Letter C - Character Assignation: Anonymity Makes Viscous People Prone to Becoming Cyber-Bullies:
While researching the wound for a main character in the novel I'm currently working on, I began exploring personality disorders. I couldn't figure out why my story wasn't working. Thankfully, I turned to Angela and Becca at Writers Helping Writers and as always they were a tremendous help. If you haven't already tried their One Stop For Writers, you simply must. I finally figured out the reason my villain wasn't working — why she wasn't believable. I hadn't dredged deep enough into her background. I hadn't discovered her wound. What made her tick? What happened to her in her past. What hurt her so badly that she would do anything to avoid it happening again? I gave my villain an arc. Not the same arc as my protagonist, but an arc that allowed readers to understand why she behaved the way she did and suddenly her actions came alive on the page and seem realistic.
Bullies will always be bullies, but with the advent of the Internet we've unleashed a slew of unhealthy people on the world who hide behind anonymity and many of them even portray themselves as experts or pretend to offer friendly and helpful advice to potential victims. The biggest problem with this is so many people on the Internet who are seeking guidance are beaten down and vulnerable. They are in the worst position to spot a con artist, a narcissist or someone with an agenda who is using the Internet for his/her own agenda as a means of character assignation or as a smear campaign.
Signs to Look For:
Tip: Real People looking to form lasting friendships will share personal information and (usually) their photograph
Cons and people who have an agenda or who are using the Internet for Character Assignation do not want you to know anything about them. Their fictional accounts will not share a personal photograph of them or any verifiable information such as where they are from or a personal email address. This is especially true for dating sites and con artist
Tip: Check Their Resources: If you are scouring the Internet for Advice Blogs or Websites makes sure to look at Blogger's list of friends. Who do they learn from and communicate with? Who do turn to when they have questions? Who do they hang out with on they web? This says a lot about someone. People who intend to use the Internet for normal purposes whether it’s marketing & selling their book, making contacts, sharing their story, sharing recipes, DIY ideas, offering self help advice or any of a million other possible blog possibilities they should have a list of blogger friends, followers or connections
Cons and bloggers who have a blogging agenda or who are using the the Internet for Character Assignation or Smear Campaigns generally don't have a list of blogger friends because they don't have or make the time required for friendships. That's a give and take process and they are all about me, me, me or their agenda which is never what their blog purports to be. The blog is a sham. The message is a sham. If and when you come across a blog that has no blogging friends, not one and I'm not talking about a brand new blog that is trying to get up and running. If a new blogger is trying to get started and is reaching out and trying to make friends then by all means it is our duty to help that person. I'm talking about a person that has been around, but has no blogger friends, and is spitting out the same old tiresome message over and over. Run, don't walk away from this person.
Tip: They don't allow comments or they alter the text of the of the comment. Enough said
If you stumble across a blog that
- Has no personal photo or personal information about the author that is verifiable, such as an email address or anything personal in their bio
- No list of blogger friends or followers or connections
- You cannot leave a comment
- If you can comment you find that the text is altered
You should run away. You’ve probably stumbled upon a con artist, blogger pretending to offer advice, or someone who’s using the internet for their own agenda which’s usually a personal Character Assignation or Smear Campaign against someone else. You don't want to even get to know these kind of people. They don't share personal information, they only gather it and one day they may use it against you. There are many dangerous people on the Internet. We’re so very lucky that we have this close and friendly group of people in our circle of writers & beyond. I’m shocked and horrified at some of the stories I've come across during my the research for my NaNo 2015 book. My Research in to Dark Web — Letter D was incredibly frightening.
Have any of you come across web sites that seem more about Character Assignation than sharing any real message? What was the tip off? Have any of you heard any scary stories about the Dark Web or the Deep Web? Come back tomorrow to hear what I learned.
Have you read the other 2016 A to Z Blogs