Author Topic: "The Internet is full of mad, creepy people"  (Read 1713 times)

23 Daves

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"The Internet is full of mad, creepy people"
« on: July 05, 2004, 10:31:06 AM »
The subject line of this topic is taken from a brief message I received from someone recently - it was followed with the phrase "I am more sure of this than I am of most things in my life".

It's interesting, though.  For all its claims for being the next viable tool of communication and entertainment, the net can't shake off its negative image as being home to weirdos, stalkers, thieves and extremists, all of whom are predominantly male (though I'll counter that claim with an experience of my own in a minute).  I've had female friends in the past who only go online in chat rooms or forums under male pseudonyms, and others (such as my girlfriend) who have pretty much nothing to do with the net whatsoever these days, having had a weird enough time on it through the years to not want to bother.  It seems to me that the majority of people do harbour suspicions about the Internet that cause it to fail to reach its full potential audience.  Forums are full of 'odd geeks' and sometimes weirdos, buying online doesn't feel safe to many, and the viruses seem to multiply in quantity each hour.

So then... aside from viruses, have any of you lot had a negative or creepy experience online, such as being hassled by someone you can't shake off or money stolen through giving away bank details?  I'm fairly sure both experiences are relatively uncommon, so I'm trying to get a guage on the extent of it.

The only one I can think of in my life was an occasion back in my single days when I got chatting to a woman who was really into British psychedelic music online.  She turned out to be... ahem... something of a chore.  I made the mistake of giving her my home phone number after only 5 or 6 mails because she said she was bored and wanted to chat (yes, I know, still, I was single and she did sound interesting) and often found myself flooded with odd phone calls at odd times. We'd never met, but she decided through my e-mails (which didn't really reveal a lot about myself) that I was 'the one' or something.   She also sent me an abusive e-mail because I revealed I'd kissed a girl I didn't know very well in a nightclub (for which I was 'filthy') rapidly followed by an apologetic one with the get-out clause 'but I still don't approve of what you did'.   When I finally tried to politely give her the elbow, I received endless guilt-tripping e-mails about what an arsehole I was and a few silent phone calls before she finally went away... God, and she seemed so normal in the e-mails...

I suppose there are these mad types who pop up online purely because they can't function very well with the harsh social realities of day to day life where their faults wouldn't be disguised so easily, but does anyone honestly think they're incredibly common?

falafel

  • Yes, blue.
"The Internet is full of mad, creepy people"
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2004, 11:51:13 AM »
£150 up the spout on ebay when the sellers never came through. Fucking Welsh cunts. What a farrago.

"The Internet is full of mad, creepy people"
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2004, 12:18:25 PM »
Quote
"I am more sure of this than I am of most things in my life"

Poor soul.

Quote from: "Daves"
I suppose there are these mad types who pop up online purely because they can't function very well with the harsh social realities of day to day life where their faults wouldn't be disguised so easily...

I think you suppose right. I think I may have spotted a few about the place. :-)
Quote from: "Daves"
...but does anyone honestly think they're incredibly common?

No; no more so than down the pub. Fewer than down the Young Conservatives club.



But if you happen to want to meet mad, creepy people, it's the best place to start, yes.
.

"The Internet is full of mad, creepy people"
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2004, 12:18:34 PM »
I've heard of a guy who met a girl off the internet that hasn't perhaps gone as he might've planned...apparently its his first serious relationship, but within a few weeks of chatting they'd met, then a few weeks later she'd moved in, is now pregnant and he's having to leave his very good job (that he is very good at) and find whatever work he can so she can move back home to be closer to her mum...all this whilst being a bit of a mad-bird (pacing the streets frantically ringing up anyone who will listen if he's not home at 5pm on the dot - that kinda thing!)...of course, he may be very happy (this is just second hand information i've heard and havent seen the fella myself in ages) - I just cant imagine its how he would have really wanted things to work out in a few months with some bird he hardly knew!

Think it proves basically that whilst the Internet may offer certain kinds of connections, it completly negates those human senses that actually help keep us away from whackos in everyday life.

"The Internet is full of mad, creepy people"
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2004, 12:22:40 PM »
Quote from: "swinny"
Think it proves basically that whilst the Internet may offer certain kinds of connections, it completly negates those human senses that actually help keep us away from whackos in everyday life.


I think this crazy little thing called love does exactly the same, and is more blinding than the internet.

23 Daves

  • Break a leg!
    • Left and to the Back
"The Internet is full of mad, creepy people"
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2004, 12:50:04 PM »
Hmm - this mate of yours doesn't live in Exeter, does he, swinny?

That is one of the downsides of the Internet, though - as I've said before, anyone can give over a certain 'impression' via e-mail or forum entry, and edit the nasty bits of themselves out quite effectively (though there seem to be one or two people over on Soulseek who struggle even with this).  Then you meet them and... mmm... it's not all you thought it would be.  At that stage, though, you've really got to just knock it all on the head and not see the said person again, and make sure you DON'T give them your home number.

On another topic altogether, has anyone ever been fleeced or does anyone know of anyone who has been fleeced by these evil spybots that 'steal your credit card details' that the media is telling us so much about at the moment?  I'm just very cynical that there actually are any of them active online right now.  My mother has stopped using the Internet since she seems to believe they're on every website.  Mind you, she thinks Eastern Europeans are all pickpockets who are taking over Southend-on-Sea as well, so she's not the best benchmark of calm common sense.

"The Internet is full of mad, creepy people"
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2004, 01:00:45 PM »
I've a feeling I've got something like that on my PC at the moment that I can't get rid off. I've managed to stop the pop ups, but when I log onto a poker site I use or try to reinstall it it shuts down automatically leading me to believe that the site in question suspects that my PC has some dodgy software running on it. It looks like I'm going to have to reinstall windows to be on the safe side.

"The Internet is full of mad, creepy people"
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2004, 01:02:08 PM »
Funnily enough, next weekend I'm going to London to meet up witha  guy I 'met' through a Daft Punk forum, a pretty tight-knit bunch over there, as you can imagine. 2 albums in 7 years? Exactly...it's for the die-hards.

Anyways, we got PMing and shit, he seems sound, we've talked about a load of stuff, in that internet way, and I'm headed down that way soon so I thought what the hell, how about a meet-up? I'm actually gonna be staying at his house, but I've got to go when his bird gets back, because he reckons she'd be freaked. My ex used to get freaked whenever I mentioned that Daft forum so it was my own dirty secret, made it more fun, but, anyway, my point? None really. Just some stuff.

"The Internet is full of mad, creepy people"
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2004, 01:05:17 PM »
Quote from: "hencole"
I've a feeling I've got something like that on my PC at the moment that I can't get rid off. I've managed to stop the pop ups, but when I log onto a poker site I use or try to reinstall it it shuts down automatically leading me to believe that the site in question suspects that my PC has some dodgy software running on it. It looks like I'm going to have to reinstall windows to be on the safe side.


Is this a subtle joke at the geekiness of the internet?

"The Internet is full of mad, creepy people"
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2004, 01:17:31 PM »
I used to have an ICQ account. (Those of you who shared this error will probably have an idea of where I am going). Cannot imagine why I published basic details along with a list of things that I would be interested in talking about, but I can assure you that none of it could give the impression that I wanted to be either gayed-up by random dutch fellas or taught new tricks by bored housewives.  Welcome to "ignore" Rita_42 et al.

Only thing that has happened which went beyond a little weird was a UT player from Germany that I befriended.  Started out with interesting chats, handy opportunities for me to practice my german, getting into games on german servers so I could learn to cope with higher pings etc.  He then started giving my details to his clan-mates and random others, meaning I was beset on all sides by harmless but annoying messages like "j0! Hast du kool rock MP3?".

Next phase was that he started appearing in game servers as "Zarathustra Friend" or "Zarafauster" depending on his mood.  Faust being literally Fist, but I do not think the threat was THAT graphic.  After a month or so of this he just gave up on being comically weird and swiped my name entirely, abusing my friends in servers (They knew it was not me on account of this fella being a pretty shite player and me being vagina-head 13370r or summat) and even going to the point where he insisted in ICQ that he had always been called that and it was me that was copying him.  Welcome to "ignore" Zarafauster. Welcome to the world Uncle_Z the newborn.

Ambient Sheep

  • A boy who was tangled in his life forever
"The Internet is full of mad, creepy people"
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2004, 01:42:44 PM »
Quote from: "Uncle_Z"
...or taught new tricks by bored housewives.

Says the man who was caught chatting up middle-aged traffic-wardens.  Or was that simply on behalf of your client?

"The Internet is full of mad, creepy people"
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2004, 01:59:13 PM »
Quote from: "falafel"
£150 up the spout on ebay when the sellers never came through. Fucking Welsh cunts. What a farrago.

Something equally bad :wink: happened to me on eBay.

Johnny Yesno

  • Injecting the rivers with stainless steel fish
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"The Internet is full of mad, creepy people"
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2004, 02:01:52 PM »
Quote from: "falafel"
£150 up the spout on ebay when the sellers never came through. Fucking Welsh cunts. What a farrago.


Welsh farrago, eh? You should try using the internet instead of stagecoaches.

"The Internet is full of mad, creepy people"
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2004, 02:05:04 PM »
;-)

"The Internet is full of mad, creepy people"
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2004, 02:29:44 PM »
Quote from: "butnut"
Quote from: "hencole"
I've a feeling I've got something like that on my PC at the moment that I can't get rid off. I've managed to stop the pop ups, but when I log onto a poker site I use or try to reinstall it it shuts down automatically leading me to believe that the site in question suspects that my PC has some dodgy software running on it. It looks like I'm going to have to reinstall windows to be on the safe side.


Is this a subtle joke at the geekiness of the internet?


Err, yeah that's right!

falafel

  • Yes, blue.
"The Internet is full of mad, creepy people"
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2004, 03:23:28 PM »
Quote from: "Johnny Yesno"
Quote from: "falafel"
£150 up the spout on ebay when the sellers never came through. Fucking Welsh cunts. What a farrago.


Welsh farrago, eh? You should try using the internet instead of stagecoaches.


I'm confused now, although I admit farrago was a strange word to use.

As an aside, I searched for the word on Google (to see if I was missing the point) and came up with this:

Quote
So she went into the garden to cut a cabbage-leaf, to
make an apple-pie; and at the same time a great
she-bear, coming up the street, pops its head into the
shop. 'What! no soap?' So he died, and she very
imprudently married the barber; and there were
present the Picninnies, and the Joblillies, and the
Garyalies, and the grand Panjandrum himself, with the
little round button at top, and they all fell to playing
the game of catch as catch can, till the gun powder ran
out at the heels of their boots.

Samuel Foote 1720-1777


http://java.sun.com/docs/books/tutorial/essential/io/example/farrago.txt

Which is interesting.

"The Internet is full of mad, creepy people"
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2004, 03:32:16 PM »
Quote from: "falafel"

I'm confused now, although I admit farrago was a strange word to use.

Wells Fargo?

"The Internet is full of mad, creepy people"
« Reply #17 on: July 05, 2004, 05:11:11 PM »
Everyone's creepy and mad, just some people are better at hiding it. Downloading pictures of fern britons neck and making bombs isn't that wierd in the grand scheme of things. It's probably just that without the social constraints, mad buggers can rush about being free on the net so you see them more. Usually they'll just twitch in the corner and hope you don't notice them hoarding the vinegar sachets.

Johnny Yesno

  • Injecting the rivers with stainless steel fish
    • Lines Horizontal
"The Internet is full of mad, creepy people"
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2004, 05:17:15 PM »
Quote from: "falafel"
Quote
So she went into the garden to cut a cabbage-leaf, to
make an apple-pie; and at the same time a great
she-bear, coming up the street, pops its head into the
shop. 'What! no soap?' So he died, and she very
imprudently married the barber; and there were
present the Picninnies, and the Joblillies, and the
Garyalies, and the grand Panjandrum himself, with the
little round button at top, and they all fell to playing
the game of catch as catch can, till the gun powder ran
out at the heels of their boots.
Shit...of fuck!

Samuel Foote 1720-1777


Hmmm?

"The Internet is full of mad, creepy people"
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2004, 05:32:15 PM »
Quote from: "falafel"

I'm confused now, although I admit farrago was a strange word to use.

You'd not be much use when getting up a posse, would you???

Dagnabbbit and goldarn it etc...

Johnny Yesno

  • Injecting the rivers with stainless steel fish
    • Lines Horizontal
"The Internet is full of mad, creepy people"
« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2004, 06:46:31 PM »
More on Foote's farrago, from 'ere:

Quote
In 1755, the London wag Samuel Foote made a bet with his friend Charles Macklin--an actor famed for his phenomenal memory--that he could utter a perfectly grammatical sentence so blitheringly nonsensical that Macklin could not remember it. You're on, Macklin said--or whatever the 1755 equivalent was. "Do tell," perhaps.

This was Foote's verbal throwdown:


So she went into the garden to pick a cabbage leaf, to make an apple-pie of; and a she-bear, coming up the street, put her head into the shop, and said, "Do you sell any soap?" So she died, and he very imprudently married the barber; and the powder fell out of the counselor's wig, and poor Mrs. Mackay's puddings were quite entirely spoilt; and there were present the Garnelies, and the Goblilies, and the Picninnies, and the Great Panjandrum himself, with the little round buttons at top, and they played at the ancient game of "Catch who catch can," till the gunpowder ran out of the heels of their boots.


I wonder how that would sound with something from Selected Ambient Works played under it?

Ambient Sheep

  • A boy who was tangled in his life forever
"The Internet is full of mad, creepy people"
« Reply #21 on: July 05, 2004, 06:56:49 PM »
Quote from: "Johnny Yesno"
Quote
...So she died, and he very imprudently married the barber...till the gunpowder ran out of the heels of their boots.

Lewis Carroll stole some of that (well those two bits in particular), I remember reading them as a child in the "Other Nonsense" section of my "Looking Glass" book.

Quote from: "Johnny Yesno"
I wonder how that would sound with something from Selected Ambient Works played under it?

We'll get Gazzyk1ns to read it for us.

falafel

  • Yes, blue.
"The Internet is full of mad, creepy people"
« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2004, 06:22:44 PM »
Oh, Wells Fargo.

Now I see.

"The Internet is full of mad, creepy people"
« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2004, 02:18:09 AM »
An odd lady on Slsk kept telling me of her attempted suicides. She'd been talking to me for about a week when I'd just gotten the proggie and before she'd mentioned her age and her suicidal tendencies I had found it all very harmlessly novel. She often had to go offline to make dinner for her daughters, 14 and 16 respectively. She was obsessed with angels. She called her children angels, and her cat. And me, actually after I did something in the angelic vein of letting her have some of my David Kitt songs. I changed my username after some unpleasantness and I didn't chat to anybody on it for a long time afterwards. I didn't consider it representative of the internet as a whole, though.

bomb_dog

  • Patience. Patience. Patience. Patience.
The internet only seems to provide an outlet
« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2004, 07:41:29 AM »
Personally I've been swizzed by musica.co.uk who refused to fulfil an order, ignored my emails etc. Got my money back through mastercard. Another firm went bust, but mastercard coughed up as well.
Mate met someone in everquest who moved over from America to live with him, and then moved in with his best friend. But then i do know of internet-meeting relationships that have worked as well.

Saying that:

# Stalkers - Had a friend who had a magazine penpal (in Metal Hammer, in fact) - who suddenly turned up and refused to leave her flat saying that he loved her.
# Piracy - Anyone seriously think that people didn't copy music before the internet? Local libraries have rented out CDs and tapes for years!
# Bomb making - I remember a pal getting the jolly roger cookbook from a car-boot dealer who looked suspiciously like Jo Brand, for £1.50 on the Amiga. I don't think he's a terrorist, yet.

The internet does make it easier for the fringes to congregate though, and less 'normal' activities seem more usual than perhaps they would have been due to the ease of distribution.

mikeyg27

  • That's one way of doing it.
"The Internet is full of mad, creepy people"
« Reply #25 on: July 07, 2004, 03:27:24 PM »
Recently, my brother, when he should have been revising for exams, instead decided to play the poker game on the EA website. Considering he was playing someone at 11am, I was convinced he was playing someone in Britain. My brother then proceeded to have a chatroom conversation with the guy that went a little something like this:

My Bro: Where are u from?
Stranger: California USA
My Bro: What time is it there?
Stranger: 3am
My Bro: Bloody hell. What u doing up at that time?
Stranger: I've just got off the phone with my fiancee.
My Bro: Why is she phoning you at 3am?
Stranger: cos its my birthday
My Bro: oh
Stranger: what, no happy birthday?
My Bro: No! For all I know you could be a paedophile.

The stranger left the site at this point.