Over the past week or so there have been rumors of several cases in which individuals have misrepresented themselves on the site. MaleSurvivor understands how important security and safety are to your recovery and the ModTeam takes such issues very seriously; the site is closely monitored on a constant basis for precisely this reason.
This announcement is a rare exception to standing MaleSurvivor Moderator Policy in not disclosing moderator actions, and this exception is prompted by the breadth and depth of recent cases of fraud perpetrated on the community. The large amount of energy spend on discussion of these cases between members is indeed a distraction from our purpose in being here. The moderating team feels that in this case, the members' need to know outweighs our standard policy, as disclosure will allow all members to return to concentrating on their own recoveries and the support of other members. As a matter of policy, the MaleSurvivor moderating team does not comment on account suspensions due to infractions of the Discussion Board Guidelines due to privacy concerns, and we would appreciate it if you would respect that boundary.
One fraudulent case is that of a user in the Netherlands who posted under the screen names of Alexander, Stefan12 and Xavier90. "Alexander" claimed to have leukemia and attracted much attention and support. This case was under close scrutiny by the ModTeam for some time, but evidence against this user did not become compelling until a late point. All three of these accounts have been permanently banned:
Another such case that is now common knowledge involved a person posing as an abused teen, and then created another account who then became the white knight in shining armor to save him. Three more accounts were created in the process of the ruse. All five accounts have been banned:
Two further cases that have been recently investigated have confirmed that there were two more people using the discussion board and chat room under false pretenses.
The first involved a man who played the role of a young man in his early twenties for nearly two years before he was discovered to be older. His account has been banned:
The second involved a person who created multiple accounts and establishing identities that our community has come to know. This person is deeply disturbed in his or her own right, and we suspect that he or she is also an abuse survivor. The case has been referred to the Board of Directors for possible action. All of their accounts have been banned:
There have been a number of cases of banned members creating additional accounts to illegally access the message board and chat rooms. The moderators do their best to block those accounts as they are created, but your help is still needed in the future to identify these people.
We are in the process of conducting a thorough investigation to find any other multiple accounts that have been created in the past and to block them, regardless of whether or not they have been active. In this way we hope to minimize the chance that someone will again create the turmoil that we have seen here recently in the future.
If you have more than one account on the discussion board, please contact a moderator or administrator via private message before October 31, 2007 with the user names for the accounts, and which account you would like to keep as your active account. If you are sharing a computer with another user (e.g. a survivor and his partner), please advise us of this situation. Please also remember that if you have dropped one account in favor of another, both are probably still active; we need to know which of these you wish to maintain. Beginning in November we will begin blocking all unexplained multiple accounts, so to avoid complicating your access to the site please do deal with this as soon as you can.
We understand that this may seem heavy handed, but recent events have convinced the moderating team and administration that these new rules are essential for the security and well-being of the community, and we request your cooperation in these matters.
Thank you for your patience,