World’s Unfriendliest Friendship Advice Blog Gets New Look

Please be sure to read the most important post at this blog:
A Warning About The Friendship Blog – Toxic – Unfriendly Bullied Bullies Trolls Dr Irene S Levine

I visited Dr Levine’s “Friendship” blog today (link to the blog). It got an image makeover, and a tag line, “The Friendship Blog – Expert Advice for Navigating Friends.”

Under Irene’s “Friendship forum guidelines” (link), we read:

-Use a pseudonym to protect your safety and privacy and that of any friends or frenemies you may mention in your post.

– No posting of advertisements permitted.

-If you own a website with information directly related to the topic being discussed, you may link to that page of your site. Any veiled efforts at self-promotion that aren’t relevant or genuinely helpful will be deleted.

-Personal attacks on other commenters will not be tolerated. You are free to challenge someone’s point of view, but please do so respectfully. Any posts containing name-calling, profane language or personal attacks will be deleted.

-Do not post the same topic more than once or in more than one forum. Duplicate discussions will be deleted.

-Please do not repost anyone else’s work without permission.

-The Friendship Forum is not responsible for any member-posted information that violates copyright law.

I don’t see anything in that list indicating that one must register with a unique screen name and log in before leaving a remark, so I’m not sure if she still permitting people to post Anonymously or not.

I skimmed over some of the forums and still see some posts showing up under the name “Anonymous,” so I am guessing she is still permitting anonymous commenting to continue (which is a big mistake).

As for Irene’s odd trepidation over people quoting other people’s material on her forums or blog, is she not aware of the practice of Fair Use? It is perfectly legal and ethical to quote from other people’s work, especially if citation is given.

This comment,

“Personal attacks on other commenters will not be tolerated. You are free to challenge someone’s point of view, but please do so respectfully. Any posts containing name-calling, profane language or personal attacks will be deleted.”

is all well and good, but will she actually ENFORCE it? Probably not.

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My Response to Inaccurate Post at Friendship Blog

Please be sure to read the most important post at this blog:
A Warning About The Friendship Blog – Toxic – Unfriendly Bullied Bullies Trolls Dr Irene S Levine

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I left a post in response to Irene’s post today (June 13, 2012); she is owner of The Friendship Blog (and forums). I don’t know if my response to Irene’s post will remain on Irene’s forum, or if parts of it will be censored, so I will place a copy of it below.

I first wrote about Irene’s false / inaccurate post here, so please see that for background information.

Before I get to that, I wanted to comment on some of the other content I saw in that thread (“This forum needs a registered moderator“) since I last left.

(I have not bothered at this time to read Irene’s new content which she pinned on top of Wonder Why’s original post at some stage, I don’t know when. I did skim what she wrote, but it seemed like a very long excuse and rationalization as to why she permits trolling to continue, such as she cannot “afford to hire a moderator,” and so on.)

One of the first things I noticed is that the trolling has taken off even more. The second half of that page (where I did not post as “Anonymous;” I posted under my screen name “Eagle Wings”) was filled with Anonymous posters either sniping at each other, pretending that they were me, or assuming other Anonymous posters were me (again, I didn’t post as “Anonymous” at that point).
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Wonder Why, Wonders Why (June 23, 2012)

Please be sure to read the most important post at this blog:
A Warning About The Friendship Blog – Toxic – Unfriendly Bullied Bullies Trolls Dr Irene S Levine

————————————–
I visited The Friendship Blog today to leave a post for Dr. Irene, the woman who owns the site; it was in response to an inaccurate post she made discussing me.

I have never left a link to this blog (‘The Unfriendly Friendship’ blog) at Irene’s site, but I guess someone else did, since Wonder Why claims she has visited this blog. I did e-mail a link to this blog to someone else, I made sure this blog’s URL was included in web search indexes, etc. The word needs to get out that the “Friendship Blog” can be an unhealthy place to post.

At any rate, while at the “Friendship Forum” today, I saw posts by other people I wanted to comment on at my blog, specifically this thread:
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Sounds Like ‘The Friendship Blog’

People at Dr. Irene’s blog, “Friendship Blog” can post as “Anonymous.”

One is not required to sign in with a regular user name and verified e-mail, which makes trolling, flaming, and other harassment quite easy to achieve, and some there really do take advantage of it. If one does not log in, one’s posts will automatically appear as being by “Anonymous.”

I should also mention, though, the even members who register and use a regular screen name are pretty much permitted by Dr. Irene to flame and harass other members as well. It’s not only Anonymous members who create problems, but they do play a significant role.

I notice this following page, which I found today, contains much of the same information I gave Dr. Irene on how to cut down the amount of bullying and trolling that takes place on her her “Friendship Blog

Topix Forums: Cyberbullying [how to put a stop to it]

    …. While it may be too little too late for TOPIX, the following changes might succeed in demonstrating some ethical concern about the problem created by TOPIX FORUMS:

    1) Make people register.
    It’s not a perfect solution because anyone can make up an email address, but at least it gives people reason to pause before posting. It seems to have worked for the majority of blog sites.

    2) Allow people who have been commented about to request removal [of abusive things that have been written about them].
    Interestingly, TOPIX has been forced to do this in Switzerland, where the law gives one the right to not have comments made about them on the internet. No such law exists in the United States.

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Beware of … A Warning About The Friendship Blog – Toxic – Unfriendly Bullied Bullies Trolls

I feel the need to warn people about getting involved with Dr. Irene’s “The Friendship Blog” (that link is to the blog itself, here is the site’s home page link).

If you choose to visit that site, which consists of a blog and a forum, please only read it; just lurk. I cannot recommend people actually participate and leave messages.

I was mobbed at that site by several bullies, some of whom post as “Anonymous” instead of using unique screen names.

Members of ‘The Friendship Blog’ are not required to log in or use verified e-mail addresses to leave posts. That is something which is exploited by the bullies at that site.

The site’s owner, Dr. Irene, apparently refuses to curtail the bullying and harassment at her blog, or she seems unwilling to take stronger, more drastic steps to halt it (I write about that farther below, with examples and explanations).
She comes across as downright apathetic about the bullying that takes place on her site (again, more about that below).

This is a major reason I want to warn people to stay away, or at least do not post at ‘The Friendship Blog.’ Keep reading for more details…
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Member Wonder Why at The Friendship Blog

“Wonder Why” is the screen name of a woman who routinely posts to Dr. Irene’s “The Friendship Blog“.

I think “Wonder Why” and I began posting to Dr. Irene’s “Friendship Blog” about the same time, in the fall of 2011.

If I recall correctly, “Wonder Why” said in some of her first posts that she cannot understand why she has a hard time making friends or keeping friends.

“Wonder Why” recently turned 40 years old, is not married, and has gone through some kind of realization that she deserves to be treated better by people, so she began ruthlessly pruning friends from her life who she believes treat her shabbily.

I’ve no problem with any of that. More power to her if she’s taking charge of her life and is not permitting people to use her, treat her with disrespect, and so forth. Good for her.

I even felt a little sorry for “Wonder Why” months ago when she seemed to indicate that she is lonely and does not know how to make or keep friends.

About a month ago, I left her a reply where I was honestly trying to help her.

I do not think “Wonder Why” realizes how she comes across to people. If she behaves in “real life” the way she does on Dr. Irene’s “Friendship Blog,” it’s no mystery to me why she is having a hard time making friends or keeping the few she has.

My honest assessment here, and I’m not saying this to be cruel, is that “Wonder Why” more often than not put forth a very aggressive, rude, bitter, hostile, angry personality at the blog, and I don’t think she even realizes it.

Or, maybe she suspects it but does not care to change.

“Wonder Why” is extremely judgemental towards other people, almost always assumes the worst of them, attributes negative motives to them when there may not be a need to, and she is unwilling to cut her friends slack for having flaws and making mistakes.
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Anonymous 1 and 2 at The Friendship Blog

I began posting to Dr. Irene’s “The Friendship Blog” around September or October 2011 under the name “Eagle Wings”.

There is a blog and a series of forums there.

It seemed like a pretty nice site at first, and I would drop in and visit daily. I enjoyed chatting with other people there, and I sincerely wanted to help people who wrote in for advice.

Within my first few days of posting there, however, a poster who posts as “Anonymous” began pestering me and harassing me. I will refer to this person as “Anonymous 1,” although her screen name is displayed on the site as “Anonymous.”

People at Dr. Irene’s blog can post as “Anonymous.”

One is not required to sign in with a regular user name and verified e-mail, which makes trolling, flaming, and other harassment quite easy to achieve, and some there really do take advantage of it. If one does not log in, one’s posts will automatically appear as being by “Anonymous.”

You can read more about what a problem it is to permit people to post Anonymously at forums and blogs at this page, which I found today (February 1, 2012):
Topix Forums: Cyberbullying

Within my first week or two at that site, this particular Anonymous poster, “Anonymous 1” would leave catty, snotty messages about me.
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