Problems with the "Bogus AWAA Fan Page"..

by OUTLAW 447 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • EntirelyPossible

    My god, what an absolute and utter trainwreck.

  • Black Sheep
  • AnnOMaly
  • usualusername

    Is it just me but several AAWA threads seem to have disappereared...

  • zed is dead
    zed is dead

    I am glad to see that Barbara Anderson resigned from the group. I know she is a sensitive person, and does not cowtow to group dynamics. She proved that in Brooklyn, and with other groups that were driven by egomaniacs.


  • wasblind

    Is it just me but several AAWA threads seem to have disappereared..._____Usualusername

    I checked the topics postes page , they're still up

  • zed is dead
    zed is dead

    The "spin" on what happened from the AAWA link above:

    "Fears over Facebook

    One of the most stressful aspects of our launch was the confusion that arose over Facebook – a complex and foreboding site to even some of the more internet-savvy web surfers. To begin with, we were very excited to see our secret (invite-only) AAWA Facebook group filling at such a tremendous rate. A select group of AAWA’s friends who had been invited to set up the group by the board members added their own friends (about 50), but this soon snowballed. As new members joined, these recommended other friends to join, and so on. In just a few hours, AAWA’s Facebook group had swelled to over 1,300 members. The fear was – could some of these new members be faders who don’t want to be associated with our cause for fear of being “outed,” and were such ones in any danger?

    To complicate matters still further, an over-excited Facebook-user took it upon himself to set up his own group in AAWA’s name that was less private than our official group – prompting yet more concerns over privacy. Once alerted to this situation, we contacted the individual involved and he kindly removed our name and logo from his page in cooperation with our request. Even though we acted quickly, the unthinkable question was pondered – might people have been harmed by all this?

    The unfolding drama soon came to the attention of posters on (JWN) who, having already voiced their disagreement with other aspects of our organization, were now justifiably concerned at the possibility that individuals who are still Witnesses (or “faders”) might be being “outed” due to AAWA’s facebook activity. Before long, an official AAWA apology and explanation of what was going on was requested by members of JWN. The leader of our Technical Team, John Hoyle, responded by issuing a 1,700 word statement, including an apology from AAWA, to any who had been negatively affected by these events.

    Despite our apology, complaints continued to gather pace. In particular, certain JWN posters demanded that we reveal the identity of the person who set up a false AAWA group on Facebook, and who had been adding members to this less-secure group without AAWA’s approval or knowledge. It was expressed by some that because this person had potentially breached the privacy of faders then his own privacy should also be breached.

    On behalf of AAWA, I made it clear on JWN that we are against such practices as an organization, but that if aggrieved individuals who have been personally and negatively affected by any “outing” could contact us by email, we would cooperate fully with any such inquiries. After making this offer, only one email was received by our Technical Team – and it was from someone who just wanted the information without having been adversely affected personally.

    Unsatisfied with this response, the forum then began demanding that AAWA take down its 1,300+ member secret group. The argument was that, because the privacy of the group members was supposedly in doubt, we were putting any potential faders within our group at risk of being outed and disfellowshipped. AAWA’s board investigated this claim, but soon discovered that because AAWA’s facebook group is set to “secret,” the identity of its members cannot be viewed by non-members. This means that if you are a fader, and you were mistakenly “joined” to this group by one of your friends without your knowledge, nobody would know about it but you and the other members who have themselves been joined.

    In addition to its Facebook group, AAWA also has a Facebook page – but this is effectively just an advert that people can post messages on – it is not a group. You can only “like” it (not join it) – and nobody can force you to like something on Facebook against your will. At the time of writing this article, AAWA’s page has only 272 likes. Each one of these likes represents a Facebook user who now has AAWA’s logo advertised on the news feed of his or her page as something that he or she “likes.” However, as already expressed, such persons will have “liked” AAWA’s Facebook page because they chose to, and not because someone forced them to.

    Of course, there is still a risk, albeit unlikely, that on joining (or being joined to) AAWA’s “secret” facebook group, an individual who is a Witness might be brought into contact with another member he or she knows who is also a Witness. However, (1) the other Witness would be in exactly the same predicament, and have no justifiable grounds to judge you when they are in the same position as you are, and (2) this is a risk that you run on all social media and forums when operating with a profile and divulging personal information, including forums like JWN (although admittedly the chances of instant recognition are reduced on JWN through the use of pseudonyms and non-personal avatars by the majority of users).

    In any case, when considering these issues, we would always recommend that if someone is sensitive about their privacy (and the possibility of being “outed” as an “apostate”) it would really be best for them to not be using their true identity and personal information on Facebook to connect with like-minded ones in the Ex-JW community.

    AAWA recommends that Witnesses avoid any activity or “friending” of anyone on Facebook that could put them in a dangerous position

    It is also important to stress that friends of those working directly with AAWA accounted for only about 50 out of those who were added to AAWA’s official group. The rest were referred into the group by other invitees during the “snowball” effect. So you see, the line soon becomes blurred as to whether, if someone gets added to a group without their consent, the blame lies with the persons (or company) who set up the group, or with the friend who invited them into it against their wishes.

    Even so, to make doubly sure that AAWA group members are informed of all these privacy issues, Bo Juel Jensen, AAWA’s Head of Social Media, made a post on our Facebook group reminding members that they should leave if they have concerns over privacy without any ill feelings on our part. Some have heeded this instruction and left, and have subsequently been replaced by a roughly corresponding number who have joined, or been referred in.

    AAWA has rightly expressed its most sincere apologies for any distress caused to those who were added to our group indiscriminately against their will, either by AAWA workers or friends of AAWA workers. One or two such individuals on JWN have complained of being “outed” by being added to AAWA’s group without their consent and therefore becoming visible to its members– and AAWA was deeply saddened to learn of this. However, as distressing as this is, one is only truly “outed” if one’s identity falls into the wrong hands.

    To put it more plainly, in order to be “outed” on a secret group you must first be recognized by an individual also on that group who has the reason and/or desire to expose you, or to pass your details on to others. Without that being the case, if you leave the group quickly enough, you have actually experienced a “near miss” rather than having any actual harm inflicted against you. Panic and distress has been caused for which the person or persons responsible for adding you should accept responsibility and apologize, but without the element of “recognition,” the catastrophe of being “outed” has been averted.

    With that in mind, as of today not a single person has contacted AAWA having suffered any negative pressure from Witnesses for being seen momentarily on our group. This is a huge relief to everyone at AAWA, but we are not resting on our laurels – lessons must be learned. Therefore, we will continue to be careful and take measures to ensure that members are only added according to our internal protocols. We will not be publicly revealing all of these protocols, because that would obviously make things easier for those who seek to enter our group with bad intentions. However, one of the things we are now doing is verifying by private message EVERYONE who requests to become a member of our group before adding them. In this way, it is impossible for someone to be added to our group without their knowledge. And of course, our group security settings are and always will be of the highest level offered by Facebook .

    Amidst this series of events, it has been saddening to observe certain members of the Ex-JW community, particularly those on JWN, passionately attempting to ridicule us and undermine our efforts, even though (1) we have apologised for any mistakes on our part, (2) nobody seems to have actually been harmed, (3) no one is in the process of being harmed, and (4) we are essentially on their side, sharing the same objectives related to the Watchtower. Despite this, we won’t be allowing any undue negativity to distract us from our important work of setting up an organization that can pursue the Watchtower over its damaging policies, and render assistance to those in need."

  • zed is dead
    zed is dead

    No comment on their "force-adding" faders to their site. They deflect blame to individual users, and to the bogus site.

    Well, the bogus site did not force-add anyone to AAWA, that was an internal problem that was never properly addressed. It could have been nipped in the bud, by deleting the original site, and starting over. It would have just been a hiccup to the organization. They could have regained respect by doing so, and showed humility and contrition.

    Instead they blame others. They know of no one hurt by their actions.

    There could be many people hurt by this breach of confidentiality that don't even know it yet! How long does it take for elders to set up an "investigation" committee? How many people are rare Facebook users that may not even know that this crap is on their timeline? It should have been dealt with immediately.

    This PR release reminds me of They will tell ex-JW's all they need to know!


  • Tylinbrando

    Zed, I see no "spin" it was a candid timeline.

    Two areas you are mistaken:

    1. Barbara did not resign from AAWA, only as VP.

    2. I was added to a "fans" facebook group that was mimicking the Official AAWA group. That "fan's" page at the time had AAWA logos all over it and appeared all over my news feed. Several of my Facebook friends made comments to this fact (some of them current and active JWs). Upon realizing the group was not the Official Secret AAWA group I removed myself. Shortly after that "fan's" group page changed it's name and graphics.

  • flipper

    ZED is DEAD- Thanks for posting this information. It really is spin control. I'm glad to hear Barbara Anderson resigned from the group as well. She's a classy lady and would not tolerate putting people in jeopardy. She is a well respected person who as you stated won't allow herself to be cowtowed by group dynamics.

    This little quote brought back a flashback for me , " It is also important to stress that friends of those working directly with AAWA accounted for only about 50 out of those , but this soon snowballed . The rest were referred into the group by other invitees during the " snowball " effect. " So that changes everything right ? No damage whatsoever. Not.

    WT Society uses those same tactics shifting the blame to JW rank & file for the WT leaders indiscretions.

    As you stated ZED - How do they REALLY know how many have been damaged in their lives by this ? They claim hardly anybody but I know of several myself who have already come on the JWN board upset that they were added and now they have to scramble around trying not to get outed. So WHO is held responsible for any potential damage in these people's lives from AAWA leaders mistakes ? Nope. The people who end UP being responsible for it are the victims- the ex-JW's who were mistakenly added to the association in the first place. THEY are the ones who will have to suffer personal negative repercussions for AAWA's lack of attention to this early on by them not taking the Facebook site down and starting over. Which by the way is ALSO how the WT Society does things- puts a lot of hell bent blathering information out there and lets the cookies crumble where they may laying blame on JW's rank & file's lack of faith for " not understanding " . I guess it's kind of the same here. Thanks for posting this info

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