Friday, August 8, 2008

Mob Mentality







Submitted for publication by Linda.




It wasn’t so long ago that the internet buzzing was about the story of 13 year old Megan Meier.

The mother of an acquaintance of Megan's created a MySpace account claiming to be a teenage boy who first pursued Meier but eventually dumped her. Devastated by the rejection, Megan Meier ended her life.

Apparently, the blogosphere has a way of establishing order and “netizens” often get into the mix of exposing who they term to be “evil-doers.” This is just what happened in the Megan Meier case.

A blogger who read an article about the 13 year old’s suicide did some sleuthing and posted the name of the mother (Lori Drew) who created the MySpace account.


People began calling Drew’s clients and demanding that they stop doing business with her or they would boycott their establishments. Lori Drew’s photo, her husband’s name, her address, her cell and home phone numbers were posted all over the internet almost begging for someone to do something.
And eventually it happened. A brick was thrown through the window of the Drew home and the family received threats that their house would be burned down.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m disgusted by Lori Drew. Her conduct in creating a fake persona on MySpace to mess with a 13 year old girl is despicable. If there is any way to criminally prosecute this woman for her conduct, it should be utilized. If there is any way to make her civilly responsible for the death of this little girl that should also be utilized. She should be punished, but not by the mob.

How does this relate to the Gosselins?

There is a mob mentality that has gained tsunami strength regarding the Gosselins family.

At times, I must say that I’m scratching my head about it. How can a television show about a family on a cable network generate so much controversy? But it has.

The tsunami currently include blogs, discussion boards, on-line petitions and calls for business boycotts. Both the “sheeple”, those who are pro-Gosselin, and the “haters”, those who are anti-Gosselin, are passionate if not rabid in their defense of their opinions.

My worry is that some of these blogs which have gained such momentum in recent weeks may be just the nudge that an unstable person needs to inflict some harm on themselves, on a poster with an opposing view, or on the Gosselin family.

Tidal waves of internet interest almost simultaneously goad and beg for someone to do something off-line which can be viewed as a kind of trophy by bloggers. Recently a picture of the sign in front of the Gosselin house was photographed and posted on asocial networking site and later on a blog. Cyber-high-fives were thrown around as if the grave of Jimmy Hoffa had finally been discovered.

But really what's next? It happened with Megan Meier. Justified or not, it happened with Lori Drew. I pray that it doesn’t happen with the storm surrounding the Gosselin family.

71 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree! This is all getting creepy! I hope no one does something stupid to harm them over a television show!

Anonymous said...

I think a great harm has already been done! I wonder if what is going on with this family with cyberbullying and stalking were happening to Tom Cruise or Brad Pit, would the police not already be involved?

Anonymous said...

Thus far the only thing worth reading here.

You make a great point. The Gosselin show has made a huge impact. I would be very concerned for the kids welfare. But not only from a nut case fanatic, but their very own parents. They are the one's who are supposed to protect their privacy.

This isn't even remotely a reality show anymore. The parent's don't even take care of their children.

We will be viewing a documentary about the Gosselin's in years to come regarding the down side of reality TV and how it affected the people involved.

My feeling is, giving the Gosselin's negative press, uncovering the lies and scams, will hopefully pressure them into quitting the show.

No matter what, this will be one screwed up family.

Former GWoP Fan said...

Wow. I never made the connection, but you are SO right. There was a reason the crusade to bring down the Gosselins creeped me out enough to speak out against GWoP. You seem to have hit the nail on the head.

I just hate to be in Ninabell's position once this nugget hit the fan over there.

One of the things that drove me away from the "other" group's "seekret" message board, aside from the fact that I just didn't hate the Gosselins and want to see them destroyed, was a creepy feeling about what I was witnessing. I kept reading that board, but not posting very frequently, because the inside information they came up with was interesting, I must admit. But, as the weeks wore on, I felt guilty. Guilty because even though I posted only occasionally, and it was usually to speak up that something made me uncomfortable, I was still there, still absorbing the gossip. I was ignored, of course. I spoke up when the contact with Clarissa (Kate's sister) and Julie (Aunt Jodi's sister) were getting more frequent and serious. When personal information was being revealed, I tried to speak my peace, that I really didn't condone fostering a relationship with people so close to the Gosselin's. I spoke up when one child was snarked about for being Kate's "favorite," with the final straw being when the child was referred to as "Fatty Arbuckle." (There, GWoP defenders, is that proof enough that someone here did witness instances where the members of your blog/board were making fun of a child, even though you continue to deny it. I stop short of naming the child you targeted, however). I admit, that there were several posters who spoke up against THAT, proving that not everyone over there is a bad person.

But I think the final straw was the day one of them went out with her camera and took a picture of "the sign" then rushed right back to the board and posted it. It only took minutes, it seems, so the GWoP member must live awfully close to the Gosselin's. The photo was then posted on the GWoP public blog. You know the photo. The one that a GWoP member just yesterday claimed that they "just happened to get off the internet and had no idea where it came from?" In the past, the Gosselin's actual address was also posted, as well as satellite photos of the Gosselin neighborhood (with their home highlighted). You know the type of photo. You can use Google Earth to find satellite images of just about anyone's home. Oh, and Kate's father's church was also shown that way. Now, they can claim (rightfully so) that there's nothing illegal about that. You can get that information on anyone or any location on the internet. I have Google Earth. It's fascinating to see satellite shots of your house, or Ground Zero, or the home you grew up in. But, I'm willing to bet it wasn't considered illegal when Lori Drew began talking to Megan Meier on MySpace, even if she was impersonating a kid. Unbelievably stupid, mean and catty, yeah. It actually didn't become a crime until that child took her life.

I am NOT saying that anyone at GWoP would ever really doing something to physically harm Jon, Kate or any of the kids. It's also obvious that they don't think the information they've dug up and posted is harmful. Julie obviously doesn't consider telling secrets to strangers on the Internet is a bad thing. They're just words, right? What I'm really afraid of and what creeps me out, is the person that DOESN'T post on GWoP. Someone who's not part of the group, but just reads the blog. Someone, thanks to GWoP, knows the comings and goings of the parents, the names of the nannies or babysitters taking care of the kids in Jon and Kate's absence. Didn't one of the mods brag about knowing where Jon and Kate are at any given moment thanks to GWoP's investigative efforts? Okay, she may not be a dangerous person, but someone out there may know all that information, as well. Someone who's not a very nice person. Come on. We hear about it every day. Internet predators. Pedophiles who are always described by surprised neighbors as "just a regular guy." Respected members of communities with a hard drive full of kiddie porn. GWoP is claiming that they're getting "thousands of hits from all over the world" on a daily basis. Do they know who everyone is?

Guinevere said...

Interesting entry, Linda! And definitely food for thought. I've been thinking about the Gosselins in relation to an article I read a few days ago on internet trolls:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/03/magazine/03trolls-t.html?_r=2&ref=magazine&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

Granted, the people depicted in this article are in some respects more extreme than most of the anti-Gosselin posters, but I also fear some action being taken against the Gosselins. There are people out there who have already amply demonstrated that they don't understand or respect appropriate boundaries, and some of them seem very angry (though why is a question I haven't been able to answer). I really hope that these people do not escalate their harrassment when they see that what they've done already has not had the desired effect.

MrsRef said...

I agree with the Tsunami effect here, in fact, I am guilty of that type of thinking myself. That said, the Gosselins and/or producers made it extremely easy to pinpoint just where the G's live, showing pictures of their house, their place of worship, etc. If they wanted annonmity, they never should have put so much of themselves out there. It's scary that I know more about their family, where they sleep, what their schedules are, than I do my own extended family. I think people/fans just feel that they know them since they are invited in to their lives everyweek, heck everyday. Tom Cruise and the like do everything within their power to keep their private lives private. This whole thing is just spiraling out of control and I don't know how the Gosselins will react when they inevitably crash and burn.

anya said...

Linda, thank you for a thought provaking post. I remember when the Lori Drew story hit the press. I remarked something to my sister that I was glad this woman was getting what she deserved. My sister shared that she wasn't entirely comfortable with the methods of many of those who sought to bring Lori Drew down. In hindsight, I see her point much more clearly because I am not at all comfortable with those who "want to put Kate Gosselin in her place." And I don't care if everyone on the other site is 100% right about everything they are saying about J&K (doubtful,because the stories don't add up) -- their tactics in "getting the truth out" are alarming, push the bounds of common decency and could potentially lead to consequences that I don't think any one of us want to see.

********************************
Also, a couple of responses to the "Anon" above.

"The parent's don't even take care of their children."

Unless you are another of the many many posters claiming to have inside knowledge, you have no FACTS to back this up. It's just your perception based on the things you have read on the internet about paid babysitters, cooks, laundry services, etc.

"We will be viewing a documentary about the Gosselin's in years to come regarding the down side of reality TV and how it affected the people involved."

How can you presume to know this? Care to share other insights? Will we get a Democrat back in the White House? Are Brangelina going to be together forever? Will I ever be a size 8 again? I'd love your crystal ball.

"Giving the Gosselin's negative press, uncovering the lies and scams, will hopefully pressure them into quitting the show."

Well, you are applying pressure, there is no doubt about that. Again, your tactics have lead many of us to view you as stalkers who are way too invested in a cable TV show, but I know you view yourselves as having a higher purpose and I am sure little 'ol me isn't going to change your mind.

MrsRef said...

To Former GWOP: I have lurked and more recently posted on GWOP. I have never heard of a secret message board where they called Hannah names, not that I want to. That is absolutely wrong and no one should pick on the kids like that. However, the reason I know of the Gosselins comings and goings, etc. have nothing to do with GWOP. The Gosselins and/or producers give this information out themselves. I have seen the calender, the school bus the girls take along with a clock showing what time they arrive home. J&K have stated what day they go to Gymboree, they post their speaking schedules, I know the entire layout of their house courtesy of the show. A simple "Google" brings up their address and a picture of the house (my house is on there too) I am sure when they started the show, they never imagined that, however, now they cannot call foul when people recognize them or even drive by their house. Bruce Springsteen lives in my state and people drive by his house all the time. I think it is part of human nature to want to identify in some way with celebrities no matter how minor they may be.

Anonymous said...

Hannah was called 'oafish' by Dew in her Sesame St recap. I commented on it- others may have also. The recap was then edited to remove that comment.

anya said...

*Wince*. That is just SO vicious. I cannot wrap my mind the type of individual who thinks that's funny or acceptable language to describe a four-year-old. Ok, now I am depressed!

They must like her recaps over there because she had another one posted recently. I scanned it rather quickly, but I did see she proudly proclaimed she couldn't tell Leah and Alexis apart and then inserted Leah's name in the famous "him throw up on your hands" squabble between Lex and Hannah. I personally have no trouble telling these two apart (except occasionally when shot from the back), but even if you do, wouldn't you take the time to get your facts straight before you posted something that was going to be read by others?? Not my biggest peeve, obviously, but sloppiness always irks me. Aren't they supposed to publish only "accurate facts"?

Anonymous said...

I disagree there is a correlation between the Drew/Meier story and GWOP. Drew actually created a false identity and used it to deliberately torment a child. I haven't read anything on GWOP that advocates that kind of behavior toward the Gosselins, in either the blog postings, or any of the readers' comments to the postings. As a reader and occasional poster to GWOP, I also appreciate the absence of inflammatory reader comments that can quickly degenerate into meaningless flame wars and character assassinations.

I think the Gosselins receive far more positive publicity in the mainstream media than negative, so IMO describing the relatively minor amount of negativity as a "tsunami" is an exageration, at least. I see GWOP as barely audible compared to the overwhelming orchestra of "we love the Gosselins."

As for formergwop fan's assertions that addresses and satellite photos relating to the Gosselins were posted on a private message board, I don't understand how that would incite psychotic J&K+8 viewers. If it's a private board, GWOP readers/the public in general couldn't see any of that info.

anya said...

Mrsref:

"Bruce Springsteen lives in my state and people drive by his house all the time."

Ok, I must admit I am jealous having been a fan of his since my teens in the 80's! Hmm. I might be tempted to drive by his house, but think I would restrain myself. That said, I do think there is a difference between Bruce and the Gosselins.

And my larger point is while I understand information about the Gosselins is pretty readily available on the internet, it's the piecing together and publishing in one spot, along with commentary, conjecture and sometimes calls to action ("let's show up at their book signing, etc.) that ultimately leaves me uneasy.

MrsRef said...

To Anya: You have a valid point. I really don't think most people have the time and energy to write to sponsors, boycott, etc. I know that I don't. Boycotting large corporations doesn't accomplish much anyway nor would I spend the money to purchase their book. I would assume you had to have a book in order to enter the signing line. I still, however, feel that the show allows way too much information about the family to be put out there. I wonder, for instance, how many more people show up at their church since it was shown just to see the family. We all know from Jon what time the service is and it is not all that weird for visitors to attend. I still maintain that they (J&K & crew) allow this information to get out there.

JACK said...

We will learn about reality tv and it's ramifications from Jon and Kate Plus 8.

That is the scary thing.

There will be blogs 5-10 years from now dissecting this shit all over again.

anya said...

"I still maintain that they (J&K & crew) allow this information to get out there."

Well whoever allows it out, you are right -- there is lots of information out there. And not just rumors, but the facts you alluded to earlier. I am honest about the fact that I like the show, I basically like the Gosselin parents fine (despite their obvious flaws) and I love the kids (Alexis fan here!), but what they have chosen to do would not be for me. I am a very private person.

That said, I think there are plenty of people who would jump at the opportunity. How many people audition each year for "Big Brother" and all the other reality shows out there. Plenty. The Gosselins situation is different in that they are filming within the home and allowing their young children to be filmed. The closest comparison I can think of is "Wife Swap" or "Supernanny", but of course, we only see these folks for one episode.

I don't know how it all will turn out. I am just not convinced that those whose mission it is to shut the show down are really helping anything. Especially how they have chosen to go about it.

Lastly, I agree about online petitions, writing to corporations, boycotts, etc. I think these activities are harmless, but accompish next to nothing. I don't have any marketing experience or knowledge, but I think the very fact that people are paying attention in this way sends a signal to advertisers, etc. that people are interested in the show and that means they will probably watch the show.

Anonymous said...

. I think a great harm has already been done! I wonder if what is going on with this family with cyberbullying and stalking were happening to Tom Cruise or Brad Pit, would the police not already be involved? First day on the Internet? Go read a few TV, movie and live journal forums and blogs you will find plenty of not so flattering comments about those as well as many other real celebs.
In the dozen or so sites where the Gosselin family has been discussed, I've not read anything anywhere that promotes doing harm to any of the family.
Believe me Jon Gosselin is quite aware of the blogs out on the Internet and has sent some pretty nasty emails to people himself. That's pretty much the job he is doing in his closet office. He trolls the net and harasses people. There's been enough that if the posts sound familiar and contain the same certain catch phrases moderators get together to compare the messages and get the same IP address from the same provider in the same city in PA and, therefore, it's not hard to know it's Jon.
If any of you people are seriously concerned about harm befalling one of these Gosselins I don't think you need to look at posters on the Internet. There is enough pathology in Jon and Kate my fear isn't from strangers but from what will happen when the money dries up. In the glee Jon took from harassing an extended family member that caused her to close her facebook account he'd be the first to cause me to worry.

bigsis88 said...

fgf, I think you have some really great points, especially about never knowing who's dangerous or not. I think the Gosselins and the television crew/TLC/Figure 8 (I'm not sure who has specific responsibilities) send contradictory messages about the families privacy. The last few sentences of your post reminded me of my reaction when I saw the episode (I don't remember which one) in which Kate mentioned people emailing them offering to send the kids gifts. My first thought was "They could be pedophiles who'll get off on seeing their 'gifts' on TV!" (I still can't believe they accept them, but I guess that's a personal preference.) It's so true that you never know someone's intentions, regardless of whether they perform a perceived act of kindness or malice. IMO, giving out addresses and mailing presents to strangers are equally creepy.

Guinevere said...

I still maintain that they (J&K & crew) allow this information to get out there.

Maybe, but I maintain that people who choose to cross boundaries and behave inappropriately (stalking, interfering with the Gosselins' lives) are responsible for their own behavior. Yes, it couldn't/wouldn't happen if the Gosselins had not agreed to do the TV show, but I still don't feel comfortable blaming the victim. No one is compelled to stalk and harrass the Gosselins. That's a personal choice, and an immoral one, IMO.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why it's such a shock to anyone that Jon would respond to the accusations that have been made on gwop. If it was your family being ripped apart, wouldn't you?

That said, they can't really respond to all of this (I'm sure there is truth to some of it) and one has to remember that they didn't go into this thinking it would be as big as it is, imo. I'm sure tlc had no idea it would gain so many viewers.

I try to put myself in his position, try to think of how I might feel if I were walking in his shoes. I too would want defend my family. And as for the comments on gwop about his responses being "vulger", look at the comments on that blog. It floors me that they don't think he has every right to be angry. Hell, it pisses me off and I don't even know these people.

Anonymous said...

bigsis88,

I seriously doubt they gave out their home address to people that wanted to send gifts. I think maybe the gifts were sent to TLC/Figure 8 first and they were then given to j&k. I wouldn't give my address out considering how looney this world is. Especially the creepers trying to "take them down." creepy, creepy!

anya said...

"And as for the comments on gwop about his responses being "vulger", look at the comments on that blog. It floors me that they don't think he has every right to be angry. Hell, it pisses me off and I don't even know these people."
***********************************
Yep, I agree 100%. It would be better for his mental health if he just stay away from reading this garbage, but I can't stop myself, so how can I expect him to when it's written about HIS family? Plus, he probably feels a duty to at least know what's out there so he can deal with it if it spirals more out of control than it already is.

FGF said...

Just an FYI: There are roughly 100 members of the "seekret" invite only message board, including all the mods and main contributors from GWoP. They call GWoP "Are Blog," because the members of that board created GWoP. But burying your head in the sand and not accepting that the secret board, where all the information that ends up on GWoP is overanalyzed and rehashed until everyone is worked up into a frenzy, is harmful, then whatever. That's your rationalization for continuing to read it guilt free, I guess.

I GUESS WE HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO said...

fgf

So it is a free blog like the one both their site and our site is using but it is set to private so only the people they give access to can use it?

Nancy said...

"I am not at all comfortable with those who "want to put Kate Gosselin in her place."

I would LOVE to see Kate be put in her place... but by her HUSBAND!

Anonymous said...

It really doesn't surprise me that they would have a *seekret msg board* I just have a mental pic of them sitting around in a circle, gleefully rubbing their hands together and high 5ving one another!

Making fun of the kids, crosses the line, big time, IMO.

If the so called, infamous pressi or whatever her name is, really is part of that blog, how in the world can any of them sleep at night. So very creepy :(

FGF said...

It's actually a message board, set to private, so that only approved members can see anything. It was created when TWoP began purging posters left and right for inane and stupid stuff, banning people without warning (people that were both positive and negative toward the Gosselins). The TWoP Jon and Kate thread was closed on a weekly basis. Well, now, reading the stuff on GWoP and the attacking messages posted here from them, you can now see why TWoP was fed up and just began banning everyone, good and bad. The J&K thread at TWoP was eventually closed permanently. Oh, and as a side note, GWoP likes to blame Jon for it, that he must have gotten his legal team to shut TWoP's thread down. Yeah, I think we know better now. The mods were just sick of the daily dosage of crap. Editing comments there became a full time job.

So, as all this was happening, a closed message board was created and the people that started it sent PM's to the TWoP posters that they wanted to invite to join. Posters that they felt would add to the discussion and who had been edited, warned or outright silenced by TWoP. At first it was just snark, which is why I accepted the invitation, and Jon and Kate were not the only show being discussed. There were separate threads for different reality shows. However, J&K became the main show discussed and most of the other topics kinda faded away. As more posters joined, it became less snark, less balanced. At first, there were positive and negative people posting on the board. It was good natured and funny. As more of the really negative people who got kicked off TWoP began posting, the positive posters began fading away, or realized that the only way to survive and be included in anything was to join the negative party. Plus, I think with all the stuff they were digging up on Jon and Kate, a lot of the positive posters who liked the show, were changing their opinions (and they call US "sheeple").

I'm not sure of the timeline, but GWoP, the public blog everyone can see, was created by the same people who created the message board. With all the juicy inside information now being dug up and discussed, it was determined that they wanted to "let the public know what's really going on," but stopped short of wanting the public to see the message board. If the public could see the message board, posters were less likely to be candid and not say what they really thought or admit to being the ones who dug up the gossip. So, "Are Blog" was born, which is GWoP that everyone can see. I think part of the initial success of GWoP is that the haters from TWoP, now being denied a place to vent, saw this as their only home. It grew from that, because, really, it is human nature to rubberneck and root for something to fail, especially something that is being so aggressively pushed by the network (and someone being given so much for "no reason" other than then fact that they hit the genetic and procreation lottery) that a backlash is inevitable.

Does that help at all? I hope I didn't confuse you even more! :)

FGF said...

Anon. 9:31 AM:

BINGO. ON ALL COUNTS, if you know what I'm saying. ;)

Linda said...

Wow Guinevere -

That nytimes article included some really scary stuff.

What was interesting to me is how much the trolls/hackers justify their conduct.

In one situation they hacked into a Epilepsy Foundation message board and did something that caused the viewers to have epileptic seizures. The hacker justified their attack by saying the "hole" was there. It was the Epilepsy Foundation's fault for leaving the security hole.

What was interesting and troubling about the Megan Meier case is that the mother Lori Drew justified her conduct by saying that she was just trying to find out what Megan Meier might have been saying about her daughter.

The people on the blogosphere who did the crazy things to Lori Drew and her family also felt justified.

Apparently some feel that the internet attacks on the family are justified as long as they result in the family terminating their reality tv show.

And although there are not actual pleas by posters to do something dangerous, I don't know that it takes actual verbal urging to get people to do things off-line.

I think that what happens is that at first small lines are crossed and those things are celebrated.

Someone finds the Gosselins actual address and it is published on the internet. That poster is praised for their investigative efforts.

The next person finds out the locations of their speaking engagements and posts that they called and told them about "the real story." They are praised for speaking the truth and getting the word out.

A person claiming to be the sister of Aunt Jodi (we really don't know for sure if it is) writes a blog with supposed insider information. This blogger is now spoken about as being "unafraid."

A person takes a picture of the Gosselin's home with the infamous sign and it is posted all over as a kind of blue ribbon. The person who got the picture is praised for their hard work.

Insiders go to investigative reporters at a tabloid and the actual article is treated as a trophy. And more than likely the person who is responsible for the inside information gains power within the group.

With each step, the line is crossed further and the trophy that is returned to the group is bigger.

I also bet that the sense of power the "trophy getters" feel increases too.

So, I don't know that it takes actual words before the act. After the fact, the group sees that these acts are treated as trophies and the person who gets them is seen as a hero or brave, etc.

People read the group and they see what the group expects from them and what is required to ascend within the group.

And all the while, they justify their actions by saying that the parents were the ones who left this door open by surrendering their kids privacy in doing the show.

That is what scares me. To garner the praise of the other blog group members, the prize has to be bigger and better.

Anonymous said...

Under "Who We Are" on the GWOP front page it says: "We are a group of people who started chatting offline when the thread at Television Without Pity would be closed."

They're not hiding the fact that the blog was created by former TWoP posters, or that they communicate off-line (ie, in a forum other than the blog). As someone who reads GWOP I'm not surprised that a blog with that much activity would have to be administered by a number of people. I used to read the TWoP forum as well, and as mentioned in the GWOP statement, it was frequently shut down (due to troll activity). So I don't see anything shocking or sinister about the fact that some TWoP posters created a private message board and then created a public forum via the blog. If they publish information on their private board that can't be viewed by the public, so what? I haven't seen any personal info on the Gosselins, like addresses, phone numbers, e-mail or satellite photos of their home on GWOP, or have I missed where they were posted?

I would wonder about the motives of the person claiming to be the former private board member posting about it on this board. It seems to me that it only serves to feed the anti-GWOP mob mentality since the veracity of the claims can't be corroborated.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:00pm: "the anti-GWOP mob mentality"

Oh, that made me laugh out loud. Too funny.

Anonymous said...

You dont see anything shocking or sinister about people posting the private names, addresses and phone numbers of people related to J&K? People who have never even been on the show or made any choice to be put in the public? Wow. Thats all I can say. Thank God, I can see something very shocking and sinister about it. I'd really hate to be the type of person that would consider that behavior even remotely okay or ethical.

Guinevere said...

linda, I think your assessment is spot on. The sort of moral blindness concerns me - there are certain people who have pumped themselves up to believe that J&K are so bad, and these same people don't seem to realize the inappropriateness of their own actions and behavior. It sets up a scenario where I can imagine someone doing something really harmful, in the belief that "the ends justify the means."

I just realized I used the word "concerns" above - one of the things that I first noticed on the TWoP board was how many posters were "troubled" and "concerned" by things they saw on J&K+8. And I've gone on record as thinking the mixture of supposed high-minded concern and petty sniping over the state of Kate's ass over at GWoP makes the whole bunch of them appear disingenuous. So I'm kind of questioning myself: do I just think they are petty shrews over there, or dangerous stalkers?

I think some of them just don't like the Gosselins and have found a place to criticize them - nothing wrong with that (though I would think the atmosphere would drive reasonable people away in a fairly short time). I think many of them are petty shrews with issues, who want to be mean and critical while cloaking themselves in the "Won't somebody think of the CHILDREN?!" mantra. I think a few of them are kind of unbalanced, and if I'm worried about anyone doing anything, it would be those few. It's not like I think that actual violence against the Gosselins is inevitable; it's more just as you say, that the atmosphere pushes people to go further and further, and there doesn't seem to be any tempering force or voice of reason over there.

As a (petty) aside - I've been meaning to mention: fgf mentions "Are Blog", and it reminds me - am I the only one who doesn't get the difference between "are" and "our" that they make fun of Kate for? I'm a native Californian, and when I say both words, they sound pretty much the same to me. I always thought they were homynyms. Have I been saying one of them wrong all my life?

Linda said...

G -

I remember the post with that title. It went on about how Kate pronounces "our" with "are." I didn't even notice it until it was pointed out on that post.

By the way, can you imagine what their super secret private message board is brimming with lately?

Anon 2:21:

I too chuckled about the term "anti-GwoP-mob mentality".

bigsis88 said...

Anon 8:50-
I don't think they give out their home address either; it's just weird to me to accept gifts from strangers. Toilet paper donations and other essentials from neighbors is one thing, but presents from people who don't know you is another. Plus, I think accepting those gifts blurs the bounds of privacy, because someone interested in buying things for the Gosselins might not consider them "strangers", and IMO feeling intimate familiarity with people you don't know is kinda weird.

Anonymous said...

"You dont see anything shocking or sinister about people posting the private names, addresses and phone numbers of people related to J&K? People who have never even been on the show or made any choice to be put in the public?"

If you believe fgf's claims that this is being done, and there's no way to know if it's true since according to fgf that info has only appeared on the private board, they're not making it public. They're supposedly discussing it among themselves in private, and no I don't see anything shocking and sinister about that. Maybe it's because I'm a member of a couple of private lists where the members were wrongfully accused by people who knew nothing about them. A goup of fellow showdog fanciers/exhibitors used to have a public board where we discussed our hobby. But without fail animal rights advocates would find the board and start making vile accusations. There was no dealing with these people in a calm, rational way. They were convinced we were evil, EVIL people. We finally decided to take it private so we could have a discussion without the hysteria. So I'm less inclined to jump to any conclusions based on one person's assertions that cannot be corrborated.

Others on this board have questioned whether Julie is who she says she is, and therefore the veracity of what she has to say. Frankly, so do I. But someone can claim to know all kinds of "inside" information about GWOP and their assertions are readily accepted without question. I'm equally skeptical about both sources.

dotsicle said...

Hi; I'm that same Dotsicle who used to post on TWoP and make the Pro-Katers angry, LOL! I read GWoP a lot, but since it's goals and mine are different, I don't post much. I just dearly love to snark at Kate and what she does, and that's all.
I belong to a couple of private message boards, and there's nothing sinister about them. They are just for private discussion. I don't understand why a private board would upset anyone.

Daisy said...

dotsicle, it's not the fact that there is a private board, it's what's been posted on it.

IMO I believe fgf. What she's said is well thought out and articulate. There's been so much garbage out there about the Gosselins I believe it when I hear that their address was posted. It was posted on TWoP and deleted. The name and address of the twins school was posted and deleted. It those things were posted on a public board, what would stop them from posting it on a private board?

anya said...

Hi Dotsicle:

Some snarking on Kate is fine in my book. I like a variety of opinions and discussion topics, so please join in!

That's kind of one of the things that has annoyed me about this whole TWoP/GWoP thing. I enjoy a snark as much as the next person. And Kate often provides the material! It's just when it's taken to another level entirely (I could give LOTS of examples here, but it's all been mentioned before), that the fun goes out of it for me.

Tyra said...

dotsicle:

Speaking just for myself, it’s a blend of skepticism, amusement, and offense at the tactics being used. I just watch the admins at GWoP using their ‘secret sources’ to give their personal opinions that pearly sheen of ‘authenticity’, then turn around and give the excluded, second-class citizens of GWoP the ‘just trust us’ line. The Q & A thread particulary comes across as an arrogant, ‘we know all’ production, even when answering questions about Jon and Kate’s thought processes and motivation(!)

And of course if anyone questions them about direct access to any kind of ‘proof’. They cry, ‘Protecting the privacy’ of those oh-so-brave anonymous Kate-slayers! My response to that is, either just state your opinions and don’t cite secret sources to validate them, or be transparent, and let every thinking human being judge for themselves. OR... just keep all that stuff within the secret circle and enjoy the superiority of ‘correct’ opinions there. If they’re going to cite ‘proof’ to back up their opinions, then refuse to produce it, but wish to sit back and enjoy their fiefdom, that's pretty arrogant, and yeah, offensive, to me.

Anonymous said...

Tyra,

So well said. That is exactly what gets me the most annoyed when I go on that site. I find myself going back not for the dirt on J&K, but to see what a spectacle they are making out of themselves.

Amy said...

i didn't fully read-up on this story, but have vaguely heard of it.

such a horrific story!

so scary what some ppl would do. i pray that the G's are never faced with any type of invasion situation!

Amy said...

you know, right after i submitted my post i thougt...haven't they already BEEN invaded?

not sure that just b/c you are on TV gives ppl a free pass to stalk, bully or track down your whereabouts!

GLO said...

"am I the only one who doesn't get the difference between "are" and "our" that they make fun of Kate for? I'm a native Californian, and when I say both words, they sound pretty much the same to me. I always thought they were homynyms. Have I been saying one of them wrong all my life?"

As an English and Public Speaking teacher, I can tell you that technically there should be a pronunciation difference between "our" (pronounced "ow-er," more like "hour") and "are" (pronounced "r".) That being said, the English langague is not a dead language and things change over time, such as the pronunciation of certain words. Depending on what area you live in, the word can be pronounced either way, and honestly, I don't believe it is that big of a deal.

Anonymous said...

Who has stalked the Gosselins? Stalking involves some pretty serious offenses. Taking a picture of a person or even their house isn't stalking or we wouldn't have paparazzi. They take pictures of people and their houses all the time.

Cyberstalking involves a lot more than just talking about people online. Again the people mentioned here are all probably talked about online a lot more than the Gosselins. Has anyone made an overt threat or sent them letters or gone up to their front door to talk to them?

I've heard of some fans emailing them, sending them cards, and sending them packages. That's the closest thing to stalking that I have seen.

Linda said...

fgf:

I thought you'd appreciate this. About 10 or so posts back a poster wrote the following:

"I would wonder about the motives of the person claiming to be the former private board member posting about it on this board."

Huh?

This sounds a little bit like a mafioso attempting to take the moral high ground when one of his employees leaves "the family"...

"I would wonder about the motives of the person claiming to be a former member of the family now giving information about the secret workings of our organization."

ha ha ha

Can't you just hear it ...

"It just isn't right for the PRIVACY of our blog and our super secret message board to be violated in this way. It's wrong I tell you. It's wrong. "

amy said...

IMO, there are certainly ppl that have crossed that line with the G's. they have become overly obsessed with them.

there's many different characteristics that set them apart from your average poster that's here for entertainment purposes! you know, the ones that see it their way or no way at all. the ones that won't HEAR of any discussion from an opposing viewpoint or opinion. the one's that are out there doing drive by's past the G's and reporting back info. the ones that post their address for the world to see. the ones that track down their every move at any given time. should i go on???

there are boundaries that should be respected! i not only think it's offensive to come on here with made up rumors about the G's (that have yet to be proven), BUT i'm jolted by what measures some will go to...it's inconceivable.

without going into too much detail, there has been a boundary crossed in my personal (cyber) life due to blogging on J&K blogs. b/c i had an opposing opinion with someone from another site (the one that is discussed regularly here)...they took the liberty to create a username on a blog that i visit regularly and had their name linked to my very own personal sites! this was uncalled for and totally crossed the line with me. they used my very own words from my personal blog sites and twisted them in a way that was cruel and disrespectful!

i wasn't going to mention this incident... but first, i want others to know what lengths these ppl will go to AND i want this person to know that i KNOW what antics they tried to pull!

are these ppl not even AWARE of their actions and what repercussions they might have?

Daisy said...

That's great that you caught that Amy. It's amazing the lengths people will go to.

Linda said...

Wow Amy!

That is just the kind of stuff that I'm talking about.

I'm pretty sure that no one said ... "You should do (blank) to Amy."

But the culture of the blog is such that actions like that are praised and celebrated in a kind of

"see WE got her" mentality.

Shaking my head here Amy.

amy said...

daisy and linda...

i'm just now calming down from the whole incident. i was gone for most of the weekend and when i returned i had msgs from the mods on that particular site questioning me!

it took a few hours to figure out, thanks to nina and the mods over there (they're the best)...it has been resolved.

this person (i know who it is) searched on the internet to find one of my personal sites. why? do you really have that much time? do you care that much? sick and twisted is all i have to say!

so, perfect example of what someone could do...and it's just me, just a mere little poster with a few opinions...not J&K that are on national TV!

thank you guys!

Anonymous said...

Yikes, Amy! Whew, glad it's been resolved.

I just don't get the pay off for people doing stuff like this. Are they just idiots, with nothing better to do or a bunch of old, bored women! Talk about sheeple!

I am glad this place is here, Nina :)

Linda said...

I think that the pay-off is two-fold:

1. Power
2. Silencing opposing viewpoints

Andrea said...

I wish I could say Im surprised Amy, but sadly Im not. Ive said all along that there just is something not right about these people. Some of these people are infamous (pressi anyone??) for their obsession with this family. These are the very people "Julie" has surrounded herself with. GWOP is full of ten kinds of crazy and they keep pulling these stunts to prove it.

Linda said...

Andrea -

I'm not familiar with "pressi" except that she posted early on at the GwoP blog. Was she on the TwoP discussion board and that might be what you are referring to?

dotsicle said...

There is another board, other than here, that provides a place to discuss J&K. It's maybe more moderated than some would like, but it's quite busy and well-done. I don't think anyone would say they are "crazy" there. If I am allowed to mention the URL here, please let me know and I will. The lady who owns it lives about 35 miles from me, and she began it when TWoP's Jon & Kate board closed.

andrea said...

Linda - she changed her name on the GWOP board and they wont reveal which name she is posting under now but I have a good guess. (another reason the claim that they are full of integrity is laughable) She has repeatedly mentioned that she is "working" on that blog in another forum and there is no hiding her crazy, no matter the name. She has even been banned from another Gosselin board.

Josie said...

I know, here we go talking about the "other board" again but this fits with this subject. Did anyone notice they now have a sidebar for "Gosselin sightings?" Doesn't that in itself just encourage people to go out of their way to find them. And how do they know the information that is sent to them is true. It is just getting crazy over there. I don't think anyone has brought this up but that scroll of the missing children is totally trying to fool people into thinking they are on the same level as John Walsh. It seems like they are trying to equate that with what they think is going on with the Gosselin children.

amy said...

josie...

i just went and looked at what you were referring to. this just confirms exactly what we've been talking about! are they serious?

i just don't view them as celebrities. yea, if i heard jennifer aniston was eating at this particular restaurant, i might try and take a peek. but, this is a family of 8 children we're talking about!

they're just ppl that are allowing us a view of their exceptional family. and, yes, they are exceptional...i don't know of any other family with a set of twins and sextuplets!

these ppl (GWOPers) have a post asking for sitings of the G's and then raise HELL if kate doesn't want to be hunted down in public!!!

the stories will continue to get bigger and bigger. before you know it, the crazies will try to top one another with outrageous stories. this particular article is just asking for trouble!

btw, her (the author) answer to the question:

QUESTION: I was just wondering how you are going to determine if they are credible or not?

ANSWER: If a report contradicts something we know as fact, we won't publish it. Otherwise we will let each reader consider the source and view the report accordingly.

if a report contradicts something they know as fact??? this is a bunch of malarky! am i missing something, i don't see a lot of facts on their website...oh accept for the G's home address!

do they know every coming and going of the G's? so, if someone said, "i saw them at walmart", serena would jump on and say, "no, no, they were definitely at target that day"...give me a flippin break!

here's a guarantee for you:

if someone leaves a post and says they saw jon & kate out and about, and that they were the sweetest ppl and the kids looked oh so happy....it WON'T get published!

Anonymous said...

Its creepy. Just like the comment about making up tshirts to wear when they stalk the family to the church speeches. The poster actually said something about getting the *world to do something about the Gosselins. Do these people really think people around the world care about some family in PA? They are openly discussing going to the talks and recording them. No thats not abnormal at all!

I also get a kick out of the fact that they think they are "getting the word out" about the Gosselins because they have however many hits. Ummm I would bet its the same couple hundred people reading each day. I know I click it from work a few times a day so my assistant and I can get a good laugh at what they have made up.



--------
Did anyone notice they now have a sidebar for "Gosselin sightings?"

Linda said...

Hi guys,

I just saw the post that you are referring to and this has gotten to a new level of creepy.

anya said...

"Did anyone notice they now have a sidebar for "Gosselin sightings?"


Yep, I was tempted to post something about that too. Just further proof that their stated "mission" is in direct conflict with just about everything that gets put up there.

I am sure in a few days there will dozens of posts from anonymous sources testifying to encounters wherein Kate comes off as a nasty shrew. It's all so predictable.

Linda said...

Okay folks ... it is a really really long read but I found a discussion board which really goes after the GwoP blog.

It is hilarious! It takes on all of our Gwopping favs from there ...

Serena
Manda
iloveeyore
fiona

Oh it's a long read, but you'll love it.

I GUESS WE HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO said...

Linda

You forgot to tell us what it is.

Linda said...

OOPS ...

http://princessmc.proboards66.com/index.cgi?board=Books&action=display&thread=2545&page=1

36 pages of people questioning the GwoP gang. I love it

Guinevere said...

I'm guessing she's referring to the Princess Marie Chantal of Greece board? Only because I saw her (or another Linda) post over there.

The URL for the GWoP thread is http://princessmc.proboards66.com/index.cgi?board=Books&action=display&thread=2545

Anonymous said...

Its been a favorite of mine too. They really call out Fiona for her obsession with Joel. Such witty people there, its quite an enjoyable read.


36 pages of people questioning the GwoP gang. I love it

Anonymous said...

A sidebar for Gosselin sightings? Boy, these folks are truly out of hand!

Read on another blog where a poster is hoping that anyone who has ever worked with Kate or Jon to tell all. They were practically foaming at the mouth, in anticipation! And yet another, claims the twins school has a newsletter and J&K's "new" cell phone numbers were published. Thankfully, this poster (if this is even true) did NOT post the cell number(s) Yep, pretty sure people will start crawling out from under their rock to share insider tidbits, LOL!

As an aside, this blog is getting busy :)

Anonymous said...

If you all think the PMC board is funny, just wait until you see what they've come up with on you guys behind closed doors. Knee-slapping good times! If that cracks you up, soon enough you'll all be rolling. Be patient, it's coming and you'll love it. That's all i can say though - don't want to spoil the surprise!

Anonymous said...

Don't really care.

Anonymous said...

I cant wait to read it Anon 9:00 Don't forget to come back and tell us when its up and running.

<---waiting on pins and needles and hoping that this isnt another GWOPper of a lie.

Anonymous said...

Me too!!!!! I'm sure Serena will be the author. She seems to have a lot of time on her hands...Though if she is, it wont be very clever I'm sure....

nomoredrama said...

OMG, thanks for posting that site!! I go there all the time now. It is hilarious because it points out, in a hysterical manner, how truly disturbing the people on this site are.

I don't even need to actually log onto the site anymore. I can predict what arguments they will use or at least what Serena will say not because I'm psychic but because she uses the same circular logic time and time again. She's as much a professional child advocate as I am the prime minister of Britain.