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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Bella who?

I've had a MySpace account for a while now, nearly sixteen months. I started it so I could leave comments on my friends' MySpace accounts - many social networking sites require you to be a member to comment on other members' sites, which is how they artificially inflate their membership numbers. I also set it up as yet another way to direct potential readers to my blog - my real blog.

If you go to my MySpace site you'll see I don't have many "friends" there. All - well, almost all - of the names listed there are people I've met in person, or know through their blogs. I do not "collect" friends on MySpace like other people do. If you're a stranger and you send me a friend request - well, there will need to be a compelling reason for me to accept it.

Most of the friend requests I get each day aren't from real people at all. They are from alleged women with slutty, sexy member pictures and almost-identical pages that had very little content aside from links to other pages that promised even sluttier and sexier pictures. I've never clicked on those links, but I know the sort of sites that they lead to. Most of the time I give these false friends a quick look and then delete the requests - or, if I feel like it, report them to MySpace.

The other day I saw these subject lines in my Hotmail inbox:

- Gloria would like to be added as one of your friends!
- Allie would like to be added as one of your friends!
- Bella would like to be added as one of your friends!
- Melva would like to be added as one of your friends!
- Ines would like to be added as one of your friends!
- Ursula would like to be added as one of your friends!

Fakes, all fakes! I thought. But one of the names caught my eye. Bella? I had seen that name recently. Twice.

Once was on the DeviantArt site of a local blogger whose blog I had stumbled across while searching for bloggers from Nanticoke - while she goes by the name "Jennafer" on her Blogspot blog, |verbal·suicide|, she uses the name "jezzabella" on her DeviantArt site.

The other is a site I traced back through my SiteMeter References page: the LiveJournal site for Regina, who goes by the LiveJournal username "bellatella".

Was one of them the "Bella" who sent me a friend request? I don't know. When I tried to open the request I was greeted with the message "This Profile No Longer Exists." Coincidentally, the MySpace link for Jennafer/jezzabella points to a site that says "Invalid Friend ID. This user has either cancelled their membership, or their account has been deleted." So it could have been her, if her site were closed or deleted after she sent me the request. Or maybe it was just a random, fake, false friend. Who knows? Who can tell?

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