I’m gonna be honest with you…
I’m not really in the mood to write a blog post tonight. I’m all snuggled in my bed, sleepy time tea in hand, ready to delve into some much needed trash TV.
BUT my face got stolen and now I have to do something about it.
The other day my close friend happened to come across a picture of me and my two children. The problem was that picture was not on my blog but on some weird diet scam website. She asked me if I was going by an alter ego.
This wasn’t an easy question to answer because I’m always going by an alter ego… her name is Coco Robicheax. But my friend wasn’t talking about the goof ball that dances in the mirror when nobody is looking.
She was talking about someone named “Betty” who has taken photos of me and my children and is claiming to be their mother. You can click on it here too see.
This is the photo she used…
My friend shared the link to me and I almost puked in my mouth when I saw the caption that read, “The Terrible Trio” that they added to it. Even worse if you scroll down you will see that they took another picture of me (one of me and Penelope at the zoo) and used it as their profile picture to answer comments.
Another photographer friend of mine informed me that I can click and drag any of my photos into the images tab of google and see what websites that picture has been posted on. When I did this I was horrified to see that my pictures had been used on two other websites.
Every site “Betty” claimed to be the mother of my children. However she was a different age, had different last names and claimed to live in different places in the U.S.
I posted the first website I came across on facebook and several of my friends wrote comments that prompted the owner of this site to take my picture down.
Here are the other websites where “Betty” is claiming to be me: (If my photos are no longer there then I was successful at verbally kicking Betty’s ass along with the help of my friends.)
The second one is particularly disturbing because she took my before and after photos, doctored them up, and claimed that I lost a lot more weight than I actually did.
To top it off “Betty” has a google plus account, check it out… https://plus.google.com/105159366383979501871/posts
Guess who will be staring back at you when you click on it?
The reason I am writing about this is because I’m hoping some of you will take it upon yourselves to leave comments on these websites in an attempt to force whoever has created them to take my pictures down. The other reason is because I wanted to warn you to be skeptical of all of the greedy forces out there that are on the prowl. They are sifting through all of your insecurities and feeding off of them in an attempt to sell you bogus diet solutions.
Recently I wrote the post Time To Remove My Clark Kent Glasses in response to thousands of people who had been led to my blog under false pretenses by a company selling Garcenia Cambogia and a cleanse sort of thing.This was along the lines of how that went…
“To the company who is trying to use my content to take advantage of my readers.
GET THE FUCK OFF OF MY SITE!
We’re not buying it. I don’t want your traffic. I don’t write this blog to make money. I write this blog to connect with people… not trick them.
So until you stop utilizing me for your shady ways I will virtually kick your ass in every post I make until you unlink yourself to me… because until then every person you send to my website will know better than to spend their money on the bogus shit you are trying to sell.”
I immediately wanted it to be known that I was not connected to the company that was pushing people to look at my blog with the claims that my success had anything to do with what they were selling (crap).
It took them over a week to realize that I had caught on to them and had called them out. Thousands and thousands of people were visiting my blog based on some link from Facebook that they had set up. There was no telling what they had said to people… I couldn’t see it.
Then suddenly like a switch it had been turned off. The thousands went away and my hundreds were back, my loyal readers and friends that I write this blog for in the first place. I had conquered one evil force and now I have this other one to attend to.
I used this weird experience as a lesson to my middle schoolers who are currently in the middle of a feature article unit. I showed them the webpages that I was featured on to show them that you have to be a critical reader of non-fiction. There is no telling who is writing the content you are reading. For all I know Betty could be a convict named Burt.
The lesson that I was trying to teach was not to believe everything that is put out there. You have to be skeptical because people will trick you if you aren’t. I also used it as a lesson on internet safety. Once a picture is put out there on the internet there is no taking it back. This is one reason why I cried so hard the first time I posted my awful before pictures for all to see. (Thanks a lot for making it look even worse Betty!)
However, I have not told my students that I am a blogger, nor will I ever. I don’t want my kids reading my blog because then I would have to edit what I say. Plus, there is something fun about having an alter ego of sorts… Clark Kent glasses and all 🙂 but rest assured that Betty is not her name.