Recovered post and comments, initially published in 2015. Some of the links no longer work as the forum is no longer visible to visitors. Yet, as former members keep saying, the situation has remained the same. This forum poses as an abuse recovery community, where very sensitive information is posted in all confidence (and naivety). Members, who are already vulnerable, are often targeted with psychotic accusations of being psychopaths themselves, or infiltrators, out of thin air.There are dozens of stories on this blog alone.
Especially after becoming involved with the Cassiopaea cult, PF has been engaging in the classic technique of investigating members and keeping dossiers on them. Sensitive information is not seen as something to be protected, but as a blackmail tool; the more intimate and potentially compromising it is, the more useful it is to them. Many such groups do this, if not all (take the recent NXIVM scandal for instance). They collect it with or without permission and keep it as a means to fend off criticism, which makes former members, upon realising the group is deceptive, afraid to speak out in case their data is revealed. Anything could potentially be used against them, from writing online about bosses or coworkers, to custody cases or a dodgy immigration status. They post under the veil of anonymity, yet behind their backs, the PF team delves into their internet activity and social media profiles to find out their real identities.
Trust is paramount when confiding in people or groups with the claim of unconditional acceptance and support. Members go there and bare their hearts out, holding little back, if anything, like they would before a therapist (or priest, if they are religious). The thought that those providing this “service” are secretly engaging in this practice is very disturbing.
It should also be added that many forums do this – they sequester people’s private data and claim it would be too time-consuming to delete it, regardless of its nature. People’s privacy matters little and everything is discretionary. Thankfully, as of 2018, it seems consent can be withdrawn – I’d be amazed if forums actually responded to such requests, as they store piles of data collected from no longer willing participants.
On Psychopath Free, everything you post can (and chances are it will) be used against you.
The forum rules state that if you are banned your account is also deleted; however, a later announcement, far less visible than the ten commandments, makes an 180 degrees turn:
”Our policy has always been to delete full accounts & posts at any member’s request. We understand that relationship abuse is a sensitive topic, where anonymity is extremely important.
But we need to make a little clarification: we are done deleting accounts for trolls. If you join this site to belittle, criticize, create drama, and provoke others, you can expect your posts to stay here forever. You are not entitled to have your account deleted when you intentionally cause trouble. The majority of people making this request are people who go out in flames – insulting members, the admins, and our mission. After getting banned, they astoundingly send an email demanding to have their posts deleted.
I’m saying this now, loud and clear: if you want to embarrass yourself with childish, immature behavior on a public forum, then you can deal with the real-life adult consequences. It is not our job to clean up after your mess. It is not our job to erase your word salad. It is not our job to protect you from yourself . This is a very time-consuming task for the admins, since it requires the manual removal of every post. So don’t expect compliance when you PM an admin immediately after calling them names. It’s unbelievable, and we’re done playing these silly games.
And of course for any other normal member, please don’t ever hesitate to PM an admin if you need something deleted. This post is directed towards trolls only.”
1. “It is not our job to clean up after your mess. It is not our job to erase your word salad. It is not our job to protect you from yourself .”
And there I was thinking obnoxious members were banned because their posts offended others, ruining the safe and warm atmosphere – does it make any sense to leave the posts in place, so they can keep offending those who read them?
The only context this makes sense in is the admin’s choice to have them there akin to gory heads on pikes in a public square, rotting in the sun, so others can “see what happens” when they disagree. It has nothing to do with protecting others or the “atmosphere”.
2. ”If you join this site to belittle, criticize, create drama, and provoke others, you can expect your posts to stay here forever. You are not entitled to have your account deleted when you intentionally cause trouble.”
In their twisted world, creating drama and provoking others can consist of as little as a disagreement, however politely expressed. You can go from being considered a victim of abuse to being considered a troll in a matter of minutes. Their decision is final and will not be looked into, as you don’t deserve a tenth of the chance to defend yourself as others have to falsely accuse you.
If you end up contradicting them at some point it means you joined the site with the sole intention of disrupting their supposed harmony and everything you ever posted is either invalid or unimportant compared to the “security threat” you pose.
And he dares wave his middle finger about how one’s posts (some about being raped and beaten and verbally torn down) will stay there forever because of one or two disagreements with a moderator. These people astoundingly had the audacity to request or demand that their extremely sensitive information be removed, which a decent human being would do even for someone they hated. Decency and maturity oblige, provided there is any.
Does anyone else need a bucket?
3. ”This is a very time-consuming task for the admins, since it requires the manual removal of every post.”
Oh really…? When you delete an account, which takes a few seconds, all posts are deleted with it. And if you want to keep the account for some reason, forum software generally comes with a magic button which only removes the posts; it was available on vBulletin years ago. It takes a few clicks to delete 3 or 3000; the rest is done automatically.
My guess is that they want to keep threads which are active and good for traffic, without actually admitting that a “troll” might have added something of value to the forum. They want to choose what they discard and what they keep.
In terms of time, perhaps they are too busy checking out false reports, as they are proud to take every single one seriously and address it asap.
Apparently, false reports are not time-consuming.
It appears that not only did the PF team fail to ensure members’ privacy – they, at least at one point in time, drew attention to their personal stories on social media platforms, primarily Facebook, admittedly without asking for their consent, at least until one member (later banned) pointed this out.
What was the point in allowing members to delete their posts at any given time when he was using them as marketing tools on Facebook, behind their backs? And what about members’ fear that they would be tracked down by their abusers? “Your post makes me realise some people might not want that”…? Seriously?