Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Message board power dynamics and celebrity untouchables in the paid sex industry.

I had a conversation with another escort yesterday which I found really disturbing. Her identity, and address were posted on a messageboard, by another member.She has decided to leave the industry as a result.

I find the whole messageboard culture, fascinating and sickening. The first messageboard that I ever came across was the Punternet messageboard, which no longer exists.. I think it went down as a result of flame wars, allegations, accusations, and identities being revealed.

I think for someone who is new to the industry messageboards can give you some insight into what happens. I found some useful information on there, from other escorts, and the warning boards are useful too. I have also made contact with other escorts via the messageboards.

There is another side, that I find disturbing. The trolls, and the people who go into attack mode, for no reason, and resort to destroying lives. I have read about information being painted on front doors, tracking down members at work, and leaving threats,visits to schools, and it goes on and on and on.

There was an article in the Guardian on Monday about Celebrity Untouchables. It talked about how there is a law for some celebrities, and another for the rest of us. The idea of living a life beyond accountability and judgement might be many people's idea of heaven on earth, and this explains why large numbers of ordinary folk continue to crave celebrity.

Celebrities exist on the various messageboards, and you can see that they are able to do and say things that other members cannot get away with.Moderation on some boards is a joke.Some posts that are offensive, are allowed to stand on boards,well logically if a post is left to stand then it conforms to what the board owner wants or is happy to be posted.

I resent the fact that some people feel that they have the right to endanger lives. There is a lot of bullying that takes place on boards, and the people who dish out, are rarely able to take what is thrown at them.

I wonder whether anyone has done any research on messageboard culture on the internet?

I belong to other forums that have nothing to do with this industry, and the dynamics are similar, so I wonder whether it is just how some people behave, and are programmed, it is part of their nature.

I wonder whether the sense of gratification, and recognition that they get by behaving in this way, is important to them?

I think for the individuals who have been victims of these campaigns on messageboards, it is devastating, and ruins their lives. It sickens me, and saddens me, and I feel for anyone out there who has been on the receiving end of this behaviour.

My view is most of the people who carry out these attacks have major issues that they need to take to a therapist, but they are in so much denial that they believe they do not have issues.

A friend who I met via a messageboard said to me , a message board is a dictatorship, within any dictatorship any rules are merely the current whim of the dictator, because it is a dictatorship then any and all rules are there to be obeyed or ignored at the whim of the dictator thus rendering them useless, which in actual fact they are, if the rules were set in stone and enforced then that would reduce the power of the dictator.

Glengarry Leads points out what is happening in the US, and the use and abuse of power by messageboard celebrities.

It seems to be a universal problem.

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Comments:
I have a mixed view on message board etiquette. Personally I quite enjoy the aggressive, knock-about message board threads which do often offend people. I know many people find this to be bullying and can't handle it, particularly women it seems. I guess whoever starts a thread should be able to dictate how friendly it should be. It can be very tiresome when interesting, serious threads get hijacked by off-topic abuse. On balance, I think the right to speak freely and cause offense should come above the right to not be offended, but if someone continually abuses that right, such that it gets in the way of the debates, then he should be warned and then banned.
I'm an atheist who posts on a lot of spiritual and religious forums, and I'm continually being told that my posts are hatefully offensive by religious members, whereas what they really mean is that it annoys them that someone is politely and constructively disagreeing with their views.
On the other hand, posting an escort's personal details is beyond contempt. I wonder what sort of people do this? Is it other rival escorts? Or jealous regulars who used to be nice but have been banned for pushing at the boundaries? It must be a nightmare. I know a lot of escorts who have told me a lot about themselves, including sometimes their full real names, and I do wonder how sensible that is. One escort even invited me to meet for lunch at her fashion college having only met me 2 hours before. I hope I come across as a nice guy, but sometimes it's the nice guys that lose control and turn nasty.
 
Overlain,

Thank you for your comments. I think that the differing views on boards, makes it interesting. It is knowing when to draw the line, and I guess some people do not how to do that. Or they ignore it.

From what I have read on the boards, and having spoken to people who have had their personal details posted; the attackers are part of the groups you have mentioned.

Other escorts, disgruntled clients, and just anybody really. It is definitely a nightmare for anyone on the receving end of this behaviour.
 
I would never give away your true identity Nia, but can I just say how hot you looked with silver white hair in the last X-Men film, way better than in that stupid Bond film.
 
Overlain,

I have to confess that you do know how to make me smile.
 
I am shocked - but, sadly, not surprised - that someone's personal details were published on one of the messageboards. I hope that the details were quickly taken off by moderators. It has always been a rule even on the most scurrilous of messageboards that personal details are never revealed.

I feel too for the poor woman concerned and am saddened that she has decided to leave this work as a result of it.

An escort I was once very close to had had her identity revealed not on a messageboard but in a newspaper - linked to some local celebreties.

It was her partner who brought her the newspaper. He previously knew nothing of her work. She still bears the scars of that time but soon set up again under a different name but now with the knowledge of all her friends, ex-work colleagues and relatives.

I hope the escort you have mentioned Nia has not been hurt in such a way and may be able to return to work.

At different times I have had some fun on the message boards. There is often some friendly banter. However when the trolls take over they can be very uncomfortable places and many have been driven from the boards by trolls.

Some people seem to delight in causing hurt to others.

So I visit them very rarely now.

Perhaps I am getting my fix via my blogs and the blogs I visit. There one can have fun with likeminded people and even discuss issues seriously.

However some blogs have also occasionally been truck by trolls so keep your eyes peeled.

B xxxx
 
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