Last week Cheaterville.com was in the “news” for a sketchy ad they had designed to apparently warn the celebrities of the Toronto Film Festival against stepping out on their significant others between indie screenings and Q and A sessions. The concept of the site is similar to the original intent of Dontdatehimgirl.com, before they gave over to pressure (and, seemingly, human decency). Basically when someone feels they’ve been wronged by a cheating spouse/girlfriend/boyfriend/unusually close pet, they take to the site to rant in horrific detail about the transgressions of the trollop/whatever the male version of a trollop is. Best of all they get to include pictures and a detailed description of the cheater including height, weight, location, ethnicity and sign—the FBI doesn’t have files this extensive.
I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before this site goes the way of Don’t Date Him Girl and Don’t Date Her Dude and whatever other potentially libelous sites have fallen before them. In all honesty, it’s mildly amusing to think someone who committed such a terrible offense could be called out so publicly. But that’s only on a surface level. Upon contemplating the potential affects a site like this could have, the punishment doesn’t really fit the crime. Yeah, cheating sucks. But oftentimes the cuckold/whatever the female version of a cuckold is says a lot of things when the wounds are fresh that they may regret in time. But ranting on these sites is like letting a herd of kittens loose in the wild; you aren’t getting those suckers back (aw). And you aren’t going to unsay anything on the Internet.
Plus there is the fact that you can basically post whatever you want regardless of whether or not it is rooted in truth. Even if the defamed party implores them to remove the post they won’t. They simply instruct the individual to go directly to the person who posted it and work it out with them.
So if vindictive little Sally gets ticked off at Susie, she can fabricate a story about Susie’s trampy little heart and post it on the site. Or perhaps Susie turned Broseph down one time too many, so he decides to get back at her with a particularly unsavory and untrue post. (Man, poor Susie is developing quite the unearned reputation.) Granted there is paragraph after paragraph of legal language that is supposedly designed to prevent such lies from being posted. But honestly, if a person is willing to post detailed lies (or sordid truths for that matter) about someone on a site designed to completely destroy their reputation, are they really going to stop to wade through the legalese? And how much is that going to hold up in court if someone does decide to go after them?
I’m sure they’ve got that all worked out with their lawyers. After all, the site’s creator wouldn’t be stupid enough to risk his reputation as upstanding dot com businessman, right? Whatever, he explains it all here by comparing the site to Facebook. In the same interview he defends the site as a tool to empower cheat victims. (He does, however, fail to defend his choice of publicity shot, but to each his own I guess.) And there may be something to this, but I don’t know that plastering someone’s face alongside their transgressions necessarily translates into power for the victims. It seems more like the perfect way to sink to revenge.
In addition to all this there is the clicker count that shows up every time a name is searched for. In my mind, this creates suspicion even if a cheat hasn’t been reported. “Why has this person been searched for? Is there someone else he’s seeing who checked? Did he cheat on someone and they searched to see if he cheated on someone else, but didn’t take the time to set up a profile?” So on and so forth. In reality, chances are it was just a curious someone like me poking around by entering various friends’ names (sorry Jesse, Matt and Josh, you will be happy to know your records are clean though).
Then there’s the creepy way the site’s advertising creates paranoia with billboards like “65% of Adultery Victims are Women” and “7 Out of 10 Spouses Cheat: Don’t Worry Yours Isn’t One of Them.” So basically even if you don’t find your seemingly doting lovekins on the site, chances are he still is cheating so you better keep a close eye on him.
I understand the anger and wanting to publicly warn others about some of these scummy people. But, I don’t think the skeeviness of the cheaters outweighs the skeeviness of the site itself. Because while cheating is a terrible no good very bad thing, airing it all over some site that brags about being mocked by Gawker is sketchy and trashy as hell. So don’t do it kids. Just announce it on Facebook like a classy adult.