In case you haven’t already heard, some worthless goatfelcher created a script to pull information off of Fetlife and used it to make a searchable database of Fetlife members. Specifically Fetlife members who are female and under the age of 30. Not their real names or non-Fetlife contact information, to be clear, but it’s still creepy as fuck. This shitstain, to quote What the Fetlife Meatlist tells us about BDSM Culture:
claims that he is motivated by the altruistic goal of pressuring Bitlove (the creators of Fetlife) into implementing security fixes to prevent these sort of attacks happening in the future.
Which is obviously a blatant lie. Someone who was not a total cumgolem and actually was interested solely in pressuring Fetlife to improve their security would have created a list of dominant men over 55, or people whose usernames start with Q, or people who listed their role as “Daddy”, or literally anything other than a list of young women. This wankstain has absolutely no altruistic motive, he just enjoys feeling clever and making women feel afraid and exposed. That is literally the only reason to publish women’s information in a way that makes it trivial for creeps to find and harass them. Any and all attempts to defend this obviously reprehensible behaviour in the comments anywhere on my blog will be deleted and banned, don’t go crying that I didn’t warn you. It’s probably a terrible idea to enable comments on this post at all, but I want people to be able to ask questions about internet safety, which I will be talking about next. Actually, fuck it. The internet safety bit will be in the next post and there will be no comments on this one.
Frisky Fairy has also written a post about this issue titled Not Meat, Not Quite a Person: How Fetlife Failed Women Under 30, Mr Pent has one called The Fetlife Meatlist Scandal from a Security Perspective, Shadow-girl has one titled My thoughts on the “Meat List”, just to give a few examples.
If you are under 30 and female, it’s now easier for creepers to find your profile and harass you, but you haven’t necessarily been outed (unless your real name is in your Fetlife handle, which I can’t imagine is common for people who aren’t already out). Your pictures aren’t available outside of Fetlife (well, they’re no more available outside of Fetlife than they are usually), the list doesn’t contain your real name or your phone number or anything. This sucks, it’s obviously not okay and is just one more example of how much many men despise women, but you’re probably not going to end up having an incredibly awkward conversation about you kink with your boss or your family.
Another thing to keep in mind is that bullshit like this is in fact largely preventable. I say largely because a motivated enough attacker is going to be able to get their hands on whatever information they want, but there are a great many things Fetlife could do to make the jizzpaintings of the world work a lot harder to shit on people, and to handle it better when it does happen. For starters, Fetlife’s user ids are sequential, which makes it really easy to run through all of the profiles on the site. As a business, Bitlove (the company that runs Fetlife), may or may not have the time and money to fix their shit, but anyone who says it just isn’t technically possible is completely full of shit.