Why You Should Believe Very Little of What You See

Readability

Why You Should Believe Very Little of What You See

by baldilocks

And now for some­thing com­pletely dif­fer­ent.

Monika Glen­non has lived in Huntsville, Alabama, for the last 12 years. Other than a strong Pol­ish accent, she fits a cer­tain stereo­type of the All-​American life. She’s blonde. Her hus­band is a vet­eran Marine. Her two chil­dren, a boy and a girl, joined the mil­i­tary as adults. She sells houses — she’s a real estate agent at Re/​Max — help­ing oth­ers real­ize their own Amer­i­can dream.

But in Sep­tem­ber 2015, she was sud­denly plunged into an Amer­i­can night­mare. She got a call at 6 a.m. one morn­ing from a col­league at Re/​Max telling her some­thing ter­ri­ble had been posted about her on the Re/​Max Face­book page. Glen­non thought at first she meant that a client had left her a bad review, but it turned out to be much worse than that.

It was a link to a story about Glen­non on She’s A Home­wrecker, a site that exists for the sole pur­pose of sham­ing the alleged “other woman.” The author of the Home­wrecker post claimed that she and her hus­band had used Glen­non as their real­tor and that every­thing was going great until one evening when she walked in on Glen­non hav­ing sex with her hus­band on the floor of a home the cou­ple had been sched­uled to see. The unnamed woman went into graphic detail about the sex act and claimed she’d taken pho­tos that she used to get every­thing from her hus­band in a divorce. The only photo she posted though was Glennon’s pro­fes­sional head­shot, taken from her bio page on Re/Max’s site.

Glennon’s clients and, most impor­tantly, her hus­band were con­tacted about this through Facebook’s mes­sag­ing system.

The alle­ga­tions were totally false. The per­pe­tra­tors did it because they didn’t like some­thing that Glen­non wrote in a ran­dom com­ment sec­tion. The com­ment was innocu­ous, but the per­pe­tra­tor decided that Glen­non was anti-​Semitic. That line of jus­ti­fi­ca­tion is important.

I’ve been think­ing about this story all morn­ing — not with fear that some­thing like this might hap­pen to me, but pon­der­ing the notion that any­one with fairly decent story-​telling skills could plot a sim­i­lar type vengeance on anyone.

What, other than a con­science, is there to stop an indi­vid­ual — or an orga­ni­za­tion — from doing this?

About jus­ti­fi­ca­tion: once some­one “rea­sons” it out in what passes for his mind that the tar­get is “racist,” “sex­ist,” “homo­pho­bic,” or any of the other cat­e­gories of Untouch­able, con­science is no longer a factor.

The perp decides that you deserve to have sto­ries made up about you and to have your reputation/​livelihood/​marriage ruined.

That’s what was so riv­et­ing to me about this story.

95,000 per­sons shared the story before Gan­non was able to uncover the per­son who tried to ruin her.

And the perp did this over a mis­un­der­stood com­ment and the hurt feel­ings engen­dered from that misunderstanding.

How evil.

Juli­ette Akinyi Ochieng has been blog­ging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here. She pub­lished her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar for his new not-​GoDaddy host!

Or hit Juliette’s!

by baldilocks

And now for something completely different.

Monika Glennon has lived in Huntsville, Alabama, for the last 12 years. Other than a strong Polish accent, she fits a certain stereotype of the All-American life. She’s blonde. Her husband is a veteran Marine. Her two children, a boy and a girl, joined the military as adults. She sells houses—she’s a real estate agent at Re/Max—helping others realize their own American dream.

But in September 2015, she was suddenly plunged into an American nightmare. She got a call at 6 a.m. one morning from a colleague at Re/Max telling her something terrible had been posted about her on the Re/Max Facebook page. Glennon thought at first she meant that a client had left her a bad review, but it turned out to be much worse than that.

It was a link to a story about Glennon on She’s A Homewrecker, a site that exists for the sole purpose of shaming the alleged “other woman.” The author of the Homewrecker post claimed that she and her husband had used Glennon as their realtor and that everything was going great until one evening when she walked in on Glennon having sex with her husband on the floor of a home the couple had been scheduled to see. The unnamed woman went into graphic detail about the sex act and claimed she’d taken photos that she used to get everything from her husband in a divorce. The only photo she posted though was Glennon’s professional headshot, taken from her bio page on Re/Max’s site.

Glennon’s clients and, most importantly, her husband were contacted about this through Facebook’s messaging system.

The allegations were totally false. The perpetrators did it because they didn’t like something that Glennon wrote in a random comment section. The comment was innocuous, but the perpetrator decided that Glennon was anti-Semitic. That line of justification is important.

I’ve been thinking about this story all morning — not with fear that something like this might happen to me, but pondering the notion that anyone with fairly decent story-telling skills could plot a similar type vengeance on anyone.

What, other than a conscience, is there to stop an individual — or an organization — from doing this?

About justification: once someone “reasons” it out in what passes for his mind that the target is “racist,” “sexist,” “homophobic,” or any of the other categories of Untouchable, conscience is no longer a factor.

The perp decides that you deserve to have stories made up about you and to have your reputation/livelihood/marriage ruined.

That’s what was so riveting to me about this story.

95,000 persons shared the story before Gannon was able to uncover the person who tried to ruin her.

And the perp did this over a misunderstood comment and the hurt feelings engendered from that misunderstanding.

How evil.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

Hit Da Tech Guy Blog’s Tip Jar for his new not-GoDaddy host!

Or hit Juliette’s!