Getting Even, With Help From the Internet

Mylissa's Web site offers services like allowing women to listen in as another woman tries to seduce the unsuspecting husband or boyfriend. Once a man's cheating heart is exposed, you can pay a fee to publish all his most embarrassing information on the Web. Pictures of nasty retribution -- cars, homes and boats vandalized -- are posted on the site along with stories of revenge.

"Most women will find enough humor on the Web site where … they won't need to get revenge themselves," said Mylissa. "You know, it offers enough of that taste of revenge."

Wrongfully Accused?

And if the man isn't actually cheating? Mylissa said she doesn't worry about that. "I really don't feel bad for men anymore. I don't feel bad." She also said she doesn't think people would use her site for truly malicious acts.

"I'm doubting that people are going to find my Web site for those purposes."

But it does happen, and there can be a real downside to anonymous vigilante justice. Todd Hollis is a lawyer from Pittsburgh who was appalled to find himself convicted on the Internet of a "crime" he said he didn't commit. He said he felt "helpless."

A woman Hollis had dated briefly -- and thought he had broken up with amicably -- turned out to be one of the sources of these kinds of postings. He said the woman claimed that he had herpes, was bisexual, and used the fact that he donated a kidney to his mother as a pickup line.

"I didn't do it, you know, as a pickup line for women," he said. "I did it to save my mother … and the fact that somebody would attempt to mock that relationship that my mother and I share, is completely reprehensible."

'Don't Make Any Mistakes'

Bob Garfield, host of the National Public Radio show "On the Media," said, "Here's some really … sound advice for 2007. Don't make any mistakes ever, anywhere. Because even if there are no pictures of them -- if there's any witnesses -- people now can take e-revenge, and post their … bad experience with you for anybody to see … This can be humiliating, or worse."

When the Web site owner refused to take down the nasty gossip about Hollis that he said was untrue, he gave up on Internet justice and went for the real thing. He sued.

"This is not a joke for me," he said. "This is my life."

It also turned out not to be a joke for the young woman who stole that Sidekick. Guttman's Web site finally goaded police into action. The girl was arrested, and Ivanna got her Sidekick back, although, in a display of Internet leniency, she did ultimately refuse to press charges.

"You know, some people call me an Internet vigilante," said Guttman. "Other people called me, you know, just a blogger that did what's right."

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 2859986.
Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...