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Being Honest Online

Reydan

Supporter
Supporter
Joined
Oct 15, 2014
Location
UK
Rudolph Quin said:
it is my personal belief that it is relatively harmless most of the time. Not victimless and certainly predatory but overall, not intending to cause harm to those who fall prey to the ruse.
Pretty much this. I think you've got to, as Rudolph Quin puts it so nicely, remember the whys behind why people are taking other people's faces. Sometimes it is malicious and creepy as in the stuff that going on in the Post Your Face thread atm, but often it is much more harmless.

On a forum like this, where people are coming for both self-expression and escape from reality, I think maintaining a grey-area is important. We certainly don't want abuse or victimisation, but we should also be tolerant towards the fact that for some writing under another's face/identity/persona is simply a small harmless indulgence and nothing more.
 
Joined
Jul 14, 2015
I think the whole... lying about, or hiding one's gender is a complicated thing.
Because sometimes gender is some bull@#$!.
Sometimes you want to be treated in a certain way, based solely on your personality... people's treatment of you and assumptions about you will change based on their perceptions of your gender and what they think about that gender.
And in many ways, hiding your gender, or saying you are one gender or the other might allow you to be, and be treated as, the real "you", particularly if you find you don't fit in with the norms of your gender.
If you're a guy IRL, but are much more feminine... people won't treat you as such if they think you're a guy.


And if you take it a step further, you get into issues of gender identity, which adds another angle to things.

Now... in a lot of places online, in a lot of more open-minded and LGBT-supportive communities, nobody would say a transgender person who presents online as the gender they identity as, even if they don't offline, they wouldn't they this person is "lying".
But it can still be a cause of strife.

This is much the reason why I prefer not to disclose my gender online, because I am still very uncertain about my gender identity, and have a lot of insecurities about where my life is headed in regards to it... if I truly befriend someone, I'm okay telling them everything, but until then... well, it's not really anybody's business.
 

Simon Seville

Planetoid
Joined
Jun 23, 2015
Location
Fuck Mountain
Gender is social construct. personality is who we are. hearts minds dreams ambitions all wrapped up in skin. sometimes the clothes don't match the Emperor/Empress but in the end we are who we are and should be accepted as such.

as you said about IRL, I'm male. But i'm not the most masculine in the universe. and I seem to portray my characters as such. it's given me a lot of trouble as far as finding a date goes because for some unlucky reason i've been settled with the assumption that everything nice I do for them is solely based on the possible reward of sexual congress.
 

lil angel

Super-Earth
Joined
Jul 18, 2015
Personally, I just don't care who's on the other side as long as they're nice to me when we speak. I don't care what you look like or what your gender is. We're MOST LIKELY not going to ever meet each other, even if we'd do, what would happen? We wouldn't expect to find our spouse on the internet, I assume. It just doesn't matter to me. In the same way, I don't really share anything distinct about myself.
 

Rudolph Quin

Mistaken for some sort of scoundrel
Supporter
Joined
Aug 2, 2009
Location
here
lil angel said:
Personally, I just don't care who's on the other side as long as they're nice to me when we speak. I don't care what you look like or what your gender is. We're MOST LIKELY not going to ever meet each other, even if we'd do, what would happen? We wouldn't expect to find our spouse on the internet, I assume. It just doesn't matter to me. In the same way, I don't really share anything distinct about myself.
That's the best way to deal with it, truthfully. I mean, nobody is truly looking out for you except for you and we can't stop predators from logging onto the internet.
 
Joined
Jul 14, 2015
Suppose it's a tough thing, since some people actually *want* more than strangers behind screens, and that always runs into problems.

I admit that to an extent, I'm one of them, and if a person I'm roleplaying with doesn't add me on skype or YIM and chat with me every now and then, I'll be a lot more inclined to just forget about responding to the rp if I'm feel overwhelmed with stuff.

And on the flipside, you have people that are quite adamant that the communication never leaves the roleplaying medium.

And *then* you have people who actually do expect to find their spouse on a website somewhere...
 

Rudolph Quin

Mistaken for some sort of scoundrel
Supporter
Joined
Aug 2, 2009
Location
here
I think it can go on an individual basis. For instance, heartless and I were about 2 months into our rp Into the Night Land when we decided to go ahead and try to publish it as a book. I think I added her to my FB around then or after the New Year and we'd only known each other for a couple months at that point. As we finished up in April and began the arduous task of editing, we traded phone numbers and emails. I talked to her on the phone for the first time just last week and we've known each other 9 months.

I think it is okay to determine for yourself when you're comfortable, you know? And with how much contact. I've had rpers rush to want to trade phone numbers after 2 weeks of knowing each other. How about "no"? Skype is a little less personal.
 

Karameida

Sometimes a Dream, Sometimes a Nightmare
Staff member
Administrator
Joined
Jun 15, 2011
First and foremost, I actually really like this particular topic. I didn't know it was a thing since I almost never come into the BMA except for certain staff obligation type things.

Onto the topic of honesty...

For me personally this is sort of hard to answer.

I tend to be as honest as I can about things, including certain personal information. There are probably several people here who know more about me than they wanted to know. Me and all my issues. I personally have nothing against someone who wants to remain anonymous, for me honesty is just the easier route. I don't care who knows what about me, I really don't. If I'm asked a personal question, generally I'll answer it.

I almost never give out my number, thus far only 3 people from this site actually have it but I detest texting so..theres that. I'm a little more open to adding people to my Skype/Fet but I don't add people to my facebook. Its not like I care if people know about what all I do, I just think its silly to just hand over personal information. 2 of the people who have my number I talked with for like 2-ish? years before I gave it to them. The third one was about 3 years.

When I first joined BMR, I did lie a little and I felt really guilty for it. The lie was about who I am and how I act. Obviously the people I talk to a lot know how gruff and blunt I can be but when I joined I acted like the shy, innocent and helpless person. I regret it so much. At the same time I don't though because when I did that several members who I'm now really good friends with saw through it and gave me some criticism. Because of that I was able to change and become someone I'm a bit happier with and I started acting online how I act offline. This was my experience with lying online, which was wrong of me to do. I can acknowledge that there are actual good reasons to lie about certain things, especially when it comes to you and your life.

But this is where it gets irritating for me. I prefer to be honest, completely but, I can not. Not online. There are these unwritten rules [as well as written rules] of the internet about how you're supposed to behave. What you should and should not do and should you do something you're not supposed to, you'll get in trouble.

For instance, there are people I have to grin and bear it with because I can't say what I actually want to say to them because it goes against those rules and people look down on you for breaking them. I can't be as honest online as I am offline and thats difficult for me, very difficult because I am an honest and outspoken person. Going off on a person online is the equivalent of starting a fight with a guy at school offline.

I stated before that I have nothing against someone who wants to remain anonymous. That is their decision and does not affect me. They likely have their reasons for wanting to do so and I don't want to pry and so I respect that privacy, as should everyone.

I have been lied to and tricked before online and it hurt a lot. It cut me really deep and even after all these years it still causes a lot of pain in my chest. If you don't want to tell me something, thats fine. Thats your right, I won't push. But don't lie to me about it, don't string me along. I think its incredibly cruel to do that to someone.

With picture stealing, I don't really worry because I don't have a face that someone would want to claim. And its a bit weird for me because I feel like you shouldn't take personal pictures and try and claim them as your own but I think its ok to use famous peoples and I feel thats kind of wrong of me but its kind of where I stand with it. If that makes any sense.

I honestly think its fucking stupid to skip a person simply because of their gender. So long as the person can write well and play the role right, I don't care WHAT you are offline. I personally think people should stop paying attention to certain things, they have no idea how much they are missing out simply because that person is a guy offline or [and this is a bit off topic but here it is] who made that game and judging it off of that. It feels really close minded to me and it makes me a little sad because people do miss out on some really great things because they are looking at and judging things that don't really matter.

These are my views from what I've experienced but there are so, so many variables that come into play, its never just a simple back and white scenario, so many people fall into the gray aspect of things.

[Will probably fix this later, I apologize if its unclear or confusing. I have a hard time trying to explaining this properly. If you're unclear about something or have a question lemme know and I'll try and untangle my web. So please bear with my lunatic ramblings for a bit please~]
 

The Wolven Lord

Planetoid
Joined
Jul 26, 2015
Location
USA
When I was younger role playing on Yahoo at the age of 13 I created an online identity that was older. Think I told people I was 17 , to get them to accept me and take me serious. I'm almost 30 now, and much more comfortable with the amount of winters I've existed on this plane.

I've always been a reserved introvert with peculiar tastes. Exploring my own existence and place in the universe is more appealing to me then subjugating women , sports, and proving I am more macho than you. It's no wonder I find it difficult to connect with men in the realm of "IRL".

Although I believe a magician should never reveal their tricks, I am honestly more or less an open book compared to my past internet behavior. I mean who hasn't created a female character online to garner more favor and attention?

For me Role Playing is a method of acting/writing that comes from qualities that exist within. Some more exaggerated than others. There are real pieces of me mixed in the fantasy.
 

RedRose

Star
Joined
Aug 30, 2014
As a teen I definitely lied, especially about my age, or even for fun lol.

I got close with one of the guys I lied to. I ended up confessing and he claimed that he knew for a while. We were just friends, we traded pics, we met in real life. I didn't like him physically, not that he was BAD, just I wasn't into him. It was just friendship, right? He was "old" anyway (like, 25? lol and I was 15) though we spoke for hours daily or almost. I didn't wonder why he broke up with his gf of years and why all his relationships turned to crap. I was self centered. I kept telling him I wanted to meet prince charming, and all, and he kept being very negative about that topic though he was always encouraging about everything else. I met someone. He disappeared. I barely noticed. I ended up realizing it and tried reaching out to him in all the possible ways, never getting a reply. Long story short I was sick with worry and called his sister (!) who forced him to answer and he said I was the one who cut him off. Not from my point of view... But yeah I suppose I basically dumped him. We tried getting the friendship back on track but it never happened. I still miss him (as a friend!).

I guess what I meant to say: I lied (about age) and he lied (about expectations/feelings). Look at the result.

I was also really dumb about how treated boys who sent me their (normal!) pic and that I found unattractive. I feel bad about those I said could pick me up somewhere and never showed up. :/
 
Joined
Sep 29, 2016
Location
Maine, USA
As a teenager...all the time did I lie online. It's sort of what you did. Especially when you were always warned about the horrible people you would encounter online and wanted to prey on kids. Ah...the 90's where TV would try to scare you all the time with ads.

As I got older though I felt less and less compulsion or even a desire to lie. I'm a naturally honest person, so even as a kid it felt gross to lie even online. A lot of my best friends have been made here on the interwebs and I wouldn't have made such good friends by lying about who I was. Granted my circumstances are different. I was fortunate enough to meet equally honest people who weren't insane/killers/rapists.

So...that's really it. I mean, I've nothing to really hide and never have. I am who I am and see no need to lie to myself or strangers on the internet. If someone found me interesting enough to try to capture I guess that's kinda flattering to me as no one locally seems to have that urge. :p
 
H

HeyThereLittleBear

Guest
I've had a hard time being honest on the internet. Even now, I still do small lies -- my name, for instance is what I lie about most. There's probably only two people up here who know my real name and I prefer to keep it that way because I don't feel safe otherwise.

However, when I was younger I lied a lot. Most of my lies were about my age because a lot of people weren't comfortable role-playing with someone so young (I started innocent role-plays at nine and got into more adult role-plays around eleven or twelve). For as long as I can remember I have lied about my age being sixteen. I don't know why that was the magic number for me but people seemed okay to role-play with me at that age. I didn't stop that lie until I actually because sixteen, then I started to say I was eighteen.

As a younger person, I tended to lie a bit more about myself out of the simple fact that I lived shut up in my home most of the time and didn't really have anything "interesting" about myself. I stopped for a time when I was about fourteen when I met a few people online that lived relatively close to me (4 hours away) and I felt comfortable with them. One ended well, we never met in real life, but we just kinda fell out of friendship. The other made me get worse with lying because she completely flipped her lid and told me she was in love with me, went absolutely nuts over it and it freaked me out. She called my phone constantly and annoyed my parents and it was just dreadful.

Now that I'm an adult, I only lie about my name, which is mostly because I prefer Bear anyways, and that's it.
 

John Kanto

Super-Earth
Joined
Mar 8, 2017
Location
Ohio
Lying online...I would be amazed if anyone was completely honest about everything online. The internet is a place where people can be faceless, nameless and that kind of anonymity gives a lot of people the idea that they can say or do anything with no consequences. Unfortunately they are mistaken. If you knowingly lie to someone you have met online you may well end up hurting that person. However there is a flip side to that. If you share information about yourself then open yourself up to the bad actors out there who just love to wreck other peoples lives.

I will be honest. I have lied in the past. People would ask my real name and I would make up some BS name. Mostly because I had read horror stories of some poor bastard who shared too much information with the wrong person.

Nowadays, I don't lie. If someone wants to know my RL name for example, I either ask them why they need to know or just tell them no. I would have to have a very high level of trust and comfort with an individual to give out that kind of information. Some things I will be completely honest about. My age, or other innocuous information cannot really hurt. But I am always careful about what I share. I have been online since the late 90s and during all that time only two people earned enough trust to know everything about me.
 

Manic

Banned
Banished
Joined
Dec 15, 2014
Given the amount of trolls and sad fuck power mad Admins and Mods on these sites, I don't know why anyone would be honest about themselves. Not to mention it is a role playing site and although I am sure some people meet up in real life I bet that would also be quite rare.

Internet forums are becoming more aggressive and most forums now are troll havens. So again, protect yourself and be careful.
 

Missulena

Super-Earth
Joined
Feb 13, 2017
Location
Nowhere
I've lied or withheld the truth about myself plenty of times online, mostly to protect my identity. Since I do have a life that I prefer to keep separate from my Internet life, I generally don't like talking about my private life on forums like these. I just don't feel safe knowing that it could possibly come back to me.
Maybe some people aren't as cautious, but I'm trying to go into a professional industry, so I really do prefer to separate my life on the Internet from my life in the real world.
 

Ivory11

Star
Joined
Sep 13, 2013
Location
Australia
I think internet anomymity is the best thing since sliced bread. I say things online i would NEVER say face-to-face. we're always demanding an honest conversation, well when you're anonymous online, you only speak honestly. yes I lie online about where I live, what my name is etc... and it's refreshing. I live in an area that is very liberal, so liberal that if you hold any conservative opinions you're considered as bad as Hitler. which is bad news for someone like me with both liberal and conservative viewpoints.

I'm pro clean energy, anti war, pro equality, pro legalization but I'm also anti mass immigration, pro wall, pro cops and I utterly despise groups like ANTIFA and their SJW-ilk and I smile whenever I see a clip of Antifa thugs getting body-slammed by riot cops. Also I don't think there is any moral high ground on the issue of abortion, either you support denying a woman the right to choose or you support snuffing out the most innocent of human life.

If I voiced these opinions in the open where I live, I'd likely be kicked out onto the streets and beaten by a mob. thank god for internet anonymity.
 

LolitaOtaku88

Light In The Darkness
Joined
Mar 14, 2018
Location
United States Eastern time zone
You guys bring up a lot of good points but I think it's a bit narrow-minded to say "don't trust anyone". As I said, my best friend ever and the greatest writing partner I've ever had, I met online, and I've visited her several times. You can make a lot of powerful, long-lasting relationships through the computer, with people you would have never met or come into contact with otherwise. There ARE genuine people out there and this can be a great medium for finding them. You just have to be smart, listen to your gut and pay attention to red flags. If you've known a person for 6 months and they STILL can't get a working camera to take a picture and yet seem technologically able to handle everything else, it doesn't add up. It doesn't mean they are 100% totally a liar and a faker, but you add it to a list of "Things that don't seem normal/right" and you make a decision based on that.
I have actually dealt with this. Blanket statement, I would not have cared if they were male or female. I was in love with them. The bad part for me is the lies. They had decided to have a RL relationship with me and we talked on the phone all the time. They did nice things for me and I for them, but they never wanted to meet. They never took advantage of me and I never did them. We truly cared for each other. In the end I had to walk away. While I was prepared to forgive just about every lie, they were not prepared to admit them. The real question is, how long and how far should the secrecy go? At what point is that person worth more to you than your pride or lies?
 

SerenityAlec1

Planetoid
Joined
Sep 24, 2018
Basically, when it comes to things such as gender, age (as long as we're all above 18), personal romantic status, sexuality, etc, I feel like if a roleplayer needs to know all of that then they are wanting to cyber, not roleplay. I am gender ambiguous online. I go by two names, one male and one female, and people may choose whichever they like. I will not state my gender because I do not find it important and I typically find that people who care about real life gender are not interested in objective writing. Anonymity is a wonderful tool and should be utilized when needed. However, I do not lie online. At least, not intentionally. I'm sure everyone lies regularly on some existential basis. I also do not give out my age (except that I am 21 or older), because it is unimportant, so long as I am legally an adult, which I am. I see no problem with keeping details of your real life secret, as long as it is not done with intention to harm anyone. I do, however, dislike people who lie or spin false tales when a simple "fuck off" could suffice.

{Although if I get to know someone quite well then, after a substantial amount of time roleplaying and OOC chat, I may give information such as my gender and age, if asked, but only to satisfy curiosity. NOT because it is important.}
 
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LizBound

Planetoid
Joined
Mar 19, 2019
Location
Manchester UK
I've been hurt by guys pretending to be girls, guys pretending to be single.. and more. But in truth, we all wear masks.

No I don't care what or who you are in your RL. Just make the RP believable and I'll be happy. That said, i do find men n particular, can be easy to spot. I just don't worry about it any more.

I mean, the whole futa thing... I can’t imagine what it feels like to have a penis, to know what it feels like to 'cum' as a man. I'll never try and pretend that for that very reason. But Futa makes me instantly suspicious if the that's a gal. I imagine that that's probably often a guy. I never let it bother me and I'll totally fuck a futa in an RP as I like to RP vs a cock.

I also learned, from a friend of mine I had thought was female, but was male. I ended up meeting them in RL and we talked and I learned that, that just because he was a man, and was straight, he liked to imagine what is was like to be a woman. I never got it till we really talked about it and it does make sense in a way. He’s putting himself in the mind-set of a female sub. That’s fiar enough really. Why not?

In the end, if you not getting into RL stuff, and not intending to meet for real or develop a 'real' relationship. i don't give a shit anymore. If I'm in the mood for some girl on girl Rp, and i suspect the girl is a guy... i let it go and just enjoy the RP> I'm more bothered about how your text is structured, than you RL body.

If your pretending to be a guy or a girl to mess with peoples RL feelings, that’s another thing. That’s an intent to cause harm as you know it can’t end well.
 

NadiatheTinkerer

Bored Maid
Joined
Sep 28, 2016
Location
Canada
Eh, roleplay is great because it lets you play whatever you like, but messing with people is of course pretty rude. Honestly though, it’s not a concern of mine if someone is whatever sex they claim to be, it’s not worth the hassle of trying to “confront” them, and I care more about the quality of roleplay.
 

Anael

Planetoid
Joined
Sep 23, 2019
So, how do you feel about the question of honesty and the necessity of anonymity on the internet? Do you consider it shameful when people hide who they really are? How far is too far, in your opinion, when it comes to someone hiding their identity? Are you ever scared about being victimized?...
Honesty isn't a question; it's a statement about who/what someone is. Anonymity - on the internet or in our daily lives - isn't a necessity, but it might help a person feel more at ease, help a criminal commit their crime, or drive nosy people off the deep end 😂. Anonymity - wanting people to know what your doing but not that it's you doing it - isn't privacy. And there is no privacy, the keeping things to yourself so no one can see it, on the internet -if someone wants to find out they will, eventually, discover your secret(s).

Shame is a concept used by many religions to control their adherents and to try to control those who aren't. What it boils down to is, if you're ashamed of who you are or what you do, change yourself. Don't be concerned about what others think of you vis a vis "shame". And for those who find shame in others - well, get a life and do something positive to help the hungry, homeless, and people suffering from disease or the ravages of war and natural disaster.

Fear of being victimized is as silly as fear of anything else - it is useless, even dangerous. Insurance companies, politicians, and advertising/marketing businesses make their money by preying on fears. However, taking common sense precautions to protect oneself is, usually, a prudent way to approach any situation. If "they" want it bad enough they'll get it one way or another.

Role playing is a big lie. We pretend to be someone or some thing we're not. Then we make up stories to give credence to our lies. Anyone with moral objections to lying might consider looking elsewhere for their entertainment. Telling a lie is not, except in very narrow instances, illegal, immoral, or sinful.

OK, I'm done spouting. Hope ya'll have as much fun reading as I did writing.
 
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