Gentle reminder - PLEASE READ!
Posted 04 July 2005 - 12:00 PM
Jillie and I and all our great moderators here at BTB want to remind you all that this is the internet and not everyone may be as they seem......... We urge you all to excercise caution and good judgement when dealing with people here or anywhere you may venture on the great world wide web!
We've had cases here in the past which we had posted about but have since lost those posts. They were regarding members who have faked their own suicides and grossly exaggerated and/or flat out lied to everyone here about their life stories in attempts to gain attention.
Clues to Detection of False Claims
Based on experience with two dozen cases of Munchausen by Internet, a list of clues to the detection of factititous Internet claims. The most important follow:
1. the posts consistently duplicate material in other posts, in books, or on health-related websites;
2. the characteristics of the supposed illness emerge as caricatures;
3. near-fatal bouts of illness alternate with miraculous recoveries;
4. claims are fantastic, contradicted by subsequent posts, or flatly disproved;
5. there are continual dramatic events in the person's life, especially when other group members have become the focus of attention;
6. there is feigned blitheness about crises (e.g., going into septic shock) that will predictably attract immediate attention;
7. others apparently posting on behalf of the individual (e.g., family members, friends) have identical patterns of writing.
8. When dramatic announcements are made (threats of suicide, claims of rape, etc.) that would normally elicit much concern, the reaction from others is much less than you would expect.
9. They give light-hearted descriptions of serious medical problems
10. They bring in "supporting players" when their audience's attention wanes. ("Now my mother's terminally ill.")
Dr. Feldman says that when support group members confront an online faker, the deceiver usually disappears. Soon, however, the Munchausen sufferer is likely to reappear in another electronic support group, perhaps with a new persona and a new collection of symptoms.
No matter how careful they are, they can't hide the most telling clue: the constant, and constantly escalating, drama. That will always be the giveaway.
One other thing we have noted here through personal experience is that these people tend to share their life stories via PM, IM programs and/or e-mails rather than on the board. Perhaps this is to avoid early detection.
And there's no doubt these storytellers can have an enormous impact on Internet support groups. Among other things, Feldman says, they can:
* Create a division between those who believe the tale and those who don't
* Cause some to leave the group
* Temporarily distract the group from its mission by forcing it to focus on the poser
Always keep your eyes opened for the above signs........ And please do not ever hesitate to contact Jillie, myself or any one of our moderators to report any suspicions you may have.
We all take any reports very seriously and treat them with priority and with the utmost confidentiality. No names of anyone who reports anything will ever be released in public here.
Sheila, Jillie and all your BTB moderators
Posted 04 July 2005 - 12:35 PM
Thanks Sheila for re-posting about this.
And A HUGE Thankyou for keeping this web site as safe as you all possibly can !
Posted 04 July 2005 - 12:48 PM
Thank you both and thanks to the moderators. You guys do a terrific job!
Posted 04 July 2005 - 02:22 PM
and I'll agree with these guys...you guys rock!
Posted 04 July 2005 - 03:34 PM
Cheers to a great team....
Posted 04 July 2005 - 05:05 PM
Posted 04 July 2005 - 08:02 PM
Thanks for the post. Means alot!
Sheila, Jillie and the mods---thanks for looking after all of us so well!!!!
Posted 05 July 2005 - 07:56 AM
I'm in another forum where we had one of those. Nobody said a word for a long time, but when somebody finally did, many others came pouring forth with their own suspicions.
It wasn't just about medical issues, there were also absurd claims about skills and vocational achievements.
Finally, she posted something that pushed the credibility envelope a little too far. I think she realized from the nature of the questions that people were on to her.
Then she "impulsively" went and erased every one of her posts. This was a good sign that there were some contradictions and lies that she didn't want re-read in her long history.
You're right about the escalation, Sheila etal. After she left the forum, "somebody" with a different ID and IP address registered to make one post: that she had been in a terrible auto accident and was clinging to life in a hospital bed. (Subtext: Now don't you all feel ashamed of saying bad things about her?)
The really sad thing was how obsessive so many had been over it for so long. Many had kept logs. One person had actually set up a wall chart with a time line noting dates of conflicting events and apparently false statements over a couple of years.
So much for sticking to the mission
Posted 05 July 2005 - 04:28 PM
I highly doubt my hubby or any of my family would show up here to let you all know if something tragic were to happen to me.
My best online friend would call my house and see if I was all right if I wasn't on for a day!! But there is no one that would be going---hmm--I wonder if there is a group online we should contact. Even my hubby would not come here---for any reason(so if someone comes on claiming they are my hubby---question that!!!)
Only one person that is here would be contacted---but we have been close friends for a while---so well erm---I will shut up now.
Posted 06 July 2005 - 03:33 AM
Posted 06 July 2005 - 03:39 AM
In this case, I am virtually certain that "somebody" was one and the same as the M girl. It's not that hard to fake an IP address.
Only one person that is here would be contacted---but we have been close friends for a while---
Posted 06 July 2005 - 02:29 PM
Posted 06 July 2005 - 02:56 PM
I am not worried---as the people that matter know that you are my bestest friend in the world and that you live 1400 miles away from me.
It is just a stressing time for everyone...I will continue to try getting a hold of you....
Posted 06 July 2005 - 04:54 PM
Sorry about that. I was referring to the incident at the other forum described earlier. "M girl" means "Munchausen girl", I was too lazy to spell it out.
Romanoff ... Your post is really confusing.
What I meant was that the "friend" who reported that she had been in a terrible car accident was probably herself.
Posted 06 July 2005 - 06:51 PM
My apologies to you Romanoff for not rereading everything before thinking. I have been at several other forums where everyone reads that your a friend of someones and accusses you of being same person.
Ty for clarifying that I am truelly embarrassed. Again my apologies hon.
Posted 06 July 2005 - 07:16 PM
Da nada. I have a bad habit of being too obscure.
My apologies to you Romanoff
"All's well that ends well."
Posted 06 July 2005 - 08:00 PM
Posted 21 February 2006 - 07:58 PM
I too have experienced this in other groups.
it's very frustrating for those who have real issues only
to have people make up stories for attention... it's almost
like being mocked.
I'm still new to the group and I know you all don't know me yet.
but thank you for keeping the group safe.
Posted 22 June 2006 - 05:08 PM
the internet has a seductive ability for those with desires to create ficticious characters.
it's a invisible-liquid realm, where it is hard to establish what is real,... after all it is only typeface we 'listen' to. so for me, its great that you've put in a detailed description of stuff to me aware of.
i think it is a great idea from, i'm sorry i can't remember your 'name', saying that it should be applied as a sticky to the site... i ain't really sure what that means,... but i gather it is when it sticks to the home page and other main pages so that people are bound to read it sooner rather than later.