Following Mandy Moore’s stunning e-mail on Halloween explaining an uncomfortable situation the singer was put in that previous weekend with the moderator of her official site’s message board, the situation continues to go unresolved and unforgiven. Seventeen-year-old moderator Jon, user name bills50000, has so far refused an overwhelming demand that he step down for his unexpected visit to Mandy Moore’s home which he’s presented sufficient proof he was invited… but it doesn’t matter.
Mandy Moore’s brother Kyle by all accounts appears to have invited Jon to his house to stay while he visited with another Mandy who he had gotten to know while moderating the message board. Apparently Mandy and Kyle are friends and decided to stay the night at the Moore home, though without the knowledge of the rest of the family.
When Mandy arrived at home with her mother, Wilmer Valderrama, her tour manager, and the tour manager’s boyfriend, they were surprised to see Jon walking into the house. Mandy admitted “I freaked out. I immediately talked to my parents, Wilmer, and Kyle, whom said he had no idea that Jon was even going to be at his homecoming.”
Since then, despite what appears to be very credible evidence that Kyle was aware he was coming and even with Jon asking Kyle if Mandy was OK with him coming over, Mandy has not forgiven or even offered the moderator a vote of confidence. To this point, nothing on the board move beyond the subject and it is clear that with Jon continuing as moderator, the board as it was known before this event will be impossible to return to any sense of normalcy.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect is the idea that Mandy was different to her fans than any other bigger name pop singer, actually communicating with her fans on the message board, giving them a sense of being on the inside. Obviously, when the barrier of the net was crossed into real life, her warmth vanished. No doubt the image of celebrity stalkers crossed her mind, the Robert Bardo killing actress Rebecca Schaeffer in 1989 and the heightened sense of alert following September 11 no doubt are huge considerations for all celebrities to keep on their toes when dealing with someone who invades their intimate space. After all, this is a 17-year-old person that not only traveled half way around the country for a weekend by himself, just to go to a homecoming event, but also established himself in Mandy’s inner circle. Pursuing the opportunity to be moderator, chatting with Mandy’s brother and friends of the Moore family, and using his powers to obtain Mandy’s personal e-mail address.
Knowing all of this, you still can’t put the blame on Jon. He did probably what half the people on the message board that spent the amount of time and were as huge of fans of the singer would do given the opportunity. After all, he was told it was no big deal by Mandy’s brother, and he still claims he was there to see the other Mandy. Mandy’s brother, and more pointedly Mandy’s parents, should have made clear there should be a separation between the internet and ‘real life,’ especially knowing how Mandy reacted when that line was broached.
In the end though, Jon has to relinquish his moderator status and move on. It is clear Mandy has given zero vote of confidence in he continuing his role. While she could just contact Sony and have him removed, she’ll likely just avoid the message board instead of appearing as the bully. If Jon were a true fan, he’d realize this and be the bigger man about the situation, instead he is appearing selfish and uncompassionate to the rest of the message board members who are being punished for his continued presence. Besides, why devote so much of your time to someone who obviously has not only no interest in you, but actually fears you being in the same room with them?
Do the right thing bills5000, relinquish the throne to other moderators more than willing to pick up the load.