Psychology of Internet Bullies

Because of my former assistant, Darlene’s mistake on July 1, 2019, I was personally victimized by internet bullies, and malicious haters and trolls across all of my social media account but especially Twitter and Goodreads. Ironically, Darlene had not even mentioned this main cyberbullying, troll, hater by name (CM), so I’m not even sure why CM immediately took ownership of Darlene’s anonymous post.

But, because I usually choose to walk the high-road, once I saw the Twitter exchange, I privately emailed CM and apologized for Darlene’s post (which I haven’t even seen), and informed CM that I terminated Darlene (which I did).

Literally, CM and her equally-malicious followers spent hours of their day with nothing better to do than to berate me for something I literally had no knowledge of. It may have been different if we shared an office. But we both work from home and she lives across the United States from me.

It is my fault however, that I didn’t micromanage Darlene. Proof of my error is that I had absolutely no knowledge of what Darlene was doing on social media (which may be why she mentioned me in her seemingly-offensive post but did not tag me (so I wasn’t flagged). Had she tagged me, I would have demanded she take it down. I only found out about it after a couple of my collaborating authors in the GBF series alerted me.

However, I’m sure I’m not the only employer who had a very trusted employee in which we felt micromanaging was not necessary. Afterall, she had been with me for 9 years and I never had a problem other than a couple reports about her being a bit sarcastic. But a couple reports in 9 years is hardly enough to warrant police patrol. However, at the time of those reports, I did handle the complaints immediately and, to my knowledge, she had gotten better because I did not receive any more complaints. 

Anyway, what all this cyberbullying did was cause my volunteer-writers-only Girl Behind the Fence (GBF) series to be cancelled (and authors are very sad), my social media accounts to be shut down, and I physically and emotionally withdrew. I shut off the phone, emails, put on my pajamas, and spent 13 hours nursing symptoms such as a horrendous migraine. Yet during that time, I was able to repeatedly reassess everything that had gone on. When I turned my phone back on, I received a notice that Darlene had called and left an apology message.

((I once wrote a blog post about how “professional badmouthing says more about the talker” than it does about the talker’s target but I can’t locate the post anymore. If I can find a copy of it, I’ll republish it. However, it’s true)).

Anyway, in the process of reassessing things, I decided to do some research on the mentality behind online bullies, malicious trolls, and professional haters such as CM and her sidekicks.

This is what I found… 

A research team from the School of Health and Life Sciences at Federation University in Australia carried out a study to analyze the personality traits of these kinds of people. They discovered they actually scored much higher than others in two important personality traits: psychopathy and cognitive empathy. 

What does that mean?

Psychologist Dr. Robert Hare has been researching psychopathy for more than 30 years and he stated: psychopaths are easily bored, need constant stimulation, and are unable to set long-term goals. They’re manipulative and need to feel like they have power and control over others. Psychopaths also have narcissistic traitsSure seems to sum-up CM and her sidekicks the 1st week of July. Who else would spend nearly a full 24-hours wasting time trying to sabotage little ole’ me for trying to help our readers heal from destructive attitudes, beliefs, emotions, thoughts, etc?

According to Dr. Hare and the study, these people have serious impulse control problems and react with anger. Individuals with this disorder have problems with social and moral norms (abnormal). However, they’re often superficially charming (fake) and seem well-adjusted (keyword: seem).

Psychopaths think highly of themselves. Inflicting pain on others gives them pleasure. It’s often said that psychopaths lack empathy”, but that’s not exactly true and here’s why… 

The study also reveals the “dark side of empathy”…

Emotional empathy and cognitive empathy are both cognitive processes. However, there are significant differences between them involving the activation of different parts of the brain. 

You can read the complete study / article HERE but let me first share this about the “dark side of empathy” per the article.

There’s a kind of “cold” empathy that is not as well known but online evil-doers have high levels of it. In other words, these online bullies, trolls, and haters can identify someone else’s suffering, but they don’t feel it. In fact, they are able to predict and recognize their victim’s emotional suffering. They then deliberately use their knowledge to cause the most damage possible. 

They often don’t even read people’s posts or they just skim them and reinterpret them to fit their motives. (This is exactly what CM and her sidekicks did). 

Again, it sure seems to sum-up CM and her sidekicks, and what they attempted and somewhat succeeded in doing to me last week. However, if you pay attention to her page, that’s all she seems to do & enjoy. Here is an example. She likes to “name and shame” without knowing the full story so I decided to “name” her in this post.

How in the world does she have time to write books if she’s always cyberbullying someone or starting shit online? And the genre she writes is romance. That’s very surprising because her personality sure seems far from warm and fuzzy. Perhaps she’d be a more successful author if she wrote murder mysteries, lol.

Now, check this post out!

Oh, and she tried to claim (via Darlen’e post) that I expect professionals to work for free. That’s not true. However, I did ask women who were friends and family members of mine if they would like to write a story to contribute to the GBF series, which was a passion project for me.

In my opinion, there is a big difference between the intention of all people who do things to help others and those who do things to make money. The GBF series was about helping people fulfill goals. For example, the series allowed many women to realize their dream of becoming a published author and, on the flipside, it allowed readers to realize their dream of shifting their mindset so they can break free from things that may be holding them back (ie: anger, anxiety, codependency, loneliness, etc.)

Update as of 7/18/19:

At first, I was emotional and had become so tired of fighting against jerks, bullies, and downright a-holes all of my life, that it’s just easier now that I’m older to just quit. But I have never been a “quitter”. I mean, Jesus was tortured and he kept going, so my “pain” seemed a whole lot more bearable.

So, after my much-needed break to think everything through, I realized that CM et al (those who caused all of the above) are just mere, tiny specks in a world of billions of specks. I never heard of them before this “situation”, so why should I let them put a stop to my passion project that could help millions of women across the world? They judgement upon me should not reflect my judgement upon myself so…

I have decided to be like a Phoenix once again and rise-up from the ashes. Therefore, the GBF series is once again “on” and it will continue until all of the series books are published as originally scheduled. I will see this project through to the end because it’s what I want to do. Ladies, if you’d like to participate in the GBF series, check this out.

Now my only question is… since Darlene wants her position back, do I rehire her ? Did I terminate her due to my emotional upheaval? I do know that, had this “online harrassment” with CM and her groupies not occurred, Darlene would’ve never been terminated.

What are your thoughts?


In closing, while there aren’t any studies on how to stop trolls, ignoring their attacks seems to be the best way to avoid giving them more power.

So from this point forward, that’s what I’m going to do. 


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Top 3 Reasons for Bad Online Reviews

Had a conversation today that reminded me of something… 

WHEN LOOKING AT REVIEWS ONLINE (ie: Rip0ff Report, Ye1p, etc.)… here are my professional words of advice.

I have been a licensed investigator in several states since the mid-1990s. As a result, many of my past clients were exceptional professionals who had been listed on Rip0ff Report, yet who have been wrongly accused and / or sabotaged.

AFTER HUNDREDS OF INVESTIGATIONS by my team, these were (and likely still are) the top 3 reasons people end up on Rip0ff Report & sites like it:

  • unethical attempts by jealous competitors to indirectly steal their target’s clients or customers.
  • disgruntled employees who were pissed off despite being fired because of their own incompetence.
  • former patients who did NOT follow through on their own self-care yet chose to blame the doctor or therapist, saying their “program” or “advice” didn’t work.
  • online trolls, haters, or cyberbullies

I’m sure we can both agree that we don’t have to look too far to see adults who do NOT take responsibility for their own actions. In fact, many choose to blame everyone else – from their parents and bullies in elementary school, to their EX, their Pastor, and even President Trump. After all, the jails and prisons are full of innocent people.

In addition, we can also both agree that many in our society try to complain to get “free” products or services. Many citizens in today’s society could be considered “vicious litigants” by court professionals. Just another manipulative tactic to get something for nothing.

Before we move on to how to voice your dissatisfaction with a business or individual professional, let’s do a quick RECAP. Most reports were completely unfounded or were a sick twist of what really occured in which – as expected – the sabateur was automatically the “victim” in their own story. In a nut shell, most were serious sabotage attempts by uncouth individuals who had an *agenda*.


(1)If you have a problem with a company, organization, or professional, first try to deal with them directly and privately. I personally feel leaving a bad review is unfair when used to vent because it’s human nature to pretty much never share what YOU did to mess things up… screw-ups take 2.

I’m sorry to break this to you but if you have a problem with someone in your personal or professional life, it is highly unlikely that you are 100% innocent in the matter so have some integrity.

Besides, posting or ranting “uglies” anonymously online is a cop-out… just another way to “hide behind the internet”. Interacting with someone face-to-face is perhaps considered primitive to some, but still powerful nevertheless. If the tables were turned, would YOU want the chance to work it out privately with your customer / client OR would you rather they ran like a spoiled toddler and tattled online in an emotional hissy fit? (more on this in a bit)

(2) It is always best to make your own decisions when interacting with professionals you are considering doing business with, and not depend on someone else’s opinions. Since many postings online are actually submitted by fake names or completely anonymous, why would you depend on the opinions of complete strangers? If they are too ashamed to reveal themselves, what does that say about them?

(3) And, as for Rip0ff Report specifically, let’s not forget that the man who put this website up has been sued repeatedly, and he’s using a tiny loophole in the federal law that allows him to never have to verify if any of its true, and he also never has to take any of it down. So what you put on there about someone, or what someone puts on there about you… will be there forever. However, what this site owner did was to create a service in which the sabotaged person or company could pay LOTS of $$$ in which he “MAY” remove the unfavorable comments. In other words, that website is a huge moneymaker for him so he doesn’t care what anybody says about anybody else. As for character… that speaks volumes about the site owner’s ethics and self-serving agenda. I could tell you something similar about Ye1p.

(4)When deciding whether or not to work with another professional in any capacity and you see a unfavorable review, TELL THEM UP-FRONT. Society is becoming so weak that they are afraid to speak! I personally recommend letting these professionals know on the first phone call or email that you saw the bad review online BUT add that you want to give them the opportunity to be heard. Most ethical professionals would appreciate the opportunity to talk about it. If it was YOU who was talked about badly online and possibly losing business, wouldn’t you want the opportunity to that as well? In addition, it shows the other professional that YOU ARE NOT one to just fall into the status quo and that YOU ARE CAPABLE of forming your own educated and objective opinions.

** What I personally do is set up a time to interview THEM in person or on video ** because when I tell them face-to-face about the review I saw about them, I am able to tell more through their non-verbal reaction than what their words could actually reveal. IF I still wish to work with them, as a formality, I will then ask for references. Realizing that about 50% may be friends or family, I contact them anyway. 

However, absolutely NOTHING is a stronger indicator of truth than your own instincts. So much of society has become lazy and in a hurry that they no longer use their own instincts… instead they choose to believe what’s online… and yes, even posts by complete strangers!

Somewhere along the so-called advancement of our supposed *enlightened* society, we have opted-out of doing our part of the work. Yes, doing the above takes a little bit longer. However, doing the work also helps build YOUR own character and shows that you are a fair, objective, and credible professional too, not one who “goes with the flow” because it’s the easy way. PLEASE don’t be one of the lazy members of society, there are far too many already.

As promised earlier from (1) above…

QUESTION: is it ever OKAY to post a BAD REVIEW?

ANSWER: YES, and this is how I do it…

  • If I do choose to leave a review online, I only do so after THREE attempts to privately work it out with the person / organization. I leave a few days between each attempt to allow them time to respond. This takes about 10 – 14 days total.
  • If I do not have about 10 – 14 days to wait for resolution, I always wait until EXACTLY 11 hours after the incident occurred before writing the review. There is a very powerful forensically-scientific reason behind the 11th hour that I posted about before on my Facebook page.

Whichever option I choose, if they refuse to work it out, discuss it, or are total jerks, then I will leave my review but I only do so with objective FACTS and do not include any subjective emotions or opinions. Think in terms of the “who, what, why, where, and how” of journalism.

THEN… before I hit “post” or “submit” I always ask myself:

“If I had to go to court and prove what I just wrote, could I?” 

If any part (no matter how miniscule it may seem) of my review says, “No”, I immediately reword it. It’s only ethical to do so. 

PARTING WORDS TO THE WISE: remember, just as you are trying to be “stealthy” online, so are others. Take 5 minutes to look at the social media timeline or a news website and you will see that people are probably more psychologically unstable than ever before, or perhaps just as much as before but with more easy access to you, your loved ones, and they can easily show up where you work or live. In other words, you never know who you are truly messing with on the other side of the WWW.

Choosing to belittle, post rants and harrass people with “uglies” is exactly that – a choice. If you choose to always remain in integrity while being objectively and respectfully honest, you will likely sleep better at night, and remain safe from “society’s psychos”.

Honesty and truth helps people. Sabotage attempts and lies never do..png

Should You Work for Barter, Fee, or Free?

When close friends or family members have a small concern, I am usually quick to offer a bit of advice. Like a great friend, I do care about them and am usually eager to help if they ask.

However there is a fine line between people seeking true assistance and those taking advantage of me. Yep, friends and family are typically the quickest to do so by expecting more and more. The fact that they may not deliberately or consciously know they are doing it does not change the fact that they do. Then, when I cut them off, they get pissed at ME!

Therefore I am writing this post so that I can refer others to it as needed. In fact, perhaps this post can be the voice for other professionals who may lack the courage to just say…

You see, since the early 1990’s I have attracted four main types of people and I’d like to introduce you to each of them:

TYPE #1: “I just like free things because they are cool”.

TYPE #2: “I never talk to her but I need something, so I’ll give her a call, shoot the shit for a bit, and then ask for a hand-out”.

TYPE #3: “I bet she, or her husband or kids would like the services I provide, so I will ask her to trade or barter her services for mine”.

TYPE #4: “I realize she has a vast amount of knowledge and skills. I also understand she prices her services in the range of her value, just as any other professional does. I have no problem paying these prices because I recognize the value that this service can bring into my life”.

Let me digress for a bit…

I entered my forensic career internationally on June 1, 1987. As a young female, I was trying to break into the male-dominated field of law enforcement as a case consultant, expert witness, and trainer. Because of this, nobody would hire me without references.

So, in this case, I had something of value to give but I also truly needed something of value in return. So for 5 years I worked 100% for free and ended up with dozens of reference letters from law enforcement agencies around the country. Obviously that trade made sense because it launched the rest of my career.

Then in 1994, a so-called “marketing guru” said that I should give away a *unique* freebie on my website to invoke more business from the private sector since most of my work was government and business entities. This “guru” said I was missing out on a “huge amount of private buyers”.

So, that’s what I did.

From 1994 – 1999, I offered a FREE personality snapshot on my website. This was fondly called a “quickie” and was based on my professional yet very quick, less than 1 minute analysis of their handwriting. It truly was free – no catch – no newsletter sign-ups or any other requirement other than to submit their handwriting to me.

During those 5 years, I performed 2,103 personality snapshots. That’s over 35 each month (over 1 per day). My regular price for these at that time was $10 each. So in essence, in 5 years, I gave away over $21,000 in professional value. 

When I returned their results via email, they were given a 10% discount on a full personality profile (again recommended by the “guru” which was considered the norm during the early-1990s), which at the time was only $99. The only catch was that they had to order it within 7 days or the coupon would expire (create a sense of urgency said the “guru”).

Of those 2,103 people, guess how many took advantage of the discount and upgraded to the full personality profile?

Guess how many replied and said a simple “Thank you”?

Same answer for both…

So, to be clear, I gave away over 250 hours of work and over $21,000 and got absolutely nothing in return, not even a simple thank you.

That is not a win-win or mutually-beneficial exchange! One person took all (them), and one person gave all (me).

That is when I stopped working for free unless it benefited me or my business in such a way that it was a no-brainer (just like the reference letters in 1987).

Now fast forward to the early 2000’s.

When I moved back to my home state of Arizona, I needed to restart or relaunch my business locally, in a new city. Once again, bartering and flat-out working for free was a smart move – but only sometimes! In doing so, I made great connections, built great relationships that are still ongoing, and acquired actual paid clients. Of course, not every one of these “barter or free ventures” was sensible. The ones that weren’t, were “one and done”.

Now, a small digression again…

Between 2009 – 2017 something else all-too-frequently occurred.

While on a date with my husband, or hanging out with my adult children, someone (usually friends) would approach me and ask me to analyze their handwriting or the writing of someone who was with them. I know this was not done out of ill-intention; however, it really did offend me for two reasons and these were my thoughts:

  • I am a type A personality and workaholic – I work about 126 hours per week on average. On the extremely rare occasion that I am on personal time, please do not be inconsiderate and expect me to work; and…

  • What makes you think I even want to analyze you? I mean, I certainly do not need the practice (okay, that was somewhat wit but also true)

It had become soooooo irritating to me that I started to cancel date night, and stopped hanging out in public with my kids. I also started developing resentment toward others, and started to hate the career I dedicated my life to for decades.

In fact, one day I had a slight emotional breakdown due to the stress of this occurring sooooo often. I poured a very large glass of wine and said to my husband, You know, if I was terrible at this field, nobody would ask me for free shit all the time”.

Being the supportive guy he is, he said, “Well, it’s because you make it look easy. But if it’s affecting you that badly, do something about it”.

So I did…. I had a mobile parody app developed. This mobile app is not for people who are serious, but it IS for those mentioned above. Having this app available has saved me a TON of headaches and irritation. Yes there are “bad” reviews but that’s because they are those who want the true scientific results for little or nothing. However for those who are serious about having a professional help them, there are options.

How do I know if they are serious or not?

The answer is simple. They either become a paying client or they say something like…

“I just think it’s cool”, “I find it fascinating”, etc.

If they ask in text or email, I reply with THIS LINK. If they ask me in person, I give them a verbal synopsis of that same page.

If they are serious, I give them my business card so they can schedule or order accordingly. So far each “serious” individual has become a paid client, without question.
After having to do this to the “free-seekers” about 10 times (often to the same “repeat offenders”), it started to work remarkably well. Yet through it all, I have learned some valuable lessons  including, but definitely not limited to:
  • Those 2,103 personality snapshots went to people who were much like my family members and friends – asking for and / or expecting “freebies”. To me, it clearly shows that they did not find value in my skill or career.

  • I questioned my own self-worth – wondering if it was so low that I allowed this to go on for so long.  I wondered, “if I don’t see my own value after all of that, how could I expect anyone else to?”

  • As an interesting experiment, I have kept track of how many of those business cards I have handed out and have followed up with them just to see if they ever downloaded the app. Want to venture a guess? You’re right… ZERO.

Yep, these people are just like those 2,103 others only this time, I don’t give a damn because I am no longer giving away my skills, knowledge, time, or… value.

People tend to only value what they pay for or invest in.

In my situation, if someone truly has a need to have a handwriting sample analyzed – maybe to assess for suicidal tendencies, for dating or matchmaking, hiring, or to do a pre-termination violence assessmentthey will pay for it because they know it’s value.

If people are truly curious about what I would have said during the “personality snapshot” that they expected for free during my date nights, they would download the app for a one-time $2.99 fee.

If they don’t download the app, that confirms that I did the right thing by referring them to THIS PAGE. Had I not had this app developed, I may have continued to waste more of my valuable time, effort, and money on “coolness” and “intrigue”.

People want the solution but don’t want to do the work. People want the professionals to “fix it” yet don’t want to pay for it. If you think experts are expensive, wait until you hire an amateur!

That leads me to this… 

Many in the business of spiritual products or services will say, “I work for love donations” as if that makes them sound modest or like a modern-day version of Mahatma Gandhi.

Unless they are 100% debt-free and have absolutely no living expenses, that sounds like pure “100% phooey” to me. But let’s say that’s true… that they do really only work for love donations… most of those people also work a “regular j.o.b.” so does that mean they don’t make enough with their “gifts”?

Bottom line, in my decades of experience, I have noticed the following repeatedly:

  • many people do not like to pay for anything yet expect the service to be done anyway, especially those who work in the “spirituality” industries.
  • many spiritual people think I should not charge for my work yet are some of the most financially-lacking people I have ever met.
  • Many do not want to pay for advertising, yet complain they have no clients. Instead, they expect the other person to agree to a barter.
  • Make no mistake, I have some amazing friends who work in the spiritual fields and these friends are several steps above the vast majority. My friends are completely excluded from those mentioned in this post so, if you want a referral, just ask!

Yes, I too have done a lot of work in the spiritual circles. In fact, my tagline is always “bringing science to the psychics”. Even so, my mindset has always “this is business – pure and simple”.

I know this may shock you but, in case you hadn’t noticed, you are not the Son of Man and you do live in a monetary society, like it or not.

If you pay attention to the motivational speaker, Jim Rohn’s, comment “You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”, then hanging out with financially-struggling people will certainly put you on the fast train toward financial struggles as well.

Hate to pick on the spiritual people again but it’s true – this seems to be especially in the spiritual context of careers. We have to be careful not to get sucked into the ‘you should not charge people if you are truly spiritual’ theory. Of course, there is obviously nothing wrong with that concept, if it’s done with passion and not false modesty.

Unfortunately for me, bartering and working for free does not pay my bills.

If you find yourself stuck in that “free is beautiful” mindset, this may help:

  • Look at the commonalities of the 5 people you are spending the most time with. Are they always looking for handouts, shopping at Goodwill because they have to (who doesn’t like a random thrift experience for fun?), always in a negative “victim” mindset, talking about having no money, OR are they happy, financially successful, and assertive in pursuing their passions?

When I look back to my most financially-low times, the 5 people were definitely in the doghouse financially too. Yet, when I looked back at the most successful, achievement-oriented, financially-stable times, the 5 people matched that vibe as well.

So, if you want to go from free and bartering to financially independent I recommend:

  • Looking at your own money-mindset. Are you saying to the Universe, “Will work for free”?  If so, you will very likely attract only those clients who will keep you working for free. After all, God / the Universe wants to give you what you want.

Now you may be wondering… is bartering EVER okay?



If you are starting a business, or trying to launch into a second career, or build a portfolio of web designs or photography, working for free or bartering may be perfect for you, just as it was for me back in 1987.

If you truly do want something that the other person wants, and you would have purchased it anyway, by all means… go for it.

But if you are bartering because you don’t want to offend someone or for a reason that is not a “definite need” in your life, I highly recommend that you say “NO” (nicely of course). Oh and never barter or do things for free just because they are family or friends. Any entrepreneur you ask will likely agree that your paid clients do not usually come from family or friends.

So, if you want to stop working for free and barter, start by making a commitment – a promise to yourself – that you will stop. However, when you do – as with any major change you are going to make – be prepared that your previous and often chronic “free seekers” may put up resistance. They may think it is “only a phase” or you are “having a bad day”, and if you stick to your commitment, they will likely get mad at you!

If this occurs, you will likely start feeling guilty and question your decision. Stick to your guns (they’ll likely get over it eventually) but also prepare for a test from God / the Universe.

For example, I make all major business changes on my business anniversary date of June 1st. Several years ago when I decided to stop bartering entirely, within that week, I had three people ask if I’d be willing to barter. I had to say “no” to each of them without hesitation because otherwise the God / the Universe would know I was not being accountable to my own value, and was essentially breaking the promise I made to myself.

No “case-by-case” basis either because that is like making an excuse for yourself to barter. To God / the Universe it’s one and the same; you are either serious about it or you are not – it really is that simple.

So, after gracefully turning down those last 3 offers, within the following month, I had taken on 6 more fully-paid clients. Yes, I have had to say “no” to many requests and expectations of free and / or bartering offers from family, friends, and mere acquaintances. When I say “no” they think I’m joking because we are friends or family. If they are reading this and are still in doubt, here is my final answer… nope, I’m really not joking.


I have talked with my husband and adult children in detail as to what we would barter for.

Here is the list:

  • My daughter: new kitchen cabinets, new living room floor tile or carpet.

  • My son: pay off his brand new car.

  • My husband and I: pay off our two brand new cars and my $150K student loan.

If you can do any of those, we will gladly barter. If you can’t, we won’t – simply because we do not need or want anything else.

Stick to your own value because, when you pay for products and services, you are telling the professional that you respect his or her work. 

When someone pays you for your products or services, they are telling you that they respect you and your work.

QUICK QUESTION: When was the last time you bartered with your doctor, dentist, lawyer, plumber, landlord, utility company, cell phone provider, mechanic, or any other professional? 

Yeah, didn’t think so.

  • Just like them, I am a professional.

  • Just like them, I get paid for my work.

  • Just like them, I am not free, available for barter, or cheap.

  • Just like them, I and my knowledge and skills are valuable.

If you are looking for a few graceful ways to say “no”, Marie Forleo’s video may help…

P.S. Only you can decide your own value. As for me, I only work with people who are willing to pay for my services. If someone pays and then flakes, there are no refunds. Instead the funds are donated to the Journey Fund on their behalf.


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