Usually, they're concerned about "stalkers" or their bosses finding out. Sometimes, they're even "kind of famous." Don't believe any of this hype. It's all code for: I'm married; I live with my significant other and s/he has access to the computer; or I'm butt-fucking ugly.

I'm Not Willing to Settle: Every time I see an ad shouting this sentiment, I can hear Lucy saying, "I just want what's coming to me" on A Charlie Brown Christmas. But really, these well-intentioned folks aren't riddled with a sense of entitlement. They have simply lost the ability to deal with people as flawed creatures. More than likely, they have been in the personal ad game for a long, long time. As a result, they want a composite partner made up of pieces of various people they've dated. They will kick you out the door if you don't hold your fork correctly, because they have no real interest in the sometimes unpleasant reality of getting to know someone. They've yet to discover that reality is far more entertaining than fantasy.

Don't, Don't, Don't: Lesbians and straight men, listen up. If you're looking for a quick piece of ass from troubled women with serious self-esteem issues, find an ad riddled with bitter language where every sentence begins with "don't." These women will bitch about how evil men or dykes are, how they won't put out on a first date (a sure sign you will, in fact, get laid), and how you had better treat them properly if you want to be in their world. What she's really doing here is raging against her poor choices. Remember kids, poor choices=easy ass.

I Am So Amazing: When I see these ads, I wonder how someone so phenomenal could be single. In the dating game, like attracts like. So, if you're fucking fabulous, you will likely attract someone equally fucking fabulous without a neon sign announcing your brilliance. Yet if you must boast about how amazing you are, chances are the real you is a little less ideal than the transcribed version. Remember kids, Confucius say, "The wise man need not say he's wise." Capiche?

New Name, Same Doofus: When I first moved to California five years ago, I found a niche site (don't worry, I'll cover niche and kink and freak sites in subsequent installments) to pimp my wares. I had lots of fun, interesting and sometimes horrifying dates. After I met my boyfriend and fell into new love bliss, I went back to see if any of the old players were still at it. Most of them were, but with new names. Remember, comparison shopping is important. If your item has been on the shelf for years, chances are it's defective.

The Discount Warehouses
Match.com: My old boss Jim found an adoring girl on Match.com. He was a physically unremarkable redneck complete with racist jokes who frequently asked me to peruse breast augmentation sites. His Match.com girlfriend had agreed to purchase new boobs, and he wanted my opinion on which set I thought would look best. His girlfriend was gorgeous, made twice his salary and was completely desperate for his affection and attention - enough to undergo surgery within three months of meeting him. Naturally, he dumped her and met a nice girl when he moved to Montana.

Now, whenever I visit Match.com, I see flashes of fake boobs and hear the theme song to Deliverance. (BTW - MATCH.COM's major shareholder? Is DR. PHIL!! ugh - Fighter)

Yahoo! Personals: I have only this to say to Yahoo! Personals - please adhere to truth in advertising and change your name to YaSkank! Personals. Thank you.

Eharmony.com: This site boasts that is has developed a system to match you with the most suitable partners who are truly interested in a long-term commitment. You can't do traditional shopping at Eharmony. It follows the patriarchal, fundamentalist Christian model that Father Knows Best and therefore you can't be trusted to view the products in the aisles. After completing their lengthy questionnaire and given a catalog of my suitable matches, I decided to contact the hottest guy on my list. He was totally committed to finding a relationship. So committed, in fact, that he was moving to the other side of the continent in a few weeks. His commitment to commitment was so fierce, he wondered if I wouldn't mind having some kinky sex, since one of the predetermined questions (step one in the contact process - you can't just send an email. Eharmony controls every aspect of what is exchanged, including at times the very verbiage sent) hinted that we both might be into it.

My next ideal Eharmony pick was tiny, emaciated dude with a mullet and huge glasses circa 1982 who expressed the need to share his feelings about 25 times in his profile. Oh yeah Daddy, that's just the perfect match for me.

Myspace.com: No, Myspace is not considered an official internet dating site. But let's face it; we've all done a little shopping while chatting with friends and "networking." Despite Rupert Murdoch's acquisition of yet another media outlet, Myspace continues to be a popular addiction. I constantly hear people talking about their Myspace profiles and taking ridiculous photos to post (including myself, of course). While I received nothing but "nice rack" emails from some of the nastiest muther f**kers on the planet, my friend Annie, who is the most "normal" person I know, used it to the best of her Type A abilities. After having no luck on JDate.com, Annie went shopping on Myspace for Jewish boys taller than 6'1" who lived in the Los Angeles area. She found one pretty boy who stood out and wrote him an email.

They're getting married next November. Proof positive that careful comparison shopping can reap great rewards.


Thursday, January 11, 2007


(EOPC usually posts very serious articles. However, the below is a HUMOR piece. A tongue-in-cheek look at "online dating." Enjoy! - Fighter)

by Aldra Robinson
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The ball drops. It's officially a new year. Everywhere you look, people are kissing and cheering. You hug friends, grab a few cheek pecks and suck down a couple of mighty swigs of your cocktail. Patronizing friends pat your back and whisper that it's ok to be single on the Big Night and not to worry, because love is just around the corner. Instead of blackening their eyes, you smile and remind them that you rather enjoy the single life. Then the resolve sets in as you say under your breath - by gods, I will not be single again on New Year's Eve.

Enter Internet dating. Yes, you swore you'd never do it… again. But you're not going to make the same mistakes as before. Eharmony? Yahoo! Personals? Meeting without first seeing a picture? F*** that. You're not some average doofus. You're special. Smart, even. You know exactly the kind of person you want to compliment your full, rich, fabulous life. Thankfully, there are several niche sites to help you find the perfect partner. Come December 31, you'll be sticking your tongue in some hottie's mouth and getting a guaranteed piece of ***. Oh yeah, and love and companionship too.

A Double With Everything
Nerve.com: Nerve is part of what I like to call The Good On Paper Network. The Onion, BUST, Salon and Nerve are all part of a network of cool sites with cool peeps who are generally more interested in talking about art and politics than the latest bare cooch displayed by our most loathed skank du jour. Folks on these sites seem to have it all - brains, beauty and humor all wrapped in well-crafted, witty profiles.

Nerve is particularly prominent in LaLa Land, where the entertainment industry rules. Profiles are filled with headshots of gorgeous people who are never quite as beautiful in real life but legions above the scary rednecks you'll find on sites like Match.com. Friends who have ventured out on dates with Nerve folks always have wonderful things to say about the people they've met. They're funny, nice and interesting. They look great on paper. Unfortunately, there's rarely any spark.

While on a second date with a Nerve Good On Paper Guy, my friend Molly (not her real name) could sense that the man sitting across from her was far more interested in her than he should be. She had but one recourse: tell him the sh*t story. Surely the tale of her flooding a restaurant toilet to the point where she was standing in a couple of inches of *****-filled water, panicking as it seeped out the door into the restaurant would cause him to run screaming. Instead, he became more enthralled, enchanted by her hilarious story telling skills. She made a mental note to save the poop stories for the guys she was really interested in dating.

Despite the groovy status of Nerve and similar sites, don't make the mistake I did in assuming that everyone who posts a profile is liberal and socially aware. During one particularly painful date, I sat in horror as my four-inches-shorter-than-he-claimed guy (expect any man you meet from the internet to be two to four inches shorter than stated on his profile) explained how "those people" (African Americans) need extra policing in "their neighborhoods," because "they're just violent communities." When I protested, he looked at me as if I were insane, asserting his racism as fact. Apparently, Nerve is so cool that even the Klan wants to be a part of it.
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Fat Burger
Curydates.com: Curvy Dates has dozens of names. You may know it as BBWtimesdating.com, BBWdatefinder.com, hell, just put BBW and anything else dot com and you'll probably be redirected to the site. This site was developed originally for singles in California but now has profiles from all over the world. For those who have been living under a rock, BBW is an acronym that stands for big, beautiful woman. Are all the women on it beautiful? No. Are they all big? No. But in a world where a multi-billion dollar diet industry is still trying to convince us that there is only one type of acceptable female body, the illusive prize of beautiful has been claimed for those with more cushion for the pushin' through the use of three little letters.

Since California is the home of this site, there is a little confusion over what constitutes big. I have seen profiles from men expounding on the beauty of soft gals, requesting women who wear a size 6 to 10. These boys have yet to figure out that plus-sizes begin at 14 and the average woman in America wears a size 14 to 18. But we have to cut them some slack. In the land of botox and Fake-T*t LA, who can understand what average is?

Women looking for love on this site will have to fight some severe stereotypes that even lovers of ample ass can't seem to shake. The delusion that fat women are easy or will date someone totally horrifying (because we’re desperate, ya see) reigns. For the brave big girls who venture down this path, be prepared.

For the most part, the men and boys on Curvy Dates are kind-hearted, blue collar types. There is a small spattering of intellectuals with a handful of gay men who just can't let the dream of heterosexuality die. So basically, my big sisters, you'll find the same guys on this site who hit on you at the gas station or while you're walking the dogs. At least with this site, you have the pleasure of shopping a bit first.

Meat and Cheese Only, Please
MilitarySingles.com: Military men and women are taught special sexual skills during boot camp. Now, I've never seen evidence of this nor will they admit to such secret training. But I'm telling you, something is going on that they're just not telling the rest of us. I have mind-blowing orgasms as proof. However, I will fully admit that I could be completely wrong and am creating a stereotype that will only lead many an excited Internet dater down a disappointing path.

The men and women on this and other military-friendly sites are as diverse as the military itself. You'll find pro-war hooligans, intellectuals, shy folks, closeted comedians and everything else under the sun. Most importantly, you'll find people who are possibly going to be shipped out the next day, which might put a crimp in your dating schedule.

My favorite experience with a gent from Military Singles occurred over instant messenger. He invited me to view his webcam, which I thought was a good sign that he had nothing to hide. Turns out I was right. He had very little to hide. So little, in fact, that I found myself watching him **** off the moment I clicked the link.
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Kosher Pickles
J.Date.com: JDate is the primary Internet dating site for Jewish singles. Did you get that? JEWISH. Don't bring your Gentile ass onto this site, hoping for some Hebrew National. A friend of mine who converted to Judaism found herself constantly fielding the "but you don't look Jewish" conversation. Just make it easy on yourself. If your mother isn't Jewish, go to Nerve.com or some other hipster friendly site. Seriously. I'm just looking out for your well being here.

A Side of Joseph Smith
LDSsingles.com: So, you tried JDate to no avail, despite my warnings about the necessity of being Jewish. I have the next best thing for you - Jews in the New World, also known as Mormons. No coffee, no booze, no premarital sex and three hours of church each Sunday. What more could you ask for? Better yet, Mormon men are generally terrified of women, so most of your dates will be in large groups as if you were still in junior high. But don't think you're going to be safe from horny morons in the land of Mormon. While venturing in Joseph Smith's tribe, I received more emails about my boobs than I care to recall. Just goes to show you, teaching abstinence is completely absurd.


Sunday, January 07, 2007


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Aaron Ben-Ze'ev's book, Love Online: Emotions on the Internet, shows how Internet chatting can affect real relationships.

An extraordinary number of people spend an extraordinary amount of time online connecting with other people. They reveal their deepest darkest secrets to folks who may be strangers and they often find these relationships so compelling they seem more emotionally real and alive than the marriages they are actually in.

Indeed, online relationships can be unusually seductive. They are readily accessible, they move very quickly, and under the cloak of anonymity, they make it easy for people to reveal a great deal about themselves.

Putting themselves into words, getting replies while they're still in the emotional state of the original message, relying heavily on imagination to fill in the blanks about the recipient, people communicating online are drawn into such rapid self-disclosure that attachments form quite literally with the speed of light.

How this happens, and the subtle but important ways it influences "real" life, is the subject of a fascinating book, Love Online: Emotions on the Internet, by

Aaron Ben-Ze'ev. A philosopher who is now president of Haifa University in Israel, Ze'ev does not think intimate Internet relationships, and even cyber sex, are all bad. But he does think they could have an impact on the way we conduct offline life and even change our view of infidelity.

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Ze'ev calls cyberspace a kind of "mentally nude commune," where people often strip off their masks. What nudity leaves undone, imagination finishes. "Imagination, which paints cyberspace in more intense and seductive colors, also helps people satisfy some of their most profound desires." It frees people from the limits imposed by their bodies and their surroundings.

What's so ironic about using the internet is that it's a solitary activity that leads to social contact-while it isolates users from their own families, the people in the very next room. One reason it does this is that Internet use is almost addictive; the rewards of contact are so immediate and so pleasurable. And while cyber relationships can be more sincere and open than offline relationships, they also leave a great deal of room for deception, although online relationships are marked more by dreams than deception.

There is, of course, a price to pay for this activity-"the risk of being captured by your own desire," is the way Ze'ev puts it. Despite the opportunity for intense disappointment, which lies just a click away, online affairs are flourishing. They are not merely a whole new type of relationship with their own unique characteristics; Ze'ev calls them "the first real alternative" to face-to-face relationships.
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Online affairs are, above all, safe. There's no danger of pregnancy or sexually transmitted disease. "Having an online affair is like going to a party whenever you want to, without having to leave your home," says Ze'ev.

The strange mixture of physical distance and emotional closeness of online affairs is what makes them so intense. And it's such a novel development, such a new kind of interpersonal experience, Ze'ev contends, that our own emotional systems are not prepared to deal with such contradictory elements in a relationship. Yet the contradictions and uncertainties of online romantic relationships allow emotions to play a much greater role than in other relationships.

Ze'ev doesn't think online relationships will ever replace offline ones, but he does think the advent of internet relationships will ultimately force us to relax our view of romantic exclusivity and romantic betrayal. We will gain more of a sense of "romantic flexibility." Imagination, he says, "lets us wander through the jungle of our own wishes and desires."

Still, he says, there are times when chatting is cheating. And there's a very simple way to know when you've crossed the line-there's deception.

If you engage in an Internet relationship that you keep secret from your real-life mate, you're engaging in deception. "Chatting is not cheating when the significant other knows about it," says Ze'ev. The trouble with deception is that it kills intimacy and ruptures trust in the primary relationship.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

MySpace: A Haven for Pervs & Scammers?

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LOS ANGELES - MySpace bills itself as a "place for friends," but more and more it's become something sinister.

Increasingly, it is also a place for unfriendly attacks from digital miscreants on the prowl, luring users to sexually explicit Web sites, clogging mailboxes with spam messages and playing on the trust users have when speaking to "friends" to obtain passwords that could lead to identity theft.

Managing the risks that come with rapid growth is an enormous challenge for MySpace, now part of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. media conglomerate, which also owns Fox and the New York Post.

The bad guys are taking advantage of the same MySpace communication tools used to add friends or chat to send spam, and in some cases to send porn and offers to meet teens and minors.
One recent scam works this way: A spammer posts a number of phony profiles featuring pictures of cute women, often promising nude photos.

A "friend request" with the woman's photo is sent to hundreds of users. Once the fake profile loads, a blue screen descends, saying the profile is protected by the "MySpace Adult Content Viewer."

Unsuspecting users who try to download the viewer instead get a worm that installs adware on their computers.
"The ongoing interaction lowers your reservations and security barriers," said Marc Gaffan, an expert in online fraud and security at RSA, the security division of EMC Corp.

MySpace, which News Corp. bought last year for some $580 million, has recognized the threat and is stepping up security efforts, said Hemanshu Nigam, its chief security officer.

The company is rapidly expanding its team of software engineers, lawyers and other experts who look for suspicious activity and go after the worst offenders. Under Nigam's direction, employees are now posting fake profiles to catch sexual predators.
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MySpace also is preparing to launch a more aggressive education campaign, urging users to be careful. When all else fails, the company also files civil suits and is increasing cooperation with law enforcement officials.

"Security is a top priority because it's critical for our community of users and for our business partners," Nigam said. "If advertisers feel uncomfortable being on a site that is seen as not as secure, not as safe, then we lose revenue."

Original Article

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Ofir Rahum, 16, of Ashkelon, was murdered by Palestinian assailants in Ramallah.

Ofir Rahum, a high school student who was reported missing from his home, reportedly went to Jerusalem on Wednesday morning (January 17) to meet a woman with whom he had become romantically involved via an Internet chat site. She then drove him toward Ramallah. At a prearranged location she bolted from the car, another vehicle drove up and three Palestinian gunmen inside shot Ofir more than 15 times. One terrorist drove off with Ofir's body and dumped it, while the others fled in the second vehicle.

Mona Awana, 25, the woman believed to have lured Ofir to his death, was apprehended by the IDF and Israel Security Agency at her parents' home in the West Bank village of Bir Naballah. Rahum reportedly was not aware that Awana was Palestinian and believed she was an American living in Jerusalem.

Ofir's parents became concerned when he failed to return home on Wednesday evening and, after questioning his friends, discovered he had not been to school that day. The body, which the Palestinian authorities originally claimed was that of a Palestinian who had been shot by Israeli security officials, was handed over on Thursday to the Israeli authorities.

Rahum is the fourth Israeli to be murdered in the Ramallah area since the outbreak of the current violence over four months ago.

Hundreds attended Ofir's funeral at the Ashkelon cemetery. His school principal, Shosh Erez, described him as an outstanding student and a wonderful person, with a very supportive family. Ofir Rahum is survived by his parents and three sisters.