[ Another Absence and Cyber Bullying – March 2nd, 2014 ]
March 2, 2014 § 4 Comments
I was going to start blogging a lot again, I had 3 posts already written – I was prepared, I was going to be consistent, I was going to give my portfolio a boost, I was going to bring my online presence back. Then the Olympics happened and something… happened. I hate constantly apologizing for not blogging as much as I always say I will, but this time is different. The morning start off as normal as any but within a few hours I had someone stealing photos (some of them WELL over 2 years old from my blog and Twitter, meaning this person take significant time out to stalk me) and posting on their Twitter as if they were me – not just to be creepy, but they were actually mocking me. I’ve dealt with cyber bullying before (I’ve posted about it openly here, in a post where I was told I should go ahead and just start being anorexic) but I’ve never been hit so hard by it. This person went out of their way to contact my friends, went out of their way to stalk me, this wasn’t just some crappy thing someone said to me on the internet – this person put a full days worth of effort into their attack on my person.
I had to take a long hard thought about how this could effect me. Not just my online presence, not just my Tumblr, not just my Twitter, not just my Instragram, not just my blog, but me. This person was using MY name, they were using MY photos, their hate-filled and ignorant and just flat out mean statements could lead back to ME. What should I do? Should I remove myself entirely? Delete all of my accounts? But then how would I follow my chronic illness blogs, how would I follow my fellow PhD student blogs – things that make my life feel more normal. I went through a bunch of emotions – was I overreacting? Was it just ignorable that someone was literally pretending to be me, calling me an idiot, lying, claiming I was in inpatient psych services, even going so far as slandering other people under the claim of being me? I didn’t know if I was overreacting, and I honestly don’t know know if I’m overreacting by posting this blog entry.
Part of me was made to think I should step away from having an online presence entirely. But was that really going to benefit me? Should someone who was so pathetic, so asinine, so without thought for the condition of other humans beings worth having even that minute level of control over my life? I didn’t tweet for a few days and I certainly didn’t post any of my blog posts. The only thing I did online was use Facebook – my one completely (or well as completely as it can be) outline. I might have Instragram’d here and there, I reblogged some stuff on Tumblr eventually… then I started tweeting again from the Olympics – but it took a few days. I was ready to give it all up honestly, but then I realized that I couldn’t let someone like that control me life. Was it painful to see these things? Did it hurt more than I’d like to admit? Did it upset me, also, probably longer than I’d like to admit? Yes. But was I going to let it shove me offline and effect me permanently or even long-term? No. That person, whoever they are, is a scum bag. That person isn’t worth allowing that level of control over my life. They become pathetic to me, it hurt still, but they were pathetic – not me.
I decide that I wasn’t going to step away, but not everyone has that option. This is the second time I’ve had a direct attack on my person just because I was online. Both times it was by anonymous people who were hiding behind the internet to be able to bully others, to be able to “get their rocks off” by trying to make others miserable. People who are pathetic. If you treat others like this, if you go this far out of your way – I’m not talking about making a blunt comment, or even calling someone on their bs online (we’ve all done that) – but if you stalk people, if you go out of your way to harass them, you are pathetic. You may be calling the people you try and mock pathetic – but every mean word you say to them, its only a reflection upon yourself. You are no better than dirt. If you think that taking 9 hours out of your day to stalk someone, steal their identity, and mock their existence somehow makes you cool or even empowers you personally – then you are not worth the time of your friends, you are not worth any awards you have won, you are not worth admiration. You are worthless. It is not the people you mock who are worthless, but it is you – because you mock the indefensible, you slander those who have no way to run, you attack those who have no shield.
The last thing I have to say is to Twitter as an organization. I find it absolutely disgusting that you allow this type of behavior to go on on your website. I blocked this person, which he was able to circumvent easily. I reported his harassment for hours on end. I even e-mail you screen shots of proof – and what did you do? You first removed his suspension (which happened twice, both times lifted!) but you didn’t even bother to respond to me. I was harassed, stalked, impersonated, and had personal information stolen by someone to use for their own gains and you couldn’t even e-mail me back to tell me you’d deleted the account. Not only is that pitiful customer service but it shows absolutely no dedication on your companies part to protect your users from cyber bullying and identity theft. Shame on you Twitter, you are almost as at fault as the random user who tried to attack me – not for your actions, but for your inactions.
I’m not leaving the internet, and I’m not giving up my pathetic excuse of inconsistent blogging – but I will speak out when I need to, and this was one of those times. I hope anyone else who ever feels harassed, let down, or scared by someone online finds the support they need from their friends and family to get through it – and if you don’t, know you always have an ear in me.
*I have decided not to blur our twitter handles due to the fact that it is no secret what my twitter handle is, given that I openly have used it not only here but when I was still working as a journalist as well and my contacts are easily visible given that the account is public. On the end of the person harassing me, the account was deleted so it being included, sadly, does nothing.