Netiquette Banner Netiquette, by Virginia Shea, page 117

well, that's what kill files are for. If your system doesn't offer a kill file, lobby with the management to get one.

Things to watch out for

Romance is probably physically safer online than, say, at a downtown bar. It's harder to get beaten up, raped, or infected with an incurable disease when you're communicating via computer.

But cyberspace romance is no safer emotionally than real life. The questions above hint at some of the dangers you might encounter. Here are some stories:

The Net Lothario

In one well-publicized case, a particularly charming fellow was quite successful in romancing women on the WELL. With at least two women, the relationship progressed to the physical level. Through discussion in a women-only area of the WELL, his victims learned they had all been involved with the same guy, and he'd told each one how special and unique she was. Needless to say, they weren't pleased.

Their response: They posted a note to a public forum warning others about the "Cyber-Scam-Artist." They didn't reveal his name in the posting, but offered to give it to anyone who called and asked them.

This response was an example of excellent Netiquette. The women took action to protect other women rather than to get revenge. Their decision not to reveal the cad's name in their posting was especially well-considered. And they seem to have successfully stopped the cad's actions.

However, the cad himself felt his treatment was unfair. Although he admitted he had made mistakes -- both by lying and by assuming "that computer relationships were somehow different than physical relationships" -- he defended himself by saying that both he and the women had been voluntarily "experimenting in a very new area." (Endnote #27) That's true, but it's no excuse.


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