An Unpleasant Outing

By on September 3, 2014.

For many people sex blogging and other related forms of erotic creative work is something that they do under a pen name in order to keep the ‘adult’ related side of their work separate from their ‘real life’ identity. The reasons for this are wide and varied but most commonly related to privacy issues that surround work/employers and family.

So you select a pen name, start a free hosted blog, which quickly leads you onto self hosting when you discover that most free platforms are pretty hostile to adult content. You buy domain name privacy to ensure that your real name and address are not broadcast to all and sundry. So far so good. Maybe you post pictures of yourself and maybe you don’t but if you do then you take time to make sure your face is not in them, you possibly even erase any tattoos or birthmarks that might contribute towards you being recognised. You start a Twitter account, you post comments on other people’s blogs, you join Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, all using your pen/blog name. Maybe you even start going to events and meeting people in person.

Of course none of this guarantees your privacy/protection of your real name but the likelihood is that you will probably be OK, that is until you join Facebook because if anything is going to out you in a heartbeat it will probably be this.

If you have a profile in your real name and then you make an additional one in your blog/pen name or vice versa it will only be a matter of hours before Facebook with their ever intrusive cookies and desire to know everything about everyone and, more importantly of all, share that information with everyone, will have connected your two profiles together. If you are unobservant, or like many people, tend to ignore the ‘friends you might know’ suggestions that Facebook constantly gives you, you might even miss it but if not then you will quickly notice that you, are being suggested to you, as someone you might know and exactly the same thing is happening to all your friends on both profiles. Suddenly your Mum, or son or Aunty Brenda is starting to see your pen name profile popping up in their suggested friends list. If you are lucky they will ignore it or not notice it but if you are unlucky then you might just find that every Tom, Dick and Uncle Harry in your family will suddenly be confronted with your sex blogging identity.

This is not a problem restricted to Facebook mind you. G+ also has a bit of a tendency to operate in a similar way but currently I don’t think most people are using that platform to say in touch with family/work colleagues in quite the same way as they are Facebook. Facebook is, in my opinion, the most stalker-y of the social media platforms. You are the commodity and as a result they have worked hard to ensure that not only do they know as much about you as possible but unlike some of the other platforms they are going to attempt to share that information with as many people as possible. The outcome of is that very quickly they will be cross sharing your profiles with you and then eventually with your friends.

I have 2 Facebook accounts; One of them in my family name which I use to stay in touch with family in the USA and to keep an eye on my kids. The other one is my Molly Moore account which I use to promote my work here and connect with a variety of different people both friends and others in the erotic creative industry. Currently Facebook seems to have given up trying to get me to friend myself, I guess my continued ignoring of the suggestion has eventually worked its way into their algorithms but for the longest time ever at the top of the ‘people you might know list’ on my family profile was some sex blogger called Molly Moore as it was on both my children’s profiles too and so I can only assume that the same was true for many of the other people on my family profile. Luckily for me this is not a big issue. My children are aware of my work and pen name and when they asked about it I said not to ‘friend’ me there as that was for my work. So far no one on my family profile has tried to ‘friend’ Molly or even mentioned it to me. The people on that profile fall into 3 groups I think.

1. They know I am also Molly, in fact they are also connected to the sex blogging/erotic world but because we are friends beyond just work we have also shared family profiles

2. They have worked it out and chose to either ignore it/pretend it is not happening or secretly read/view my work. Maybe a guilty pleasure?

3. They are so unobservant they have yet to notice.

As I said I am in a lucky position. I don’t have an employer to worry about. My close family knows about my work (this has not been without its challenging moments mind you but Facebook was not part of that drama) I am not really that concerned about being outed. I am pretty out. However, there is one area that I remain cautious about and that my children’s lives. They are entitled to their privacy and to be able to grow up without having to endure any possible ‘drama’ relating to their Mothers wild ways. I try very hard to make this the case for them but I have also come to realise that there is no way I can cocoon them completely and so we have settled on a happy divide of affording them as much privacy as possibly whilst also giving them the skills and knowledge they need to defend themselves from any possible attempts to use me against them. So far it seems to have worked out OK for everyone to the extent that I recently discovered that my son has in fact outed me to all his friends but that is a story for another post.

Anyway, back to Facebook and more importantly you. So what can you do to protect yourself?

Sadly the only way to truly protect yourself from Facebook – the outing social media platform as I like to call it, is to not use it. If you have a family/real name profile then stick to having only that. If you think that friends, family, or employers discovering your other identity could possibly lead to life altering consequences and repercussions that are unacceptable to you then do not make an additional profile on Facebook. You can still be a successful writer/blogger/erotic creative without it. Yes it will help but if the potential for destroying your life is also in the mix then it just not worth it.

If you still want to do it though, there are a few things you can do to try to limit the chances of this happening.

1. Never stay logged into Facebook when you not are actively on the site, this way you will not click on a Facebook link from somewhere else and view the content from whilst logged into the ‘wrong’ profile.

2. Always and I mean ALWAYS use different browsers to access your different profiles. This will limit Facebooks ability to track your cookies and link your two profiles but it is not a perfect solution as IP addresses can also be an issue

3. Try not to cross friend people as this will only encourage Facebook to connect those people all back to you, as you then ‘Share Mutual Friends’ as far as Facebook is concerned.

4. Install Ghostrey – Visit https://www.ghostery.com/ and Ghostery will offer the plugin you need for the browser you use to visit the site (remember to do this with each of your browsers) Once you install the plugin you will be presented with options for which trackers to block. I defaultly block them all. When you visit a webpage you will have a ghost icon near the top of your browser window and you will get a popup list of all the trackers that have been blocked on the page. Everywhere on the page where a tracker has been blocked you will see a ghost icon with a button that will allow the tracker to be loaded just once or another icon that will allow you to whitelist the tracker permanently. One thing to note is that Ghostery treats outsourced comment systems like Disqus and LiveFyre as trackers (because that is what they really are) So if you really want to see the comments you will have to allow once, or whitelist those comment systems.

Finally, as I already said, the only real way to make sure this doesn’t happen to you is to not have 2 Facebook profiles.

To be honest the fact that there is a need for me to write this piece saddens me because it is a symptom of the world that we live in where writing about or sharing in some way a normal, naturally, healthy part of human adult life is viewed by some vocal people as being shameful and by some real extremists as something they would like to criminalise. How did sex ever become this taboo?

I truly believe that if everyone who led a kinky lifestyle or even just enjoys some kinky sex now and then, along with all the sex bloggers, erotic writers, performers and other erotic creatives all came out en masse the whole landscape of what is and is not viewed as acceptable would be changed overnight. Realistically this is probably not going to happen but I do hope that with an ever-increasing open conversation around sex, sexuality and human desire that slowly things will change. In the meantime I think it is only right that you are given as much information/help as possible to allow you to protect yourself so that you can actually be free to express yourself in any way that you see fit without Facebook fucking everything up for you.

Mollyxxx

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About: 

Molly Moore - Author, Blogger, Photographer, Speaker
Find me in my corner of the internet at Molly's Daily Kiss
and on Twitter @mollysdailykiss

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  1. Lovely, thoughtful and thought-provoking post Molly, but only to expected from you. It is indeed sad that we seem to live in an increasingly puritanical society, ever ready to judge without reason or thought. xx
    fridayam recently posted..HandsMy Profile

  2. With all the recent concerns concerning the Messenger App also I have been thinking that Facebook is in general becoming more and more intrusive in every aspect of our lives by they way they trace and track what we do and how we do it.

    I have been running two facebook accounts until tonight when I have decided to deactivate my Kinky Mia account (I had cut right back on posting there in any case).

    I feel sad that, as you say, that these decisions have to be even considered.

    Thank you also for the link to Ghostery I was not aware of this one and will go along and take a look.

    Great post, but it really is a shame that you have had to do so in this day and supposedly enlighted age!

    ~Mia~ xx
    Mia Sinclair recently posted..First CollarMy Profile

  3. I think that the important thing to remember is that when using a ‘free’ website like Facebook is that we, and the information we share, are the commodities. Anyone who expects privacy from that arrangement is naive as to how Facebook and other free sites work.
    hubman recently posted..Sinful Sunday – Big BlueMy Profile

    • Yes you are absolutely correct. If something is free then YOU and your ‘data’ is the commodity and where that is the case then they will extract as much information from you as they can

      Mollyxxx

  4. You know, I was encouraged to open up a Facebook page in order to promote my blog, but I didn’t want to, mostly because I didn’t think adult content was kosher for facebook. I also didn’t really want my blog being unequivocally linked with my real identity. And I totally get the scary thing. My facebook was suggesting my current owner to me as a friend before I even knew his real name. I can only assume they somehow snagged him from my yahoo messenger contacts, from an email that was only my backup on my profile at the time.

    And that was probably 3 or 4 years ago. It certainly doesn’t make me want to open a page for the blog on facebook, no matter how it might promote my work.
    Simina recently posted..Wicked Wednesday: Talk Dirty To Me (A Poem)My Profile

    • I actually think the Adult Content rules on Facebook are also insane… you can have man nipples in a cartoon/drawing/painting but you can not have female nipples… they are both basically little dots.

      Mollyxxx

  5. As a lawyer who specializes in privacy, especially internet privacy, I’m glad to see you spreading the word about Facebook and the dangers of being outed there. It’s also a good idea to regularly, as in everytime you shut down your computer, wipe your cookies, indluding the flash cookies. As you noted, Ghostery is wonderful.

  6. Indeed, why sex should be a taboo? To me, sex is just part of normal activities, a way for human to continue themselves. Each and everyone of us is an output or the result of sex. If sex is so filthy and sinful, then each and everyone of us are filthy and sinful. Can’t you see? The world out there is full of hypocrites who see sex as a taboo!

    As for privacy matters, in my opinion, if you want total privacy, you have to live a Stone Age type of lifestyle, by dropping the use of all Internet-linked gadgets, because as soon as you are on the Internet, you are already been tracked and monitored by Google, Facebook,the US government and many unknown ones for commercial reasons.

  7. Fantastic post, Molly. I have not looked back since @DomSigns recommended Ghostery. Very tempted to delete my Chintz FB account, to be honest, as I am not sure the benefits of having it outweigh the cons – namely invasion of privacy.

    I’m 50/50 about being out. Possibly unusually, I am with good friends and family – they have so far all taken it in their stride – but not to more tenuous acquaintances. My big debate is always to do with my kids and how my choices might affect them.

    Jane xxx
    Jane recently posted..Sinful Sunday: PinkMy Profile

  8. I create two profiles on my PC – one for story and site and one for me to prevent this. I know my phone still links them together so am more circumspect with that device and had a big problem with LinkedIN.

    Even though I did not give LinkedIn permission to trawl my contacts, it did, and linked them to me. When one of my colleagues used LinkedIn, it came up with “people you may know” and he tried to connect to anyone on that list with one button – that was Anna Sky, Emma and all sorts of people even I hadn’t linked to! 😉

    But I try and keep my phone “clean” now, bar TweetCaster for Twitter and “Email” client for email and keep everything else on the “dirty” profile on my laptops/netbook/tablets
    John recently posted..Story: Featherlight touchMy Profile

  9. Thank you for mentioning Ghostery – that looks really good. I’ve used a combination of Disconnect and Ad-Blocker for a while now, which gets /most/ things – but not everything. Glad to have another weapon!

    xx Dee
    Curvaceous Dee recently posted..Dumpster DivingMy Profile

  10. And this is why I only exist anywhere online as my pen name, and why I can’t friend my own son on facebook (he knows what I do, his friends and, more importantly, their parents, do not). In all honesty, it’s good I am such a recluse in real life, I never even considered a facebook account in my ‘real’ name 😉 You’re right, though, it would be lovely if we could all just be honest without fear of judgment.

  11. Hi Molly, it took me a bit to digest your blog today ok i slept on it to ponder it. And i decided how right you are about the 3 groups of folks. i am in the closet for the most part because of our societal “norms” I wholeheartedly agree with your entire summary of “I truly believe that if everyone …. of what is and is not viewed as acceptable would be changed overnight. ”
    Maybe some day closets will only have clothes in them and not “kinksters” – it is a dream !!!

  12. Thanks so much Molly! Funny thing – our G+ account, facebook account, and WP, and PayPal accounts all got suspended due to content, so, no cross pollination there.
    H.H. recently posted..MegalonymphoMy Profile

  13. I couldn’t agree more Molly, I have no desire to share all my “shit” with Facebook nor do i wish to hide behind a wall either. I personally have the one account with ALL Social Media because there’s nothing i say on there that i don’t say in person. But i can see why the issue arises with people that have a “dark” side and wish to stay fairly anonymous. I only use FB because 97% of my “friends” use it and refuse to go onto twitter full time.

    As always . . . a thought provoking piece 🙂

    Steve Farndale or @SJF102 on twitter 😀

  14. oh you have said a mouthful. Lots of wonderful advice. I know that you have helped others with this type of crisis. My current boss asked me if I was one of the suggestions on his LinkedIn acct. I told him, please with everything Holy NOT to click on any profile with THAT name. I’m safe in that he can’t at work because the of the “locks” on what we can access at work. BUT at his home he could. I often check to see whose IP location, etc so that I can get a rough idea of who is looking at my blog.
    I truly believe that Facebook is evil. I deactivate my “real” one as often as I can. My family knew that I was a little “weird” as they called it, regarding sex. I think they understand it, accept it but just don’t want it in their faces. It really is a shame that you have to write a post like this. I would have never thought that I would have ended up writing what I do, but as long as my spouse knows and has my back I think I can kiss the others off. It’s posts like this that serve as a wonderful reminder for all of us.
    SassyCat recently posted..Silence [WW118]My Profile

  15. Informative post and I hope you post it on elust for the “blogging” section to reach a few more unaware bloggers. As for me, I am so grateful to have met you and heard your presentation at EroticonUSA

  16. I have two Facebook profiles and two Linked In profiles, but I always use two browsers, one for my vanilla side, one for my naughty side. I know this is not fullproof, because I get suggestions to befriend colleagues on my naughty profile and I am pretty sure they get recommendations too. My security settings are quite high, but again, I know this is not fullproof.

    I know I can be outed by these two sites, but most people know about my ‘second life’ as an erotica author and some of them even know about my D/s life. The only things they don’t know is my pseudonym, my website name or URLs to naughty profiles. I know they can stumble on it, and it will probably feel awkward, but at least that won’t be the first time that they hear about my ‘second life’.

    Still, I totally agree with you that it’s better not to have two profiles.

    Rebel xox

    PS: And I will now make a point of it to install Ghostery, as I have been meaning to do so since Eroticon 2014!
    Marie Rebelle recently posted..Silence is golden (10/10)My Profile

  17. Facebook is such a pain in the ass privacy wise and a whole bunch of other ways. Jolynn deleted her personal page she had before her author page since it’s so invasive. I use it for the social media aspect for her books, author stuff, sex blogger stuff, and also to visit with sex blogger folks, authors, and catch up on actual news that I want to hear about. I use my actual name. When we started all this, I wasn’t sure about putting myself out there, but now I’m fine with it. I have authors ask what my name is. So I tell them. People are so used to pen names now that they are not sure until you say something.

    All my family and relatives know, or if they didn’t they know by now. My kids are 25 and 28, and they are ok with it. I’m glad they are grown so I don’t have to worry about everything you gals with younger kids have to right now.

    One of my cousins that lives by me, actually follows my Beauty’s Punishments on Twitter. She’s only said stuff once in a great while about my Facebook posts that came by the way of Twitter, but otherwise it’s fine.

    Jolynn has three more years until she retires, so she’s become a bit more relaxed about putting some pictures out there. She’ll be super happy when she can run right out of there she’ll be doing the jig of joy.
    Beauty’s Punishment recently posted..Summer Spanks Blog Hop Winners #PrizesMy Profile

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  22. That was a fascinating article which I found through Girl On The Net.

    Peter and I have a fairly good way of preserving anonymity, but it does involve being extremely careful which browser we use for our blog and which for real life. We also use two completely separate users on our Windows machines and NEVER forget to use the correct user for any accounts.

    We’ve been blogging about our life and sexual histories since December 2013 and have gradually built up to about 11,000 page views per month, but only have just over a hundred fb friends and about 60 twitter followers.

    Let me know if you ever want to use any of my material or would like a link on the WordPress blog or the website.

    Best,

    • I think building a strong twitter following is important when it comes to building traffic and I would also say being part of the larger blogging community will also help bring you more readers

      Mollyxxx

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