Devotees Behaving Badly



Here is a new Blog that exposes the bad behavior of Disability Trolls:
http://dreadfuldevotees.tumblr.com/


Disability Fakebook

 

What is happening. Why you should care. How you can help.

There are 93 million fake profiles on Facebook. That is not the problem I refer to. The problem is that within that huge number is a large quantity of profiles created for the sole purpose of locating, harassing, and stalking people with disabilities. That is the problem.
And Facebook has created the perfect tool for the predators to locate their victims. It is called the Friend Finder.

I call these internet predators Disability Trolls because they are literally trolling for people with disabilities with the lure of a fake profile. Usually, this lure consists of the profile of a young attractive wheelchair user or amputee. Next, a description of how she is newly injured and is looking to meet other people with disabilities is added.
The Disability Trolls are relying on several factors to initiate successful contact with real people with disabilities (PWDs). They realize that many people with disabilities are socially shutout and are desperate to share their experiences with others with similar disabilities. They also know that many PWDs want to serve role models and help people with new disabilities. Therefore by pretending to have a new disability, they can initiate “friendships” with disability “veterans”. The Trolls are also relying upon the fact that the majority of PWDs are simply unaware of this threat, and therefore they don’t take measures to protect themselves. The Trolls leverage this initial trust into deeper and more invasive online relationships.

Every teenage girl knows to stay away from the obviously creepy middle-aged man. But a teenage girl with a new spinal cord injury is highly likely to open herself up to a fake profile that assumes the identity of female disability peer. The danger arises when in fact the fake profile is really a middle-aged man with a disability fetish for young women in wheelchairs. This fetish can easily morph into obsessive stalking. Even if the relationship only exists online, the victim will feel violated and have been violated on many levels.
Now that you know what is happening, the next question to be answered is “Why you should care?” You should care because you, your friends, and your peers with disabilities are being systematically victimized and preyed upon. This victimization includes the following:

“Friending” unsuspecting PWDs by predators using fake disability profiles.
Stealing personal photographs of the person and uploading them to disability porn websites.

Repeatedly private messaging PWDs and trying to engage them into intimate discussions revolving around their sexual and personal health issues.
Stalking selected PWDs either online or in person.

Hopefully, by now you have been convinced that this type of behavior is unacceptable and needs to be stopped. Fortunately, the head of Facebook Security recently made the following claim “"On Facebook we have a really large commitment in general to finding and disabling false accounts,"  and "Our entire platform is based on people using their real identities."
Facebook claims that it will remove fake profiles and the offenders will not be allowed to create new profiles. Facebook backs up this claim with an easy reporting feature. It literally takes seconds to report a profile as being either fake or harassing, and block the profile from “seeing” and contacting you.

Once Facebook has been notified of the report, it initiates its own investigation. Happily, the nature of fake profiles makes them easy for Facebook to identify and delete. Real people can also easily “prove” their legitimacy of their profile. Thus, reporting all suspected fake profiles is a simple and effective solution to a serious problem.
People with disabilities are statistically the most likely to be abused, sexually assaulted, bullied, harassed, and victimized. They are also the least likely to report these victimizations due to fear of retribution. Fortunately, reporting the fake profiles can be done anomalously. It provides the opportunity for PWDs to set and enforce limits and boundaries on unwanted behaviors.

A warning for my friends who are rolling/crutching/wobbling on the Cripp Side


There are sooooo many CREEPERS with fake profiles who have "disabled fetishes". They ALWAYS have about one picture of a hot girl/guy in a chair/crutches & no pictures tagged of themselves other than spam. Most of them seem to randomly have german-sounding names and generally they are GROSS old dudes posing as hot girls. When you deny/delete one, you'll get bombarded by about a dozen requests from similar (and fake) profiles.

Be Careful!!! These creepers steal pictures from your profile and put them on other fetish sites catered to those who are waaaay too into mobility aids etc.
I'm posting this because I see that these people add me & I have about 20+ mutual friends in common with them, always super nice and sweet people who may be chatting online with someone they think is a friend who understands ... But could easily be someone dangerous who could be trying to get info about where you live or do your physical therapy, if you live alone, where you shop etc.

My girl, Tamara, posted last year about this & started keeping a list of the names to look out for. There are just too many fake profiles of scary ppl... Before you add someone, check how many pictures they are tagged in, if they have a story behind their injuries, or any pictures besides one of a cast, for example. PROTECT YOURSELVES, PLEASE!!

Creepy Is As Creepy Does

CREEPY IS AS CREEPY DOES
The Secret World of Disability Trolls: Pretenders, Stalkers, and Predators

is a easy reading booklet that exposes the victimization of the Disability Community by predators on Facebook.

READ IT ON FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=491209694248014&set=a.491209680914682.95807.448284155207235&type=3&theater

DOWNLOAD AS A PDF FILE:
http://www.not-me.org/creepyisascreepydoes.pdf

VIEW IT ON BRAINSHARK:
http://my.brainshark.com/CREEPY-IS-AS-CREEPY-DOES-476149274

What is a Disability Troll?

 A Disability Troll is a general term the describe people on the internet who are actively searching and “trolling” for people with disabilities on the internet. Trolls come in many forms:



    Wheelchair Pretenders – People who pretend to have a disability. The most common Pretender is someone who deceives people into thinking they are a wheelchair user. Pretending to be an amputee is also common.

    Coercive Devotees – Devotees are people that are attracted to people with disabilities specifically because of the existence of the disability. Coercive Devotees engage in disrespectful and anti-social behavior such as stealing personal photographs of people with disabilities, uploading those photographs to websites, stalking people with disabilities, deceiving people with disabilities, and engaging in other unwanted behavior.

    Disability Fetish – People who have an unusual sexual attraction to actual or pretend disability.

    Disability Stalkers – People who actively seek out and stalk people with disabilities.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The following information was provided to me from a Devotee who is very knowledgable on this subject.


"Devotees and Pretenders, What's the Difference?

In this piece I am trying to give you simple definitions, with simple words so everybody can understand, though I have written about the subject at length on my blog.

Devotees – Devotees are people who are attracted in some way by disability. This can be one disability, or many disabilities. Some people are attracted only to the disability, and some are not. Some devotees are more attracted by the equipment that people with disabilities use than by the disability. For some they just like seeing people use crutches or a wheelchair even if they don't really need it.

Pretenders – Some people pretend they have a disability to get out of going to work, or to avoid the army. These people aren't pretenders. Pretenders are people who pretend they have a disability only because they enjoy it. Sometimes though a devotee online will pretend to be disabled to trick other disabled people into sharing their photos or videos with them. These are not pretenders, these are coercive devotees.

Not all devotees are coercive. Some will be honest with you about their feelings, and some will just leave you alone. Some devotees don't care though, and will try to trick you or film and photograph you when you aren't looking. I had a friend who was a pretender and she was stalked by one of these devotees, and I know of one other pretender who had it happen too.

Be careful who you add as a friend online, and what you allow the public to see."



What’s the problem with Disability Trolls?



One of the biggest and most dangerous problems with the Trolls is predatory men who prey upon unsuspecting women with disabilities on Facebook and other internet social networking sites. Typically, these men pretend be women with similar disabilities. They use this disability guise to “befriend” the target women. The target woman believes she is chatting or corresponding with a woman when in fact she is dealing with a man. This type of situation is a violation of the target woman’s trust. She may divulge person details to the Pretender about her health or other personal details. She may divulge her home address and thus allow an internet stalker to become a physical stalker. The list of potential dangers goes on and on.

The second major problem is the stealing of personal photographs. Many times these stolen photographs are uploaded to Disability Fetish and Disability Porn websites. For example, the Troll becomes a Facebook friend with an attractive woman wheelchair user. The Troll then searches the woman’s photographs and downloads beach or bikini type photographs. These photographs are next uploaded to websites frequented by other Trolls.

What can be done about the Trolls?



Fortunately, when it comes to Disability Trolls such as Wheelchair Pretenders, just being aware of them makes it much harder for them to take advantage of you. Wheelchair Pretenders rely on being able to deceive their victims. They get around their victims natural defenses by pretending to “be safe” by having a disability. For example, a young woman with a disability will naturally be suspicious of a middle aged able-bodied man. Regardless of whether she meets him on the Internet or in person, she will have her defenses up. She will be unlikely to “friend” him on Facebook without personally knowing him.

But that same woman may “befriend” a woman with an apparent disability without making a thorough background check. Unless she suspects that the “woman” may actually be a man. In that instance, she is more likely to have her “defenses up” and will be less vulnerable to being victimized.
Therefore, the best method to fight the Disability Trolls is to educate yourself and others on their existence. This awareness and education is what is website is all about.

PLEASE DON'T FEED THE TROLLS!

By having known and suspected Trolls in your Facebook Friend List, you are exposing other PWD to the Troll Virus. In addition, the fact that you have "friended" them has the effect of providing social proof to other PWDs of the Trolls legitimacy.  Basically, other PWDs accept a Troll offer of "friendship" since the Troll has lots of existing PWD "friends".

The most effective means to stop the Troll Virus is to systemically BLOCK known and suspected Trolls on your Friend list.

How to Spot a Wheelchair Pretender



This post provides some tips for spotting a Wheelchair Pretender on Facebook.

1. Profile Picture - The profile picture is the first clue. Many times the Pretender will use a picture that prominently features the person in a wheelchair. The picture will be either of poor quality or a stock photograph. By comparison, the majority of profile pictures from real WC users, do NOT feature the persons wheelchair. Or if they do, the wheelchair is incidental.
This document lists tips for spotting Wheelchair Pretenders on Facebook.

2. Very few supporting photographs of themselves. Especially, no photographs with themselves with other wheelchair uses or at events.

3. Prominent listing of disability. Most real WC users do not consider their disability as their primary identifying character. Pretenders do.

4. Lots of Facebook friends with disabilities, especially women.

5. Joins lots of disability groups. Has mainly disability related interests.

6. Very little activity on profile page other than “friending”.

7. Posts that refer mainly to “disability issues”.

8. A male who only has FBFs with female WCs. If find it highly unlikely that a male WC user would only have female WC friends.

9. Writing stupid disability related stuff on their profile page. Possibilily filled with cliches and other BS.

10. Profile and other pictures that are small and low res as if they were copied from a web page.

Examining at an Actual Chat Session with a Wheelchair Pretender

The following is the transcript of an actual Facebook chat session with a man who was pretending to be a young woman with a spinal cord injury. The Pretender goes by the name Maria Simpson.








MARIA - hey erik

ERIK - hey. I just got back from a bike ride.

ERIK - you there?

MARIA - yeap

ERIK - so I have a theory.

MARIA - about what

ERIK - You are not really a SCI.

MARIA - why do you think so

ERIK - If I tell you, you wil be able to change and fake more people.
I also think you are a guy.

MARIA - why

ERIK - because one of my hobbies is finding Wheelchair Pretenders and Devotees.

MARIA - hobby? oh ok

ERIK - So I can warn other SCI about people like you.

MARIA - im not a devotee

ERIK - you are a Wheelchair Pretender.

MARIA - why should do something like that
im usin a chair because i need it

ERIK - you are full of shit and a guy.

MARIA - i cant change ur idea can i

ERIK - Nope.

MARIA - im totally a quad woman
thats why u added me to yuor groups

ERIK - I added you before I figured out you were a Pretender. It wasn't hard to figure out. Now I have removed you.

MARIA - u can remove me from your groups but u cant undeservedly blame me
waitin for an answer

ERIK - Look. Anyone who fakes having SCI and fools other people has a serious problem.
You need to see a psychologist.

MARIA - u should
just saying to somebody that he is "pretender" without any evidence
is only devotee pretender phobia

-------------------------

The purpose of this post is to provide insight into what it is like to interact with a Wheelchair Pretender. The main point is ask yourself "Is this how a young woman really talks?" "Would a person with an actual spinal cord injury respond this way to be accused of being a faker".

A Decade Long Stalking Nightmare

The following is an except from my book: NOT-ME! Self-Defense and the Martial Arts for and by People with SCI/D.
This true story was written by TIFFANY CARLSON.


I have been hesitant about sharing my story regarding my stalker, scared he’ll read this. Why do I care? Because that’s the power that stalkers have over you: Fear. But since it’s been a year since he came to my home unannounced, I’m a bit less scared than I once was.

I want to fight back. I need to stop caring that he’s still out there and always will be until he dies. He lingers everywhere I am online.

I first made my presence known to my stalker back in the mid ’90s. At that time, I had no idea who Devotees (wheelchair fetishists) or Pretenders (people who pretend to use a wheelchair, on or offline) were. Of course, now I know that online rooms are full of them. The creepiest of them all was a guy by the name of D.T. At the time he was pretending to be a pretty, long-haired burnette from L.A who was a graphic designer for Pixar.

His persona privately messaged me, and from there on out, we carried on a one year long online friendship. We chatted every day and shared our paralyzed war stories. It was pretty intense.

One day, I was bored and popped into the AOL disability chat room. I was talking about my friend, and instantly, people in the room were telling me that she was a Pretender and actually a crazy forty something white male from California. I was shocked and appalled. I knew these people wouldn’t lie about something like that. I felt sickened and betrayed.

D.T. figured out that I knew about his game. He wrote me a long email apologizing for his transgressions, saying he’d take me to Disney World to make it up to me.

His assumptions freaked me out even more, so I blocked his email. Years went past and he continued to use dozens of fake personas to try to trick me again. He used Yahoo IM, emails under new addresses, everything. His main goal was to know intimate details about me so he could masturbate to them.

I’ve been running my site www.beautyability.com for several years. He would visit every day. I figured out that the California IP that came to my site each morning was him. He would post comments on my blog under a few different pseudonyms, but he never varied his grammar or speech patterns so I always knew it was him. But since the guy seemed “sorta” harmless at the time, I decided to stop deleting his comments and let them stay. That proved to be a bad idea. He took that action by me as a sign that I was actually receptive towards him.

After reading in a blog somewhere that I was single again, he decided to pack-up and move to Minnesota to find me in person. I’m unlisted. He didn’t have my address. He printed out some pictures of my neighborhood that I had put in one of my blogs. He walked around downtown Minneapolis until he found the buildings that were in the pictures. He visited all of those buildings until he found the one that had my name in the foyer. That was at 10:30am, August 7th, 2008.

He rang my unit, telling me that he was some guy that was here to “warn me” about this crazy guy from California who’s been stalking me. He was just lying again. It was he who was the crazy guy. I told him to go away, that I was busy, and to email me whatever his story was.

He did. I read his email later in the day and realized it was HIM, even though he never said so. His grammar though, as I said before, never wavered. It was easy to figure out. He was also seen frequently in my neighborhood wandering around the next few days.

I obtained a restraining order the afternoon of the day he first came to my house. Not only was it quite easy to get the restraining order, the police found the hotel he was staying at to serve him. They went there, served him and demanded he leave me alone. They told him to leave the state.

The police said D.T. was shaking in his boots when they served him. It seemed to work. He ended up not being able to find a job and moved to Arizona. It’s been a year since all of this went down. He has only tried to comment on my blog twice.

Even through, I haven’t heard from him now in awhile. I still get scared when I’m in bed at night and hear weird noises. I’m worried in the back of my mind that he might come back to Minneapolis, desperate to finally meet me in-person, and break into my place.

Because of this decade-long ill journey with this stalker, I RARELY if ever talk to people I don’t know in-person online anymore. It’s the only way I can protect myself from this happening again.

I hope my story helps people to be more vigilant about who they trust online, and to show them that Devotees and Pretenders are NOTHING to take lightly.

The Pretenders - A Story

Tara, a pretty young paraplegic, moves through her house to her beautiful sunny bedroom. She logs on to her Facebook account. She scans her computer briefly and then enters a post about her frustrating day.

Immediately, the chat window pops up. Next to the profile picture of a smiling attractive woman is the soothing statement “It will get better. I know. I’ve been there”. It’s Camille. Camille contacted Tara a few weeks ago through Facebook. She introduced herself and openly wrote about the car accident which broke her back two years ago.

Tara was hesitant at first. But with Camille’s gentle encouragement, Tara was soon telling Camille details about her injury, her health issues, and her hopes and dreams. After all, unlike all her other friends, Camille had been through it too.

Tara gushes about her difficult day. Camille listens patiently and offers supporting words.

The conversation turns to Tara’s Facebook profile. Why are there so few “wheelchair pictures”? Where are the fun and sexy photographs? At Camille’s prompting, Tara searches her computer. She finds photos from her last trip to the beach. With Camille egging her on, Tara uploads her best one.

Clyde sits by his computer in a dark basement apartment. Clyde downloads then prints a picture of a girl wearing a bikini, sitting in a wheelchair on the beach. It’s Tara. Clyde takes the photograph and pins it to a large map on the wall. The map is filled with pictures of women in wheelchairs. Most of the pictures are labeled with names and home addresses.

Clyde types on his computer “What’s your address? I have something I want to send you.”

Tara’s chat window pops up. It’s Camille “What’s your address? I have something I want to send you.”

A message to Devotees

There is nothing inherently wrong with a consensual Devotee/PWD relationship. Just as there is nothing inherently wrong with a consensual younger/older relationship, or any other consensual non-standard relationship example.

The problem stems from when the relationship is one-sided and not consensual. If someone is too young to consent, or one person is coercive, then relationship is predator-like. If the relationship is based on one-sided attraction, then it is not consensual.

As a Group, the Devotee/PWD relationship is not consensual. While there may be many examples of consensual Devotee/PWD relationships, they do not represent the majority.

Devotee/PWD relationships are more often characterized by a one-sided attraction where the PWD may not even be aware of the existence of the Devotee and/or his or her sexually based attraction.

Healthy relationships are based on mutual respect, trust, and disclosure. Unhealthy relationships involve deception, lack of trust, and non-disclosure. Unhealthy relationships are detrimental to both parties, but are more damaging to the unwilling object of attraction.

The current state of the group Devotee/PWD relationship is unhealthy. It is unquestionably harmful to PWDs. I think it is also harmful to Devotees because many of them operate in a secretive and voyeuristic manner at best, and a coercive and predator-like manner at worst.

It all comes down to consent. If a PWD consents to a “friendship” or relationship with a respectful Devotee, then there is no problem. If the PWD doesn’t consent, he or she should be left alone, period. That is how all healthy and consensual relationships work. If a Devotee doesn’t disclose due to fear of rejection, then he or she is involved in a one-sided non-consensual relationship regardless of how “innocent” or “harmless” he or she may feel.

As a final note, I am noting saying that full disclosure is easy. If it was easy, then we would not be having this discussion. But comparatively speaking, the obstacles faced by many PWDs everyday are greater. Why create more problems for PWDs? If you truly care about PWDs, then you should be doing all you can to support them even if it makes you uncomfortable or seems difficult.

Comments from a female paraplegic

It is valuable to know about the fake profiles. I get them daily. As you noted, it is obvious once you know what to look for and this is important information to share with each other so that we are not talking about our personal lives with someone who we think is a “peer”. Yet I would be careful to not paint this as something all “devos” resort to in general.

Woman and men gets thousands of requests a day from those who are attracted to them for whatever reason, and men and woman will hide their identity and lie about who they say they are on the internet. This is trait of dishonest people who desperately want to get the attention of those they seek and feel that have no other way. I had a request just yesterday from a “devo” who used his real name and location! Yes, he had other girls in wheelchairs as friends, and yes, he asked about my injury. He was actually a handsome guy who if I had not been in a relationship, I may have considered friending.

I guess I am just not a fan of broad brushes on groups of people. Maybe you should do a BlogSpot about decent men and woman who happen to be attracted to a disability for whatever psychological reason and even explore these men and ask them about their lives and their loves. You will find that many of them have long term relationships, marriages and families. While I didn’t even know about this until like 2006, when I look back with this information, I figure I may have dated, or been friends of devos and didn’t even know it. I wouldn’t have changed those relationships and am glad I didn’t fear or pre-judge.

Yes, my photos have been stolen too and I have seen them on these devotee sites. I am just living my life in them and share them publically on my page. To me it appears they are sharing pics of woman who they think are beautiful and if you look at the pics, most are exceptionally so. :)) They do have good taste, I will give them that! Not sure this is anymore “creepy” or different from men enjoying pics of their favorite actress or model and posting them in their fb or on their private computer. Men like to look at beautiful woman who are doing things they find sexy.

Yes, some are distasteful and disgusting. But not all ab porn sites are pretty to look at either (do I really need to go there?) So like I said, taste varies from person to person. Not good to judge all based on the bad behavior of some. If we did, we would never procreate loll!

I get concerned about the only negative reviews on devos as many newbies will be wary and afraid in general and may discriminate and potentially lose the opportunity for a good friend, lover, or soul mate (yes even soul mates share attraction to each other in the first stage). I have several friends who are married to these “devos” and know one guy who professed to me was a devo who was married until his wife died.

I think another girlfriend of mine is dating one based on how they met and other signs, and she is very happy. So let’s not make them all out to be creeps. Two on my gf’s have children with these guys and they are great husbands and dads. I say, whatever rocks their boat and works for them, as long as they don’t hurt anyone and their attraction is not an obsession (like a porn fetish that is all consuming) or the whole focus of their relationship with nothing else going for it (do you really think Melania loves Donald Trump and vice versa for more than his money and her looks?)

The problem is they hide “in the devo closet” as they will face condemnation, anger and rejection if they admit who they are. So it is a catch 22 for them. Think 1950's gay men. They lied and many still do...as our society has a problem understanding nuances and variations of the “norm”.

Got Disability Trolls? - PSA

The Good Devotees by Ruth Madison

I am a devotee. That’s what they call me. Stupid word. “Admirer” isn’t any better, if you ask me. Why do I have this label? Why associate myself with the few creeps who are what you think of when you hear that word (if you’ve ever heard it before)? Because that is what I am.

I always knew there was something different about my attractions. Other people didn’t get turned on by the same things I did. I lived in secrecy and fear that someone would find out for my entire early life. When I finally found that I was not the only one, that there were other people who had the experience I did, the only thing to be found out about them was that people hated them.

So that was a great way to come of age. Welcome to the world, you’ll be hated, feared and called horrible names on the Internet. Enjoy!

Every dating moment for me is fraught with ethical concerns. My peers talk about cute guys and I can’t relate. Could I tell them, you know who’s hot? Jake Sully from Avatar. Yummy.

Well, me being me, that’s exactly what I do.

I decided to stop living in shadows and to own this label. And one of the reasons I decided to do that is because all you ever hear about in the media are the “bad” devs. The “disability trolls” as they are called here.

It is my belief that very few of the over all people who have this attraction are scary creeps. But some of them are. And those few are the most vocal and the most noticeable because of their unethical behavior. If we make the world a safe place for devs, if we don’t attack and hate on them, then more of the “good” ones will feel comfortable being themselves.

In my opinion, this will force the “bad” devs out of the main focus. They will become the marginal ones that they should be instead of the focus.

It sucks, but there are creeps in every area of life. No matter what group you go into, you’ll find some small percentage of wackos. As someone with thigh length hair, let me tell you that I get creepy messages on YouTube videos. I get my pictures taken from my facebook page and reposted on fetish sites. I hate that. Of course I do. And my hair is something that I made a choice to have. So I know where you’re coming from when you are upset at devotees.

When PushGirls had an episode about watching out for those freaks, I wrote the following on twitter: “Not all devs are bad. You know what all devs are? Human beings. With feelings. So hate on individuals, not on groups.”

Hate the guy that stalks you. Don’t hate all devotees . Befriend good devotees, make the Internet a safe place for them to come out to you so that we can work together as a team to make better relationships between the groups.

Devotees and people with disabilities can have great relationships. I’ve dated a number of disabled men (and I’ve always been completely upfront about being a dev). I have friendships with many disabled men and women. I am dedicated to civil rights for disability issues and I work hard on that cause. Together we can do great things.

I cannot regulate devotee behavior. I don’t have control over other people. There is no central authority! I advice young devs that I meet to be ethical, to get to know people who have disabilities so that they aren’t romanticizing the experience in their minds. Some of these “bad” devs are simply uneducated. Others are evil. But trolls thrive on secrecy and fear. The more open we can be, the more they will be marginalized and not become the majority experience.

I implore you to also realize that being a devotee is not easy. It isn’t something that we do for fun. It’s a deep part of us that we can’t help and a lot of times it sucks.

Imagine that everywhere you go on the Internet you see people spewing hate about you. Calling youa pervert, a freak, a freaky deaky, and they’ve never met you. You’ve never hurt anyone.

But wait. You do know what it’s like to be treated badly based on something that you had no control over. It amazes me when people with disabilities are willing to turn that prejudice against other groups.

You may have heard or come up with your own theories about why devotees exist. They are wrong.

Devoteeism is not the result of abuse and it is not a power game for having control over someone else. The devotees who adore you see you as more powerful than they are, stronger than they are, more to be admirered (hence the term “admirer”). They are in awe of you.

I had a very normal upbringing. There was nothing in it to suggest I would have this attraction. I didn’t even know anyone with a disability until years after the attraction began. If you are willing to be open minded, I would ask you to read my book (W)hole. It is the story of a young woman who is a dev and it explores what it is really like to be one. A new edition will be out in early October. Just search for (W)hole by Ruth Madison after October 10th and you’ll get the most up to date version.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004XJCKSY

Take the Troll Quiz

Why Do People Friend Strangers on Facebook? They Have Been “Zuckered”



The short answer to this question is that they have been “Zuckered”.  Publically, Mark  Zuckerburg’s mission is to “make the world a more open and connected place”. But if that is the case, why is it impossible to reach Facebook? There is no available phone number, no method to online chat, no office to visit, no direct method to contact Facebook other than automated form submission.  Despite the spin marketing, Facebook knows that it is NOT always in your best interest to be able to be found and contacted by ANYONE at ANYTIME.

Facebook profits from making its users dependant and connected to its product.  But Facebook is not the only one that benefits from creating open connections among its users, so do stalkers and predators.  The searching capability that allows you to determine what your friend are doing, where they live, where they go, and what they like to do is available to friends and enemies alike.
Yes, but “Why do people friend people they don’t know?” you ask.  They do it because their view of the Risk vs. Reward ratio has been colored by Facebook.  Facebook has convinced the public that all its users are using their real names and photos.  That sharing intimate details about your private life is fine because you are sharing with your “friends”.  On Facebook, there are no “strangers”. There are only people you don’t know yet. Therefore, the Risk of “friending” is perceived to be low.

The Reward is that you get to meet and interact with new and interesting people. Having more Friends, builds your network. It allows you to reach more people. It allows you to be part of a fun and interactive social scene. This ability to socialize is a powerful Reward for those who may have less opportunity to physically meet other people.  It allows people with disabilities to connect with others who share the same experience. 
The newly injured benefit greatly from peer support and the sharing of tips and advice. High profile people within the Disability Community benefit from having as many friends as possible, thus increasing their “status”.  Having many Friends is an endorsement and confirmation of desirability.  Thus, the combination of perceived low Risk and high Reward leads to wide spread “friending” of other Facebook users.

These Facebook users don't appear to be “strangers” because they have Mutual Friends with you. The more Mutual Friends the Other User has, the more likely you are to “friend” her. After all, your Friends must know her.  Facebook knows that the Mutual Friend endorsement is all powerful. That is why Mutual Friends are automatically listed next to the Other User’s name. Not accepting a friend request from the Other User would be rude, impolite, or worse, you could be missing out on something, you think.
Remember, you consider “friending” Risk to be low. You can always “unfriend” at a later date, you think. In reality, you are most likely to become a TFF (Troll Friend Forever).  The Troll may not contact you, the Troll may have “friended” you in order to gain access to your Friends, or to gain the all important Mutual Friend status to “friend” a more vulnerable victim.

In summary, people “friend” strangers on Facebook because they don’t realize or take into consideration the potential danger created to both themselves and their real friends.  They over estimate the Reward and under estimate the Risk. But on the bright side, by being educated about internet threats, predator methods, and engaging in basic precautionary measures, these Risks can be minimized.



Facebook Predator Math



The Victim Lure Ratio is the average number of lures it takes a Predator to connect with a susceptible victim. For example, if it takes on average, fifty private messages to connect with a suitable victim, then the VLR is 1/50.

The Predator Process Risk represents the average chance that the Predator has of
being stopped or caught per each procedural victim lure. For example, if it takes an
average two hundred private messages before the Predator is stopped, then the PPR is 1/200. As long as VLR is greater than PPR, Predators will be able to thrive and prey upon victims on Facebook.

Raising awareness and safety precaution levels among the potential victim pool will have the effect of lowering the VLR, but due to the realities and vulnerabilities of human nature, there will always be susceptible victims. Therefore, no matter how much effort put forth, this ratio will never become zero.

Predator Process Risk is the other side of the equation. It can only be increased by the actions of Facebook and Law Enforcement. The existence of an accessible pool of   vulnerable victims will draw Predators to Facebook. As long as the PPR is low, there will be more Predators entering Facebook than being removed. This increasing
number of Predators will result in more victimizations.

Assume for example, awareness and safety education decreases the VLR by 300%. It now takes 150 lures to connect with one victim as opposed to 50. But on the other hand, the number of Predators on Facebook increases from 1,000 to 3,000.

Three thousand Predators initiate 150 lures for a total of 450,000 lures. Since the VLR is 1/150, there are 3,000 successful connections with victims. Decreasing the VLR has the effect of causing Predators to initiate more lures, but as long as the VLR is less than the PPR of 1/200, the Predators will methodically connect with victims.

Therefore, the only way to successfully stop Facebook Predators from systematically preying upon susceptible victims is to combine awareness and safety education with increased enforcement by Facebook and Law Enforcement. Thus, simultaneously
lowering the Victim Lure Ratio and raising the Predator Process Risk.

If these actions are not taken, Facebook Predator Math will guarantee there will be
more victimizations originating from Facebook.