It does not happen often, but sometimes I get cyber-harassed on mymonkeylounge.com. I understand that once you put your stuff out there in public, chances are you’ll receive some kind of scrutiny. Some people will love your work, others think it’s so-so and some will even think your stuff is crap. That’s fair enough. However, when criticisms take on a personal nature, then cyber-harassment ensues.
Cyber-harassment is sometimes also called cyberstalking, and in the case of kids, it’s called cyberbullying. Cyberstalkers are often driven by revenge, hate, anger, jealousy, obsession and mental illness. They make false accusations in order to damage the reputation of their victims and try to turn other people against them. They attempt to gather personal information in order to make it public on the web. They stalk you from site to site to find ways to attack you. They will often bring in third parties to help them harass. Or they fake victimization claiming somehow they’ve been done wrong by the real victims. This kind of cyber-stalking is illegal under the
Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005.
No surprise the majority of the victims so far have been women and children. For the record, I welcome dialogue. I don’t expect my readers to agree with everything I write. If you’re interested in exchanging ideas and engaging those with diverse perspectives, I’m totally up for it. I will not, however, get into the habit of schooling those who leave comments. I expect you to have proper netiquette and educate yourself on the topics at hand. This is a site for mutual respect and exchange, not teaching anyone lessons.
That said, I have started dumping comments that fit into the category of cyber-harassment/stalking/bullying. I have also reported the cyber harassers to the proper Internet authorities including those who run this site. If you persist, I will take legal action. That is my right.
It is one thing for disgruntled students to leave immature, personal comments that have nothing to do with my posts, but it’s altogether creepy and despicable to pretend to be my friend and leave words of “advice" that are transparently harassment. That really takes it to another level of cyber-stalking and I will make sure the authorities seek you first.
Internet related laws will only improve as we evolve in this Internet age. Your days are numbered Mr./Ms. Cyber-terrorist. But, seriously, just keep things kosher. No need to escalate.