Starts Charitable Foundation, Relaunches

Joanne Cachapero
MIAMI — Women’s networking and resource website (DDHG) has announced that it will organize a charitable fund for women’s causes, called DDHG Empowers. Proceeds from the site’s advertising revenue will go to develop the foundation.

"It's so important for women to be informed and empowered in all areas of their lives," DDHG founder Tasha Cunningham said. "And I'm thrilled to be able to start 2008 by launching this fund to help women to do just that. DDHG Empowers, in partnership with the Dade Community Foundation, will fund projects and programs that uplift women, give them a voice and make a positive impact on their lives."

Founded in 2005 by former Miami Herald columnist Cunningham, the DDHG site was originally conceived as a forum for women to post listings and discussions of men with whom they had negative relationships or experiences.

Online ratings service described the DDHG site as a resource to “find profiles of men who are alleged cheaters, articles on dating and relationships, advice to help women make better decisions in finding the right man.” The ranking on Alexa currently is 81,564.

The controversial site was criticized for allowing women to post personal information and opinions without a screening process to verify the truth of the users’ claims.

In June 2006, a defamation lawsuit filed by Todd Hollis against Cunningham (then known as Tasha Joseph) and the DDHG site was dismissed in April 2007, with the judge citing wrongful jurisdiction, because the suit had been filed in Pennsylvania and DDHG is based in Florida.

Hollis, an attorney, claimed that several site users had ruined his life by publicly accusing him of nonpayment of child support, with additional postings that claimed Hollis was unfaithful and potentially infected with an STD.

"It's a bulletin board for women, and the women take full responsibility of everything that they post," Cunningham’s attorney Marlon Hill said in a February 2006 article for the New York Times. "They attest to the veracity of their stories and photos."

As of yesterday, the site relaunched with a new, updated design, as well as improved social-networking features, forums and resources.

The revamped site design includes a new homepage and improved navigation, as well as articles on topics ranging from finding a soul mate to building self-esteem, written by dating experts and users, and discussion forums on a wide range of topics including health and beauty, sex, dating, abusive relationships, cheating and fitness.

Also, “visitors will be able to participate in polls on such topics as trust in relationships, dating older men and domestic violence, as well as receive insights from Sonia Torretto, licensed counselor and author of the book ‘Men Should Come With Warning Labels,’” a DDHG spokesperson said.

Additionally, the site will feature a music player powered by social media network

" gives us a powerful tool that can help to limit the amount of damage con men and sociopaths can wreak on our lives," DDHG user Kerry Gray said. "Before, these men would simply move to the next town and next victim. Today, thanks to the World Wide Web and DDHG, we have a way to help our sisters around the world. Information is power."

According to DDHG, the site has more than 1 million subscribers and receives 10 million page views a month. The site also has been featured in various media outlets including CNN, The New York Times and the Today Show.