Although I did disclaim my last post on Lori Drew with the caveat that the MeganHadItComing blog could be an invention, I wrote as if it were truly from Lori Drew.
My gut turned out to be wrong; it appears that the entire blog including the post that I analyzed was an excellent example of Internet fakery, as Shelley said it was, in her post here. Whoever wrote it has a very clear understanding of how people can behave, particularly when they are behaving badly. It’s a pity that such talent is wasted on invention, but nevertheless, it certainly had me fooled and certainly has me owing a large correction here on the blog.
While I stand by my analysis of certain personalities who get overinvolved in their children’s lives and then deny any responsibility for the consequences that ensue, I acknowledge that applying that analysis to Lori Drew was incorrect, and that I should have been more careful to be more general and less targeted at her. I apologize for the title and content of that post as it relates to Lori Drew.
I have maintained from the start that I do not wish for harm to come to any member of the Drew family. There have been comments posted on this blog that I absolutely do not agree with, especially any that target a member of that family for retribution. However, I believe that the conduct she engaged in was wrong, whether or not it was done for the motives I projected onto her in that post, and I believe the laws we currently have on the books do have application in this case.
But I am not a lawyer and I really don’t think passing more laws is the answer here. The irony of becoming the willing victim of yet another impersonation hoax is not lost on me, and part of me is beating myself over the head about not being more skeptical. Discovering that I bared the truth of some of my most painful life experiences in response to a hoax feels a bit like being punched in my currently-unreliable gut. Impersonation is a big hole in Internet communities that tends to undermine their overall usefulness. I don’t have an answer for that problem. I never have, despite over 12 years of working in online communities. I want to believe that people are fundamentally good. It’s a character flaw of mine, I know.
At any rate, this post is not about me or online communities. It’s about admitting that I was sucked into a hoax (read the last post and related links here and here.) I am closing comments on that post but am leaving it up, because to pull it off now would look like I’m trying to hide my own stupidity. I just see no reason to invite more vitriol there. If you want to say ‘you told me so’ here, you’re welcome to do so.