|Copied from the Trolls Page. My Believe is simple ... what is good for the Goose is Good for the Ganders!|
What is an Internet Bully & Stalker?
At its mildest, a stalker is simply a troll that has attached
itself to an individual. At worst, boring, at best, flattering.
Find out about trolls.
But a stalker can be a serious predator,
using the Internet to pursue a real or imagined
vendetta, or other perverted agenda. Risk assessment
is an essential first step.
How dangerous is it?
Start by thinking about who it is; is it someone you
have simply upset on the Internet, someone with whom
you've had a relationship? Is it someone you knew before,
or have met in the real world?
Think about where you see it - newsgroups? forums?
chat rooms? email?
What does it say? Is it a matter of direct insults?
Is it lies and rumors? Does it reveal information
not generally known that you want kept secret?
When - and how often - does it appear?
How is it threatening? Is it simply annoying,
or do you fear direct contact, betrayal or what?
Think about the worst it can do ... how bad is that?
Why are you being stalked - is it simply spite
and boredom, is it envy or resentment?
Have you done anytghing thast you think
may have set it off?
Once you can answer these questions,
you will havce a clearer
idea of what you are dealing with, and
how quickly you may need to act.
What To Do - General Advice
In virtually every case, the first line of defence
is to do nothing; simply treat it as a troll and ignore it -
most will go away fairly quickly. remember,
these creatures are a form of troll; if they fail to
get rapid feedback, their inclination is to move on-
they usually have neither the stamina nor the
intelligence for a difficult situation.
But - however mild this stalker appears -
always save every message you receive.
A good way to do this is to create a new folder in your
mailbox, and move all mails or copy newsgroup
postings to that folder. I'd advise keeping this
folder for at least a year after the last post, possibly longer.
This can be a useful store of evidence, if later required, and
can help in identifying the stalker.
Consider your options. Retaliation will make you
feel better, but can be risky; as it make inspire,
provoke or enable the stalker to strike further.
For example, using the stalker's guestbook to warn
them is risky if you have a guestbook that is
open to attack. But if it is reasonably safe,
then attack - let the stalker know that you are
not afraid of electrons!
By definition, a stalker is a coward,
like all bullies, like all who attack from behind,
or in the dark. Be sure to mention this in every attack.
Stalkers make it personal -
You make it impersonal. Minimise any private
response you make;
maximize every public response.
Not invariably, but usually, stalkers are none
too bright; as JR would say,
"The Elevator Don't Reach the Top Floor" -
few intelligent people would go down the
road to stalksville.
Some, of course, are severely mentally ill.
If you suspect that, then do not engage the stalker
in any kind of dialog - just keep careful records
and make appropriate reports.
Be Reasonable -
Your attacks should be in response to the stalker's -
and their first line of defense will be to accuse
you of stalking - so don't go over the top.
You'll usually be amazed how easy it is to
attack a stalker, but exercise restraint.
If they write in your forum, and it's safe to respond -
then write in theirs. But be honest,
brief and to the point - even if you post in every thread.
Share The Laughter - However unnerving a stalker
may be, if you look at them coldly in the light of day,
they are pretty ridiculous. Some are Nothing But Ridiculous.
Savor that; turn it around, let them -
and the world - see how ridiculous they are.
Every time you mock them, you gain,
and they lose. Share The Laughter.
Be consistent - once you have identified their
weaknesses (besides being a loopy, cowardly
piece of slime!), use the information against them,
in every response.
Be careful - one of the first defences of a
stalker is to claim that you stalked them,
and any defence by you may be used against you as claimed cyberbullying.