Love Triangle! Hacking! Deceit! WTF?
January 14, 2017 5:17 PM   Subscribe

Did my ex-girlfriend hack into my Facebook Messenger account to get details about my current budding-relationship to try to fabricate an email to try to derail it? Help me analyze the IP/login evidence as well as real-world considerations as I figure out who the liar is, please!

Yesterday, my ex-girlfriend (Woman A, with whom I am on good terms) told me that a girl from my past with whom I have been communicating and exploring a reconciliation for the past month (Woman B), wrote her an unsolicited email, talking about me and revealing many personal details about me and what has been going on between us (Woman A and Woman B have had some encounters in the past, and Woman B knows that Woman A and I had been an item). I had not revealed the fact that I have been communicating with Woman B to Woman A. Woman B has done some obsessive things in the past, and I believed that she wrote this email, so I called Woman B and expressed my disappointment and anger with this behavior.

Woman B vehemently denied to me sending Woman A this email. Woman B and I had planned to spend this weekend together, and Woman B asked why she would send this email and jeopardize our weekend together (which we had decided on two days ago). I told Woman B that if she were lying about sending the email, that this would end our budding relationship forever. I just told her to come clean and we could work it out but she doubled down and completely denied having sent Woman A an email.

I asked Woman A for a copy of this email, but Woman A said she bounced the email back, eliminating her copy of this, so she has no proof. In the meantime, Woman A says she is going to try to get a copy of the email from her IT department this coming week. But Woman A did convey to me a lot of the details of this supposed email, much of which are details that only Woman B and I have shared through our communications over the past month, almost all of which have been through Facebook Messenger.

I contacted Woman B, ready to end our relationship forever. Woman B said that my Facebook Messenger account must have been hacked because she did not send the email and would have no incentive to jeopardize our budding relationship by contacting my ex-girlfriend (I inferred that Woman B would have sent this just to sort of mark her territory to Woman A and as a little F-U to her, gloating about having me). Woman B has done obsessive things in the past, but she has always admitted to them. Not a pathological liar as far as I can tell. I mean, why would she send it and deny it if she knew that there would probably be physical proof of it?

Woman B pleaded with me to see if my Facebook account had been hacked. She said if not, then to end things with her, but just to check, because everything that Woman A had told me contained details from the communications between Woman B and myself from Messenger.

So I clicked on “Download a Copy of Your Facebook Data.” Under the Security section, I went through all of my active sessions. Note that I hadn’t changed my password in 3 years (stupid. I know). There were 25 active sessions (before I changed my password last night and ended them all). I checked the location of each IP address. The location of one of those IP addresses from which there was an active session was from a small town in a different state, where Woman A lives.

Here’s what it showed:
Created: Saturday, July 16, 2016 at 3:14pm PDT
Updated: Friday, January 13, 2017 at 5:53pm PST
IP Address: 76... [redacted]
Browser: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_8_5) AppleWebKit/600.4.10 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/6.2.4 Safari/537.85.13
Cookie: ...nFUe

I know this is from Woman A’s computer, because I know that I was at her house this past July 16 (the date where it says “created”), and I know that I used Facebook from her computer. I wasn’t on anyone else’s computer on this day in this town. I must have forgotten to log off (stupid again). And it says updated yesterday, less than an hour before I downloaded my data.

Under Account Activity, it says:
Session updated
Friday, January 13, 2017 at 5:53pm PST
IP Address: 76... [redacted -- the same IP address as above]
Browser: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10_8_5) AppleWebKit/600.4.10 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/6.2.4 Safari/537.85.13
Cookie: ...nFUe

Seems like incontrovertible evidence that Woman A is hacking into my account and got those details of our relationship from Messenger and pretended that there was an email sent and used details gotten from this hacking? Maybe.

However, this is a big deal. One of these women is a psycho stalker pathological liar and needs to be removed from my life to protect me from danger and insanity down the line. It’s a horrible feeling to have two women telling me that the other is a liar and not knowing whom to believe. I have to get this right. One one hand, I know that Woman B has been obsessive and stalkery. But on the other hand, there is this evidence of activity from Woman A’s IP address onto my account yesterday.

Let me try to offer alternative explanations to exonerate my ex-girlfriend and friend (Woman A), who has always behaved in a trustworthy and honest manner (before now, potentially). There is no other record of any other account activity from when I logged in to Facebook on her computer last July to yesterday, about an hour before I downloaded the Facebook data (this was before I confronted Woman A, who calmly, yet emotionally, denied having ever looked into my account or making up an email). And in my heart I believe her. It’s just that there is this evidence that I can’t just discard.

But what was happening an hour before I downloaded the data yesterday? Facebook recorded account activity then. But at no other time in almost 6 months? If Woman A had hacked in, wouldn’t there be lots of evidence of every time she supposedly looked into my account over the past days and weeks? Could Facebook just present the most recent account activity? It makes no sense that there was zero activity on the account from Woman A’s IP address after July 16, but then something happened yesterday an hour before I downloaded the information. WTF? This was after the alleged “email” was sent. Either it was an unbelievable coincidence, or FB is just showing me the most recent activity. And I downloaded this data before I changed my password -- in the data it indicates that the most recent password change was in 2014, so the password change could not have affected why there was activity from Woman A's computer yesterday evening.

Could this just be passive communication between the FB server and the cookie that I created in July when I logged into her account (I’m not a tech expert so be nice if this makes no sense)?

I could see how Woman A would have faked an email, though. If she were hacking into my account, she would have seen on Thursday night that Woman B and I had planned to meet up this weekend and then the very next morning contacted me alleging an obsessive email to try to derail a romantic weekend between Woman B and myself (if that’s what happened, it worked. I postponed the weekend yesterday night indefinitely, though amicably).

It’s a horrible feeling knowing that if I blow this decision on who to believe, there will be one devastated human being, and one psycho liar who will think I am a gullible fool.

This is a big deal, friends, I have to choose whom to eliminate from my life. One is a pathological liar and one is telling the truth. Please help me.
posted by fenwaydirtdog to Technology (41 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
You don't have to choose. You should eliminate them both.

Woman A hacked into your FB account. Cut her out of your life.

Woman B is "obsessive and stalkery" and you don't trust her enough to believe she didn't have something to do with this even though you have no evidence she did.

I'm sorry, why are you conflicted about this? Why waste time trying to figure out who dunnit when you could spend time with someone who doesn't cause this amount of drama in your life?
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 5:23 PM on January 14, 2017 [91 favorites]

What does Women A mean when she says she "bounced the email back"? What program does she claim she used for this, and regardless anything I can figure out that would do something similar wouldn't delete the email forever unless she chose to, which would be a really freakin' weird thing to do with that email if she received it.

But I agree wholeheartedly with the thorn bushes have roses. These women, regardless of what happened in this specific instance, are both toxic and bad for you. There are a lot of people in the world who will not be toxic and bad for you. Give yourself room to find them.
posted by brainmouse at 5:28 PM on January 14, 2017 [8 favorites]

"Please help me."

1. Change all your passwords.
2. Take a month's break from dating. I would also take a break from social media, but that's just me.
posted by Prof Iterole at 5:34 PM on January 14, 2017 [52 favorites]

Woman A said she bounced the email back, eliminating her copy of this, so she has no proof

That's bullshit and I would disbelieve her just based on this line.

Could Facebook just present the most recent account activity?
Yes. I just downloaded my facebook data and it shows about six session updates for the last year, and I've been continuously logged in on at least three computers for all that time.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 5:36 PM on January 14, 2017 [13 favorites]

I am not very sophisticated when it comes to IT but I have been using e-mail for a long time. I've never heard of "bouncing an e-mail back" and eliminating all record of it, and that seems like a very odd thing for Woman A to do if she planned to raise the issue with you. Why would she eliminate "evidence" to support her "case" to you? It does not make sense, and like the poster above, I'd be very suspicious of her story for this reason alone.

Frankly, both of these women sound like drama and bad news, but Woman A seems to be the immediate problem. If you insist on sticking with Woman B, keep your eyes wide open.
posted by rpfields at 5:56 PM on January 14, 2017 [10 favorites]

I have to get this right.

dump 'em all and let God sort it out

but p.s. if you stay on friendly or at least sociable terms with enough exes over enough time, two or more of them will eventually make friends with each other and talk about you with or without your permission. clearly there are all sorts of shenanigans and nonsense happening here but if you want a relationship with a woman who doesn't confide in other women who also know you too well, find somebody who doesn't already know everything and everyone.
posted by queenofbithynia at 6:10 PM on January 14, 2017 [3 favorites]

I looked it up and apparently bouncing back (spam) e-mail is a thing.

However, I do agree with the opinions above. Drama may sometimes feel thrilling, like detective work, but it isn't that. It's just drama.
posted by ipsative at 6:14 PM on January 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Email bouncing as I know it is pretty old school, and I am not aware of any mail applications that support it. Used to be you could bounce a mis-sent email to someone else without it being obvious (at first) that it hadn't come to them directly. Bouncing is like forwarding email, but it doesn't change the email or the original sender. I think it'd probably be easy to deceive someone with bouncing, and so that's probably why it's not supported.

The kind of spam bouncing that ipsative is talking about is more of an email rejection message, where the email reply indicates that the server couldn't do anything with the email that had been sent. Pretty cool that this can be simulated, I hope successfully. However, in any case, the mail would be captured and put in the client's spamtrap or trash.

Change your passwords. Enable 2FA on all accounts. Woman A didn't hack your account; you let her in to your account by accident, and she couldn't resist the temptation of being able to read your private activity -- she doesn't have to keep going into your account, but rather fail to log you off. So, both of you made some human mistakes. Also, think hard about what else you use FB to log into. Dating sites/apps? Forums? If she's in one, she's in them all.

I think the alleged email is probably BS, though, to cover for why she knows things (no point in wondering why she felt the need to probe you about it-- she was spinning her wheels about you for some reason).
posted by Sunburnt at 6:27 PM on January 14, 2017 [9 favorites]

If B had sent the email I would expect details you weren't aware of, details of conversations/encounters NOTmentioned on messenger, and an embellishment/lie or two. I vote it was Woman A that lied and in your final communication with her you can let her know that her actions have not affected your weekend plans. And let woman B know you trust and believe her.
posted by saucysault at 6:28 PM on January 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

I appreciate, and agree with, everyone's input on dumping both people and eliminating drama from my life. That's really good advice. Thank you for the dose of reality. But I would still like to know if my ex-girlfriend (Woman A) was hacking me. I spent roughly three years of my life with her and as I go through life it would be nice to know the truth about her -- if she betrayed me and violated my trust. I would never consider hacking into someone's email or FB and I'm just trying to get a handle on whether I was wrong about her for 3 years. She was always minimal on the drama. So if you're a tech person please let me know your opinion. Thank you.
posted by fenwaydirtdog at 6:37 PM on January 14, 2017

Woman A probably went to see if she was actually able to access your account and logged herself out. It happened after the alleged email, right? And after you confronted her? Seems normal and not really evidence of "hacking." You believe her and I see no reason not to continue doing so. Also, frankly,even if you think either of them could be guilty, that only requires you to break up with one of them. Your suspicion is enough to justify ending your relationship with someone "stalkery."
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 6:50 PM on January 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

Seems like incontrovertible evidence that Woman A is hacking into my account

What? No. You left yourself logged in. This is a far, far cry from "hacking into" your account. (Although it's quite understandable that B would have asked you to consider hacking. I'm assuming you did not tell B about leaving yourself logged in to A's computer.

But Woman A did convey to me a lot of the details of this supposed email, much of which are details that only Woman B and I have shared through our communications over the past month, almost all of which have been through Facebook Messenger.

I contacted Woman B, ready to end our relationship forever.

So you left yourself logged in on A's computer, and when A called you with a bunch of details that were from the account you left logged in, you called B ready to end your relationship "forever"???

Woman B has done some obsessive things in the past

Obsessive things like jumping to conclusions and being ready to end a relationship forever because of it? Why in the world would you conclude that B wrote an email to A containing ONLY things you shared via the account you left logged in on A's computer?

It sounds like you trust woman A by default, but woman B has to be proved trustworthy to you. You didn't think to question if A was telling you the truth before calling B ready to end your relationship. You don't seem to trust or respect woman B.

Just saw your update -- I don't think it's really possible to know for certain -- B could have certainly wrote an email using only information that the two of you have shared on facebook and being careful not to include other info. And depending on the details of anything A uncovers from the IT department, even if an email is recovered it's possible that A could have written it from another account. At this point you need to wait and see if this email is recovered.

I do find it pretty suspicious that A would have chosen to delete an email, then call you up and report receiving it. If A felt it was important to notify you of, why delete the details of the header information and content? Ask yourself if doing that was consistent with A's personality, level of technical knowledge, and how A generally deals with email (inbox zero?).
posted by yohko at 6:51 PM on January 14, 2017 [15 favorites]

I mean, who hasn't gone on a browser they rarely use and found someone's account open and logged in? You shake your head, sigh, and log them out. That sounds like what your trusted ex did. I see no reason to suspect that she hacked you in order to sabotage your new relationship.
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 6:53 PM on January 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

She might have marked the email as spam to autoblock the sender. I've done that with crazy-ass people whose emails I never want to see again.
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 6:54 PM on January 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

I don't see how Woman A could have been innocently and unknowingly been logged into your Facebook account for six months. If she herself uses Facebook, she would have noticed the instant she opened the site after you left in July. Since there is recent activity from her account at that location, it would appear that instead of saying "Oops, he must have forgotten to log out -- I'll log him out now!" she decided to keep you logged in. I don't think it's possible to have two accounts logged in on the same browser.

So unless you logged into some weird browser she never uses, it would appear that she has had access to your account for six months.
posted by delight at 7:04 PM on January 14, 2017 [9 favorites]

I would never consider hacking into someone's email or FB and I'm just trying to get a handle on whether I was wrong about her for 3 years.

You'd never consider it because you have no clue how easy what you're describing is. She didn't hack you, she just hadn't resisted the temptation of your password being saved. Regardless, who cares? She wasn't content to passively read your messages and cry over them to herself, she concocted this bizarre story about Woman B being a territorial braggart with poor boundaries to draw your attention back to her and potentially derail your new relationship. That's nuts! If you believe Woman B, as you say you do, then the technical details of how A came to be in possession of your information are almost wholly irrelevant compared to what she did with it.
posted by teremala at 7:11 PM on January 14, 2017 [4 favorites]

it would be nice to know the truth about her -- if she betrayed me and violated my trust.

She's your ex. This is just a way of continuing to be in a relationship with her. Which, hey if that's what you want, great. However this sounds like way too much of teh dramaz (with all three of you, you were going to end it forever just because you thought B sent an email to A talking about you? B is pleading with you to figure out if there's hacking going on?). Concur with everyone that "bounced the email back and don't have a copy" makes very little sense in the context of most modern email even though there is a "bounce" feature built into email.

I'd be rid of all of this like yesterday. You don't trust ether of these women.
posted by jessamyn at 7:11 PM on January 14, 2017 [20 favorites]

Tell woman A you believe her. Be convincing. Eventually–not right away–but after some months have passed, when it seems that everyone has forgotten all about the email, use Woman A's computer again. Check Facebook. Don't log out. Later on plant something in your Facebook correspondence that sounds totally normal and offhand but is completely untrue. It may take some time, maybe even years, but just go about your business. Act natural. Never let on to Woman A (or any woman for that matter) that you are at all suspicious or pretending, and most especially that you at all remember the previous email situation. Eventually, if it was Woman A, something will happen. It might not involve email, but it will be clear that she was the culprit. And then you'll have your answer.
posted by marimeko at 7:13 PM on January 14, 2017

Yes, it was my fault for leaving the browser open and the account logged in. That was stupid of me. But it was clearly unauthorized access and use of my account (hypothetically). Was this "hacking?" I mean, if she has been doing this for six months than I think it does fall into that category. If I leave the door to the house open, that's stupid, but it's still burglary and morally unacceptable if someone walks in and takes my stuff.
posted by fenwaydirtdog at 7:24 PM on January 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

>I inferred that Woman B would have sent this just to sort of mark her territory to Woman A and as a little F-U to her, gloating about having me). Woman B has done obsessive things in the past, but she has always admitted to them. Not a pathological liar as far as I can tell. I mean, why would she send it and deny it if she knew that there would probably be physical proof of it?

Right. So do you think B is not only obsessive and stalkery but possibly aggressive (and stupid)?

nth ditch both. If you think it's plausible that they'd even contemplate behaving in the ways you described. (Either one or both of them is a little off, or one (or both) is a *lot* off, or you might be. Regardless, everyone probably needs a break from this drama.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 7:36 PM on January 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

Idk, I never use chrome but leave it installed and when I lend my computer to other people I ask them to use chrome since it doesn't have all my shit already logged in.

This is so weird I'm also in the "ditch them both" camp, btw, in case that's not clear
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 7:41 PM on January 14, 2017

You aren't in the right place to be friends or anything else with either of these women if you're treating this like some kind of intrigue. You don't need to ferret out the truth. This isn't a spy movie. Both of these women are your exes. You already had ample reason why not to actually get back together with the second one.

The more you get into this, the more you make it look like you're the one feeding on the drama, here. All you have are theories and hypotheticals and there is no way short of stupid adolescent shenanigans to get any more information than this. The thing you can do is let both of these women move on with their lives, and move on with your own. Forget trying to determine who's "psycho" or not. This is the real world, not Veronica Mars. The real insanity is associating over and over again with the same people who bring drama into your life and expecting it to stop being dramatic. And that's all on you.
posted by Sequence at 8:31 PM on January 14, 2017 [17 favorites]

I think Woman A is the dodgy one here. And, as with most posters above, I agree with separating yourself from both of these women. But before you do, I think Woman B is owed an apology that you brought this drama into her life. Explain that you need to get your own drama-house in order before dating anyone and let her be. She deserves more respect than you are according her.
posted by Thella at 8:36 PM on January 14, 2017 [9 favorites]

Leaving yourself logged in on woman A's computer leads to a situation for her as if you are having your new relationship right outside her bedroom window and then getting mad if she looks. Change your FB password if you haven't already, trust woman B, don't blame Woman A for still having feelings for you.
posted by w0mbat at 8:38 PM on January 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

Okay, DEFINITELY stop getting back together with B. You characterize her as obsessive and stalkery. You don't trust her, so don't date her.

Woman A's story sounds sketchy as hell (why delete it if she was going to tell you?), and you may even have some evidence of it. But you still side with her over B? Let B get on with her life.

The only real question is whether to also ditch A, whether A is reading your account and trying to sabotage your new relationship, or whether her story only sounds sketchy. I don't know if you'll ever actually be able to answer that, but maybe you'll get an answer here from someone who knows. You seem like you want to stay connected to her, though.
posted by salvia at 8:54 PM on January 14, 2017 [1 favorite]

It's really weird that A's story about not having the email did not automatically set off giant alarm bells for you. Also, that you think A is a better person than B.

Apologize to B. Then stop dating her. You don't respect her enough to be wasting her time like you are. You failed to protect her from A's obvious shenanigans, to boot. That was unkind of you, please make amends to B for causing her distress.
posted by jbenben at 9:10 PM on January 14, 2017 [16 favorites]

I don't think you have definitive proof of anything. You have some circumstantial evidence that A was "snooping", not "hacking". But semantics aside, going into your account is inappropriate at best and morally bankrupt at worst.

I came to write sort of what marimecko wrote. I would break off the relationship with both of them but I would tell them both that you believe them. I would say something along the lines of, "I am sorry I questioned you. I believe what you told me. After much consideration I have decided to take a break from dating. I will contact you when I am ready to date/talk again."

At some point down the line, maybe a month, maybe a year or maybe some other time frame, the answer will be revealed to you somehow but by then you will not really care other than to sate your curiosity as you will have moved on to other dates and other friends.

Having said all that, if we are taking a poll, I am betting on woman A being the person who is not telling the truth.
posted by AugustWest at 9:20 PM on January 14, 2017 [4 favorites]

Apple Mail used to have a Bounce button. When you clicked it, it sent a reply to the sender saying that their message was undeliverable, and if my memory is correct it permanently deleted their message as well.

However, googling reveals that this feature was removed in Mac OS 10.7, and the session data above says that Woman A is using 10.8, so she would not have this feature.
posted by actionstations at 9:23 PM on January 14, 2017 [10 favorites]

To answer your later question whether it was "hacking" if your ex looked at your Fb after you left it logged it: No, it's snooping.
posted by kinddieserzeit at 9:45 PM on January 14, 2017 [8 favorites]

For what it's worth, I don't think you're obsessed with drama because you want to know whether someone has been secretly monitoring your private Facebook messages. I think it's perfectly normal to want to get to the bottom of it and to be unsettled by these events. Being concerned isn't "drama," it's a completely understandable reaction to what could have been a months-long breach of privacy.

And if that is what Woman A did, then that's very serious and not even remotely okay. Don't blame yourself for staying logged in to your account by accident. It wasn't an invitation for her to look at your stuff. Not even close.
posted by delight at 10:02 PM on January 14, 2017 [2 favorites]

Congratulations, Woman A is still into you. News flash that even good people do stupid things sometimes. Your "was I wrong about her all this time?" is coming across as pretty condescending to be honest. Do her a favour, stop stringing her along.
posted by superfish at 10:30 PM on January 14, 2017 [4 favorites]

Last remark from me: I'm really not understanding the dismissive tone of some of these comments. If Woman A deliberately retained access to OP's Facebook account for six months and used that access to read his private messages, that is a really serious violation. It's not like, "oops, I read one of his texts while he was in the shower," it's basically a prolonged campaign of surveillance.

I'm not saying there's open-and-shut proof that she did that, although I personally think the evidence suggests it. But even the possibility is enough to be taken seriously, and it's the kind of thing that would give someone pause about somebody they had a long and invested relationship with in the past.
posted by delight at 11:58 PM on January 14, 2017 [8 favorites]

Assuming she's looking at your account regularly , then I'd call it snooping and be annoyed. If she's trying to use the snooping to upset your relationship with your new girlfriend, then it's desperate and weird.

If she's really important in your life, then I wouldn't be asking a bunch of Internet strangers what I thought, I would ask her directly myself. "Look, A-- you know you're important to me, but B seriously denies sending any email and when I look at my Facebook account it seems you have been logging in to my account. Can we please talk about this?" and see what she says.

And then change your password and turn on two factor authentication for your accounts.

(Please do rule out any IP address weirdness from VPN use. I panicked myself about logins from Sweden and Poland before realising it was my corporate VPN doing the mischief.)
posted by frumiousb at 12:15 AM on January 15, 2017 [3 favorites]

If you agree with the earlier advice that you need to drop both of these people, then I'm going to say that you don't need to know anything else and should drop this line of inquiry. There's obviously manipulation at play here. Take yourself out of it. Finding the 'truth' will not help you.
posted by destructive cactus at 12:40 AM on January 15, 2017 [5 favorites]

The issue with Woman B is that the OP has been dating her, even though he does not think highly of her. The result? A used the OP's lack of regard towards Woman B to manipulate the OP into hurting B on her behalf. A used the OP as her proxy to knock out "the competition." Or maybe A just really hates the OP and was looking for revenge against him?

The OP has previously judged A to be above reproach, however, snooping the OP's FB account for 6 months and then engaging directly in this manipulation puts A very high up on the spectrum of questionable stalkery actions! OP, your character assessments of these two women are CLEARLY backwards!!

The deeper story is that there is a long term toxic dynamic between the OP and A, such that he was willing to vilify Woman B at a nod from A. OP, if A is the type to snoop for 6 months then call you with this awful lie, she's not the person you thought she was. Full stop. This behavior is pretty extreme and did not happen in a vacuum, it's the type of manipulation someone used to lying engages in. It takes a certain amount of planning and experience to successfully execute something like this, and A was successful. Your relationship with Woman B is trashed, I imagine Woman B's feelings are very very hurt. A was successful.

If not for your toxic relationship with A, an innocent person would not have been hurt. Ditto your feelings.

Break ties with A. Therapy to process your past relationship with A. I imagine you will look back and see ALL sorts of ways large and small she was likely a Lying Liar Who Lies. I'm not jumping to conclusions here! It's one thing to snoop, it takes practiced skill to pull off a manipulation on this scale. A is a practiced liar.

Again, please make sure you apologize to B. You inadvertently gave A the opportunity to really hurt her. And by the way, this is why it's so important to be careful and discerning in relationships, past choices can have future repercussions. I'm sorry you had to learn this lesson like this. The world will never quite look the same again, I know.
posted by jbenben at 6:02 AM on January 15, 2017 [12 favorites]

If I thought there was a possibility someone had been snooping on my private discussions for months on end, I would want to establish the truth or falsity of that too.

Yes to "too much drama, dump both and reevaluate your life" but, separately, any reasonable person would want to know it if major amounts of supposedly private info had been exposed.
posted by tel3path at 7:41 AM on January 15, 2017 [3 favorites]

Yes, it was my fault for leaving the browser open and the account logged in. That was stupid of me. But it was clearly unauthorized access and use of my account (hypothetically). Was this "hacking?"


It wasn't even social engineering.

Hacking - even in the debased, degraded and virtually unrecognizable meaning of that word resulting from decades of misuse by mass media - still requires at least a modicum of skill.

You being slack with your login sessions does not make the people whose computers you slacked off on into hackers. You social-engineered yourself into this mess.
posted by flabdablet at 10:01 AM on January 15, 2017 [3 favorites]

I would call it "exploiting a security hole" followed by "snooping", however, saying the OP did this to himself is a bit much.

Just as a matter of practice I would be sure to log out, and clear the history of, all sessions on any device that's accessible to anyone that's not you.

However, we also have a reasonable expectation that our friends and family won't misuse information they have on us and won't stick their nose in where it doesn't belong.
posted by tel3path at 10:27 AM on January 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

Woman A is engineering things so that Woman B looks bad...but you already think Woman B looks bad and it's obvious from the outside you want A to be the good one and B to be the bad one. Congrats, you are in a relationship with two women and not a one of you is good enough at communication and honesty to have an adult conversation about any of this.

FYI, from the outside B is coming off the best of all of you here, even though you characterize her as obsessive. A and you appear a bit obsessed as well, with each other. Just a vibe I'm getting.

My advice: step back. Play therapist with yourself and honestly examine why you choose to be in high-drama relationships that require IT detectives instead of communication.
posted by kapers at 10:51 AM on January 15, 2017 [5 favorites]

Hacking is a technical term that doesn't apply here, but that doesn't mean that what she did was acceptable by any means. Hacking is just a method. Staying logged in to your Facebook account for that length of time is a serious boundary violation, that's the consequence and it doesn't matter if the method used was hacking or taking advantage of an oversight on your part. And if she then used that information to then play head games with you it goes all the way into gaslighting, which is abusive.
posted by foxfirefey at 12:56 PM on January 15, 2017 [7 favorites]

Woman A is lying. I had the IP evidence that she was snooping into my account, but I wasn't 100% convinced since there was no evidence of any changes she had made to the account. However, I had noticed that my Facebook friend count had been inching downward. Most of those who I thought had unfriended me had been women. Surely, Woman A wouldn't have deleted women from my account who she doesn't like! Just to be sure, I contacted the people I knew had been deleted from my friend list, and awkwardly asked them if they had unfriended me. So far there are six women who have profusely insisted to me that they never unfriended me (and some said they were sad when they thought I had). At that point, along with the IP evidence, this was to me evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that Woman A had been snooping, and making changes to my account. Clearly she made up the email (being unable to produce it) after looking at the conversation between myself and Woman B in Messenger. Upon being confronted, Woman A denies everything, says that I'm trying to paint an "evil caricature" of her, and demands I don't contact her again. That's fine with me!

Woman B and I are going to have another attempt at a weekend in nine days.

What is most stunning to me is that now I have no trust in my ability to judge people's character. I had the highest opinion of Woman A, and I was bamboozled, flim-flammed, and sold a bill of goods. A lot of people say that if you have a problem, you should let your heart tell you which way to proceed. But in this case my heart was way wrong. Unbelievable.

Thanks for everyone's help. Most of you thought Woman A was the liar and you were right.
posted by fenwaydirtdog at 9:13 PM on January 25, 2017 [5 favorites]

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