Weighing in on the Sister Wives Scandal

I’ve written here before about Sister Wives, so I suppose I might as well again, now that a little corner of reality-TV-fandom has exploded with the story of one of the Sister Wives, Meri, being catfished by a woman who pretended to be a man.  She says that a woman called JO pretended online to be a man named S, and that she had an emotional affair with him.

Well, originally she said that.  Now she says she was coerced into leaving loving messages for him.  Um….

Well, S says he’s not J at all, but a man named S, and runs a blog meant to prove that Meri is lying about him.

It’s not like this is some huge earth-shattering crisis, but if Meri is indeed lying about him, then she’s set herself up for a lawsuit, and the show Sister Wives could soon go off the air.  Fans don’t like being lied to.

I’ve kept an open mind about this, because I don’t want to be fooled by Sister Wives or by someone on the Net.  But S’s evidence keeps getting more and more convincing.

Meanwhile, there is a whole group of trolls who, from what I understand, not only have been harassing S and J, but have also been harassing the Sister Wives family on social media.

A while back, I swore off the official Facebook fan page for this and My Five Wives, because a bunch of people kept posting horrible comments about the family members, even the kids, and ripping into anyone who disagreed.  Now, from what I understand, these trolls have turned on S, and anyone who thinks he might be real.  They have posted websites about him and J as well.  I came across them a couple of times, and they looked like your typical hate site, not credible at all.

And now I’m told that even Meri is hanging out with the same trolls who diss her family.

Yet if you try to google this case, you get nothing from a credible news source.  All you get are hate sites and gossip sites.

I have been reading S’s website for a while, to find out who’s telling the truth.  Occasionally I comment, nothing mean or nasty.  I just don’t post things that get me banned, and prefer to be nice and kind to everyone.  So it shocked me when, in a really weird twist, S’s friend L, who has been helping him with his website, mistook me for some woman who had been causing trouble, and banned me after I submitted a comment.

(Those who accuse S of being JO, say that L is also JO.  But they write much differently, and then this happened, making me pretty sure S and L are two different people.)

S unbanned me when he discovered the mistake, but the comment is now lost to the ether.

However, I really wanted the trolls to see my comment, darn it.  😛  Maybe they’ll see it if I try to reconstruct it almost 24 hours later here on my own blog, so here goes.  I’ll also add some other things I want to say but didn’t think of at the time:

I subscribe to blog posts whenever I comment on them.  On one of S’s posts, somebody wrote about all these personal things he should make available for the public, to verify his identity.  I don’t want to go into the whole thing, which was quite long, but she, along with others in past comments, chided S for not providing various personal details on the Internet.

So I wrote that most private, non-celebrity people probably don’t want all that stuff easily found through Google.  S’s only claim to “celebrity” is having had an affair of some kind (he says physical, she says emotional) with a reality TV star.

As for S’s half-picture, which many say is not his actual image, I don’t use my real name or picture on the Net, either.  They’re on Facebook, but only to be found by people who already know my real name.  Instead, I use a Net handle and a drawing I myself made years ago of a literary character, so at least I own the copyright.  😉  I have also seen an abuse blogger (Prozacblogger) use a half-image of his face to keep his abusive father from recognizing him.

The behavior of the trolls, and learning about a woman named C–who has (allegedly!) been stalking him and (allegedly!) spreading catfish stories about S for five years, then told the tabloids that he catfished Meri, despite him (allegedly!) not knowing C at all–these things convinced me.

Oh, yes, and the fact that Twitter is suspending the accounts of the trolls.  I have checked a few, and yes, they are suspended.  How could he get them to suspend the accounts without a police report?  He says he has one on C, and that they’re working with him because of that.

For more information, see here, here and here.  Don’t miss the comments, which go into more detail about what we readers have found when looking through the troll tweets–thousands of them, one said.

I hope the trolls will discover that their character has spoken volumes against their credibility.  When you behave like a troll–

harassing people,

harassing anyone who speaks to those people,

spreading lies about them (a post about K trying to pull in celebrities when all she did was ask Rosie O’Donnell if her staff contacted her, because a troll called K claiming to be from Rosie),

making sexual comments about their spouses (this happened with Sister Wife Robyn’s friend K, who has also been harassed by the trolls),

constantly making new Twitter accounts so you can keep harassing even after your accounts are suspended or blocked–

you are the one who looks like an ass, NOT the person you targeted.

We readers, along with S, are amazed and appalled at the mass volumes of harassing tweets, and the numbers of accounts set up by this small group of trolls.  And that when you look at their Twitter profiles, they are grown women with children!

They don’t behave like true victims.  They act like teen boys trolling the Net for lulz, or mean girls targeting some poor unfortunate.  This speaks volumes to me after studying narcissism, bullying and abuse.

One of the trolls calls herself “J” (and is NOT JO, the one accused of catfishing), has a profile pic of a catfish, and has a punctuation-challenged blurb of “Im a stinky catfish.”  She tweeted that S lies on his hit counter.  She says he has 5 readers, not thousands.  Well, I’m a real reader, and I don’t know how you can fake those hit counters.  🙂

That’s another thing: I googled a little and found in the comment section of some gossip site that the trolls were creeped out by S’s ban message.  They were creeped out by him “tracking” them, and having a ban message which gave their IP address.

Um, that’s called stat tracking, and nearly EVERY web/blog/forum owner does some form of it.  I track my stats with several different trackers, each of which gives different information.  I know IP addresses, cities, even computer information.

And you can be sure that pretty much everyplace you go on the web, the owner of the website knows these things.  It does not tell the owner your name or physical address, unless you give that information voluntarily through making a profile or posting a comment.

This is how forum owners are able to ban trolls, spammers and other troublemakers.  This is how website owners can block hackers who try to make their websites into part of a botnet or install viruses.

This is how website owners figure out which pages are most popular, who’s real and not a bot, where visitors come from, percentage of visitors who are leaving without buying anything, etc.  It also tells website owners how many people are viewing their sites using cellphones or tablets instead of PCs, so they can adapt the website to be more user-friendly.

S’s ban message is automatically generated by a WordPress plugin called WP-Ban, which I also have on my blog.  The generic ban message includes your IP address.  There is nothing “creepy” about this; it’s just the way the plugin works.

So no, S’s not being a creepy catfisher by tracking his stats or banning your IP address.  He’s just being a typical website owner.

S warned his readers not to speak to him on Twitter because the trolls come after anyone who does.  But I don’t have a Twitter, and comments here on my blog are turned off, so “nyah” to the trolls!  😀

I also feel sorry for S, dragged into all of this, harassed by trolls, forced to prove his own existence, while TV shows–both Sister Wives and a catfishing special also aired this week by the channel TLC–keep saying he’s not real.

This is the kind of crap that cyberbullies can pull off.  This is why we need to fight back against it, before somebody else gets accused of not even being real.  😛

PS: I have my proof that S is real, not a catfish.  So the trolls can blow it out their ears.

UPDATE 2020: I have proof that Sam is who he says he is, so the trolls can pound rocks.  He’s opened up more online publicly and to me.  I will NOT post private proofs here because it’s his business only to post these things and I will not violate his trust.  But publicly he now has a podcast with his girlfriend (who I’ve verified is a real person–and that she has visited him).