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Ask Amy: Fake Social Media Accounts Haunt Me

Dear Amy, I’ve met a great guy. We’ve been on six dates and I’m taking things very slowly.

This is the first time I’ve dated anyone in the seven years since my ex-husband and I got divorced.

The real reason I’m taking it easy is because a person who wants revenge on me created fake social media accounts to harass me.

It’s all over the internet, but all these posts and references are under my old married name.

I am working on officially changing my name back to my pre-marriage name, and have tried to contact internet sites, to no avail.

I’d love for my ‘new guy’ to never find out, and so far I don’t think he has.

Getting my birth name back should solve some of my problems, as you have to dig deeper to uncover defamatory information. It won’t show up in a quick search.

Should I tell him about this or wait until we’re in an exclusive, monogamous relationship?

I am afraid to tell him now, since the relationship is still new.

I hope that once you get to know me better, it will have less of an impact.

What do you think?

– On the fence

Dear On the Fence, I suggest waiting until you are more confident to bury this bullying online.

One reason you should wait is: if you report this now, the man you’re dating might (out of curiosity) search for these fake accounts and inadvertently make things worse for you by sharing, commenting, or trying to fix it.

As you know, any traction on social media accounts can kick-start the algorithm and bring the material to more readers.

The person who created these accounts could also take notice of any traction and renew this vendetta.

I hope you are seeking legal and police advice on what further steps you can take.

Dear Amy, My 62-year-old brother just announced that he has been in a long-term relationship with a 26-year-old woman.

Her adult children (ages 29, 32, and 36) have known her for over two years, have been in family therapy, and still do not accept this woman into their lives. My brother has been divorced for years and has a history of dating very young women.

While I’m pretty bummed, it’s ultimately not my choice as I won’t be spending time with him/them.

My parents, now in their 80’s, don’t know what to do.

They feel the age difference is wrong and are suspicious of the young woman’s motives.

My brother recently showed up at her house and left her sitting in the car while visiting our parents; when my mom found out about this, he snapped out of her and gave her a hug because he felt sorry for her.

We all don’t know how to handle this situation.

Should we accept it and pretend it’s not creepy?

Or should we continue to refuse to accept her into the family?

– Family Dysfunction No-Fun

Dear No-Fun, It’s illuminating that despite how rude your brother was in making his partner wait in the car, your mother was polite and kind enough to meet her and greet her with a hug.

No wonder your mother is suspicious of this young woman’s motives. Only someone with a powerful ulterior motive (or very low self-esteem) would put up with that level of rudeness from a partner long-term.

However, I suggest you behave as your mother did. Behave in a polite and friendly manner. Don’t pass judgement. Do not form alliances. Do not banish this younger fellow to punish your brother.

None of you need to “do” anything or handle anything.

You don’t need to understand your brother’s behavior, or his girlfriend’s. So yeah, I guess I’m saying you should accept your brother’s partner and pretend it’s not creepy.

Dear Amy, Your response to “Distracted Concertgoer” about fussy babies in a concert audience was so off the mark! In addition to insulting audience members who want to be able to hear the music, you described community bands as organizations where amateur musicians “dust off the instruments in the back of their closet.”

How insulting!

– Upset

Dear Upset, I guess I was actually describing my own long history of performing with a local community band and choir, which really is an experience straight out of “The Music Man.”

I didn’t mean to insult my fellow musicians.

(You can email Amy Dickinson at askamy@amydickinson.com or send a letter to Ask Amy, PO Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @asking either Facebook.)

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