Some days it feels best to yank the plug from the wall.  When I hear about teens killing themselves on web cams, parents murdering their children for using social sites and adults pretending to be kids in an effort to torment young people online, I want to scream.

And so today, there is word that fake net personas may become illegal.

I work on the Internet and I know its insane. I’ve received hate email and death threats. I’ve had comments come in that are vile, ruthless strings of cuss words filled with wretched hatred. We have parental controls on some computers in the house. I don’t publish my office address. With XBox, my kids can play over the Internet with other friends and I wonder, how do I know for sure the other person playing is someone we know?

My kids have MySpace and Facebook accounts and email. Even with Internet savvy parents here, we can’t always know who they’re talking to. It’s scary as hell. I really strongly dislike predators.

I’m not alone in watching things unfold. One blogger wrote in , When People Abuse Your Social Network Web Site,

What gets me is how the Internet is helping sick people find outlets for their bad behaviors. It’s easy to sound intelligent and place a veil over mental illness. Social conversation is the perfect way to spread hatred, conduct revenge, control conversations through covert editing and playing out every possible drama. There’s always an audience of inexperienced people who can be snared and trapped. There’s always going to be unstable people with no self worth willing to place their lives in the hands of people who merely type words.

I don’t believe the solution is to make anything “fake” a felony. The difference is motive and intent. Marketers that create brands around a made-up persona need to clearly keep reminding people the persona is not real.

We all have to use some personal sense as well. When someone gives you advice, ask yourself if you would want the life of the person giving it to you. If you don’t absolutely know who the person is, take what they write to you with a grain of salt. Don’t trust their pictures. I learned this early on when single and looking for men online. Oh my god, talk about fake! Never ever fall in love with words or a voice on the telephone.

Clearly, the world is still figuring out how to use the Internet. And definitely, people who believe they have the right to tell others how to live think the Internet is a gift from God. Marketers already know that ignorance is bliss. So do politicians.

I’d rather put my anger into education. But I’m not sure what it will take to change human behavior, or the kinds of folks who trampled that man at Wal-mart on Black Friday, or the people that watched the Florida kill teenager himself on the web cam.

In any case, I am “Cre8pc”, aka “Kim Krause Berg”, or the other way around.

Either way, I’m real.

Wanna talk? Discussion broke out at Cre8asiteforums

“Everyone is trying to capture as much information and market share as possible before they get closed down by a law,” writes one contributor.

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Kim Krause Berg’s long background in web design, SEO and usability includes software application functional and user interface testing, accessibility, information architecture and persuasive design. She shared her passion for Usability and SEO through her site and private consulting at Cre8pc for 17 years. Kim founded Cre8asiteforums in 1998. In the fall of 2012 she sold her forums to Internet Marketing Ninjas and retired from private consulting to join their Executive Management team where she continues her work in usability testing, customer experience and conversions design.

My Online Course: Web Site Usability 101


American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIS&T)

Information Architecture Institute

Usability Professionals Association (UPA)