Tag Archives: Genuine


‘Money,’ in July 1964 and according to Lennon and McCartney, ‘Can’t buy love.’

Even today, no amount of money can purchase real and lasting love, nor genuine friendship, nor respect, nor morals, nor basic good manners or common decency.

buy me love1

What it can create, however, is a ready-made online persona, equipped with not only a well established identity, but also an imposing presence that can be difficult to ignore.

If there are people, who for any number of reasons, need to appear to the naive and in some cases vulnerable Internet user, to be popular, knowledgable and more importantly, entirely trustworthy, it can be achieved with very little effort, and of course, some ready cash.

Within minutes of the identity being set up in some cases.

How is that possible ?

And for what reason would anybody do this ?

Well, it appears to be easy enough to buy any number of Twitter followers, likewise establish thousands of website and blog hits and also generate an almost unlimited number of Facebook likes and shares.

All available with a simple payment, to any of the Internet ‘Brokers,’ who have recently emerged to cash in on the stratospheric rise of social networking over the last few years.

From major celebrities to private individuals, global corporations to small startup companies, these methods are being used more and more to establish and expand their online presence.

This appetite to appear as popular as possible in the shortest time, is prevalent on sites such as Facebook and Twitter, and has in turn, spawned an entire industry based solely upon advertising and selling ‘likes,’ ‘hits’ and ‘followers’.

These schemes are made possible by utilising what are known as ‘click farms’, where low-paid workers in poor countries are paid to repeatedly click the Facebook ‘like’ button, view YouTube videos or follow Twitter accounts and retweet specific links, to promote a product or a cause.

Politicians are among the biggest customers of these types of service, as it has been revealed that the US State Department has spent more than £350,000 on boosting its Facebook contingent.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron, as well as notable others in Parliamentary positions, have also come under scrutiny, for using public money to ‘enhance’ and falsely portray their ‘popularity.’

Analysts have gathered data that has shown as many as 45% and 39% of Barack Obama and Lady Gaga’s Twitter followers are bogus, although there has been no suggestion any of those ‘followers’ have been bought.

For anyone wanting to boost their online presence by gaining supporters quickly, they would find it difficult not to locate any number of eager sellers.

A cursory internet search should prove sufficient to reveal masses of websites, offering to boost anyone’s social media, or Internet presence for a flat fee, ranging from a few pounds to many hundreds.

British-based MoveSocial.co.uk offers packages of Facebook likes starting at 500 for £9.99 rising all the way to 100,000 for £749.99.

Its website reassures the customer, the likes are real and “gained using their in-house network and system”.

One Dhaka-based website claims to provide a ‘crowd-sourcing’ platform to help customers ‘improve their social media presence’.

The Website states: “Do you need Facebook fans, likes, followers, event joiners or sharers? We made it as simple as mouse-clicking. Whenever and wherever you need massive workforce to complete petty tasks, call and get it done like magic!”

Experts have said the trade is thriving.

Richard Baxter, chief executive officer of SEOGadget.com, said: “Unfortunately, we suspect it’s a huge business.”

One study estimated that sales of fake Twitter followers could reach £220m, while the financial benefits of selling bogus Facebook likes may be in excess of £120m.

Certain agencies can even cater for a particular taste, like buying likes and followers specifically made up of American girls, aged from 17 to 20-years-old, positively gushing with fake praise and leaving positive comments about a certain product or service.

So it appears that almost anything is achievable online, for a price.

Putting the generation of business aspect aside, there are other reasons why people and organisations may use this method.

Some charities for instance, who need to boost their credibility and appear to be the most deserving of the public’s hard-earned cash, can purchase likes and positive comments, thanking them profusely for their ‘professional and essential’ service.

But, there is a flip side.

There always is.

There are an increasing number of ‘organisations’ and indeed people, setting themselves up as counsellors and advocates of victims of physical and sexual abuse, who are both unqualified and are probably operating under false pretences.

Many survivors of historic child abuse, to use only one example, are turning to the Internet in order to give themselves a voice after many years of being either afraid or prevented from speaking out.

Many of these survivors naturally gravitate towards other survivors and advocates, especially those who have many ‘followers’ and a commanding Internet presence that appears on the surface to be, both genuine and comes highly recommended.

After all, their profiles speak for themselves, with glowing testimonials among the comments from hundreds of survivors, they appear to have helped.

A Twitter profile with thousands of followers can’t be dodgy in any way can it ?

Surely not.

If the truth is told, many people who are shopping for a product or service, look no further than what they see on the packet, and will buy on the strength of that alone, regardless of what the ingredients contain.

And many would not dare question anybody with such an imposing Internet presence I shouldn’t think.

A Facebook page with thousands of ‘Friends’ and ‘likes’ has got to be the real deal don’t you think ?

Blogs with hundreds of thousands, even millions of hits, and hundreds of praiseworthy and supportive comments should be a safe place to share their stories, because after all, it states on the main page that the web administrator always put the survivors first, and they appear to be supported by well-known charities who even have a ‘Donate’ button in a prominent position.

Who could fail to feel safe, sharing the most intimate details with an ‘Online Journalist,’ or abuse ‘Campaigner’ or ‘Award Winning Filmmaker’, even though they conveniently fail to mention what type of award that was actually bestowed on them ?

After all, they have thousands of Internet likes, shares, followers and dozens of survivor testimonies, right there on their websites, to reassure even the most suspicious, nervous and vulnerable of survivors.

Are they a registered Charity ?

What is done with the information shared, where is it stored, and who else has access to it ?

Do they have an office ?

Is there even a telephone number where you can talk to an actual person ?

Despite the lack of any of all these most basic details, many people are still fully prepared to trust them, and with the most intimate and personal details, simply on the strength of the amount of followers they have.

I believe the fictional Rattenfänger von Hameln, the Rat-Catcher, or Pied Piper of Hamelin, used a similar approach, on the Townspeople who failed to honour their obligation.

‘Twitter have claimed that false, bogus or spam accounts make up less than 5% of its total active users. According to the Twitter terms and conditions, the buying and selling of followers is banned, with culprits facing suspension if caught.’

NOTE: There are distinct ways of identifying these bogus and fake accounts, which I will be outlining in a later article on the Outlaw.


It appears that questions/accusations are starting to be aired on various blogs, social networks and forums, in regard to Operation Pallial only focussing on abuse that occurred in North Wales.

The latest series of arrests have also been called into question, as it has also been alleged that these should have been addressed during the original investigation by the North Wales Police.

I believe that this time, the investigation is being led by statements from genuine witnesses, who previously, for whatever reason, have not had the opportunity of speaking out, and who’s only incentive is to see the real guilty parties punished and justice finally being served.

Why would I say that?

Maybe the following paragraphs, transcribed from ‘The Secret of Bryn Estyn’, may help.


“Whilst I was in the queue at Somerfields supermarket in X, I recognised a person in the next queue but was not sure of his name. I noticed that he recognised me too and he came over to me when I was at the kiosk and said ‘Liz’ and reminded me that he was John (a resident of Bryn Estyn in the early 1980’s when I worked there as a Residential Child Care Officer). He asked me how I was and he said he’d like to talk to me outside and would wait for me to finish in the queue. When I went out he called me over and invited me to sit in his car as I was obviously cold. I got into a top of the range Land Cruiser.

John told me how he had ‘jumped on the bandwagon’ and said he had received £91,000 and still had to go for a further medical before the last instalment would be released. He said that he had alleged that he’d had ‘the arse shagged off me’ and ‘as we didn’t jump on the bandwagon until later it was easy because so many statements had been made and people convicted’.

When I asked who he meant by ‘we’, he said Jack O’Neill, ‘but that Jack O’Neill had actually been abused elsewhere’. He said that John Smith Solicitor had dealt with everything for him as he had all his life.

He wanted to know how I was and Rob Jones and Dave Birch in particular and said if there was anything he could do to help he would. I said it was obviously difficult for Dave Birch as he was one of the 28 named in the press as a danger to children and he again asked me to let him know if he could do anything in support. He said that he thought we had been very good to him at Bryn Estyn and Birch in particular….. He said that he hadn’t believed what Birch had been accused of in court and he thought that Bryn Estyn had been a great place. He said it was ‘doing his head in’ reading about it in the papers and none of it appeared the same as his memories. He said I must be finding it difficult as some people think all who worked there were perverts and all the boys, had been ‘shagged rotten’. He didn’t want anybody thinking that of him. He said he thought ‘they’ll destroy you in work’, and if there’s anything he can do to help he will.

I asked him if he’d seen the ‘Lost in care’ report and said that if it would help he could come and see the office copy. He said he didn’t want people seeing him come into our offices and I said if he phoned my direct line I would meet him and take him straightaway into one of the rooms which are also used by housing and the registrar. He wanted my home phone number but I told him how, obviously, I was very wary of people and their motives these days and only gave him my work number. I told him that he could phone anytime as he said it helped to talk to someone who knew the truth.

He went on to ask if I thought all the abuse alleged against Peter Howarth had occurred. He said he didn’t think so and how everyone used to fight to get on the flat list but he was never allowed.

I said that was because he was so naughty and he agreed….

He gave me his mobile phone number and asked me to give it to Dave Birch and tell him to phone him to see if he could help. When I said I needed to go as I’d only popped out for two minutes to get my lunch he said, ‘Yes you’d better go, you never know who’s watching with a camera these days.’

So, taking that into consideration, assuming at least part of it is true, and it being only one example of many, many similar ‘anomalies’, some entirely new questions almost certainly need to be asked.

I must also assume that any new investigation into historic child abuse allegations in North Wales, especially in relation to the Bryn Estyn Children’s Home may prove to be very uncomfortable indeed, for certain people who were involved in the original investigation.

On both sides….

“Where there is an original doubt, however insignificant it may appear, questions will always remain” – Jimmy Jones

“One of the factors, however, which makes this modern witch hunt uniquely terrible is that it has claimed, and continues to claim, two sets of victims.For it is not only those who are falsely accused who suffer anguish and misery.

Among the other victims are all those who genuinely have been abused.

Because of the high number of false allegations which have been made in the last thirty years, the veracity of almost all allegations of abuse may begin to be called into question. As a result many people who have made truthful accounts of having been abused in children’s homes, of rape, or of incest, may find that they are disbelieved or may fear that they might be.

They may feel, in consequence, that they have been robbed of their own integrity and their own history.

That, too, is a tragedy and we should not underestimate the distress which such disbelief can cause.”

Richard Webster (1950 – 2001)