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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Blog Stalkers

It has become more and more apparent to me that there are very nosey people in the world. I'm not talking about my readers, as so far I haven't had any scrutiny thrown my way. In the past months I have ran across two blogs that I frequent often that have almost a cult following. They have readers that just LOVE them and then a whole handful of readers that scrutinize everything and go to great lengths to dig up some dirt on them. Quite frankly, I find it odd.

Don't get me wrong, the way I found out about the stalkers is by seeing these other sites that were basically a place to "dig" at the blog and it's maker. I looked through them and read with interest, and may have even agreed with some of what was said. It isn't the fact that these other women disagree with or are talking about the one blog, it is the fact that some of them go so far as to try to find out the exact address of these bloggers, drive by their homes, find out where the hubby works, bring up police records, foreclosures, and more. It's creepy. If it were me, I would feel threatened.

Some blog stalkers go as far as to try to discredit everything that the blog writer has said. Calling them fakes or saying they are just trying to drum up a bigger readership. Some make horrible allegations of child abuse or say that CPS should be called for no other reason except they think they "see" a danger in the house by furniture or items that are maybe not placed in the best location or because someone is actually feeding their child unprocessed and homemade food! It's unnerving.

I had some qualms about starting a public blog. Anyone can run across the pictures of your kids or get obsessed with learning more about your life. I like to think that I am too boring or "normal" to have a cult following. I do try to protect my family somewhat by leaving out a few main details, such as my last name, city, or even state. But I do know that it is easy, too easy, to find information on the internet and with some good detective work I know that even I could be found.

I feel for those bloggers who just started a blog to have an outlet or way to connect with others and gained a big following, only to have some stalkers invade into their private lives. Does it just go with the territory or are these people crossing the line? I don't know, and I hope that I never have to deal with it. Though I guess any dirt that stalkers could dig up on me wouldn't be worth the time and wouldn't add any fuel to the fire. These blog stalkers really need to get a life!


  1. Hey, I found you on MckMama's community.
    Yea, I think people like that are creepy as well. There is one blogger that I follow and that has happened to her and when I read the stalkers comments I'm thinking "wow, don't these people have a life?" It's kind of scary.
    I just started my blog to share with friends and family and if anyone happened to like it, then fine. But i'm kind of like you, I think i'm too ordinary for someone to stalk. :)

    Oh, and I read your post on birth control and I really liked it! I have thought about the health effects, too and I don't see how that can be healthy for your body. Like you said , we get a period for a reason(although, I don't mind that mine hasn't come back yet since having my son, because I'm still nursing him. :)

  2. I'm going to post this as anon so I don't get stalkers to my blog:)
    I know which blogger you are talking about. Mckmama sort of made her own bed. She may not have started out with the idea of being a well known blogger. Regardless, she did bring it on herself. I think once she started gaining readers because of Stellan, she got somewhat addicted to the attention she was getting. Her readers could see no wrong in her. They praised everything she did, even stupid things like eating cookies in bed. I think if you are going to promote your blog (Something that she does do), you need to be ready for the stalkers. Anyone who throws themselves out there for the world to see, should not be surprised when others pick up on untruths, exagerations, and other personal things that they are trying to keep hidden. Now that she had made the choice to blog for money, it will more than likely get worse. That is something she had better get used to if she wants to keep this thing going. I don't see how this will last for a long time though. I just hope her and her husband are thinking that at any moment it can all end. It isn't something I would bank on, especially with 5 children. Her husband seems to have given up on his business from what I can tell. Sorry this is so long! I just think that if you don't want stalkers to read your blog, you don't promote it to people you don't know. Like I am doing right now:)

  3. I am also posting this anon. I follow many blogs, most of which were linked to the first blog I began reading. These blogs are public, and open for anyone to see. I am amazed quite often at how much personal information is written on them, not only names of every family member, the city or state the blogger lives in, but even things such as announcing travel plans or listing a day's agenda that includes time slots that the family won't be at home. It would be as easy as a few clicks of the mouse to find the home address.
    Many bloggers seem to have the compulsion to share way too much information, whether from written word or through pictures. They are focused on talking on and on about every aspect of their life without pausing to give thought to who could potentially be reading it, and what could be done with the information.
    It is hard to find sympathy for people that are actually stalked as a result of a public blog. When you put it out there, reveal too much and do not take steps to protect your privacy, you are asking for trouble. You can't have your cake and eat it too. You can't invite people in, tell them about your life, and then get mad when you come under scrutiny. I'm not saying that stalking is right (by any means!), I am just saying that there alot of weirdos out there who are just looking for gullible targets. Why make it easier for them? Why do you think so many people have been the victims of identity theft?
    As far as being criticized, you cannot pick and choose what dirty laundry to share and what to hold back...it will be found out! Then it looks like you are a fake person. Of course, that kind of stuff is not anyone's business to start with, but in the blog world there really is no such thing as 100% privacy anymore. There are also just normal people who get read and get pulled into the "soap opera" of someone's blog who appears to have a much more exciting life. The more and more they read, the more they feel as though they actually know the person, even if they have never met and are unlikely to do so.
    I have withdrawn from the blog world myself for all these reasons, even though it is a convenient way to keep family and friends up to date on my children. Although you CAN make a private blog that is password protected (thus by invite only) many, many people are learning the "art" of hacking and I don't know how effective a password would even be to someone who really wanted in.
    In closing, I think we all need to be vigilent to do what we can to keep our family safe. I am not suggesting that no one should blog. I just think more descretion needs to be taken. Ask yourself, should I really write about this? For example, some of things pertaining to the care of children on the Not Me! Monday posts could be twisted by someone to accuse you of child neglect...even though it is purely tounge-in-cheek and supposed to be funny. I'm just saying. :)Everyone should do a random Google search of their name. You would be amazed at what pops up.
    I hope you continue your blog, though. Take care and be vigilent to keep some parts of your life "secret", as I feel you have been doing very well. Take care!

  4. I am sick of all the MckMama hype. Ugh. It gets old. I do read her blog, and sometimes I feel like she is genuine and other times I don't. It sounds like she is really trying to be more authentic in 2010 so we will see. I imagine that it is hard to have any privacy with such a large following in the blog community. I don't think she ever dreamed it would get this "big". I mean, who honestly would want to share that your husband was arrested..and that you called the police on him? I'm not saying that it should be covered up, but I think it's sad that so many seem gleeful to uncover "dirt". If you don't like a blog, then don't read it.
    I am glad that you, Elizabeth, are tackling some harder issues. You don't seem like a fake blogger who acts like they have it all together and are perfect. I feel like you are real and I have enjoyed reading your posts, whether I agree or not. That is the beauty of free speech! I hope you never feel stifled, like you can't say what your views are on your own blog. You aren't forcing people to read it! I'm looking forward to what else you come up with. Keep being a real, honest person.



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