CREEPWATCH - In many respects, the internet is an invaluable facility through which the discerning browser can easily access information and communicate with friends, old and new. To the foolish or naive, however, it contains innumerable potential hazards. I initiated 'Creepwatch' with the intention of alerting users to the lurking menace, providing an updated list of rogue sites or, where possible, stamping them with the circled 'C', a symbol I hoped might became an internationally recognised warning. As is often the case, though, my good intentions were thwarted by a combination of politics and incompetence. Ross McAteer, whom I employed to design and maintain the site, accepted a fee of £300 with which he set up a 'Blog Zone' in my name. I only later discovered that this was a free service and that my journal's design would have taken minutes.

Still unaware of McAteer's skull-duggery, I spent successive evenings establishing Creepwatch's presence in the Blog Zone community, listing suspect journals and leaving warnings on their authors' message boards. As one might expect, I was consequently besieged by hostile messages. Having spent my life confronting ogres, of course, I wasn't even slightly perturbed by their misspelt harangues. The inadvertent discovery, however, of a journal maintained by my niece, Muriel, much of which was devoted to someone she referred to as 'Uncle Schizo' was something else entirely. To be viciously lampooned by someone I had regarded as a protege, for an audience of numbskulls, was such a harrowing experience, that I immediately abandoned the Creepwatch service and left the Blog Zone nonentities to their own pitiful devices.

 

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