Cheaterville.com is a website that attempts to "preserve fidelity" by allowing users to anonymously "out" cheaters. Sounds messy, right? It is — and powerful, too.
The site, which broke the news that cheating cheater Jesse James had cheated on Kat Von D, has almost 400,000 Facebook fans and scores an average of 10,000 new users every week. Although some (somewhat dubious) studies show that men cheat more often, 81% of the alleged cheaters posted on the site are women. More surprising is that a whopping 40% of their outers are other women.* Why?
"It's fascinating," said Cheaterville founder James A. McGibney, a former Marine Corps member who started the site after one of his buddies' wives had an affair and he thought "it would be cool if there was a website where we could put her on blast." He said he expected the vast majority of alleged cheaters to be men, and isn't exactly sure why the site appeals more to the opposite sex — who, McGibney believes, are "much smarter" than men. "And I'm not just saying that to appease my wife," McGibney said. "Cheaterville proves women are more intelligent. If a guy finds out his girl is cheating, he usually writes something like, 'I hate her.' But when a woman posts, it's like a CSI investigation come to life. They're so thorough — they include videos, emails, texts, everything."
Are the sites female users "thorough" — or more vindictive? "I think the women who out other women are fed up with the fact that they are faithful to their significant others, while their friends are not — and they're disgusted," McGibney said. Cheaterville allows users to anonymously email posts as well as simply write them up on the site, so concerned parties can easily alert the potentially-cheated upon. Registers have to specify their gender when they subscribe to the site, so McGibney was able to email me a few posts he knew were written by women about women. For example, one post entitled "Heart Juggling Harlot", came with an email attachment as "proof":
An aspiring teacher, Ann has been with her boyfriend, Andrew, for nearly a decade. Unfortunately, Miss Shifty Squires has been seeing one of Andrew's former high school classmates on and off since 2010.
To her occasional bedmate's dismay, Ann is an attention needy enigma whom only appears when she's feeling emotionally destitute. Soothing her mentally and physically, Ann is satisfied with his touch for a brief period before she goes running back to her boyfriend. Keeping him hidden from family and friends, Ann constantly puts her lover through the ringer, giving him false hope that she'll be leaving Andrew.
When all is said and done, two men are poorly mislead by Squire's rotten antics.
Cheaterville doesn't validate the stories — that would be nearly impossible — but McGibney isn't worried about false rumors. One of their advertisers, Truth in Posting, provides users with the opportunity to have offensive posts reviewed by a third-party arbitrator — for a fee. Calculating, much? No, McGibney says, just fair. "There's no other option. This is the Internet." Users can also join McGibney's new site, Karmaville, and complete "cheating rehab" courses, after which they can get their posts removed and their reputations restored. They'll also receive access to Cupidville, McGibney's dating site, if they're able to reform. Sensing a theme?
McGibney points out that the media hullabaloo they've received regarding privacy rights is "ironic" because "the real victims are the cheated-upon." But a good number of Cheaterville posts seem dubious at best. Take the photo of an older, pleasant-seeming woman, who is accused of being an "Older horny married cougar/realtor who cheats with her clients who happen to be married.she has unprotected sex with them in her car in church parking lots. she likes to send naked pictures of herself. .watch out!" That rumor could be true, we suppose. But it doesn't sound like it.
Although Cheaterville isn't really that different from the rest of the web, which has been providing nasty people with a plethora of virtual ways to be nasty to each other for years, the site operates on the basis that cheating is 100% wrong, all of the time — so wrong that even the most dubiously-accused cheaters deserve to be vilified on the off chance the rumors about them are correct. Relationships are complicated, and just because one person believes in a certain concept of fidelity doesn't mean that everyone does. What if Andrew is unfaithful himself, or if he acts in some horrible way that justifies Ann's actions? Not that I'm one to judge, because I don't know anything about these people. Cheaterville may have partnered with the Jersey Shore crew for an anti-cheating PSA, but not everyone chooses to go on reality TV.
*Note: Cheaterville only rolled out a gay/lesbian feature a few weeks ago, so all of the statistics involve people who identify as straight.