Monday, April 11, 2011

Note to developers: not everything needs a website.

“Don’t be the last to know.” Ominous, right? “The last to know what?” you may be wondering. It’s a pretty good tagline as those things go.

This is one of those times of kismet where I find something that reminds me of a previous post. A little while ago, I included a reference to an abomination titled in a blogpost and in an effort to be equitable; I offer this cyber-response for your consideration:

This is a website that masquerades as a public service but it’s nothing of the kind. It’s a way to identify and humiliate cheaters online and inexplicably, humiliate those being cheated upon at almost exactly the same time.

Say you have a friend and you know her husband is having an affair. This kind of knowledge is never pleasant nor welcome. You want to do the right thing but what is the right thing? You can’t quite convince yourself to tell her because it will be sad, and difficult and risky, but she has a right to know, yes? Let’s read what has to say about their purpose and then discuss.

In a world where temptation and lust are facilitated by online media, where does moral accountability fit in? With terms like discreet adultery and cyber affair, how is the truth to be told and where can it be found? Cheaterville was created with one goal in mind, keeping you ahead of the heartache -- even when it hurts. So whether you’re a victim, perpetrator or curious acquaintance, Cheaterville can give you the inside scoop on that special someone before you’re another heartbroken mess writhing in the wake of Ms. Madison or Craig and his lists.

Cheaterville gathers information from a variety of sources using our proprietary advanced search engine algorithm. Our database will show you postings from other Cheaterville members on a specific person and information gathered from the web. If you meet someone and want to know if they are playing it straight, or playing you, Cheaterville will let you know if they are married, have a sordid past, or a crazy ex! If you’re in a relationship and want to make sure your significant other stays on the straight and narrow, Cheaterville can alert you if anything is posted about them – good or bad and free of charge.

Got that? That means you may be off the hook. Instead of confronting the horrible truth face to face, you can send someone a link to Cheaterville and leave them to it.

So we now have a website dedicated to exposing cheaters and measuring our dedication to our relationships. Why not – we have them for everything else. I refused to register for the site because I already get too much spam but I think it works like this:

1. Sign up – for free

2. List specifics about the cheater you want to reveal, including telling the story behind their behavior, posting a picture, and warning others away from the heartbreak that’s surely waiting for them.

You can also search for a cheater by filling in his / her name and location. But even if you don’t have a cheater to report and no one to check on, the site offers some diversions. Read the “Top Cheaterville Posts,” and vote on “Cheater of the Week,” based on the stories posted about their transgressions. The “Post of the Week” carries a $100 prize for the best story about a cheater. Or play “Whack a Cheat” or “Sheen Shoot Out.” (I’m not making this up. I earned 250 points playing “Whack a Cheat.”)

This is America after all so, yes, you can shop on In addition to the T-shirts, mugs, and mouse pads, I found boxer briefs and thongs, a journal and a keepsake box, a gym bag, beach tote and a messenger bag, a stadium blanket, presumably to display at the football game you attend alone, and a Christmas ornament. (A Christmas ornament?)

Aside: I haven’t been on a date to meet someone new in almost thirty years but let me just say this: if I were in a relationship and in an intimate moment, or about to be, I might find myself suddenly distracted and possibly even called away on an emergency if I saw the Cheaterville boxer briefs. Hmmmm. A Cheaterville gym bag in the corner wouldn’t exactly inspire confidence and trust, either.

I’ll give the company this: they built a better mousetrap, or saw a need and filled or even better, created a need and then filled it. They tapped into the power of the web and turned the plot of “The Dilemma” into a website everyone can visit, to post or to check on posts.

The watched something like emerge and succeed in the marketplace and thought: what about the people left behind? Don’t they deserve a site of their own? Where is their justice?

I can't answer that. But here's the bottom line for me. There just isn't much about an adulterous affair, or cheating on your partner that I find entertaining. I don't need to play games or vote on "cheater of the week" to amuse myself.

But I do know we can hop on to look for a date while we’re married or committed and everyone we meet there will understand. We can go on to report a cheater (although presumably not someone we met on or check on someone’s track record.

It’s easy. It’s the way of the world. And sorry - it’s depressing.


Anonymous said...

Are you mad at the way society is heading or do you dislike cheaterville? Infidelity is at a all time high and more than half of marriages fail.The web offers an endless amount of ways you can cheat with no trail for your significant other to find especially if you use a discreet website like ashley madison. Cheaterville is something that needs to be a part of our society at this time and that is why it will flourish

renee said...

Hi -
Am I "mad" about it? No, I'm depressed about it.

However, it is aggravating that a site like Cheaterville somehow tries to inject some "fun" into the act of either reporting or discovering an affair. Probably fair to say no part of this is fun to the person who is watching his or her life fall apart in full view of millions, courtesy of the web.

I don't think we disagree on the why the site exists. But sorry - I don't agree that it "needs" to be part of our society.

And anyone who thinks they are getting away with something by using something like Ashley is delusional.

Why? Couple of reasons:
1. "Hell hath no fury..." etc.

2. The existence of Once you've patronized, can your name and image on be far behind?

Anonymous said...

Maybe "mad" was the wrong word. It depresses me for sure im right there with you but I am a huge proponent for "checks and balances" thats why I love this country. I believe if there is a place to have secret affairs(AshleyMadison)the polar opposite(cheaterville)should shed light on those users.

That is why I feel there is a "need" for cheaterville. For the purpose of having a system of checks and balances.Personaly I am not worried about my picture being published since I havent cheated on a girlfriend since middle school but I do not feel bad for the ones who are published.Having games on the site I assume are maybe just a pick-me-up after reading how a 15 year marriage failed from infidelity.

Finally, maybe you havent experienced a habitual cheater in your lifetime. I know of 2 guys off the top of my head that literally cannot stay faithful to one woman and are actually pretty successful at keeping it secret since they have so much practice. Those are the ones who need to be spotlighted on cheaterville so they cant continue this harmful lifestyle.

renee said...

Hmm... does that mean you'l be posting photos of those guys on soon??

: )

You're right - haven't had the sad experience of being habitually in the company of cheaters or men who lied to me about their whereabouts then left me broken-hearted.

And when I found the need to stray myself - a lifetime ago - I broke up with my boyfriend to date soneone else. And then married the someone else!

Anonymous said...

Good question, the type of girls that those 2 gentlemen date I have no respect for. They typically meet them in strip clubs and their relationships are always an unhealthy mess. Both claim to have no interest in settling down and getting married and their reputations are just that in my inner circle of friends. Now if they decided to be vicious and seek out a self respecting girlfriend that was in it for the long haul and wanted monogamy then your answer is yes....I most certainly would.

If cheaterville is used properly I think it could become a information center used for several positive things. I admire you for doing the right thing and leaving a relationship to begin another rather then being a coward and trying to have your cake and eat it too. Unfortunately most of society doesn't share your decency and hopefully a post on cheaterville will be the hard lesson that they need in order to change their lives.

renee said...

Here's a thought.

I wonder how many people have had an affair, based on little more than a "grass is always greener" scenario, then realized it was a massive mistake. He or she quietly and with extreme remorse set about rebuilding the relationship they trampled on.

Let's imagine further that this was a one-time mistake. That he or she never strayed again.

One more note: Assuming the secret gets taken to the grave, the saved relationship remains virtually untouched by the affair.

So what's the better choice here? Someone stays in the dark with an intact partnership and continues to live out their marriage?

Or someone learns of the affair on and knows, no matter what the outcome, that life will never be quite the same?

Would you want to know about a one-time, meaningless fling? For me, I'm not sure I could survive knowing. No matter how "fleeting" and "meaningless."

Good people do just that everyday and God bless. But that may be because it's private, a reconciliation between two people. When everyone you know is watching the drama unfold, I wonder how it plays out.