Murder In The Forums

Tina was a stay at home mom, although a fully licensed nurse, she decided it would be better for her family if she put her career on hold. Her baby was four months old, she resigned from her job in her eighth month of pregnancy. Being busy her whole life this left her in a state of boredom occasionally, especially when the baby was asleep.

She started thinking about writing as she loved to do when she was younger. Searching around the Internet she came across a great website. It was for authors who wanted to publish some short stories and other articles online. It seemed like a great opportunity and one which she thought she would be good at doing.

Bubblepages was good to her, after only three weeks Tina started to see a small but steady increase in traffic to her bubbles. Her thoughts were how she could get better at doing the Internet marketing thing. With no knowledge of how to market her Bubbles on the web, she sought advice from the help section at the website. One of the tips that was provided was to ask the other Bubblers (members of the Bubblepage community) for help in the forums section of the site.

Tina had never been on a forum before, so a little leary she posted her first thread.

"I need help with my bubbles" was the title and immediately she received some great and friendly advice.

It was like an overwhelming sense of belonging, the conversation was engaging. She immediately took a liking to the Forum section. There were witty and interesting people to converse with, it brought a new light into her life.

Over the next few months Tina had made many friends on the website. There was some other women in the same situation as her, stay at home moms. In the first few weeks many an email was sent between the three or four good friends she had made.

Know It All, at least that was her Bubblepage name, was her same age and had so much in common with Tina. They became best online friends in a short period of time, texting and emailing each other constantly.

Tina found out Know It All had an apartment not far from where her parents lived. Since she was constantly telling her she should come visit. Tina talked to her husband about visiting her friend this summer. They were planning on spending some time with her parents in a couple of weeks . Her husband completely supported the idea knowing Tina did not have much of a social life since the baby was born.

Tina emailed Know It All, she found out her friends real name was Lisa.  Lisa messaged her right back saying she thought it was a great idea and would be looking forward to meeting her.

One Week Later

Tina woke up anxious to log into Bubblepages, she anticipated seeing how many people had read her Bubbles overnight. She also felt a small victory when she made a few dollars from her Bubbles.

On this morning when she checked her email she was horrified. There was a message from one of her Bubble acquaintances. It was from Thor's Revenge. The subject was "Terrible News", when she opened it it read:

{Tina, I have the unfortunate job of informing you of a tragedy. Know It All (Lisa) had a terrible accident a few days ago. She was mugged in the park and was beat up pretty bad. I do not think she will make it Tina. I am so sorry to inform you of this.}

She quickly logged into the forums at Bubblepages only to see the top thread "Know It All" has passed away". Completely in a panic she read through the thread. Many condolences to the family from all her Bubble friends. She checked her friends profile only to find the user no longer existed. Tina checked the other social networking sites that her and Lisa used. The same thing had happened at all the sites, her friend's account had been scrubbed from the Internet.

Tina was devastated, even though she had never met Lisa she felt like she lost her best friend. Completely in a state of depression she could no longer bring herself to enter the forums. Some of her other friends continued to email her but Tina really had no desire to get close to anyone like that again.

A few weeks after, she pulled down all the Bubbles she had created. She ended her account at Bubblepages. She also closed the email which she used to sign up to the site. With no plans on returning Tina said goodbye to her online activities and decided to write a novel instead.

.

The Other Side Of The Internet

Rodney had been on Bubblepages for four years. In that time he had created over twenty different accounts. All with separate screennames and personalities. These accounts were known as sock puppet accounts. Rodney had fun with his sock puppets.

He trolled the forums like a spider looking for flies. He used his sock puppet accounts to welcome new members to the community.  He used several computers so he could post with multiple accounts at the same time.  This made it look like there were conversations being conducted with several people, even though there were times when Rodney was the only one that posted in a thread.

He met Tina as soon as she asked for help in the forums. He checked her profile and used an account that represented a girl around Tina's age to respond to her. Using this account and others, he got Tina really involved in some great discussions that were going on, mostly involving only Rodney.

Rodney enjoyed manipulating people and he found forums a great way to play with peoples minds. He enjoyed inviting people to visit his sock puppets. He never thought that Tina would take him up on the offer. He became panicked when Tina said she would be visiting in a few weeks.

He could not think of anything else. He had to kill off one of his sock puppet accounts. It was exciting for Rodney to see the reactions in the forums. It was too bad though, he was having intimate conversations with Tina and was a little sad that he would have to put an end to it.

Laughing at all the drama he created, he checked the Newbie Help thread and what did he see? "Help I am new to the site and need help". Rodney smiled and responded with one of his accounts, a supposed female of fourty years old who liked to write about relationships.

He responded anxiously, "Hi welcome to Bubblepages I would be happy to help you."

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Comments 17 comments

Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 6 years ago from California Gold Country

Hmmm. I'm assuming this is fiction, on the other hand, I wonder if anyone here is really real. I'm not signing up for BubblePages, but I was considering MuddlePages. Trying to get an idea for my first Muddle.


Arthur Fontes profile image

Arthur Fontes 6 years ago from Fall River,MA Author

Rochelle: It is fiction. I was inspired by some of the forum activities here at HP. I was not even aware of the sock puppet phenomena until a few weeks ago. It seemed like a good idea for a story. Thanks for taking the time to read my hub. :)


Jule Romans profile image

Jule Romans 6 years ago from United States

A while back, I used to play a text-based roleplaying game. I stopped when I realized two things. 1- most of the players were 19 year old men (AWKWARD!) and 2- it looked very possible that the entire game, or a a good portion of it, was all one person (CREEPY).

Test-based roleplaying games were the precursors to MMORPGS that are so popular now. They were pretty cool- inspiring creative writing and challenging the intellect at the same time.


Arthur Fontes profile image

Arthur Fontes 6 years ago from Fall River,MA Author

Jule I played those same RPG's. I played UO up until about two years ago. There are several multiple personalitiy players in the games. Thanks for reading


purplerose profile image

purplerose 6 years ago

liked it


Pamela Kinnaird W profile image

Pamela Kinnaird W 6 years ago from Maui and Arizona

Wow. Very interesting. I know sometimes I feel that I really should just put this all away. I'm not so worried about the Rodneys of the world -- as I'm careful -- but the vulnerability of the computer for viruses, etcetera, concerns me. Thanks for a bit of an education.


Brenda Durham 6 years ago

Good hub.


Greg Benson 6 years ago

Nice story Art. I will read more.


habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Welcome to drama land! Hmmm...Bubblepages sounds kinda familiar. Ya think?? lol


KFlippin profile image

KFlippin 6 years ago from Amazon

Interesting hub, especially for a newcomer, thanks for sharing. Wish I could find it even slightly funny ha ha, but nope I don't.


ProjectsConsult profile image

ProjectsConsult 6 years ago from World Wide Web

Interesting, some of these sites can become addictive, dangerous in some cases. That is why I never give any personal information over the net.


6 years ago

Arthur - I just read your wonderful story about "Phil the Phony". It was perfect - until you say we have to tolerate people like that insufferable scumbag. I left hubs because I won't tolerate such degradation. Hubpages has now defined itself as less than nothing by supporting that kind of behavior. People like Phil the Phony sleep with a copy of Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" under their pillows at night and have wet dreams as a result (I doubt they could ever get close to a real woman).

It's too bad too, because hubpages has (had) a wonderful architecture for writing.

Thanks for your spirited defense, when in the forums. You were one of the people who made it worthwhile :)


Arthur Fontes profile image

Arthur Fontes 6 years ago from Fall River,MA Author

It is great to hear from you X. I have devoted my effort to writing and am trying to stay out of the forums for the most part. It is not the same without you and Tex. I miss you guys.


ltfawkes profile image

ltfawkes 6 years ago from NE Ohio

Hey, Arthur. Clever story. Nice twist. Good-looking German Shepherd. What's his (her) name?

L.T.


Arthur Fontes profile image

Arthur Fontes 6 years ago from Fall River,MA Author

ltfawkes Thanks or reading my story. My dog is a male 110 pound German Shepard we call him MAXX. He really is my best friend.


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca

Arthur-I'm awfully glad you came to the forums today, you've been immensely helpful to me.

As for Bubblepages, I've learned to stay out of some of the threads Bubblers write, for I have no interest in much of their banter!

Great work.


shealoSheeplE 3 years ago

We utilized to receive high on living yet as of late I have piled up some sort of opposition.

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